In a previous letter we spoke about some of the signs and problems which lead to the downfall of the soul (Self - Destruction). We would like to speak now about the problem of possession, and it really is a problem at this time and across the globe. By possession we mean demon-possession, which was common in the time when Jesus walked the earth, and He did many miracles to cure it among the people. Nowadays, curiously, it is rather rarely spoken of or even considered as an ill that may afflict a soul. Even among my friends the Protestants, who careful read the Bible accounts, I think it is rare to hear about demon-possession. Now this writer whose work you are reading is not a priest and therefore cannot be an exorcist. He is simply writing from what he knows, to provide, we think, some detail into the causes and cures of this serious problem. It is most certainly important, not only because the soul of the possessed person is in grave danger, but because this problem is contagious in a way, just like most any other physical disease or psychological malady (the latter being in the general sense, an ill which involves, in part, the brain).
Demon-possession afflicts more people than we can possibly know. When we think of demon-possession, often what comes to mind is the movie version, where people get weird faces and do grotesque things. There are demon-possessed souls who are like this, but there are also many who are not. One who was like this was the poor girl who shouted out some devilish things in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican a couple of years ago. She was a good girl, but a curse had been put on her by someone evil (I am just relating what the Vatican prelates said concerning this case). She had gone through some exorcisms before, but the priests were having a difficult time in driving out the demons. Even His Holiness tried to exorcise her, to which event the demons said later: "Even your Head could not drive us out." We know that even the Apostles had trouble driving out certain demons from people as well. Jesus said about it: "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting." And He might have meant prayer and fasting on the part of the demon-possessed, that is, during any times when they are in their right mind and have the will to do so, but I think He also meant prayer and fasting on the part of the exorcist. It takes a really holy spirit, strong and resolute, to drive out demons. The power of Holy Orders, and in particular that of exorcist, is a conduit, but the priest must also have a right heart and frame of mind for this sort of work. It requires not only some skill, but training, practice, and a strong and holy desire to help people in this way, and most importantly some graces from God above. I wish that more priests would be interested in this act of mercy, because many souls are in need of help particularly at this time.
One should say straightforwardly that no one who is not a priest should try to do an exorcism. I can tell you that maybe the exorcism will be successful, but there is also a grave danger that the demon or demons will then enter the would-be exorcist who disturbed them, perhaps never to leave. We know the account also in the Bible of some men who attempted to drive out demons, but instead were given a beating by them. Even a priest, if he is without training, is in serious danger should he attempt to drive out demons from a soul without knowing how. That said, remember that we have in fact been given a prayer through the vision of God to Pope Leo XIII, to ward off the devil and his minions, that of the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and the thrice exclamation to the Sacred Heart. Anyone can say these prayers, and I do so often. Moreover, I think that regular use of holy water in the home can be very important to help keep the soul in the right state. And other sacramentals such as the Miraculous Medal and the Sacred Heart and Precious Blood of Jesus badge, which can be kept on our persons and near us while we are sleeping. All of these are helpful in warding off the bad angels.
But this letter is really about possession itself, not exorcism. Here are the main points: When someone is demon-possessed, it means that his or her faculties are partially or wholly controlled by the devil. By faculties we mean the will, but also the intellect can be affected and other characteristics of the person. When there is partial control, it can be that part of a person's faculties are controlled by a demon or demons all of the time, or all of the faculties are controlled some of the time, or some variant on these. The form of that control, as we have stated briefly, can be highly varied. The poor person under this affliction can appear like a movie version of the possessed, or like the poor man of the Gospel who cut himself with stones. Or,
the devil can mask the possession so that the person appears perfectly normal, having precisely the same personality as before, and by subterfuge this person carries out the devil's work. And this brings us to the reasons why satan wishes to possess: It is to carry out his evil work, as well as to cause the soul of the person, and any others he can drag with it, to be condemned at the Last Judgement.
Let us speak now of how a poor soul gets into this state of demon-possession in the first place. There are many. We spoke of curses and I think that is possible, though rare. It happens more when the person being "cursed" does not have the spiritual armor to block the involuntary takeover of his or her soul. That is one reason why it is important to pray for one another, and to help each other to grow in Christ. We cannot only be for "self". We too, will be held accountable, possibly leading to our own spiritual death at the end of all things, if we do not assist others. But concerning possession, some people also, amazingly, voluntarily give up their souls. We have all heard the phrase "sold his soul to the devil" - the only problem is that it is true and can actually happen. We can think of rock stars and movies stars who most likely have done such; however, let us not dwell on it for we must be concerned with salvation rather than with the spectacle. There are many other ways to invite demons into our bodies, those places which are meant to be a temple to God. I can tell you some of the most surefire ways. Repeated and grave sexual sins such as abortion, fornication, adultery and viewing of pornography are blatant invitations to the devil to take possession of our bodies. Encouraging these sins in others is even worse. All of these sexual sins can be outright, but they can also be hidden. Remember that Jesus tells us that the man who lusts after his neighbor's wife in his heart has committed adultery. When we dabble in bad books and bad fashion it is a personal invite to the devil to come and stay in our homes, to dwell with us as master and lord. This includes perusing something seemingly so innocuous as the underwear or bathing suit pages of magazines and newspapers. Or reading too much liberal garbage like is often put out at the New York Times and USAToday. We can also say that those with power and authority who promote devilish things, for example, Senators Kennedy and Dodd, so-called Catholics whose voting records advance the anti-Catholic culture, that is, the Culture of Death as His Holiness calls it, are in particularly grave danger, and are held to an even higher standard.
Rock "music" is an extremely potent tool that the devil uses to possess a soul. And some is more virulent than others, but all can be life-threatening. I have personally fled certain public establishments when they were broadcasting "music" that I felt was a danger to my soul, on more than one occasion. I can also tell you that I know a girl who played Beatles music for hours and hours every day for years on end while a young adult. Today this girl is in bad shape. A grown woman in her 40's now, she is a recluse who has never held a steady job. She refuses assistance, and she may not change, though we hope that prayer will do wonders. We know also from other reports that rock music can induce teens and even younger children, as well as adults, to commit violent and sometimes deadly acts. In so doing they are not in their right minds and are at least partially possessed by the devil. The "Goth" and "Deadhead" cultures, which preach death, come to mind as extreme examples. When you see the little dancing colored skeletons, or the weird red and blue skull, or the "peace symbol", as a sticker on cars, stay away. Also, each and every of the Seven Deadly Sins, appropriately named, when executed with full knowledge by a transgressor, causes severe harm to the soul which can only be rectified by long and arduous repentance. It is a start to go to confession and say a few prayers for penance, but that alone will not rectify our spiritual malady unless there is a further and ongoing effort, an amended life, to prevent this sort of bad thing from continuing to take possession of our lives.
Each evil tryst, each tango with the devil, brings the soul one step closer to partial or even full demon-possession. Every fornicating moment, each abortion, each enactment of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or any mortal sin, brings us closer to the devil's right hand, and his full and misleadingly caressing grip.
Now let us consider the danger to our persons when we are in contact with a possessed soul, whether he or she be an acquaintance, relative, or friend. We have a duty to help this person but it must be tempered. First of all we cannot know for sure if a person that we are in contact with is actually demon-possessed. If there are outward and obvious signs, it can be strongly suspected, but then again the person could be suffering from a psychological malady that has nothing to do with demon-possession. The only proof we have of demon-possession is when an exorcist can drive out the demons and cure the person, through the hand of God. Therefore, let us not rush to judgement, but rather be wary. However, we must indeed think about these things, because it is a danger to our own souls to be continually in contact with a possessed soul. Such a person acts as a lens to focus satan's great powers on our own lives. He or she acts as a magnet to bring more satanic beings into our homes or workplaces or even churches. Such demons are looking for a home, and the home they like best to infect, and afflict, is a temple devoted to God, that is, the human person in a state of grace. Satan's power, after all, reigns here on earth and he seeks to humiliate and embarrass God, if that were possible, by taking possession of His vineyards here on earth as much as possible, while there is still time. Each layman, a disciple of Christ, when tempted by the devil, is being tempted like the first disciples, some of whom scattered when the Good Shepherd was struck. And when each priest is tempted, it is like the tempting of Peter, who denied Christ, or of Christ Himself, who did what was right and pleased our Father in Heaven. We cannot win every battle, but let us win the war by being good soldiers of Christ.
Yet it is difficult, because the world is set up for such tempting to take place. As the people of God know, evil rules the world right now; we must not let it rule our hearts. From the secular media to politics to many of the public school systems, the focus is mostly on Man's Rights. It is a focus on secular commitment to man. But this is highly distorted; yes, we have a secular commitment, but it is none other than to do our work in a way that is pleasing to God. And more importantly we also have a commitment that the world does not even want to hear about, and that is our commitment to God. It is a very much more important commitment. We must serve our community and serve God, but it is much more important to serve God, and also when we serve our community, to do it in a way that is pleasing to God. The secular Media and many politicians, and the public schools and a whole lot of other organizations like the UN and the ICC (but more about these later) would rather have you believe that the greatest good is to serve Man. Let it be said here strongly that we have warned you not to listen to them. And we wish that the Hierarchy would emphasize these points more, that is, stressing the duty to God first and foremost, rather than often stressing the humanistic duties. It is good to bring the poor out of poverty, and good works such as these bring us merit. But it is more important to save the souls of the poor and all others, something that the Church has been and always must be primarily concerned with.
The poor we will always have with us, but the chance for salvation of each soul comes only once.
But let us return to the point at hand: what to do when we come in contact with someone who is seemingly demon-possessed? It is our duty to try to help this person, however that does not necessarily mean that we ourselves will have an active hand in the helping. The first thing to do is to discuss the situation with our spiritual counselor. This may be a priest or a religious. It should not be so surprising that there are a few such, more liberal in philosophy, who may pooh-pooh anything concerning demon-possession that we might want to tell them, or they might even decide they don't want to hear about it. Don't be discouraged; there are helpful priests and religious who will take us seriously and try to help us. This should not be a judgement thing though - we must save our own souls too. It is simply enough to tell the priest that we know of a person who appears to be in mortal danger. We may ask them if they know an exorcist who might be able to advise us. It is often not a good idea to come out and tell someone we think they are possessed, even when it may seem obvious; and it might even get us into trouble. That is why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable priest or religious who can guide us. I would say that a traditional priest or religious might be more often able to help us, since the idea of demons and exorcism has been rather de-emphasized since Vatican II. One needs only to consult the Diocesan office or look at the more traditional Catholic magazines and newspapers to inquire where a traditional priest is located. There is actually an entire directory listed on a traditional website. Concerning our contacts with other people in this life, and the possibility of coming in contact with demon-possession, there can certainly be real-life dilemmas. I know a man whose sister seems to be afflicted. He feels a commitment to his mother, who is forgetful, to live with her and help her. And he has a desire to do so. Yet it means also living with the sister. What to do? The Fourth Commandment tells us "Honor your father and mother and you shall live a long life." And yet, we must not allow ourselves to come into harm's way so much that our own souls are in grave danger. It is a spiritual warfare, and we must be prepared, with love, good works, prayer, self-denial, and fasting from the things of this world.
How many in the world are possessed at the present time? I do not know, but I can tell you that it is a lot. One would think that anyone following a hedonistic lifestyle, if he or she does not rapidly undergo an internal conversion, a circumcision of the heart, will most likely become demon-possessed eventually. And how many are leading a hedonistic lifestyle today? Huge numbers of "Catholic" young people, for one thing. They don't go to Holy Mass, they "experiment" sexually, they have abortions. And many of the middle-aged "Catholics" are full of lust and greed, always exhibiting road rage, lusting for more and more - a bigger SUV, a bigger house, fancier and more costly "things".
And so dear friends, let use make an effort to rid ourselves of evil influences and try to help others do so too. I can tell you that the "ancient serpent" likes to suggest little temptations to us when we are least aware of it: as we drift off to sleep, when we think we are following the right path but have not consulted anyone about it, when we believe we know what is best for us, when we dabble in a small bits of sinfulness. These are danger signs, and sometimes we will get a little warning about it, such as if gross and distorted figures appear before us, or if our conscience tells us we are ignoring and offending God. But if we still don't stop the transgression, I can tell you that "The devil made me do it" will not be a good excuse on the Last Day. Let us, rather, sing holy songs and live a right life, always striving to use the talents that Christ gave us, for our own good and that of others, so that when we meet with Him again and He asks us, we can say: "See Master, you gave me these talents, I have won for You many more."
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps milititiae caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum, Miserere nobis
Cor Jesu sacratissimum, Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum, Miserere nobis.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power, thrust into Hell Satan and all of the evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.