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  • Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #128: A Demonic Ruse



"Susan" had asked for one of the other exorcists by name to attend her exorcism session. Sometime after she was fully manifesting, the priest was finally available and walked in. The demons immediately let out a yell and cowered in the corner. They cried out, "Get him away from me!" They acted terrified.

I looked up and said to the Team, "It's a ruse." We ignored the demons' histrionics and calmly went back to our prayers.

In an exorcism, demons try all sorts of tricks to derail the Team. One of them is pitting team members against each other. A related trick is trying to inflame some members' pride and deflate others' self-esteem.

Today's demonic antics attempted to do both. They made it seem like the one priest was a spiritually powerful person and the others were spiritually inferior. This was a lie. Moreover, it attempted to take our focus away from that which is most powerful in an exorcism: a priest with faculties from the Bishop saying the Church's approved Rite of Exorcism.

How did I know it was a ruse? Likely it was a special grace. Although the demons' histrionic cries and cowering were hollow and felt like a badly acted play. And I had seen that demonic ruse attempted several times before with others.

An exorcism is a spiritual battle fought on many levels simultaneously-- spiritual, psychological, and physical. We rely not on any special personal gifts nor are we disheartened by our weaknesses. Rather, it is the power of Christ, given to his Church, which makes the demons truly terrified.

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