Tag: satan

The Power Of Satan (3)

The Power Of Satan (3)

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of Rome. He performed hundreds of exorcisms over many years. He is the author of the best-selling book, An Exorcist Tells His Story. He is also the author of An Exorcist: More Stories. This excerpt, “The Power of Satan,” is taken from An Exorcist Tells His Story (pages 25-36).

…continued

Satan, defeated by Christ, fights against his followers. The battle against the evil spirits “was joined from the very origins of the world, and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested” (no. 37). During this time, every man is on battle alert because life on earth is a trial of faithfulness to God. “We strive therefore to please the Lord in all things (cf 2 Cor 5:9). We put on the armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and resist on the evil day…. For before we reign with the glorious Christ, all of us will be made manifest ‘before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil’ (2 Cor 5: 10)” (Lumen Gentium, no. 48).

Even if this battle against Satan concerns all men and all times, there is no doubt that Satan’s power is felt more keenly in periods of history when the sinfulness of the community is more evident. For example, when I view the decadence of the Roman Empire, I can see the moral disintegration of that period in history. Now we are at the same level of decadence, partly as a result of the misuse of the mass media (which are not evil in themselves) and partly because of Western consumerism and materialism, which have poisoned our society.

I believe that Pope Leo XIII, in a vision that will be detailed in the appendix of this chapter [pages 37-39] received a prophetic warning concerning this demonic attack on our times. How does the devil oppose God and our Savior? By claiming for himself the adoration due to God and by mimicking Christian institutions. Therefore, he is anti-Christ and anti-Church. Satan uses the idolatry of sex, which reduces the human body to an instrument of sin, against the Incarnation of the Word who redeemed man by becoming man. Satan uses his churches, his cult, his devotees (often consecrated through a pact of blood), his adorers, the followers of his promises, to mimic the worship due to God. just as Christ gave his apostles and their followers specific powers for the good of body and soul, so Satan gives specific powers to his followers for the destruction of body and soul. We will examine these specific powers in our explanation of witchcraft.

I will mention one more item on this subject. Just as it would be wrong to deny the existence of Satan, it is also wrong to accept the prevalent opinion that there are spiritual beings that are not mentioned in the Bible. These are the invention of spiritists, of followers of the occult, of those who espouse reincarnation, or of those who believe in “wandering souls”. There are no good spirits other than angels; there are no evil spirits other than demons. Two Councils of the Church (Lyons and Florence) tell us that the souls of those who die go immediately to heaven or to hell or to purgatory. The souls of the dead who are present during seances or the souls of the dead who are present in living bodies to torture them are none other than demons. God allows a soul to return to earth only in very rare, exceptional cases, but we recognize that this subject is still full of unknowns. Father La Grua attempts to explain some of his own experiences with souls who are possessed by the devil, but I must reiterate that this is a matter that requires further research, and I will address it in a different book…to be continued.

The Power Of Satan (2).

The Power Of Satan (2).

continued…

Fr. Amorth Writes:

Scripture tells us that angels and demons (I want particularly to mention Satan) are spiritual creatures but also that they are individuals gifted with intelligence, will, freedom, and initiative. Those modern theologians who identify Satan with the abstract idea of evil are completely mistaken. Theirs is true heresy; that is, it is openly in contrast with the Bible, the Fathers, and the Magisterium of the Church. The truth about Satan was never doubted in the past; therefore, there are no dogmatic definitions in this respect with the exception of the following statement of the Fourth Lateran Council: “The devil [that is, Satan] and the other demons were created good by God;but they became evil through their own fault.” Whoever denies Satan also denies sin and no longer understands the actions of Christ.

Let us be clear about this: Jesus defeated Satan through his sacrifice. However, Jesus also defeated Satan before his death, through his teachings: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk 11:20). Jesus is the strongest one, who tied up Satan (Mk 3:27), despoiled him, and pillaged his kingdom, which is at an end (Mk 3:26).

Jesus first gave the power to cast out demons to his apostles; then he extended the power to the seventy-two disciples, and in the end he granted it to all those who would believe in him.

The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after the descent of the Holy Spirit the apostles continued to expel demons, and all Christians have done so after them. Already, the earliest Fathers of the Church, such as Justin and Irenaeus, clearly express Christian thought about the devil and about the power to cast him out. Other Fathers, in particular Tertullian and Origen, concur.

These four authors alone can refute many modern theologians, who, for all purposes, either do not believe in the devil or completely ignore him.

The Second Vatican Council powerfully reminded us of this abiding teaching of the Church:

“For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 37).

“Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very dawn of history man abused his liberty, at the urging of personified Evil. Man set himself against God and sought to find fulfillment apart from God.

Although he knew God, he did not glorify Him as God, but his senseless mind was darkened and he served the creature rather than the Creator” (no. 13). “For He sent His Son, clothed in our flesh, in order that through this Son He might snatch men from the power of darkness and of Satan” (Ad Gentes, no. 3).

How can those who deny the existence and the many activities of Satan understand the achievements of Christ? How can they understand the value of the redemptive death of Christ? On the basis of Sacred Scripture, the Second Vatican Council affirms that “[Christ], by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan”(Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 6). And “[Christ] was crucified and rose again to break the stranglehold of personified Evil” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 2).

To be continued…

The Power Of Satan (1)

The Power Of Satan (1)

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of Rome. He performed hundreds of exorcisms over many years. He is the author of the best-selling book, An Exorcist Tells His Story. He is also the author of An Exorcist: More Stories. This excerpt, “The Power of Satan,” is taken from An Exorcist Tells His Story (pages 25-36).

Fr. Amorth writes:

Because of the subject that I have decided to address in this book, I cannot pursue other very interesting theological questions. I will merely touch upon certain points that come up as a result of exorcisms. An exorcist with a solid theological and scriptural background, such as Father Candido, who spoke with demons for thirty-six years, is well qualified to make some assumptions on subjects such as the sin of the rebellious angels-that theologians have dismissed in the past with a “we do not know”. Everything that God created follows a harmonious design; therefore, the smallest atom influences everything, and every shadow casts some darkness on everything. Theology will be unfinished and incomprehensible until it focuses on the world of the angels. A Christology that ignores Satan is crippled and will never understand the magnitude of redemption.

We will now continue with Christ, the center of the universe. Everything was created for him and in view of his Coming, in the heavens (angels) and on earth (the tangible world, man first of all). It would be wonderful to speak only of Christ, but it would not be according to his every teaching and action, and we would never be able to understand him. Scripture talks to us about the kingdom of God but also of the kingdom of Satan. It tells us about the power of God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, but also of the power of darkness. It speaks of the sons of God and of the sons of Satan. It is impossible to understand the salvific action of Christ if we ignore the destructive action of Satan.

Satan was the most perfect being created by the hands of God. His God-given authority and superiority over the other angels are recognized by all, so he thought that he had the same authority over everything that God was creating. Satan tried to understand all of creation but could not, because all the plan of creation was oriented toward Christ. Until Christ came into the world, God’s plan could not be revealed in its entirety. Hence Satan’s rebellion. He wanted to continue to be the absolute first, the center of creation, even if it meant opposing God’s design. This is why Satan continually tries to dominate the world (“the whole world is in the power of the evil one”, I Jn 5: 19). Beginning with our forefathers, he seeks to enslave men by making them obey himself and disobey God. He was successful with our forefathers, Adam and Eve, and he hoped to continue with all men with the help of “a third of the angels”, who, according to the book of Revelation, followed him in rebellion against God.

God never rejects his creatures. Therefore, even though they broke with God, Satan and his angels maintain their power and rank (thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, and so on) even if they use them for evil purposes. Saint Augustine does not exaggerate when he claims that, if God gave Satan a free hand, “no man would be left alive.” Since Satan cannot kill us, he tries to “make us into his followers in opposition to God, just as he is in opposition to God”.

The truth of salvation is this: Jesus came “to destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn 3:8), to free man from Satan’s slavery, and to establish the kingdom of God after destroying the reign of Satan. However, between the first coming of Christ and the Parousia (the second, triumphal coming of Christ as judge), the devil tries to entice as many people as possible to his side. It is a battle he wages with the desperation of one who knows he is already defeated, knowing “that his time is short” (Rev 12:12). Therefore, Paul tells us in all honesty that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).

…to be continued.

Rome’s Exorcist Reveals How Satan Seduces The Soul And How To Stay Protected.

Rome’s Exorcist Reveals How Satan Seduces The Soul And How To Stay Protected.

How Satan seduces the soul, and how to stay protected.




In an interview with Aleteia’s Robert Cheaib, Padre Paolo Morocutti who is an exorcist of the Diocese of Palestrina, one of Rome’s suburbicarian dioceses, discloses the various ways Satan seduces the soul and how to stay protected.

Enjoy!




He makes things that are contrary to God seem good and harmless.

“The devil’s greatest trick is making us think that he doesn’t exist.”
These aren’t the words of a theologian, or even those of a saint: they were written by the French poet Charles Baudelaire. Satan’s silent but active presence is like an undetected cancer that, in a devious and unperceived way, corrupts a body and takes up residence in as many of its organs as possible through a lethal metastasis.



Fr. Paolo Morocutti
knows this all too well. He is an exorcist of the Diocese of Palestrina, one of Rome’s suburbicarian dioceses [six of Rome’s suffragan dioceses, with bishops who are cardinals and a special historical status – translator’s note]. He is also a member of the AIE (International Association of Exorcists, abbreviated from its name in Italian), and the teacher of various courses for exorcists.

Many people would perhaps like to meet an exorcist so they could learn more about the devil. Here is some of what we learned when we sat down with Fr. Morocutti:


Some theologians are of the opinion that biblical exorcisms—including those performed by Jesus—were simply healings of illnesses which, at that time, were considered spiritual influences. What do you think about this subject?



Actually, this question was resolved long ago. Above all, it’s a matter of intellectual honesty. Careful biblical exegesis, and serious theology, recognize clearly the difference in the Gospels between the way that Christ deals with people who are sick and the way he deals with people who are possessed. He uses two totally different approaches.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains a clear teaching on this subject, and no good Catholic can leave it aside. Finally, I would like to refer to the teachings of the saints, who, with their life of union with Christ, lived within the Church, have done nothing but confirm the Magisterium clearly and unequivocally.



Some people would eliminate the ministry of exorcists, because they consider it a usurpation of the work of psychologists. How would you respond to this?



I teach General Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and I understand the difference between the two disciplines quite clearly. According to Christian anthropology, human beings are always and everywhere to be understood from an integral and united perspective. The two disciplines are not, in fact, in competition; rather, they are closely connected. A spiritually disturbed person almost always needs qualified human support in order to interpret the situation and go forward peacefully. When the spirit is affected, the flesh is affected too, and vice versa. The problem arises when psychology, especially psychotherapy, builds its convictions on unlikely anthropological concepts, or on ones that are far from Christian humanism; in that case, dangerous—or at the very least, inconvenient—dichotomies can arise.



What are the criteria for discerning psychological cases from spiritual ones?



The wisdom of the Church, developed over thousands of years through the formation of liturgical books—which, among other things, forms part of the official Magisterium for us Catholics—lays out a procedure through which a priest who is an exorcist can recognize the work and presence of the evil one. I think it is useful to mention that, in the latest version of the rite, the exorcist is invited to make use of medical and psychological science in order to discern better. Besides that, the rite indicates as criteria for discerning: speaking unknown languages, knowing or revealing things that are hidden, and demonstrating strength disproportionate to the age and natural state of the subject. These are not absolute criteria; they are signs which, if identified within a general picture with attention to details, can greatly help an exorcist to discern. It is necessary to dedicate a lot of time to listening to the person and making an attentive analysis of the subject’s behavior and habits of life. It is important to focus more on his or her moral life than on the signs, although the latter can always be a great help.



What are the main channels through which demonic obsession or possession can come about?



The main channel is definitely sin—in particular, a state of grave sin, lived deliberately and without repentance: this condition generally exposes the soul to the action of the evil one.
That said, the main extraordinary channels of action of the evil one are: esotericism, sorcery, the more or less conscious following of philosophical practices inspired in oriental religions or, in any case, incompatible with a Christian anthropological view, and lastly, participation in an openly Satanic group.


Often, these realities are hidden behind apparently innocuous ideologies; we must be cautious. Satan seduces us with false beauty, making things that are contrary to God seem good and harmless.


Still, at the center of the process of discernment is always a person’s moral action. If a person acts with moral rectitude and remains in a state of grace, seeking the truth, it is unlikely that he or she will be the object of extraordinary action of the evil one—who will, in any case, continue to act in his ordinary way. Obviously, the lives of certain saints are an exception; in some cases, due to special permission from God, they even experience combat with the devil in a bloody way.




What positive things have you learned from exercising this ministry, that you can leave with us as a lesson and advice for our readers?




That the love of Jesus Christ for our souls is something serious, and that the soul should be protected in a state of grace as the most beautiful and sublime gift that God has given us. Today, the sense of sin is fading more and more, due to a profoundly mistaken understanding of mercy. In this ministry, I have come to understand clearly that the Eucharist celebrated and adored, regular reception of the sacrament of Confession, and filial love for Mary Most Holy, are the most reliable means for walking always in grace and truth and for always enjoying the sweet presence of Jesus in our souls.



Source:




Aleteia.

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