For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. — Ephesians 6:12
Mexico has been a problem for the United States for many decades, serving as the source for perpetual illegal immigration and the deadly flow of drugs, arms and crime of all sorts into this country.
Thanks largely to the presence of vicious drug cartels, Mexico has become the Mos Eisley of the Americas — little more than a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Sociologists may struggle to explain how a country with strong Christian roots can fall to such a degree, but for the faithful there is an explanation: demonic influence.
Thus it came to pass that in an unannounced, closed-door ceremony, a Catholic cardinal, an archbishop, an expert demonologist and other clergy performed an Exorcismo Magno, an exorcism of the entire country, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The May 20 ceremony was not made public beforehand in order to prevent misguided interpretations, according to Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero.
To cynical modern minds that think monsters are merely the stuff of “X-Files” and Hollywood entertainments, a real-life exorcism is nothing but an exercise in superstition.
Even many people who call themselves Christian can’t bring themselves to believe in the existence of demons or Satan.
Yet, driving out demons, performing exorcisms of afflicted people, was a significant portion of Jesus’ ministry and the missions of the Apostles.
When Jesus was in the desert, he was tempted directly by Satan and rejected his offer of earthly power.
There are people who actually believe that the events of the Gospels never happened. To reach that conclusion requires the same sort of agenda-driven rationalization as denying the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide or the intent of the Founding Fathers — you have to ignore mountains of historical evidence.
Many pastors have pointed out that the Gospels really present two clear choices: Either Jesus was crazy, or he was truthful about who he was.
Christians — those who aren’t just borrowing the name, at least — believe that Jesus was who he said he was. That includes believing the scary demon parts of the story that cause modern minds to cringe. It’s an all or nothing proposition with Jesus.
One of the priests involved the “Great Exorcism” rite explained that once demonic influence gets a toehold, it tends to spread, as it seems to have done in Mexico.
“To the extent sin increases more and more in a country, to that extent it becomes easier for the demons to tempt (people),” said Father Jose Antonio Fortea, a Spanish exorcist. “… To the extent there is more witchcraft and Satanism going on in a country, to that extent there will be more extraordinary manifestations of those powers of darkness.”
Fortea explained that this was the first time that he knew of an entire country being exorcised.
“The exorcism performed in San Luís Potosí is the first ever carried out in Mexico in which the exorcists came from different parts of the country and gathered together to exorcise the powers of darkness, not from a person, but from the whole country. This rite of exorcism, beautiful and liturgical, had never before taken place in any part of the world,” he said.
Don’t expect an instant change, however. Fortea said the ceremony certainly didn’t drive out all the demons tormenting Mexico, but it’s a start.
“We don’t drive out all the evil spirits from a country with just one ceremony. But even though all will not be expelled, those that were removed are not there anymore,” he said. “… We have to have faith that God conferred on the Apostles a power, and that we can use this power.”
Fortea suggested that such an exorcism should be performed in more countries around the world.
It’s an interesting suggestion. I’d like to nominate Washington, D.C., as a starting point.