Skip to comments.Exorcism tips from Holy Souls Hermitage — Lacking a Mandate (Part 8)
Posted on 09/02/2011 3:19:12 PM PDT by markomalley
Acts 19,13-17 Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those with evil spirits, saying, I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, tried to do this, the evil spirit said to them in reply, Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you? The person with the evil spirit then sprang at them and subdued them all. He so overpowered them that they fled naked and wounded from that house. When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great esteem. [nab]
Thats in Scripture, right? Yes. Thats an inspired account, right? Yes. Surely the Holy Spirit is instructing us about how Satan will always act when one lacks a mandate to exorcize, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Makes rules of conduct for yourself, such as obeying the Church no matter. However, dont make rules for Satan. Did he not say rather emphatically: Non serviam! I will not serve! ? Satan may very well not react this way every time. In fact, he may want one without authority over himself, one who is not an exorcist expressly mandated by the local Ordinary, to think he has such power. This creates a culture of seeming legitimacy of disobedience, whereby people rejoice not that their names are written in heaven, but that they have power over demons. Satan is better at arrogance than we are. He will win, every time, if this is the kind of thing people are doing. And many, many souls fall into this trap. Time and again. Belligerently.
Isnt Satan casting out Satan in that case, so that his house will fall, as Jesus says? No. Satan never leaves someone when the supposed exorcist has no mandate from the authority of the Church, the local Ordinary, the Bishop. In fact, not only does he stay with the possessed person, but the supposed exorcist is at great risk of being possessed him or herself. Such an arrogant person, taking authority unto themselves, in attempting an exorcism, is merely inviting, by that very disobedience to the Church, inviting Satan into him or herself.
Satan pays attention to obedience to the Church, for that obedience manifests the presence of God.
Satan could not possibly more despise those stupid souls who are eager to disobey the Church. He will punish them more than anyone in hell should they have the misfortune of going there. No one could be more stupid than they, and they should be punished just for being stupid. But there is more. They were not serving Satan in all of this, but only themselves. Satan, who will never serve anyone, is jealous of their service. If they serve themselves they will have to be instructed by Satan as to how to act in eternity. Yikes! Isnt it much better to just served the Church, our Lord Himself?
But what about that fellow who was doing an exorcism but was not following in the group along with the Apostles? They tried to stop him, and told Jesus, but He reprimanded them, saying that the one who isnt against us is for us (see Luke 9,49-50).
Isnt he like the sons of Sceva, someone who should be following Jesus, but doesnt it, remaining a Samaritan or a Jew or whatever he was? But thats not what the text says. He was clearly a believer in Jesus; he just wasnt moving along in the group, but rather staying in his territory as he had every right to do. The Apostles were just being jealous of their own ministry.
This was a rather fluid time during Jesus ministry about ecclesial structure. Thats the whole of it. This is not an instruction about ecumenism or interreligious dialogue! With the establishment of the Church upon the person of Peter and his successors, there is a family of faith, a hierarchical family, with lines of authority wherein is the right to restrict, prudently, the exercise or exorcism to those who are apt for this ministry. Its only reasonable, no?
Remember, it is Satan who says, Non serviam! I will not serve! We must say, Jesus, I am unworthy, a useless servant. Please, give me the grace to serve you in your loved ones, to the greater honor and glory of our Father in heaven.
Interesting series. Thanks