Reading a sermon of Ronald Knox’s the other day, I was struck by one phrase. He speaks of ‘the joy of conflict, without which there is little savour to living, except for the few who live very close to God’. Tomorrow is the great day of her whom the liturgy compares to a castrorum acies ordinata, an army set in array. In these strange and critical days for the Church, perhaps we should ask Mary for a holy joy of battle.

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