An excerpt from Chapter 4 of The Weapon, by Michael Voris.
His name was Simeon, and of him we do not know much, other than that he was a devout and upright man. It had been made known to him by the Holy Spirit he would not die until he had seen the Messiah with his own eyes. What we can safely assume is that Simeon must have been a man of deep holiness to be afforded such a singular grace. In addition to being devout and morally upright, there must have been a deep, abiding presence of faith and hope and charity. His canticle to God after he took the Babe into his arms speaks of this.
He knew intuitively of the great battle about to ensue. He knew it in his bones, his soul, his mind. He knew also that this was not just a battle involving his own race, but was a war involving all humanity. He knew the stakes were nothing less than salvation, and that this was for the nations. He knew too the cost of this Great War would be incalculable suffering. So when he returns the Babe to the arms of His Mother and father, he takes Mary aside and says to Her that She would suffer most of all — a sword would pierce her immaculate soul.
The Son of God is barely a month old and already the sword makes its first appearance in His life, drawn against His Mother — a sign of the horror of sin. The most perfect human to have ever graced the earth would have to bear in Her soul the pain of sin, having never committed a single one in Her life, never even having been touched by Original Sin. To Her would be the utmost sharing of the future pain of Her Son.
This sword would appear again in His life on earth, drawn against Him in His infancy by Herod's soldiers. It would also bring forth the Church from His side on the Cross as it would be plunged into His dead body. But He Himself would also have a sword and would never hesitate to draw it and use it. He said, "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matt. 10:34). And this is fitting, for there is no war without weapons. Weapons exist to be used, and more than used, to defeat, kill, conquer, vanquish, and occupy.
The sword of Christ is truth, and it hurts as it tears into the soul, separating sinew from bone; it hurts more than a physical sword. Rarely does a physical battle wound so change a man as to conform him to Heaven. Its ability to effect change is limited to the merely natural, the body. But the sword the Son of God never sheathes can so wound a man, so disfigure and kill a former man of sin, that a new man of justice can emerge, where God will lovingly give him what he deserves, and that will be Himself.
The target of the divine sword is sin, to cut out the gore and ugliness of it and repair and restore man. In this manner, it is as much scalpel as it is sword. Each shares a sharp blade and each has the same purpose: to destroy that which is bad and which must be removed. Saint Paul uses the same imagery to get at the same truth. This war requires well-trained soldiers, warriors skilled at the sword. This is as true as the day is long. The enemy has a massive arsenal, a stockpile of weapons and munitions in the form of temptations, doubts, excitement of the passions, pride set against God's commands.
This is why Simeon speaks as he does to Mary. The Son of God, His Firstborn, has been presented to the Father according to the command of the Father. His inheritance from the Father will be an everlasting kingdom, as His angel told Mary at the Annunciation almost a year earlier. But that kingdom would be established in bloody warfare, for the enemy was in this fight to the death.
Watch the panel discuss the sorrows of Our Lady on The Download—Feast of the Presentation.