Peter Paul Rubens, The Immaculate Conception
Things weren't adding up. When we prayed over "Joyce," it seems she was fully possessed. She reacted strongly to the exorcism prayers. Her personality receded into the background and a snarky, arrogant look came over her face. When we held up a crucifix, she said it burned her eyes to look at it. She had great difficulty going to Mass and swallowing the consecrated host. She said, "It tasted like a dead animal." When our exorcism sessions ended, she remembered little of what happened.
But her background information didn't seem to match. It is true that she was a fallen away Catholic and she had engaged in some sinful behaviors. But our experience is that fully possessed people usually have more open doors to the demonic. Her condition wasn't making sense.
Several months into the exorcism, the truth finally came out. As she felt more comfortable with us, she revealed that she had had an abortion. Moreover, she previously spent a couple of years dabbling in the occult, including consulting mediums, calling on spirits, and practicing divination. Now, I understood.
This is the perfect trifecta for possession. First, do not practice the faith. Living a virtuous life of faith in Christ and his Church is the primary protection against the power of Satan. Without it, the person is vulnerable. Second, commit seriously sinful behaviors, especially contributing to wrongful deaths, child abuse, or mortal sins in general. These create wounds in the psyche and spirit through which the demonic may enter. Third, call on evil spirits such as in occult behaviors or any new age spiritisms. This directly invites demons to enter through the wounds and possess the defenseless person.
As I look around in society today, all three conditions are rapidly on the rise. Things are going to get a lot uglier before they get better. We need more exorcists and more deliverance teams. Our little team is increasingly flooded with valid cries for help.
We must look to Our Lady.... My beautiful Mary, my love, we need you.