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Friday, May 24, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 144

Maria: An Image of An Angel and of the Devil

    The following is both a tribute by Maria's father Timothy A. Duff and a reminder that, amid all the sorrow, life goes on and that we had best heed Our Lady's warning at Fatima. In this case, the good died young, but each of us will have to account for our lives. Tim graced these pages for a few years with his feature Fiat Voluntas Dei in which he wrote on The Mystical City of God among other inspirational pieces. This piece was first published on Christ or chaos a few days ago and we run it here in honor of Maria and in respect for Tim and Eileen and their family. Maria died at the tender age of 16 from Pompe Disease on Saturday, May 11 and was buried on May 14 in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Harrison, Ohio following a Requiem Mass at St. Gertrude the Great. She had been on a feeding tube since 1999 and suffered greatly over her short lifetime in dealing with this debilitating disease that attacked her muscles and her heart, as well as her respiratory system. We extend our deepest condolences to the entire family and assure them of our prayers for the repose of the soul of Maria and her older brother Joseph, who died of the same affliction in 1993. May the Duff family and all who mourn the death of their children be consoled in the knowledge of Our Lord's loving words: "Suffer the little children to come to Me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God."

    Our little Maria († May 11, 2013) was certainly an image of an Angel by her purity, innocence, sincerity, compassion, and total resignation to the holy Will of God.

    But an image of the Devil? How could that be? By her debilitation! She was unable (without a wheelchair) to move around or to approach us. Without her wheelchair she would have been left "racked on her bed of pain", sort of like Lucifer was for so many centuries, who by the Passion and Death of Christ was precipitated to hell like a bolt of lightning and there lay shattered and motionless.

    If we were to view Maria's soul in its polar opposite - desiring evil to all - it would show us a perfect type of the demon, for he was so debilitated by the Passion and Death of Christ that he was as helpless to approach us to tempt us and do us harm as Maria was helpless to walk around doing good for all (though, to be sure, one of her chief virtues was that she sincerely desired to do good to all).

    And what "wheelchair" do we give the devil? Our sins, our imprudence in placing ourselves in the way of temptation and danger, or in failing to flee them when necessary. By our carelessness, lack of vigilance, lack of sincerity, our unwillingness to do penance and approach the Sacraments, to say our daily prayers, especially the Rosary, and our lukewarmness and even failure to do our daily duty, we as it were give the devil a "wheelchair" with which to approach us, intimidate us, back us into a corner, and even run us over (thank goodness Maria was an excellent driver or my family would all have flat feet!).

    Our Lady actually used the word "debilitation" in describing the state in which Our Lord's Passion and victory over the demon left Him:

    "Thou art astonished, and justly so, to know on the one hand the power of the merits of my Son and of His Redemption and the ruin and debilitation they have caused in the demons; and on the other hand to see the power of the devil lording it over the world in haughty presumption." (Mystical City of God, Transfixion, par. 732; my emphasis)

    Maria was a classic example of a debilitated individual. The word means "having one's ability removed", in her case the ability to walk, to talk properly, and toward the end even to use her arms. She died a quadriplegic.

    This is truly a tremendous secret of the spiritual life. It is we ourselves who empower the demon. We must avoid giving the devil too much credit for our sins - he could no more harm us than Maria lying on her bed unable to move. She could think, she could will, but she could not move. Someone would have to pick her up and put her in her wheelchair ( See footnote) for her to be able to move around. The last six months of her life she could not even move her arm into position to move the joystick which controlled the chair's movements, so we had to put her arm into position, and the last month she did not even have the hand strength to move the joystick - we had to do it for her.

    Although it is true the demon now "prowls about the world, seeking the ruin of souls", yet who was it who thus let him out of hell where he had lain shattered by the power of Christ and the great Woman of the Apocalypse? Yes, who let him out? We did! How, you say? By refusing to sincerely live the message of Fatima by our daily Rosary and daily duty! We failed to counter the evil apostles of Satan who successfully brought Lucifer back out of hell (about 60 years ago - a topic for another article), and he now is putting into final effect what Our Lady of Fatima called the "evil plan to destroy the peace of the world" which the world calls the "New World Order".

    Let us all now begin to truly live the message of Fatima and pray to most holy Mary, the Vanquisher of All Heresies (all heresies - the perfect description of Modernism) to, by the power of Her Son, crush the serpent's head once again and bring the Reign of Mary the world so desperately needs.

Timothy A. Duff

       As I (and others) did thousands of times. There is a cute story regarding this: Maria's favorite pet growing up was a blue parakeet named Dolly. The very first time I put Dolly onto Maria's lap the bird crawled up her ventilator circuit onto her shoulder, then walked up her hair and sat on top of her head! (Animals had no fear around Maria.) But what was most amazing was the way the bird learned to talk and imitate what Maria said. Earlier in life we would put Maria on the floor, and after a time she would request to be put back into her weelchair. We broke out laughing one day when Dolly said, in a remarkably intelligible voice: "I want in my wheelchair!"

Fiat Voluntas Dei
Friday, May 24, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 144