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Exorcist Diary #297: Satan's Second Sin


["Envy," "The Seven Deadly Sins" detail, Hieronymus Bosch, 1475-1480]


This past week, in the midst of an exorcism, I heard something I had never heard before in a session. We had just finished praying the Prologue of John’s Gospel: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  The afflicted person came to consciousness and looked up at me. I asked her how she was doing.  She responded, “I was just overwhelmed by an incredibly powerful feeling of ENVY!” 

She was not normally an envious person so where did that come from?  Obviously, it came from the demons.  People who suffer demonic affliction typically have a symbiotic relationship with the demons: they can feel and sense some of what the demons are experiencing and vice versa.  

Listening to the Prologue of John’s Gospel, which emphasizes the Incarnation of God in Jesus, was a torment for them—it filled them with envy. It is commonly thought that the fallen angels originally sinned through pride.  But many theologians, including St. Thomas, speculate that they also sinned through envy.  

From the beginning, God revealed to the angels his plan to become incarnate in the Word. The idea that God would humble himself and become a human, and not an angel, enraged Satan and his followers. Pride and envy fueled their rejection of God. These fallen angels wanted more than what God would give them and they wanted to get it for themselves, not depending upon His generosity.  

These days you don’t hear much from pulpits about the sin of envy.  But when looking at the widespread unrest, conflict and discord throughout our world today, much of it stems from envy- not being grateful for all that God has given us.

Demons are constantly goading us to commit the same sins of which they are guilty, particularly their sins of pride and envy.  They want us to suffer with them and under their brutal yoke in this life and the next.  

I know an antidote.  It is a simple prayer that can only come from the heart of a soul that is saved:  “Thank you Jesus." Say it often. And join me in this prayer:

Jesus I thank you!


Jesus I thank you. I thank you for humbling yourself as the Son of God and becoming one of us. I thank you for teaching us about the Father and sharing your Word. I thank you for your loving sacrifice on the Cross. I thank you for sharing with us your beautiful Mother. I thank you for sending down your Holy Spirit. May gratitude well up in my heart and deepen each day. I ask for the grace to praise and thank you this day and forever. Jesus, I thank you. Jesus, I thank you. Jesus I love you.

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