• Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #53: Stuck in Unforgiveness

During the process of an exorcism, sometimes people get stuck. We pray and pray and pray and they don't get any better. Why are they not being liberated?

What sometimes emerges is a long-standing unforgiveness. Many of those who come to us with demonic spirits have been traumatized in their youth by someone. They are understandably angry and harbor an inner desire for their tormentor to suffer. But as long as they hang onto that anger and unforgiveness, it is they who are now being poisoned.

Demons latch onto this and will not leave. Demons are masters at this-- they are spending an eternity in hell blaming God (unjustly) and holding onto their anger and resentment.

One of the problems in our culture is that people misunderstand what it means to forgive. It does not mean we condone evil behavior by others. It does not mean that abusers should not answer for their crimes and go to prison. It does not mean we should have a warm feeling and/or actually be reconciled with our abuser.

Rather, forgiveness in the Christian sense is that we let go of the resentment and the anger. Then we ask God to bless this person. It is a decision. Jesus loved and forgave the Scribes and the Pharisees but he called them "whitened sepulchres" and was angry at them. Forgiveness is not an emotion; it is an act of the will.

Jesus tells us to bless and never to curse. When we curse others, it is first of all we ourselves who suffer. On the other hand, when we bless our enemies and those who persecute us, it is we who are liberated and at peace.

Thus, as a regular part of our exorcism process, we ask the person if there are people that he/she needs to forgive. We then have the person say something to the effect, "I willingly forgive X and I ask God to bless X." Oftentimes the person will then cry good tears. So, we know that God is healing the person's soul, and the demons will take flight.


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