San Severino's Release of a Woman from Possession by the Devil (15th century), Scala, Florence
When we began the session, I was feeling fine. However, halfway through the exorcism, I felt as if all of my strength was gone. I could barely move or speak. I had to force myself to say the prayers. Then the possessed person likewise said, "I am feeling very, very tired." "This is strange," I thought, "What is happening?"
Then it occurred to me....it's demonic. So, I commanded the "demons of fatigue" to depart. I said it again and again, "Demons of fatigue, in the Holy Name of Jesus I command you to leave." Eventually, the fatigue lifted and we both returned to the task at hand.
This is yet another demonic trick. They try all sorts of things to stop an exorcism. This particular ruse is subtle. You would never think of demons being able to make you feel so tired you cannot move.
Not long ago, a layman complained to me that whenever he tries to work at his ministry, he is overwhelmed with an uncharacteristic tiredness. It saps his energy and he can barely function. Very diagnostic is the fact that the tiredness only comes over this energetic person when he begins his ministry. I suspected a demonic cause and told him so. I suggested he use holy water liberally over himself and his workplace, and also begin his ministry with daily deliverance prayers.
Most bouts of exhaustion have physiological and/or psychological roots, but sometimes they have a demonic origin. I am most suspicious when it occurs in the midst of an exorcism or when it occurs unexpectedly as a person begins a holy task. When demons desperately don't want something to happen, this is one of their subtle tricks.