Can Discernment Head Off The Need For Exorcism

As I have mentioned in the past, at Saint Michael’s Journal, we take advantage of one of Google’s many products and services in order to find reports regarding Exorcism and the other subjects we report on. We have the product programmed to send St. Michael’s an email when the Google search engine crawls across the net and stumbles onto the phrase Demonic Possession. Most usually this system fails to turn up anything usable of the Journal, but on occasion, the Google product delivers something really interesting.

This particular message Google sent us was a link to a post on ricochet dot com, that which appears to be a conservative, subscription based, alternative to reddit. Apparently on ricochet, you can comment on other peoples posts, or submit one of your own, for about five dollars a month.

It would appear that someone using the handle or pseudonym “God-Loving Woman” had posted her concerns regarding a situation with her daughter. In a second post she wrote; “Acting upon the suggestions I received from some of you regarding my daughter, I found myself placed in a new spiritual proximity to vibes and tensions and thought-patterns any sane person should want to avoid.

God-Loving Woman, or GLW, explains that she is not Catholic, but apparently is curious of the Roman Catholic faith. She recounts how when Pope John Paul the second passed away, she dove into learning about the late pontiff and in the process she learned about things she never knew about the Roman Catholic Church. She became intrigued, as many of us have also done, with the fascinating and compelling mysticism.

In regards to her previous post, GLW writes, “One of the readers of the post about the garage incident provided me with links to certain resources meant to help me with my daughter’s situation. So far, I’ve looked into one of them; a website that offers a litany of prayers that focus on deliverance, healing, achieving wholeness, and freedom from demonic influences.

It is hard to believe that with as many books that have been written and as many movies that have been produced, on the subject of demonic possession and Exorcism, that someone could be un-knowledgeable regarding the Catholic tradition of spiritual warfare. It would seem that GLW is not ignorant of demonic influences either as we find in a later comment of her’s.

GLW continues with; “Another area of the Catholic Church I had not known about. And honestly, I was very uncomfortable about walking into that particular fray. But I did. I did because it’s about my daughter, and she’s continually tormented by something that is not of her. Whether the source is psychological wounds at adoption; some genetic propensity toward OCD; trauma from the terrible hospital years with her younger sister; scars from being bullied in middle school; or the fact that she smokes marijuana too much (her assessment … and I agree); she is fragmented, anxious, and suffers from sudden self-harming psychotic episodes.

These many sources all fit into the enemy’s strategy to dis-integrate us from wholeness, foist confusion and fear upon our minds, and render us hopeless and defeated. Therefore, in my mind as someone who views all of life through a spiritual lens, she is under an orchestrated demonic attack.

Saying deliverance prayers and using a blessed Rosary can be very beneficial in these situations. For some people, who are at the end of their proverbial rope, such a faith based regimen can be of great relief. Apparently this was the case with GLW and her daughter. GLW says she modified the prayers out of respect, not being a Catholic she feared being presumptuous, which really wasn’t necessary. However, as she reports, there were immediate results. The next day when the adult daughter returned home from work, she walked into the house, called out with a big “Hello!” and appeared in the kitchen doorway. Her eyes were bright. GLW reports that the young woman’s eyes had been dull and lifeless for over two years and now they were bright again.

Over the next several days, GLW’s daughter sent out new resumes, announced she want to attend a program at a regional college and was again making plans, a positive sign. But then it became clear that they were not as yet out of the woods.

It always happens so suddenly. Her face contorted, her fists clenched, and she began hitting herself in the head and screaming, “Why can’t you be happy for me? Why …!!” She threw her keys across the room, followed by a fresh coffee from Dutch Bros.

Then she jumped up, and came at me, screaming in my face and waving her arms while dropping F-bombs… among several other-letter bombs. This went on for several seconds.

I don’t know if this is just my normal response to threats, or if this is the Spirit giving me composure, but I sat there watching her, waiting …”

GLW goes on to relate how these psychotic events continued to happen over the course of the next several days. Each time, the young woman ends up crying and apologizing for her actions, as if she couldn’t prevent the episodes of screaming and cursing.

Then during one episode GLW tells us, “she screamed at me about killing herself and cutting her wrists, making arm and hand motions as if she had been contemplating and planning it for some time. And then she exploded, relentlessly hitting herself on the head while letting out a long and blood-curdling scream. It was new-level psychotic.

I believe this is what people think demonic influence or an outright demonic attack looks like. Maybe sometimes it does. I don’t know. That’s not this.

This is the culmination of cognitive distortions that have entrenched themselves in the mind of a young person who started out with some real soul-foundation issues to begin with. Her brain has been functioning in a different dimension of perception her entire life, and no one really noticed. She didn’t know that it wasn’t normal. She was just trying to avoid that deep and mysterious sense of abandonment she’d already experienced in her soul at birth by constantly seeking approval and reassurance from others. Add to that, the trauma of her sister’s serious medical trials; my absenteeism as her mom for ten years; the impact of social media on her sense of what’s important; and the resulting development of an intense self-hatred; and you’ve created a very vulnerable target for soul-crushing influences.”

Perhaps GLW fails to note that, that which she points out as “culmination of cognitive distortions that have entrenched themselves in the mind” is indeed a symptom of demonic influences.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the sixteenth century theologian and co-founder of the Jesuit order within Roman Catholicism, wrote extensively on what he called the Discernment of Spirits. He reflected on how people often find anomalous ideas entering into their consciousness, ideas that are unexpected and inconsistent with the norm. Ignatius theorized that at times such concepts come from heaven, and at times the inconsistent ideas originate from the realm of the demonic.

If we judiciously guard our consciousness, when an inconsistent or erroneous train of thought enters, we take time to pray and contemplate seeking from God the knowledge to ascertain if the idea is heaven sent or if it is a design of the devil to lead us into darkness. We simply have to ask ourselves, “Where in the heck did that idea come from?” If we don’t take time to ascertain these ideas, we run the risk of the idea becoming entrenched and what was in reality a blatant lie, a distortion of the truth, can appear to become a truism.

These cognitive distortions that have entrenched themselves in the mind of GLW’s daughter are just that, designs of the demonic that, over time, become like a cancer eating away at the victim’s mind. At this point, what GLW is referring to is indicative of demonic oppression, total possession has not yet taken place.

These bi-polar like events GLW is seeing in her daughter, are indicative of an undisciplined mind heeding the negative thoughts placed there by demonic spirits. Fortunately, GLW’s daughter seems to be a fighter, she is struggling to resist the lure of the spirits into surrender and total possession. If she can get help that will empower her to evaluate or invoke discernment of these so called cognitive distortions, GLW’s daughter will have exorcised her demons.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these same events, seek help immediately, don’t rely on only secular avenues exclusively, but seek out spiritual counseling as well.

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