Exorcist Diary #92: Narcissism is Hell
John William Waterhouse painting (cropped): Echo & Narcissus
When reading at Mass, I had always wondered how to pronounce the name of the Canaanite deity (who is really a demon) called Baal. In a subsequent exorcism session, I found out!
We were in a rough case and we knew it would be a long, ugly battle. At one point, I demanded to know, "How many demons are present?" The snarky demonic response, "Too many for you!" As the demonic cohort got weaker, I was able to force them to reveal the names of all the leaders plus the total number of demons present- 856. That's alot. Then I demanded to know the names of the leaders and it sounded like a "Who's Who" in hell. This was not going to be easy.
As the months passed, one by one the leaders and their minions were cast out in Jesus' name. At one point, we got to Baal. He was forced to reveal that there were 679 demons remaining. We priest-exorcists again started praying the Rite and, as always, the demons howled in agony. They were so weak at this point that the holy water scalded them and the mere sight of the crucifix was agonizing. Everything tortured them.
I commanded Baal to leave and pronounced his name, Ba'al, with two syllables. To my surprise, he firmly corrected me, "It is Baal" and he pronounced it with one syllable. Later in the session, he again corrected me and said his name was pronounced Baal (like the bleat of a sheep with an "L" on the end").
This was bizarre. Here we are in the midst of a pitched battle, he is screaming his lungs out and about to be cast back into hell. And yet, he is focused on how to pronounce his name. This was narcissism beyond belief!
Demons are complete narcissists and Satan is the biggest narcissist of all. In hell, no one thinks of another's good. It is pure self-focus and like Baal, the bizarre, irrational thinking of an intellect succumbed to evil. Satan would sacrifice every demon under him in hell just for his own pleasure.
This makes the infinitely generous self-sacrifice of God in Jesus all the more striking. Satan would skewer us for his own benefit. The heart of Jesus was pierced on the cross for our salvation. Something to think about....