From The Path of Mary, Little Company of Mary, Chicago, U.S.A. -- 6th edition, pp. 13-19 (abridged).
We live in perilous times; we are surrounded by dangers and temptations almost unparalleled in the history of the world. The Church, the Spouse of Jesus, seems to have followed the life of her Lord, and to have exemplified in herself its various stages.
There has been the hidden life of the early ages of the Church, followed by the more Public Life; then arose an increased devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the Agony in the garden; and we seem to be now bordering on the times when the Church will reflect, will, in fact, mystically reproduce the crucifixion of her Divine Head and Master.
The Church appears to be reaching the time when she will be mystically crucified with her Lord. The powers of darkness are evidently allowed a strange power of temptation: "it is their hour."
Even many of Our Lord's own have fallen away. Throughout the Church there is an unusual distress of body and soul. You who read this may have thought your trials peculiar to yourself: but you are mistaken.
Your neighbor suffers still more than you, although you know it not. He is sorely tempted and tried; and he, too, thinks his grief peculiar to himself. Well for those who are watching!
Well for those who are assiduous in obtaining the graces mother Church offers them. There will not be a grace too much given to them, for "Satan will deceive, if possible, even the elect." Well for those who are watching!
Morning and night we need the sweet voice of Jesus to repeat to us the warning words the loving anxiety of His Heart prompted Him to utter: "Watch and pray." "Watch and pray." I do not write to alarm you, but to forewarn you.
We see that the Church is visibly afflicted, that the powers of hell are leagued more strongly than ever against her. We cannot but see it. It is visible to our eyes but the interior conflict, the attacks of Satan against the individual soul, are not so visible, yet they are far fiercer and more disastrous than the open attacks made by the emissaries of Satan against the Church.
The one is but a figure of the other. Why have I written this?
Forewarned is forearmed.
If you have intelligence of a threatened danger you will make preparations to defend yourself against it. It would not be like God to allow us to be unusually tempted, to subject us to great conflicts, without likewise providing us with a far counterbalancing assistance.
It is not my present purpose to show this conduct of God thought the history of the Church. I wish simply to put before you now the special assistance needed at the present time, to enable us to fight successfully the battle which, whether we will or not, we must engage in if we would be saved.
What then must we do?
What special assistance do we need?
At the time of the Passion of Our Lord -- that most fearful time of the dominion of Satan, when he was allowed a power he will never be allowed again -- who, I ask you, were the faithful ones that continued with Our Lord to the end?
In that time of general temptation when even Peter denied the Master he loved so well, who were the happy ones who did not abandon their Lord when He for their sakes was seemingly abandoned even by His heavenly Father?
Those who remained in the company of Mary.
Whence had they this great grace?
From her all powerful intercession. As it was then, so will it be again: and it ill be well for us to think of this earnestly, seriously; not carelessly, but with thought and prayer."