A small, unassuming office in south-west Rome seems a rather ordinary setting in which to play out a grand battle between good and evil. It is here, though, that Father Gabriele Amorth has carried out most of his 70,000 exorcisms over the past 26 years. [The guy has the actual work as his credentials. You know I think he did a lot of good than that liturgist...Okay never mind. Can't help myself.]
"The world must know that Satan exists," he told CNA recently. [And the devil tells you he does not so you would think that everything that happens has a scientific explanation to it. Someone getting possessed only needs Valium and stuff like that. Denying the devil's existence is one of THE devil's work. Hey, I know MST teaches that the devil is not a being but a metaphor to the ills of society. So what does it make out of MST, huh?] "The devil and demons are many and they have two powers, the ordinary and the extraordinary." [You must take tab of what Fr. Amorth says here.]
The 86-year-old Italian priest of the Society of St. Paul [One of the few I admire. Thank goodness he is not that attention hungry, "orator" one you see on TV every week. Mind you, I have seen that priest in almost every corporate event there is to have in Manila and Makati where I used to work. Probably he always prefers those events as part of his apostolate, but I may be wrong. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he is always on TV, right?] and official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome explained the difference.
"The so-called ordinary power is that of tempting man to distance himself from God and take him to Hell. This action is exercised against all men and women of all places and religions." [Sounds like the work of MST and SVT, right?]
As for the extraordinary powers used by Satan, Fr. Amorth explained it as how the Devil acts when he focuses his attention more specifically on a person. He categorized the expression of that attention into four types: diabolical possession; diabolical vexation like in the case of Padre Pio, who was beaten by the Devil; obsessions which are able to lead a person to desperation and infestation, and when the Devil occupies a space, an animal or even an object." [That is why in the old ritual, before the liturgical revolution of Vatican II engineered by the liturgist Abp. Annibale Bugnini, whose excellent work as a liturgist, got promoted, according to Fr. Chupungco, to a diplomatic post in Iran. Ok, curial official for so many years, gets "promoted" by being sent as a nuncio to a radical Islamic country. Ok, got it. Promotion. Ok, got it. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Even in the old ritual, objects are exorcised to drive away any hold the devil has on them. Read my post about the blessing of Holy Water, comparing the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form. You will really wonder why they have to take out the exorcism of the salt and water. Is it because the liturgical framers do not believe in the power of Satan over objects or maybe, just maybe, they really do not believe in Satan's existence anymore.]
Fr. Amorth says such extraordinary occurrences are rare but on the rise. He's particularly worried by the number of young people being affected by Satan through sects, séances and drugs. He never despairs though.
"With Jesus Christ and Mary, God has promised us that he will never allow temptations greater than our strengths." [Beautiful!]
Hence he gives a very matter-of-fact guide that everybody can use in the fight against Satan.
"The temptations of the Devil are defeated first of all by avoiding occasions (of temptation), because the Devil always seeks out our weakest points. And, then, with prayer. We Christians have an advantage because we have the Word of Jesus, we have the sacraments, prayer to God."
Not surprisingly, 'Jesus Christ' is the name Fr. Amorth most often calls upon to expel demons. But he also turns to saintly men and women for their heavenly assistance. Interestingly, he said that in recent years one man - Blessed Pope John Paul II - has proved to be a particularly powerful intercessor.
"I have asked the demon more than once, 'Why are you so scared of John Paul II and I have had two different responses, both interesting. One, 'because he disrupted my plans.' And, I think that he is referring to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collapse of communism." [Communism is the work of the devil, get that Ka Satur and Rissa Hontiveros? That is why the Virgin at Fatima requested for the consecration of Russia.]
"Another response that he gave me, 'because he pulled so many young people from my hands.' There are so many young people who, thanks to John Paul II, were converted. Perhaps some were already Christian but not practicing, but then with John Paul II they came back to the practice. 'He pulled so many young people out of my hands.'" [So contrary to critics of Bl. John Paul, his rock star image actually drove back a lot of the youth to come back home.]
And the most powerful intercessor of all?
"Of course, the Madonna is even more effective. Ah, when you invoke Mary!" [And you wonder why the other sects like the Iglesia ni Cristo so much hates our Blessed Mother. Simple arithmetic. The INC hates Mary. Lucifer hates Mary. Duh!]
"And, once I also asked Satan, 'but why are you more scared when I invoke Our Lady than when I invoke Jesus Christ?' He answered me, 'Because I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by him." [Satan is sexist!]
The intercession of the living is also important, though, says Fr. Amorth. He reminds people that exorcism is a prayer and, as such, Christians can pray to liberate a soul or place from the Devil. However, three things are needed.
"The Lord gave them (the Apostles) an answer that also for us exorcists is very important. He said that overcoming this type of demon, you need much faith, much prayer and much fasting. Faith, prayer and fasting." [Carrying a bottle of Holy Water. Take note of the blessing used. Just a suggestion. And a Medal of our Lady, the medal of St. Benedict which carries a powerful exorcism prayer, a medal of St. Michael the Archangel and the prayer to the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts and a rosary with a crucifix on it. Not just a cross folks. Catholic tradition teaches us that these are powerful weapons against attacks of the devil. I have all of those always with me by the way.]
"Especially faith, you need so much faith. Many times also in the healings, Jesus does not say in the Gospel it is me who has healed you. He says, you are healed thanks to your faith. He wants faith in the people, a strong and absolute faith. Without faith you can do nothing."
I have talked to an exorcist who says that demonic possessions happen to those who are not only into New Age stuff and Demon worship. It even happens to those who engage themselves in role-play witchcraft and wizardry, no thanks to Harry Potter. Some get possessed by botched exorcisms by pastors, who just held up a Bible and begins the ritual.
Exorcisms are not for the amateur folks. Leave it up to the experts lest you hurt yourselves.
And take not that devil hates hearing the names of those who humiliated them.
Like telling Miriam Santiago the name of Fidel Ramos over and over again makes her turn crazy into the highest power. It is so easy, like turning on a switch! Sorry, I had to put that in.
Anywho, don't go out of your house without your weapons cache full of supplies.
My KofC rosary looks like this one by the way.
So, stack up and be on the active defensive stance!
The next time you see the devil walking, fat, loud, obnoxious with a top hat... or a fat wrinkled politician...or a crazy loony woman haunting the Senate...
Sprinkle them with Holy Water!
Just stack up on the supplies!
Or maybe, pray the St. Benedict exorcism prayer while seated in the gallery of both Congress and Senate.
Not a bad idea, eh?