• Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #72: Demons and Suicide

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

When trying to discern whether someone in being directly influenced by demons, I will typically ask them about thoughts going through their minds. Demons try to discourage us; they would have us give up hope; they want to destroy our self-image and tear us down. A strong demonic presence necessarily leads to such negative thoughts coursing through the afflicted person's brain.

But, most of all, Satan wants us to despair and to end our lives by suicide. This was ultimately the great sin of Judas: he despaired of God's mercy. Peter likewise sinned against Jesus by denying him, but he returned in penitence and was saved. Whenever someone is possessed, we are especially on the watch for any suicidal tendencies.

I am not suggesting that all those who die by suicide are possessed; they are not. Nor am I suggesting that they all will suffer the same fate as Judas. These judgements we leave to God. But the goal of Satan is clear: after he torments the possessed mercilessly, he wants them to die by their own hand.

Our little exorcism team is empowered by the Church, and ultimately by Jesus, to weaken, and ultimately to cast out, evil spirits. But we do more than that. When we arrive and begin to assist a desperate person, the message communicated is that Jesus is Lord over Satan. Jesus cares about you and loves you. He will walk with you and help you. This brings them hope, God's hope, which is the ultimate antidote to Satan's despair.


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