It's always fascinating -- as well as edifying -- to read Scripture every single day: not just listen to Mass readings, but read the Bible for ourselves, especially at night, particularly the New Testament.
That's the New Covenant, and in it are morsels we seldom contemplate, and may not even remember or know about. For example, how many recall that the Bible both encourages the laying on of hands to heal the sick, but also cautions about it? Here it is:
"Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin" (1 Timothy 5:22).
Spirits can be imparted from one person to another, well meaning though a healer may be; always pray and fast beforehand; without fasting, there can be hazards.
How many realize the Bible says that prophecy is inherently subject to error?
"For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect," says 1 Corinthians 13:9-11), which tells us a number of things, including that we do not necessarily throw everything out when a seer is off base on one thing and at the same time that we should not take everything such a person says -- alleged seer, confirmed mystic, or for that matter saint -- as Gospel truth. Mystics are not God.
How many have taken time, meanwhile, to meditate on what Scripture says about religiosity, and those who are more scholastic than spiritual, who practice more by rote and citation than by the heart? "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition," says Mark 7:9-13 (referring probably to the commandment of love).
How many know that in the original translations, when asked why His disciples were having trouble expelling a demon, Jesus said: "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting," Mathew 17:21 [our italics].
Why do we now use versions of that verse -- one must ask, with curiosity -- that exclude the key word "fasting"?
There is also the curious fact that in some translations, the Lord's Prayer ends with "deliver us from the evil one" (in our view making it more direct, personal, and powerful) instead of just the generic "deliver us from evil."
In deliverance, specificity -- naming a demon -- is important.
The term "evil one" seems imbued with more power and authority over it.
In the current milieu, exorcism is more an oddity than a standard; some dioceses don't even have an exorcist; yet we are all called to deliverance. Christ did not desire it to be a rarity. In fact He said that casting out demons would be an indication that someone was a true follower of Him!
"These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17).
How many have weighed Jesus' cautions about private revelation with His admonishments also to be open?
"Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5).
(Evil can come in the way both of accepting a demonic deception and, at the other end, rejecting a work of the Holy Spirit because it does not conform with an empiricist's mindset.)
How many take time to contemplate that Saint Paul knew a man who had a near-death or out-of-body experience, or may himself have had one?
That is here:
"I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third Heaven -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows -- was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat" (2 Corinthians 12:2-5).
How many know that if we take Scripture literally, the Vatican is indeed and unquestionably the Mother Church -- the foundation -- for all of Christendom?
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
The Vatican -- Saint Peter's Basilica -- is literally built on the ossified bones of Saint Peter (ossified meaning bones that through the centuries have turned stone-like). Archeologists have of late confirmed it.
(Give this to the nearest Evangelical brethren, who do well in how much Scripture they read and always strive to interpret the Bible, chapter and verse, so literally.)
[resources: Where Is That in The Bible?]