Q. The October 2,2000 issue of TIME magazine had an article on exorcism. This was probably occasioned by the re-release of the 1973 film The Exorcist.
What is your opinion on the subject of diabolic possession? Is it real, or, is it the work of uncontrolled imagination?
A. The best and concise source on this subject is a little booklet compiled by Bishop Louis Vezelis, OFM entitled: Discernment of Spirits. It was printed in 1984. It has remained virtually hidden because almost everyone `involved' in religion had no time to pause and reflect upon their motives and purposes. Many, led by the illusion that they were `serving God' and `working for the salvation of souls' basked in this perfidiously pious illusion with no desire to be honest with themselves.
Genuine spirituality cannot afford to be without a spiritual guide. Just as the man who would be the lawyer in his own case is said to have a fool for a lawyer, so, too, the person indulging in self-guidance in spiritual matters has more than a fool for a guide _ the devil is the guide.
Devils are very real, just as good angels are very real. `Devils,' after all, are nothing more than those pure spirits constituted of the same spiritual faculties as we are, namely, memory, intellect and will, who have disobeyed God. Devils are pure spirits. That is, they are not a compound of spirit and body as we humans are.
We were created "a little less than the angels" says the Psalmist. The angels, being pure spirits, had a greater intuitive knowledge of God than man. Yet, although superior in intelligence and will than man, the angels were not equal to God. Their own glory was dependent upon their obedience to God. `Obedience' is simply another word for `love.'
`Love' is a desire to be united with the person loved because that person is perceived to be better and more desirable than oneself. This is why genuine love necessarily reaches outside of the `self.' It is also the reason why `self-love' is a dead end that crashes against the wall of self-hatred. There is no outlet; there is no expansion of the human spirit. This, too, is why `hell' is a place (not only a `state') of torment: The pain of hell is caused by the excruciating awareness of one's own nothingness that frustrates the intellect and the will. The intellect was made to know and the will was made to unite the being in a unity of wills. Put another way, the greatest punishment of the soul is to be eternally separated from God. Outside of God, there is nothing. Since `evil' is the `absence of something that is proper to the organism,' the absence of Truth and Love (Goodness) leaves the soul in an abyss of nothingness.
The pure spirits (commonly called `angels') did not possess the fullness of the knowledge of God. If they did, they would never have rebelled against Him. They, too, had to make an act of faith in some matters. What these matters were remains a subject of speculation. However, we do have some insights that are gleaned from Revelation.
There is no doubt in the mind of knowledgeable Catholics that devils exist, that they influence people in varying degrees: suggestion, obsession, and finally, possession. Among the first things that Jesus did was give His power to cast out devils to His disciples. He gave them power to cast out devils and to heal the sick. Notice: this was a two-fold power. There is a distinction between `casting out devils' and `healing the sick.' Both actions were directed to restore order in the suffering person. This is the foundation for the `faith healing' so prevalent among fallen away Catholics who have succumbed to the delusion of chrisms which they do not have.
Since there is always an element of truth in every error, we must seek the truth and separate it from the error. The truth is that every baptized person is a mystic and has received the infused virtues of faith, hope and charity. The truth is that every Roman Catholic has received the potentiality of exercising supernatural powers.
The confusion that reigns among `Catholics' today is that they have been deceived into believing they are in the state of grace when, actually, they are not. The supernatural life of the soul is essentially a life of sanctifying grace.
If we keep in mind that the prince of devils, Lucifer, is a pure spirit that has refused to obey God, we can readily conclude that his operation is to get other spirits to refuse to obey God.
Thus, as the leader of the pure spirits and among the highest order of angels, the Seraphim, Lucifer influenced a large multitude of these pure spirits to follow him in his rebellion against God.
There is no doubt that Satanism _ the worship of devils _ is on the rise all over the world. Every war that has been fought is ultimately a struggle between darkness and light, between Satan and Christ. While denouncing others as "empires of evil", the real empires of evil extend their rule and sway over ever-greater areas and peoples. Communism, which is the visibly organized expression of Satanism is not `materialistic' as we were led to believe. "Materialist atheism" it was called. But, isn't that what so many of our own Americans are: "materialistic atheists"? Yet, we do not call them `communists.' We call them `Republicans'; we call them `Democrats' and we fail to realize that the true meaning behind the word `democracy' is actually `communism' which is, in turn, actually Satanism. The label is often deceptive; it's the spiritual reality that is true.
Devils are persons. They do not have a body. But they can influence bodies. They can enter animate and inanimate objects. They were cast down to earth after they were expelled from heaven. They abide by the millions all around us. Like the various viruses that surround us, these pure spirits likewise surround us and can easily find their way into us.
The devils act mainly upon our physical memory and imagination. They can also act upon our bodies through our appetites and passions. We should be aware that even natural causes are manipulated by the devils to attain their evil goals.
Our pseudo-scientific age, steeped in its foolish pride, would laugh to scorn those who would suggest that devils can alter physical nature. Their pride makes them absurd sycophants.
According to a genuine exorcist, the majority of people we meet on the street are still in the state of original sin because their Baptism was not valid. Since Vatican II, the Baptisms in what is still perceived as the "Roman Catholic Church" are not valid
These baptisms are not valid because because they are no longer the sacramental expulsion of Satan as Christ intended, but have been reduced to a mere ritualistic initiation into a group calling itself `Christian.'
The intention of Christ in instituting the Sacrament of Baptism was to free the soul (and body) from its slavery to sin. The rampant immorality _ and even the `legalizing' of it _ is a direct result of the failure to administer the Sacrament of Baptism validly. The wealth-industry of immorality would never prosper if its victims were not of one mind of them. If genuine Christians fought against these evidences of Satan in the world, the war against these evils would be more effective.
The same must be said of all the other Sacraments. They have all been tampered with in such a way as to render them invalid, or seemingly doubtful.
Tarot cards, psychic seances, fortune-tellers, horoscopes etc. are examples of satanic influence. Few people look upon these things with the seriousness they deserve. These are all activities inspired and guided by devils.
Obsession and possession are not the same thing. What is today attributed to `poltergeists' is the work of devils. Pains, diseases, misfortunes, storms, draughts, floods, flying furniture _ and many more similar activities are called diabolical obsession.
What happens in possession? Possession is the entering of the devil into a human being and dwelling there, using the person's body for his own diabolical purposes, speaking and acting through the organs of the possessed body.
In all cases, the devils have no power to molest people either externally (obsession) or internally (possession) without the permission of God.
Some years ago, when an article appeared in The Seraph dealing with this subject, the information in the article explaining how the devils can enter a person was held up to ridicule by the apostates at Steubenville, New York's Franciscan University. It was pointed out that the koshering racket of the rabbis is an instance of making way for entry into persons by the devil. Is it any wonder that recent `charismatic-ecumenical' blasphemies took place there? Here is what Fr.Dominic Szymanski, OFM Conv. Had to say on the subject: of the causes of possession:
One of the causes for possession is the `maleficium.' Maleficium are those things _ magic potions, powders, and other substances _ placed in food or drink which will cause possession. "The devil has his agents (usually witches and warlocks) who prepare these diabolical substances by which he is able to enter human and animal bodies. In this way even innocent victims may become possessed. The blessing of food and drink will break the maleficium and render it harmless. For this reason the Church blesses all things, expelling the evil one, and dedicating them to the purpose for which they were created. The unseen benefits of every blessing will only be known in eternity."
What are the signs that someone is possessed? There are several signs that indicate the presence of a devil in a person. The Roman Ritual mentions only three in particular: speaking unknown tongues or understanding them when used by another; making known hidden and distant facts; showing strength far beyond the normal ability of a person. These and other signs, when they occur in great number are the surest indications of possession, according to the Roman Ritual.
Most people look only to these extraordinary signs of possession. They fail to realize that the devil is not eager to show his presence by speaking unknown tongues, or to disclose his presence by awe-inspiring signs. He would much prefer stealth _ like the submarine that lies hidden in order to strike from ambush.
Nevertheless, if the devil is present, he will make this presence know in one way or another. He will assert his dominion over the body by tyranny and torture. He does not always tyrannize and torture the body he possesses, but he asserts his dominion over others by his tyranny and torture. Tyrants are always agents of Satan. The domineering individual is an example par excellence of this. He may not even be aware of this; but this does not make it less torturous for those who must suffer this tyranny.
According to Fr.Szmanski, OFM Conv., "In all cases of possession there are evidences of dual personality _ the person himself and the possessing spirit."
A word of warning is in order here. Those who have separated themselves from the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, whether Modernist or Traditionalist, have no power to cast out devils from the possessed. Reason? Because they themselves are under the influence of those evil spirits whom they would cast out of others. Heretics deny the Church and Her teachings; schismatics disobey the visible authority in the Church _ effectively denying this authority. Whether heretic or schismatic makes little difference: they are but the two sides of the same coin.
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