Last night I saw a spooky movie about a little girl who possessed some superhuman powers. She could predict the future, read minds and speak with spirits of the dead. But she was not always like that…
Her family lived in a house where violent crimes had been committed. Basically, this house was infested with demons. Wait a minute! We need to tread carefully here. We often fail to realize that the devil CANNOT go where he is not invited. What’s interesting to note is that there was already a demonic presence in the house before the little girl’s family moved in. This ‘presence’ dwelt in the house AS A RESULT of the VIOLENT CRIMES committed there.
Sometimes, movies and books give us the impression that demonic possession (of people) and infestation (of places and objects) can occur without any cause. This is simply impossible. The devil does not, and cannot go where he is not invited. There must be an entrance; an open door, caused by a grave EVIL DEED. Hence, when people engage in repeated sins or crimes of a violent nature (like murder, rape or incessant moral perversions), or commit sacrilegious sins (like desecrating holy objects and places) they knowingly or unknowingly open doors to the reign of demons in their lives.
Back to our story… One day, our little girl discovered an Ouija Board in her demon-infested house. Some of us in this part of the world may not know what an Ouija Board is. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie describes it as “a flat board with the letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semi-circles above the numbers 0 through 9; the words “yes” and “no” in the uppermost corners, “goodbye” at the bottom; accompanied by a “planchette,” a teardrop-shaped device, usually with a small window in the body, used to maneuver about the board. The idea was that two or more people would sit around the board, place their fingertips on the planchette, pose a question, and watch, dumbfounded, as the planchette moved from letter to letter, spelling out the answers seemingly of its own accord” (cf. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-strange-and-mysterious-history-of-the-ouija-board-5860627/#4PZdGCcLAp48YGU4.99).
The Ouija Board is couched in a lot of mystery. No one seems to know exactly how it came about, or who produced the first one. But what’s certain is that it came out of America’s OBSESSION with SPIRITUALISM; an obsession to find answers to questions about the paranormal. While the theaters have significantly mystified the object, ascribing to it, powers that it possibly cannot have, some in other circles (mostly scientists) have tried to explain that the Ouija Board is quite harmless, as it can only express what we already have in our minds. I prefer to stay in the middle.
Encouraged by her mum, our little girl continued experimenting with the Ouija Board, till she was fully possessed by demons. This led to a chain of events that resulted in too many deaths, including hers. Only her elder sister survived the ordeal, though she ended up in an asylum, playing the same game that had begun the terrible events in the first place.
Friends, we live in a world where many no longer take God or the devil too seriously. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia warns that “we’re in a struggle for souls. Our adversary is the devil. And while Satan is not God’s equal and doomed to final defeat, he can do bitter harm in human affairs.” Satan, being an intelligent spirit, knows that we cannot take Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross seriously if we do not believe in the devil or evil in the world. Because of this ‘spiritual indifference’ we wallow in self-pity and continue to indulge EVIL ACTIONS that keep the doors of our lives permanently open to demons.
On another spectrum, there are those who become too obsessed with spiritualism, spiritism, and Satanism. Kathy Schiffer of the National Catholic Register writes about her interview with an American Exorcist, Fr Robert, who also lectures at the Vatican’s official Institute of Exorcism in America. Among other things, she writes that demonic activities can be as a result of too much fascination about the occult. This is usually what leads children and adults to all the wrong places. When we become DESPERATE, we begin seeking answers WHEREVER from WHOMEVER. And of course, the devil is ever ready to ‘help.’
Kathy further presents Father Robert’s list of recognizing demonic activity in persons:
1. Hidden knowledge. If a person has knowledge which he or she should not have, such as private information which is known by only a few people, that may signal demonic possession.
2. Languages. A possessed person may be able to speak in an unfamiliar language that he or she would not normally know.
3. Superhuman strength. Father Robert reported one case in which a young girl who was 5’4” tall and weighed perhaps 110 pounds was able to throw a number of big guys off of her, preventing them from holding her down during the exorcism ritual.
4. Extreme aversion to the sacred. A person who is possessed may be unable to look at a crucifix or to touch a rosary which has been blessed. Father Robert knew of one woman who couldn’t be in the presence of a cross of St. Benedict, or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
5. Levitation. Father Robert had personal knowledge of a case in Louisiana, in which a person was seated in a chair and, powered by the evil spirit, was able to levitate with the chair and proceed down the hall.
In our story starter, our little girl’s family never saw the need to bless their house with exorcised salt and water before moving in. When it became clear that the little girl was possessed, her mum never sought help but encouraged her to keep playing with the Ouija Board and speaking with spirits of the dead… They made too many mistakes…
– It’s not wise to be too curious about evil realities. This can lead to demonic obsession, affliction and possession.
– We must strive to end the reign of sin and evil in our lives, by meditating on God’s word, and refusing sexual perversions of any kind, and discouraging violent crimes like jungle justice and wilful murder.
– We must not fail to constantly bless spaces and objects we intend to use at all times.
– We must make use of the sacraments (especially penance and the Holy Eucharist) and sacramentals (like blessed rosaries and holy water).
– When faced with revelations from those who claim to be seers, visionaries and prophets, we must recall the admonition of 1 John 4:1 which says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
– It’s important to wait on God for answers to our daily challenges rather than trust dreams, fortune tellers, and sorcerers.
– We must refrain from making blood covenants and dedicating ourselves and others to evil altars.
– Above all, we must know that the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat, and STAND UP to him STRONG IN FAITH (1 Pet.5:8-9).
God bless us all!