To help us we have our own Special Forces trained to fight the enemy when he is at his most bold and dangerous, when they make their aims clearest: to destroy us, body and soul.
In America, a land of over 300 million people, there are just 10 of them.
Like the U.S. after Vietnam, the Church since Vatican II in large part has followed a policy of unilateral disarmament. In an at once arrogant and naive fit of cosmic-sized self delusion, we decided that if we just believed hard enough that Satan didn't exist. then maybe he wouldn't. We are paying a terrible price for our ignorance. As the old saying goes "if you don't believe in something , you'll believe in anything". In the aftermath paganism sprouted like weeds in empty lots and demons began their terrible harvest among those who, in their hunger for the Spirit opened their souls to any and all.
The good news is that we are finally waking up to the danger we face. Last month in Baltimore over 110 Bishops and priests met for the “Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism,” They heard speakers such as Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Houston-Galveston, who discussed the scriptural basis of evil and others who examined the spiritual, pastoral and practical aspects of this growing ministry. And growing it is, faced with a rising sea of need the number of exorcists in Poland has jumped from 10 to over 300 in the last decade. In Italy the number has grown tenfold. And even in Germany the most 'liberal' and aggressively secular part of the Catholic Church in Europe exorcists have had to be called in from abroad to deal with the hundreds of of people tortured by inner voices and seeing hideous creatures in their sleep, shocking the German Catholic hierarchy which after the case of Anneliese Michel in 1973 has shied away from the ancient Rite.
The roots of the Rite of Exorcism go back to earliest Christianity with the Bible recording numerous cases of Jesus and the Disciples casting out demons, and though even many Catholics do not know it the Rite of Baptism is considered an Exorcism (albeit a minor one). In order to carry out a Major Exorcism a priest must get the permission of his local Bishop (who by definition is the chief exorcist of the diocese). Then an extensive investigation is undertaken by a team that includes medical Doctors, and mental health experts who are there expressly to find a non-supernatural cause for the victim's suffering, as it has been recognized even from medieval times that most of those who seek help are in need of physical or mental, not spiritual healing. Some priests even prefer atheists to perform these evaluations as there is less chance of unconscious bias. Some signs that the priest will look for to determine if this is indeed a case of possession are:
- Victim speaks or understands unknown languages without ever studying the language being spoken or heard
- Victim clearly knows things that are distant or hidden
- Victim can predict future events (sometimes through dreams)
- Victim has an intense hatred for holy things
- Victim shows a physical strength far above his age or normal condition
Then the priest, clothed in his stole which symbolizes his authority, and armed with crucifix, holy water and, the relics of the saints will by the power and authority of Jesus Christ command the demon to flee. The Rituale Romanum contains much practical advice for the exorcist.
(RULE 5) Let the exorcist note for himself the tricks and deceits which evil spirits use in order to lead him astray. For they are accustomed to answering falsely. They manifest themselves only under pressure--in the hope that the exorcist will get tired and desist from pressuring them. Or they make it appear that the subject of Exorcism is not possessed at all.
(RULE 6) Sometimes, Evil Spirit betrays its presence, and then goes into hiding. It appears to have left the body of the possessed free from all molestation, so that the possessed thinks he is completely rid of it. But the exorcist should not, for all that, desist until he sees the signs of liberation.
(RULE 10) The Exorcist must remember, therefore, that Our Lord said there is a species of Evil Spirit which cannot be expelled except by prayer and fasting. Let him make sure that he and others follow the example of the Holy Fathers and make use of these two principal means of obtaining divine help and of repelling Evil Spirit.
(RULE 20) During Exorcism, the exorcist should use the words of the Bible rather than his own or somebody else's.
One of the most famous cases of possession was, as mentioned above, the case of Anneliese Michel the inspiration for the movie 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' . Born September 21, 1952 in Leiblfing, Bavaria, Germany Anneliese was a very devout girl, to the extent that she attempted to atone for the sins of wayward priests by sleeping on the bare floor during the dead of winter. soon after she turned 16 she began hearing voices threatening her with damnation. She quickly went downhill from there, she tore off her clothes, ate coal and spiders off the floor, and licked up her own urine.
Doctors seemed unable to help and after 10 months of useless medical treatment she gave up on secular healers and turned to the spiritual authorities for help. For six months exorcism was attempted, a time during which she barely ate or drank and on July 1, 1976, Anneliese Michel died in her sleep. In keeping with the Catholic view on the redemptive power of suffering Anneliese believed that her torments were allowed by God in order to convince the world that the Devil is indeed real. Below is an audio recording of part of the exorcism of Anneliese Michel, with english subtitles. ( warning: extremely disturbing)
Be aware that exorcism is an area of extreme danger and those who delve into the depths of this kind of spiritual warfare can expect to be attacked in all aspects of their personal, professional, and spiritual lives. Mess with the goat get the horns. You have been warned.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits..Be sure and read my other posts and learn more about the links between the ancient, the sacred, and the modern world.
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