[Two Demons (detail), illuminations in Ingeborg Psalter, after 1205]
Many people are ashamed for having dark inner thoughts. During the course of the day, some might have an impulse to blaspheme God, shout obscenities, rage in anger, harm another person or self, and the like. We are too embarrassed to reveal such hidden evil thoughts to anyone.
Of course, mentally balanced, good people do not do such evil things. But the little voice is sometimes there, even among the most virtuous of people. We think: "If people really knew me, they would detest me. I detest myself." It also makes us wonder if God could truly love and forgive us: "God knows my darkest thoughts, how can He love and forgive me? I am too awful."
When these thoughts arise, it is important to know where they really originate. These are from the evil heart of Satan. And the Evil One wants us to think that these evil thoughts are our own. But they are his.
These are the constant thoughts in the minds of demons and in the damned. The farther down the path of evil people travel, the more these demonic thoughts actually become their thoughts. Ultimately, in hell, the minds of the damned are completely overcome by evil.
These tormenting dark thoughts are an especially difficult trial for the possessed. When demons take possession, there is a melding of demonic thoughts and actions with the human person. The demonic thoughts, or "demon brain" as we call it, infuse the thoughts of the person. The despair, rage and violence of the dark world often torment the minds of the possessed. The possessed find it nearly impossible in the early stages of liberation to distinguish between their human thoughts and those of the demons. They are convinced that these evil thoughts are really their own.
One sign that the afflicted are becoming liberated is their ability to disappropriate these thoughts. They are increasingly able to say: "These awful thoughts are from Satan; they are not mine. I reject them; I rebuke them; I renounce them; and I cast them out!"
Here are the steps which the possessed and obsessed can take toward mental liberation. In fact, all of us should take these steps in some fashion on our road to full liberation from evil and sin:
Step 1: Disappropriate evil thoughts. Recognize that they come from Satan.
Step 2: Reject them or simply ignore them.
Step 3: Use short invocations such as "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me a sinner" or "Jesus, I trust in you" or simply repeat the Holy Names of "Jesus, Mary."
Step 4: Meditate daily, reading Holy Scripture, invoking the presence of Jesus.
Step 5: Practice Custody of the Mind. Limit your exposure to worldly influences including excessive internet use. Read and view holy things.
Step 6: Be at peace. Trust in Jesus. God loves you and forgives you.
If you suffer from such mental torments, it does not mean you are not saved or that you are sinning. We all suffer the Cross and part of this can be unwanted ugly thoughts from the Evil One. Offer your sufferings to Jesus in union with his sufferings. Persevere in the spiritual battle. It will bear great fruit and the final gift of God's peace.
*Our next online deliverance session is Monday, September 18th from 7-8pm Eastern USA time. Register at: https://www.catholicexorcism.org/event-details/sept-18th-online-deliverance-prayer-session.