With Halloween right around the corner, a fitting topic to investigate is the demonic. This is not a subject that is covered in school, or even in religious ed (although many of my second graders ask me if Satan is real!). It is a topic that many are interested in, and children will play around with (and all children should be warned not to!), but just like it’s named, it is hidden and all too often ignored as a medieval myth.
1 Satanism is Real
Many don’t talk much about satan or deny he even exists. This is exactly what he wants, and where he runs freely. There has been growing publicity about black masses including the unveiling of bronze Baphomet sculpture in Detroit. Many are led into satanism because of their lack of faith in the Lord, curiosity, friends who practice magic or wizardry, and the lack of rules or limits on how they chose to live their lives. Often, parents haven’t trained their children in the faith, prayer, and Mass, therefore they can be easily lured into a life where they can be their own ‘god.’ (Amorth, 30-31)
2 Be Aware of Black Magic and Spells
There are actually three types of magic. “White magic” which is not evil in its intent but used to have a “good” outcome such as finding a job or being cured of an illness. “Red magic” is used in regards to sexuality and influences of such. “Black magic” is using “evil spells, the evil eye, charms, magic filters, rituals, invocations, cursed foods and drinks ingested by the victims, crystal balls, et cetera, to modify and foretell the course of human events, and to utilize the preternatural (demonic) powers to make a person fall in love, be cured of an illness, be dismissed from a job, kill someone, provoke atmospheric events, et cetera” (Amorth, 38). The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion” (CCC 2117)
3 Stay Away from Wizards, Fortune-Tellers, Mediums and Witches
This may seem obvious but just think about the fortune-telling industry, horoscopes online and in many newspapers or magazines, and TV series about mediums. There are many who are false charismatics looking to make a quick dollar. Those who act as “seers” are working under the influence of satan and call upon him to obtain misery to their victims. Mediums are those who call upon the dead to communicate something to a living loved one. On exorcist wrote, “My agenda is full of appointments given to those who have consulted a medium. These individuals tell me that after such experiences, even long after, their problems increase: they have difficulty sleeping; they perceive some strange presences in their ambiances; they find it difficult to study; they experience a growing desire to commit suicide; they develop an unexplainable hatred toward others, and they become besieged by obsessive thoughts” (Amorth, 52).
4 Who Can Become Possessed?
“No one can consider themselves excluded: they can be young or old, believers or atheists, Christians or those of other religions” (Amorth, 67). Most of the time, it is those who are distant from the Faith. It is this ignorance and distance from the faith where he can more easily tempt and possess his victims. “Temptation is conquered by vigilance, avoiding sin, and praying, because without the help of God we are not capable of conquering the seduction of sin” (Amorth, 68).
5 What Can Happen During an Exorcism?
Just about anything! While they are usually not as intense as the one showed in The Exorcism, they still can be violent and scary. The only ones invited to the exorcism is the victim, the exorcist, an assistant or two, and a family member or friend. They are typically done in a Church, because it is done in the name of the entire Church. The possessed can become violent, extremely heavy to move, or levitate. If they “spit nails or glass” it is actually them vomiting and once it’s outside the mouth it turns to these items (therefore not injuring the one vomiting). They can blaspheme, speak in tounges, curse, roll their eyes back and go into a trance. Those who participate in the exorcism are sworn to secrecy as to what happened during the ritual. The exorcist will place his stole around the neck of the possessed and place his right hand on his head, pray over the person. (Amorth, 102-105)
6 Who Does the Devil Fear Most
There are two humans the devil fears most, Mary and St. Pope John Paul II. Just as it was written in Genesis 1:3-15, it is Mary who will crush the head of the serpent. When asked during an exorcism by Father Candido, “Why are you more afraid when I invoke Mary than when I implore God Himself?” the devil responded, “I feel more humiliated being conquered by a simple creature than by God Himself” (Amorth, 123). When Father Amorth asked an unclean spirit why he had so much hatred towards John Paul II, he responded, “Because he has ruined our plans” (Amorth, 124). If we remember, St. Pope JPII consecrated the world to Mary in 1984, this led to the fall of communism and he also led many youth back into the Catholic faith. There are other saints we can ask for their intercession, St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Blessed Eustace, St. Mary Magalene, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John Vianne, to name a few. Also be sure to ask your guardian angel and St. Michael the Archangel!
7 Powerful Prayers Can We Use at Home
Pray the Rosary: “Sister Lucia, a seer of Fatima, revealed that God has conferred a power so great on the Rosary that there is no evil – personal, family, or social – that cannot be defeated by its recitation with faith” (Amorth, 123).
The Lord’s Prayer: When we the Our Father, we should say, “deliver us from the Evil One,” which is the exact translation. “The demon has a personal, individual nature and it must be addressed” (Amorth, 122).
Other prayers: “Protect me from temptation” or “In the name of Jesus, I command: Satan, go away from here” or the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan,
and all of the evil spirits, who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
To learn more about the Catholic view of the demonic and the real stories of the Vatican’s exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, be sure to pick up a copy of “An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels“!