PATTI ARMSTRONG 10/20/2016
National Catholic Register
“People think they have to do something extraordinary, but it is actually the very ordinary things that build up graces and offer protection. If a Catholic is praying, going to Mass, and receiving the sacraments, then the devil is already on the run.”
The battle rages on against “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil’s main activity is tempting us to sin but that rarely rankles us. It’s when things go bump in the night that people are shaken up.
If the devil is making his presence felt, an exorcist is often called in. Cases of suspected possession first go through the bishop for a referral and an investigation, but they are rare. Demonic harassment, however, happens more frequently.
The Basics are the Best
Father Vincent Lampert, the designated exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, is often visited by people needing help against attacks of evil. “I offer very basic stuff,” he explained in an interview for the Register. “If they are Catholic, I tell them to pray, and go to confession, and to Mass.”
It’s usually not what they were expecting from an exorcist. “They look at me like I’m crazy, but if I told them to swing a black cat by its tail over their head at midnight, they would do that,” Father Lampert said. “People think they have to do something extraordinary, but it is actually the very ordinary things that build up graces and offer protection. If a Catholic is praying, going to Mass, and receiving the sacraments, then the devil is already on the run.”
The problem for many people, according to Father Lampert, is that those things become so routine, people don’t believe they are effective. “But those are the things that are the most effective protection against evil,” he said.
Even in an exorcism, Father Lampert explained that the Church drives out the devil with the basic components of our faith. “The very things that they [the possessed] have usually rejected are the things that will defeat the devil,” he said. In an exorcism, the ordinary things are prayer, holy water, and a crucifix.
“Holy water reminds us of baptism and our new life in Christ,” Father Lampert said. “The crucifix represents what we believe.” He explained that is was at the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross that the devil thought he had won. Instead, it was the moment of Satan’s defeat.
Faith or Nothing
Wearing a crucifix or blessed medals and using holy water and other Catholic sacramentals have power for protection, but that power is rooted in faith, not in the objects, Father Lampert said. Even when an object is blessed, Read the rest of this at the National Catholic Register