That we are in a spiritual battle is something that should be obvious, but to most it isn’t. The devil has succeeded, with mankind’s help, to make us oblivious to the constant battle being waged between God and himself. Every so often however, the devil loses his grasp of the curtain and the battle comes forward – we become aware of it.
This morning I woke at 4am and caught the last half of the Closing Mass at World Youth Day. It seemed to be a beautiful day, if not too hot. The wind was gently blowing, the sun was out and the people seemed to be in good moods.
It was then that the commentators mentioned that because of the bad storms that had passed through during the night – communion would not be given out to everybody there. It seemed that the sky had opened up and storms fell upon the million people camping in the open. My first thought was that this had happened at World Youth Day in Toronto as well.
But then I started to reflect about what spiritual battle must be waging around this gathering of the youth. How Satan and his hoards must be launching everything they have to disrupt this gathering. After all, for all the success the prince of darkness has in numbing humanity to the transcendent and spiritual realities of our existence – World Youth Day opens many to their true vocations and even more, such as me, to the our transcendent calling as disciples. The storms last night were symbolic of the invisible battle waged around these same people; Satan’s panic driven attack to disrupt something he has tried hard to prevent, something painful to him, the realization of Love in the world. The power of the wind might as well have been the force they were exerting to stop this Mass. The howling of the wind might as well have been the howling of hell itself; the howling of fear and frustration of their failure to once again keep God’s creation from realizing that God is among them; the frustration of their realization of their ultimate weakness. Because no matter what force of nature, what spiritual wind, hell can throw at us – we rest secure that God’s wind, His Holy Spirit is still stronger. We rest secure that our lives are founded on the rock that is Peter, and his successors; a foundation that no wind from hell can move. So it was no surprise that though these pilgrims were not going to receive communion in the appearance of bread, they did receive communion in the presence of each other in unity with the Holy Father all through and in God’s divine breath, His Holy wind, the Holy Spirit. And once again Satan is blown away from his victory.
I find it very appropriate that the venue of this Mass was an airport named Cuatro Vientos – Four Winds.