When The Demons Strike Back: Experience Of An Exorcist After An Exorcism
By Fr. Tom Euteneuer
I have been an exorcist for three years, and I know all too well that it always costs something to enter onto the devil’s territory and wrench a soul out of his grip, but I have never experienced a demonic retaliation like the one I am about to recount. The only reason I write this true story is to encourage those who read this to remain vigilant, faithful and confident that Christ and His angels have all-surpassing power over demons. The demons may make us suffer temporarily, but they are no match for the power of Christ’s Love and the vigilance of these holy spirits who never cease to come to our aid in time of need.
Several days after performing a solemn exorcism which lasted nine full hours and was a tough piece of spiritual warfare, I was attacked unawares. I guess I had let my guard down after the exorcism was over, and I was directing my attention to other matters at hand. On this particular morning I was to have a meeting with my bishop. When the alarm clock woke me at 7 immediately, without warning, collapsing at the foot of my bed, I felt a wave of nausea flow over me. I just sat there on the floor sweating and thinking I felt so bad that I was going to throw up and be sick the rest of the day and therefore miss my long-awaited meeting with the bishop. Hoping that the nausea would go away, I sat still as a lamb, but I just got more nauseous as the minutes passed. I then staggered up into the bed again knocking hard against the dresser thinking that if I actually lay back down the nausea would go away.
The two young dogs in the house where I was staying heard the noise and barked, and the younger of the two immediately rushed into the room and got half on the bed licking my face as if he knew something was really wrong. Animals have a good sense of when people are hurting don’t they?! They are God’s little angels and man’s best friend in every way.
As I lay there getting sicker and sicker I thought I was going through another violent bout of food poisoning like I had experienced earlier in the year, but this nausea seemed of another character. I could not identify just what was happening to me, but I kept feeling worse. No more than five minutes had gone by since I woke up, and I was in dire straits and still sweating profusely.
The nausea just got worse, and by this time I knew I was going to throw up so I rushed into the bathroom like a drunken man, sat on the bathroom floor and lurched over the toilet thinking that this was it. I wanted whatever was in there out of my system, but nothing at all came out. In the meantime I was getting sicker, and I didn’t think it could get worse! The nausea was causing me serious blurry vision and malaise, and I was on the point of actually blacking out. My greatest sadness was that this hateful thing in my system was going to make me miss my meeting with the bishop. I am sad to say that I was not even thinking of God at the moment because I think I feared my bishop more!
But just then, as I was at my lowest point and literally on the point of fainting, something took hold of me and lifted me up and said, "We're not taking this!" or words to that effect. Then somehow, from a sitting position on the floor, I reached up and grabbed the sink with a power I didn’t know I had and yanked myself to a standing position saying to myself, "No! Shake it off—I'm not taking this."
Well, bam, it was over. Immediately the nausea dissipated—I mean completely. It did not linger or take its time getting out of my system. It disappeared as quickly as it had come. My color came back in a few minutes, the sweats stopped instantly and I felt not the slightest bit of sickness at any time after that the whole day, night or week. What a miraculous resurrection! I was dumbfounded. At one moment I felt like I was sinking into the pit of hell and the next moment I was placed on the pinnacle of the Temple!
Simply put, I was attacked for daring to go against the demon to liberate a soul from his grip. It was not food poisoning that hurt me because nothing came up; the last time I was in that state the poisoned substances took a good two days to clear out of my system. But here, nothing. The illness was instantly gone. Not the slightest bit of sickness remained after I stood up. It was as if a spirit of nausea had been sent into me as retaliation for my pastoral love of that soul and was as easily cast out of me by my guardian angel who just said, “Enough is enough!” Tell me, how can we live without our faithful protectors? My, how I learned the truth of what St. Paul said to Timothy when he witnessed, “The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit” (2 Tm 1:7). Intrepid is a better word.
Let all faithful Christians take comfort. Our guardian angels never let us down if we strive to help others out of their spiritual bondage. When we engage in spiritual warfare we may have to bear some scars from the fray, but we will never be abandoned by Christ’s angels and saints. I had seven or eight minutes of persecution which I in turn offered for the sake of the soul I am still trying to liberate. If the devil’s intent was to drive me away, he picked the wrong guy with the wrong guardian angel. In fact, he just caused a potent bout of suffering to be offered for the liberation of the soul he oppresses much harder than he persecutes me. He lost in every way. St. Augustine says that God prefers to extract good from evil rather than suppress evil entirely. Now I understand why. God gets so much more out of it when we suffer with faith.
And there is a reason for all this warfare. St. Peter says that we “may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears” (1 Pt 1:6-7). Amen to that.
[Fr. Euteneuer is director of Human Life International in Virginia]
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