Skip to comments.Exorcism tips from Holy Souls Hermitage – Limited minutes sessions (Part 13)
Posted on 09/05/2011 2:55:56 AM PDT by markomalley
Nota bene: Although what I say in this post only applies to some few exorcists in some circumstances, I think that it is a good reminder of dangers for all exorcists in whatever circumstances. Those who take umbrage with what I say may either need to hear more than others, or are thinking of circumstances frequently or sometimes encountered by them which I havent even thought about. If it is the latter case, send me an email so that I can learn. Those who dont need what I say here might nevertheless rejoice to know that this matter has been voiced.
An analogy is appropriate. Once, when I was on my way back to my parish after teaching at Saint John Vianney seminary down in the Wagga Wagga Diocese of Australia, I was driving behind a firefighter (he had a special licence-plate on his vehicle). He was throwing lit cigarettes out the window, one after the other. I guess he was too drunk to know I was right behind him, watching him do this. It was about 115 degrees fahrenheit, and we were driving through hundreds of thousands of acres of the driest wheat possible, with farm houses dotting the landscape here and there. Fires were starting up everywhere with freak almost cloudless lightning. Any of these fires could destroy untold acreage, especially with even a slight wind. Conditions were so bad that it had been declared a federal crime to throw a cigarette out a car window, or even to park on the side of the road, as the heat from the muffler would ignite a fire. And here he was putting property and lives at risk. Whats in it for him? Well, surely, if theres a fire, he, the firefighter, can feel useful, needed: he can be a hero!
Im not saying that all or even most exorcists who do multi-part, limited minutes exorcisms over untold numbers of candidates for exorcism are like the terrible example of the firefighter mentioned above, always wanting to be able to say that he has another exorcism scheduled this week. There are, you have to know, very difficult exorcisms. I understand that. Sometimes you just cant finish in one session, even if that session lasts from morning until night. Fine. Spread it out over some days even a week or ten days, whatever it takes but making this your top priority, your main task, day in, day out, according to your health and endurance, without exaggerating by not doing your obligatory prayers (the Breviary or LoH, Holy Mass, etc.), and making certain that the person is physically and possibly medically, even psychiatrically cared for in every way. You have to prepare for an exorcism in a multitude of ways, including the time when to begin, because, when you begin, you should be prepared to see it through to the end. If the bishop has mandated you to be an exorcist, he must make difficult exorcisms physically possible to do time-wise. The point is: When you start an exorcism, finish it!
I insist on getting the exorcism over and done with because it has become an accepted part of exorcism training to teach that spreading out an exorcism by way of short appointments is just fine, especially if the priest is just too busy. The idea here would be similar to visits to a therapist: an hour here, thirty minutes there, once a week, or once a month, or whatever. After all, there are so many! Only some minutes can be given to each one in any given week! Why, its enough to make an exorcist feel needed, important, useful! That can be the temptation, gentlemen. It is a grave temptation, one, it seems, that not a few fall into. An exorcist can innocently find himself in such a situation: he is inundated with requests. He has no time. He wants to help everyone. He is trying his best. The last thing he wants to do is congratulate himself. He is prayerful. He means well. Hes been doing this for years, decades even. However, if this is what you do are about to do, stand forewarned of probable folly. Not all who do this fall into this temptation, but I do think that what they are doing, in view of possible suicide of candidates because of their perception that they are not being helped, but only being strung along, is rather imprudent. Such a perception is hard to avoid, isnt it? Perhaps you or other exorcists have a different experience. Perhaps you can always triage out a few to spend more time with. Its just that Ive never seen this work well. Just sharing that with you, thats all.
It seems to me that a more radical triaging becomes important when there is too much to do. Do desperately needed exorcisms first. Finish them off, one by one. If you need other exorcists, ask for them. And ask again. Ask on behalf of terribly neglected, suffering, often marginalized people who shouldnt be beyond the parameters of ecclesiastical care, being put into the too hard bucket. Doing what is needed in our Lords charity can and does encourage vocations to the priesthood, by the way. This is like not being available for confession for the reason that there are other things to do. If only one would hear confessions anyway, there would be an abundance of vocations to the priesthood. Just do what our Lord wants. This is how He works. The priesthood belongs to Him. I wouldnt worry too much about those youve triaged off to a later time. They will see that you are truly helping others, one by one, and that you are getting through the list, and that their turn will come. That gives hope. Being strung along provides a temptation that takes hope away. Besides, youll be giving them a bit of encouragement right along, wont you?
When I first saw the stringing people along thing happening with one particular exorcist, I instinctively interiorly rebelled, especially when I saw that people would become so very terribly depressed that they were not being helped, having to return, then wait a week, then return, the wait a week, seemingly endlessly.
I was more disheartened when I saw that one candidate for exorcism had been suffering needlessly in this way for years and years, suffering terribly I might add, the worst case of possession I have seen to date still today. This person would have to come at the same time on the same day every week, but only for about forty five minutes. I saw something very frightening with this: Satan was mocking the exorcist, knowing how to make him laugh at the most horrific blasphemies against our Lady and her Son. Satan knew he would only have to endure a certain number of minutes every week. He played the exorcist very well. Sad, that.
There might be good reasons to string someone along, of course, such as medical conditions which make a session of exorcism a rather burdensome experience, so that the longer the session is, the more dangerously exhausted the person becomes. Of course. But this is not what Im talking about in this post.
At any rate, some exorcists string along an exorcism very much on purpose, even though they have only one person instead of a multitude clamoring at the door. These exorcists use the expanse of time to catechize the person, teaching them to stay away from sin, to participate in the sacraments, going to confession and receiving Holy Communion frequently. They spend a great deal of time on family dynamics and other bits of spiritual direction. Thats nice. Some of this is necessary to say if it is possible to relate such things. HoweverIve seen people go into their Im possessed now trance when the priest is trying to teach them otherwise useful things. Those who come for an exorcism may well and truly need exorcism as a priority so as to be able to take in such teaching. Ive mentioned in a previous post to this series that it would be good for the possessed person to go to confession if at all possible, and that remains true despite what I say in this post. Confession may not be a possibility. Going to confession doesnt necessitate making unending return visits. Moreover, none of this catechizing necessitates stringing the exorcism itself along. Again, while you might have some preliminary meetings with whatever candidate for exorcism, that doesnt mean that you shouldnt try to finish off an exorcism once you have, in fact, begun the exorcism itself.
Now, having said all that, Im not talking about the time that an exorcist may need in order to discern that a person needs exorcism. This may take many meetings which may appropriately be scheduled according to everyones circumstances. But this discernment may take no time at all. Each case is different. More on that in future posts.
“You have to prepare for an exorcism in a multitude of ways” The most important preparation is the purification and surrendering to the Holy Spirit by the exorcist. I have been in the worst personal situations, and by sitting down and praying to God that He use me do to his will. And, that this is for the other person, not for me. Immediately, Spirit moves in and does the work. This is a process where you must view yourself weak to be successful.
“I insist on getting the exorcism over and done with” Watch the “I” term. It tends to indicate that you are in control. When a situation occurs and a person is in front of me to receive help, that is the most important thing in my life. It is my focus until it is done. Since the attached spirit causing the problems does not like me, the odds are that if they leave, the dark influence will keep them away from me in the future. When the session is not going well, I have found that turning to God and surrendering, i.e. giving up, allows me to get out of the way and the session becomes successful. The only breaks in an exorcism should be for the person doing it to turn to God and pray for guidance.
“The last thing he wants to do is congratulate himself” Wow, so important. It only inflates the exorcist's ego which separates him from God.
“Just do what our Lord wants. This is how He works. The priesthood belongs to Him.” So true, but much harder to walk the walk than talk the talk. It is so easy to slip our ego will in to replace God's will. It is so easy for us to develop a spiritual ego identity instead of becoming an empty vessel.
“one candidate for exorcism had been suffering needlessly in this way for years and years, suffering terribly I might add, the worst case of possession I have seen to date still today. This person would have to come at the same time on the same day every week, but only for about forty five minutes. I saw something very frightening with this: Satan was mocking the exorcist, knowing how to make him laugh at the most horrific blasphemies against our Lady and her Son. Satan knew he would only have to endure a certain number of minutes every week. He played the exorcist very well. Sad, that.”
I once was doing a session with a woman and this very strong demonic female spirit started communicating out of her. When I told her she needed to leave, she just laughed at me. The more I insisted she leave, the louder she laughed. After about half an hour, frustrated, I turned around to walk away from the woman as I thought to myself, “I have never had an unsuccessful session. I threw my hands up in the air and said, “I give up.” Instantly, that allowed the Holy Spirit to move in and take over. I turned around, approached the woman again and the Spirit said through me, “I hear the fear in your voice. You are trying to use laughter to cover it up, but I hear it.” The laughter stopped and within five minutes the successful session was over.
I can't emphasize enough, how important the follow up work is, when the session is over. When the dark spirit has been removed, you must immediately assist the person to heal the wound in their soul that opened the door for the dark spirit to enter. Truly, if you do not, many more even worse than the one you removed may enter the person.
In the session I mentioned above, the woman I was working with had surrendered her individual will to the strong will of the dark female attached spirit. When the dark spirit was removed, the woman had no identity of her own and went into a deep depression. This is natural and must be dealt with or the end results will be worse than the original problem.
Please realize that there is a hierarchy in the dark angelic/demonic realm just as their is in the workers of the Light. The higher the demonic, the less they are afraid of the light. As an exorcist, you must treat every session as a learning experience as they are all different. My first experiences were with simple misguided ghosts and spirit attachments who died in accidents or misdeeds, but were not really demonic. By working up the hierarchy and offering redemption to each higher commander in the dark realms, you will always find higher, darker demonic spirits arrive to try to rescue their underlings from you. After I worked up the command structure to a high level and redeemed the soul of the highest dark officer to arrive, I would have them call out all of the underlings under their command and redeem them as well. It is a process that is quite interesting. (Please note: When I use the term “I”, I am the tool, observing what is happening through me. It is not me doing the work.)
...and avoid the split pea soup.
ping for later
Scary, scary stuff.
“Scary, scary stuff.”
Quite the opposite... Love and fear cannot exist in the same space. As long a you are offering Love to even the darkest spirits, they cannot harm you. Allow fear to come in and its time to stop doing the work. The strength is your trust/Love and belief in God, not in yourself. Not scary at all.