Exorcist Diary #57: Healing vs. Symptom Relief
When people come to an exorcist, they typically are suffering from a variety of symptoms. These can be unexplained physical maladies, intense negative mental obsessions, and/or strong adverse reactions to sacred things. Understandably, they come to the exorcist hoping that he will say a prayer and rid them of these tortuous afflictions.
Exorcisms can indeed alleviate demonic symptoms. But these afflictions usually indicate the need for a deeper healing of the person's psyche and spirit. In addition to the powerful prayers of the Church, the exorcist will typically prescribe a healing regimen tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
He may also ask the person to see a professional counselor and address any underlying issues of trauma or abuse. He may suggest a series of Unbound sessions to bring healing to specific spiritual wounds. He will always insist on living an intense life of prayer and virtue, including regular reception of the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharist.
Without this deeper regimen of inner healing, exorcism prayers will likely have limited to no efficacy. Everyone who presents for an exorcism wants symptom relief, but those who are willing to walk a more difficult path of healing and holiness are fewer. However, for the latter, they will often find that their demonic afflictions were actually a source of grace as it led them into a dynamic relationship of gratitude and peace with the one Source of all healing.