Skip to comments.American Exorcist Plies His Lonely Trade
Posted on 11/11/2010 8:38:52 PM PST by marshmallow
Pity the poor exorcist, caught between evil spirits eager to invade human bodies and a society skeptical that demons exist outside of Hollywood horror movies.
Even some church leaders look askance at exorcists as peddlers of a practice best left in the Middle Ages. Most American exorcists, particularly the handful of priests appointed by the Roman Catholic Church, keep a low profile, hesitating to open themselves or their church to ridicule and quacks.
But exorcists may soon be moving out of the shadows.
U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring a conference this week (Nov. 12-13) in Baltimore on the "liturgical and pastoral practice of exorcism." Fifty-six bishops and 66 priests have registered to hear about the shortage of trained exorcists and the growing interest in the mysterious rite, according to Catholic News Service.
That's good news for the Rev. Gary Thomas, a loquacious, Silicon Valley priest eager to dish about exorcism and the art of spiritual warfare.
Thomas is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, Calif., and the official exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose. According to Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., who is helping organize the Baltimore conference, Thomas is one of only five or six active exorcists in the U.S.
Last year, Thomas wrote to 121 Catholic bishops and 41 seminary rectors, urging them to train more priests in demon de-possession. Included with the letters were copies of "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist," a book by journalist Matt Baglio that details Thomas' three-year journey from California clergyman to university-trained "spiritual detective."
"I hope that you will take the time to read this book and become better informed about a subject that many Catholics priests deem superstitious and medieval," Thomas wrote in the letter to the bishops. These are apocalyptic times, the.........
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INDEED. AMEN! AMEN!
MARK 16:15-18 APPLIES.
You are quite right.
re Wigglesworth . . . there was a couple having serious problems . . . I forget the nature of them . . . may have been demonic, sexual, what not . . . Wigglesworth for some reason had been spending the night at their house during his campaign. They asked him the last day what they could do . . . and he said to sleep in the bed he slept in without changing anything. They did and the problems were delivered/cured.
Praise Christ Jesus indeed! Sobering testimony.
I read the book, The Rite. It is very compelling. God Bless these spiritual warriors.
I just read MARK 16:15-18 again. Absolutely! Praise Jesus!
15 He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Amen= So Be It!
"13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out. 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you? 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding."
This happened because they did not really have a firm belief yet.
I'll check those for study! Amen!
1JOHN 4:4 "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
Remember the Lord's prayer or Our Father is a deliverance Pray also:
The Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us Not into temptation,
but Deliver us from evil. Amen.
John, you’re right; someone who is truly filled with the Spirit ought to be able to cast out demons, handle snakes, etc. Christ said that if we had so much as the faith of a mustard seed could move mountains (and few people today who don’t grind their own spices realize that a mustard seed is hardly bigger than a fleck of dust).
But the sad fact is that, put to the test, very few of us indeed have enough faith for those things. Jesus wasn’t kidding. We may think we’re strong in the Word, that we have great faith, but not too many of us can stand up and challenge the Prince of Darkness himself. Proper humility ought to make us realize that we can barely resist the temptations to sin that the Evil One puts in our paths every day, much less get into a fistfight with him over someone else’s soul. I’d exercise caution before claiming the faith to cast out demons in His name.
They were attempting to do something in His name but were not true believers is the way I understand it. To me, it also means I’d best be fully “armoured” in my faith before attempting to battle satan in a no holds barred type UFC match.
I feel like I battle him daily on the little things he uses to mess with me.
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOURS.
I also think God knows me well enough to know that I just might move a mountain or two due to my inflated ego. And that wouldn’t be nice.
Thank you for those beautiful Scriptures!
"Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to Me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in Thy name, and cast out devils in Thy name, and done many miracles in Thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23
"And having called His twelve disciples together, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." Matthew 10:1-4
Too bad some don't believe in John 6. But that's an aside.
The issue here is not whether someone who is not an ordained priest can cast out a demon, but whether they ought to, and whether they ought to be permitted to exercise that ministry in the name of the Church.
Exorcism is intrinsically a spiritually dangerous enterprise. It involves interacting with, and frequently directly addressing, entities who are far more intelligent than human beings, and also more malevolent than almost any human being you are likely to meet.
Someone who is deficient in faith, grace, wisdom, prudence, or knowledge can easily place themselves, the person being exorcised, or even third party bystanders in grave spiritual danger. The scene in the movie The Exorcist where the demon attempted to tempt Fr. Damien by mimicking the voice of his dead mother is not too far-fetched, from my reading.
Not to mention that demonic entities can sometimes place exorcists and others in significant physical peril as well.
Thank you for this post.
As usual, you have said it well.
Sorry I meant Cross of Cavalry.
I know bless your Heart!