Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Demons: real, and far from harmless

                                                                 Jesus casting out demons

Although many find it amusing to dress like demons or other supernatural creatures at Halloween, it is well to remember that demons are real, evil and mean us harm.

Saints have been particular targets of demonic obsession, which occurs when demons attack a person from without.  The following account of demonic obsession is taken from the beatification process of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  It appears in a conference on demonic possession and obsession given by the Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, SJ which may be read here (h/t Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit):

"In his earlier years in the priesthood, Vianney experienced some strange things going on in his rectory. He had no idea where the sounds at night or the curious happenings were coming from. But soon he would find out.

After several nights of strange pounding and noise, he asked one of his parishioners to spend the night with him at the rectory. The Cure gave his visitor his own bed to sleep in. Thinking that the noises were coming from thieves, the man brought a loaded gun with him to the presbytery.

That night nothing happened until after midnight. What follows is the deposition which this parishioner gave at the canonical process for the beatification of the Cure of Ars.

    At about one o’clock, I heard a violent shaking of the handle and lock of the front door. At the same time, heavy blows were struck as if with a club, against the same door, while within the presbytery there was a terrific din, like the rumbling of several carts.

    I seized my gun and rushed to the window, which I threw open. I look out but saw nothing. For nearly a quarter of an hour the house shook - so did my legs. I felt the effects of that night for a fortnight. As soon as the noise had started, the Cure lit a lamp. He accompanied me.

    “Have you heard?” he asked.

    “You can see that I have heard, since I am up and have my gun.” And all the time the presbytery was shaking as in an earthquake.

    “So you are afraid?” he asked.

    “No,” I replied.

    “I am not afraid, but I feel my legs giving way under me. The presbytery is going to crash to the ground.”

    “What do you think it is?”

    “I think it is the devil.”

    When the uproar ceased we returned to bed. The following evening, the Cure came again to ask me to keep him company. I replied, “Monsieur Cure, I have had quite enough.”

The experience just described continued for the rest of the life of the Cure of Ars. For years on end, the devil molested, disturbed, and tormented, John Vianney relentlessly." 

St. John Vianney, pray for us.

RELATED: A contemporary exorcist speaks.  (h/t. Dr. Finaldicus)

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