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Photo: Eric Mahl
'Conquer Evil With Good'
"The important thing is that we love God, then all evil will turn to good. It is true that we do not always know what form it will take. But it will come just the same. We can be certain of that." — Marian Renovator Blessed George Matulaitis, MIC
On Monday, May 12, a group of Marian Helpers from the Evangelization and Development Office made the trek to Boston from Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass., to join in the Eucharistic procession and prayers of reparation for the planned black mass (a satanic mockery of the Holy Mass) at Harvard. Eric Mahl, coordinator for Evangelization and Outreach, explains why they went and what they saw that night:
All day, we were in a state of desolation, knowing that this "black mass" was being prepared. It was hurting our hearts. All day, we were in prayer, making acts of reparation and adoration, but also asking, "Lord, what do You want us to do? Where do You want us to go?"
We called all the religious communities with which we do the works of mercy and serve the poor, and we let them know that this was going on. Some of the communities knew and others didn't. The ones that could make it showed up, which was really beautiful to see. The ones that couldn't make it because of obligations said they would be praying in reparation during the planned black mass, so we had a lot of religious communities in Boston in prayer as well. Then we really felt throughout the day that maybe it's not so much what we do, but we need to be there as the Blessed Mother and the Beloved Disciple were at the foot of the Cross at Calvary, where there was so much chaos and hatred toward the Lord. We can be there at the foot of the Cross, just loving Jesus for those who did not love him.
So we drove. On the way, we picked up some consecrated religious that live in Boston. We filled to the brim our Mercy Mobile, the 15-passenger van donated to the Marians' ministry for the poor last December. I remember sharing with the group in the van that when I was living in Cleveland, I went to a rally for religious freedom in protest of the increasing government overreach in religious affairs. I remember standing there in the town square in downtown Cleveland, praying the Rosary, holding a sign, and thinking, "Am I really here right now? Is this really happening in my own country? This is such an historic moment." I never expected that this would be happening in my own country. Then I remember driving to this response to the black mass and having the same feeling. It blew me away that this was even happening, especially at one of the most prestigious schools within our country.
Before the procession, there were different organizations in prayer and reparation in front of the hall where the black mass was supposed to take place. I met a few people who were in front of that building throughout the day. They said there wasn't any interaction with the people who were planning on going to the satanic black mass, but the intercessors said the black mass organizers looked very discontent; they were coming back and forth, not knowing where to go, almost lost.
During that whole day, there was tremendous sadness, but one of the most beautiful things for me was that, the minute that the Eucharist came in procession outside of the chapel at MIT, there was just a tremendous peace. Everyone there completely forgot about the black mass, the satanic rituals, the hatred given the Lord. I thought, "Lord, I'm here because I love You. I don't want to be anywhere else. Satan, get behind me. I don't have time for you. I'm just here to adore my Lord and my God."
One of the beautiful things: A lot of us that went from the Marian Helpers Center took the 8x10 canvas Divine Mercy images. We held those up in the procession, so behind our Lord in the Eucharist, we had the Divine Mercy images.
The whole procession was so focused on the Eucharist. There was such tremendous peace when I saw everyone coming up, meeting each other with hugs, and getting into the procession — about 1,500 people filling the street. There were many people in restaurants or walking the sidewalks who looked on in awe. They would stop, make the sign of the Cross, and join in some of the songs we were singing. The procession was powerful because it wasn't focusing on the negative. We were just focusing on loving Him for those who do not.
That night showed us this tremendous evil was about to take place publicly in our country. What happened was God used His infinite mercy to bring a greater good out of it. We were in St. Paul's in Harvard Square adoring the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament with people from many different Christian denominations, those who practice the Jewish faith, many Catholics who probably haven't been to Adoration in years, coming together in such a joyful embrace, not only in the Eucharist but also after the Mass, just hugging and embracing each other, so joyful.
And then the black mass was taken off campus. There were so many people throughout the country praying, if not throughout the world. Without question, that is why the black mass didn't take place on campus as planned.
On the way back, we all talked about the greatest blessing of the day. The greatest blessing I received was witnessing the power of St. Paul's command, which Marian Renovator Blessed George Matulaitis took as his personal motto: "Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good" (Rm 12:21). Blessed George dealt with tremendous evil, tremendous persecution against [the Church] and his own order that we're not really being faced with yet in our country. He probably had first-hand experience in line with the many confirmations we experienced on that Monday night. During the day, we were thinking of all these plans, but the Lord was saying, "Just be there at the foot of the Cross. Pray, adore, and love Me." It doesn't matter what you plan, how much you plan and want to do. You have to do it with the love of God within your heart, knowing that if you're doing it for the sake of God and with His intention, good is going to overcome evil. We can never say, "Oh, we're going to do evil to evil."
In some of our prayers this last week, especially during the Divine Office, a lot of us have been praying for the satanists who organized the black mass. Jesus told Faustina He always hears prayer for the conversion of sinners (see Diary, 1397), so we are required as the children of God to pray for our lost brothers and sisters, knowing that God loves them. We know through the message of Divine Mercy that Jesus said, "The greater the sinner, the greater the right to My mercy" (Diary, 723). God's mercy shows itself in bringing a greater good out of an evil. If we pray for their conversion, for that miracle of sanctification in their lives, the Lord can raise them up to be great saints to glorify His mercy. You meet people who say, "I used to be involved in a satanic temple and organize black masses. Now I go to Adoration every single day. I love Jesus Christ, and I'm sorry that I did this, but I know the Lord has forgiven me and restored me to be His child again."