a prophetic novel by Michael H Brown
A coming sign? Events by a sinister personage? Disaster? In his first work of
fiction, Brown pens the driving, suspenseful, and deeply spiritual story of
a mysterious government property that harbors secrets relevant not only to a
young cop who tries to investigate strange goings-on, but also to an equally
mysterious and incredibly powerful old priest who joins forces with him to solve
the mystery -- and try to prevent an end-times-like disaster!
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT EXORCISM BUT DIDN'T KNOW QUITE WHOM TO ASK
The new and highly informative book by U.S. exorcist Father Thomas J. Euteneuer might be called "everything you wanted to know about exorcism but didn't know who to ask."
Its actual title is Exorcism and the Church Militant, and in it the priest, who also heads Human Life International, covers most major aspects of deliverance from evil spirits -- the difference between a possession and an infestation, the role of laity in deliverance, development of the Church's exorcism rituals, how demons enter, the way they hide from the priest, how dioceses handle such cases, and so forth.
Want to know if during an exorcism a demon can jump from one person to another?
"Except for true victimization by people practicing evil, demons can only enter a person with his permission," writes Father Euteneuer. "That is to say, demons can be sent into other people through deliberate victimization, which is usually the result of some form of targeting of vulnerable people by others practicing the occult arts; but demons do not jump from one person to another, even in extraordinary exorcism. The exorcist must always instruct his team never, under circumstances, to invite the devil to come out of a person and into himself because it never actually helps the original victim."
We may add a caution: without proper preparation -- especially fasting -- even a priest can be vulnerable. Demons can extend their wickedness to others, for sure, and we have seen cases where priests practicing exorcism or preaching spiritual warfare themselves became infected. Usually, it can be traced to pride (which weakens our bubble of protection). All of us must be careful of that. As Father Euteneuer says, "We must always avoid the two extremes: that of believing that we are invulnerable to them and that of attributing too much power to them."
Can demons hide?
"In fact," he says, " it is rare when demons do not try to hide from the exorcist."
Should an exorcist taunt the demon?
What does the Church teach?
There is so much about that in this book that it's unfair to synopsize.
Properly presented to a bishop, claims Father Euteneuer, most requests for a solemn exorcism are granted.
The problem: many dioceses are without exorcists or have priests who believe more in a psychological explanation.
Father actually reprints the 1614 Rite of Exorcism.
Like so many others, he warns of special harm caused by contact with the occult -- and here we all need to realize that it can enter subtly through horoscope and "fun" things like fortunetellers and computer games or movies or novels.
Can practicing Christians have a demon? Yes. How many exorcists are there? As Father Jeffrey Grob of the Chicago Archdiocese has lamented in a doctoral dissertation on the subject: "It is staggering to realize that there are no more than seventeen officially appointed exorcists working in the United States. Seven dioceses have exorcists working on a case by case basis in various parts of the country."
Staggering -- or terrifying?
Jesus cast out demons constantly. Obviously, there are many, although, granted, also obviously, many cases are ones better described as involving oppression and "deliverance" more than full possession necessitating solemn exorcism. This we all are called to do.
As for the tools the Church grants us:
"Sacraments and sacramentals undoubtedly protect us from the power of evil but not because they are magic," opines Father Euteneuer. "They are, rather, spiritual fountains which confer grace, provided that the recipient of these marvelous gifts uses or receives them with faith. The protection of the Church’s spiritual resources can be likened to an electrified fence around a house."
[resources: Exorcism and the Church Militant and Michael Brown retreat Wisconsin: spiritual warfare]
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