Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring. Revelation 12:17
Just over a quarter of a century ago, I was wearing Umbro shorts and a T-shirt, kneeling in a field among hundreds of thousands of other teenagers and listening to the voice of a saint.
It was 1993, I was a sophomore in high school and experiencing my first pilgrimage and papal Mass as part of World Youth Day in Denver, CO. That experience of the Church was probably one of the most profoundly formative in my entire life to this very day.
I am loving my Instagram feed today as I watch so many young people once again travel from all corners of the earth to come together for World Youth Day and experience—some for the first time—the powerful experience that is our beautiful Mother Church gathering her children.
I hate that these young people have been forced to live through our present Church abuse scandal and have had to watch so many of our fathers fall and fail us so grievously.
But, I am reminded of the words of Pope St. John Paul II who spoke to my heart in that field so many years ago—we are in, and have always been in, “apocalyptic combat.”
Even as the dragon breathes his putrid breath in hungry panting for her Son and “the rest of her offspring,” we have been given a Mother clothed in the sun and “the outcome of the battle for Life is already decided, even though the struggle goes on against great odd and with much suffering.”
We are suffering today. Those youth people who are flooding Panama this week are no strangers to the hot breath of a dragon.
He is, indeed, waging war on them and on us as we struggle to find our feet on the shaky ground of what it means to be a Catholic today.
But, Bellators, we are certain of this. . . the Mighty One has chosen for us a Mother Church–plagued with a taunting dragon, but who is protected by the God who made her. She will not fall though some of our fathers have. The Lord has done great things for us and holy is His name!
Mama Mary, pray for us and for all who keep God’s commands.