OVERCOMING THE DEVIL
THE POWER OF HOLY WATER
From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.
"From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed."
"One night, too, about this time, I thought the devils were stifling me; and when the nuns had sprinkled a great deal of holy water about I saw a huge crowd of them running away as quickly as though they were about to fling themselves down a steep place."
"I will only describe something that happened to me one night on All Souls. I was in an oratory: I had said one nocturn and was repeating some very devotional prayers which follow it -- they are extremely devotional: we have them in our office-book -- when actually the devil himself alighted on the book, to prevent me from finishing the prayer. I made the sign of the Cross and he went away. I then began again and he came back. I think I began that prayer three times and not until I had sprinkled some holy water on him could I finish it. At the same moment I saw several souls coming out of purgatory: their time there must have been nearly up and I thought that perhaps the devil was trying to impede their deliverance."
|"That evening they brought him
many who were possessed by devils. He drove out the spirits with a command and cured
all who were sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
"Away with you, Satan! For scripture says:
Matthew 3: 10
Who should do Exorcisms
Roman Ritual of Exorcism
Father Malachi Martin and the Roman Ritual of Exorcism (External Link)
Movie Review: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Saint Teresa of Avila's Teachings on the Devil
Saint John of the Cross's Teaching on the Devil
Saint Louis De Montfort comments on the Devil
The fall of the angels (seen in vision by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich)
Saint Faustina's Kowalska's comments on the Devil
Saints who saw demons
Hell, what will Hell like (St Thomas Aquinas)
Excerpt of the Vatican Revised Rite of Exorcism (catholicculture.org)
The following is a simple exorcism prayer that can be said by priests or laity. The term "exorcism" does NOT always denote a solemn exorcism involving a person possessed by the devil. In general, the term denotes prayers to "curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm." As St. Peter had written in Holy Scripture, "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour." (I.St.Peter V,8)
PRAYER AGAINST SATAN and THE REBELLIOUS ANGELS
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF H.H. POPE LEO XIII
The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (an official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with a Bishop's permission.
[Make the sign of the cross.] In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in "our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph., VI,12). Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven. Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of "the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan", bind him that he may no longer seduce the nations" (Apoc. XX,2).
In the Name of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints. (and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry)*, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.
* Lay people omit the parenthesis above.
PSALM 67: God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies.
R. He has conquered, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the offspring of David.
V. May thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in Thee.
[The crosses below indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made silently by that person.]
We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects; in the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ,+ may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb. + Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God's elect and sift them as wheat.+ The Most High God commands you,+ He with whom, in your great insolence, you still claim to be equal; "He who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim., II,4). God the Father commands you. + God the Son commands you. + God the Holy Ghost commands you. + Christ, God's Word made flesh, commands you; + He who to save our race outdone through your envy, "humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death" (Phil.,II,8); He who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He will dwell with Her "all days even to the end of the world" (Mat.,XXVIII,20). The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you, + as does also the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith. + The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you. + The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you. +
Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, + by the true the holy God, + by the God "who so loved the world that He gave up His only Son, that every soul believing in Him might not perish but have life everlasting" (St.John,III); stop deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation; stop harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Begone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation. Give place to Christ in whom you have found none of your works; give place to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and terrible Name of Jesus, this Name which causes hell to tremble, this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of Heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Armies.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. May the Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. - God of heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness; deign, O Lord, to grant us Thy powerful protection and to keep us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord.
That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou may crush down all enemies of Thy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.
(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we my be.)
Imprimatur: +Henri, O.M.I.
Vicar Apostolic of James Bay - Aug. 15, 1967
Source: The Catholic Dispatch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WHO SHOULD DO EXORCISMS:
Exorcisms should only be done through the ministry of trained and very prayerful Christians. In the Catholic Church the local Bishop must give permission to a specially trained priest before an exorcism may be attempted. Because of the great power and deceptiveness of the devil, lay people who have attempted exorcisms have been physically beaten up and spiritually discombobulated when they have attempted exorcisms without the guidance of a specially trained exorcist.
From the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, vs. 11-17:
"So remarkable were the miracles worked by God at Paul's hands that handkerchiefs or aprons which had touched him were taken to the sick, and they were cured of their illnesses, and the evil spirits came out ot them.
But some itinerant Jewish exorcists too tried pronouncing the name of the Lord Jesus over people who were possessed by evil spirits; they used to say, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whose spokesman is Paul.' Among those who did this were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest. The evil spirit replied, 'Jesus I recognise, and Paul I know, but who are you?' and the man with the evil spirit hurled himself at them and overpowered first one and then another, and handled them so violently that they fled from that house stripped of clothing and badly mauled. Everybody in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, heard about this episode; everyone was filled with awe, and the name of the Lord Jesus came to be held in great honour."
From Saint John of the Cross concerning the devil: The prophet Job said concerning the devil, that there is no power on earth comparable to that of the devil, who was made to fear no one (Job 41:24), that no human strength is comparable to his. Only the divine power is sufficient to conquer him and only the divine light can understand his wiles:
The Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 3, lines 11-12.
A book that covers the subject of Exorcism with five actual cases of exorcisms in which
the demons were successfully cast out of five individuals through the ministry of five
different trained Catholic priests: HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL, by
Catholic theologian, Malachi Martin. The book gives detailed information on
the background of the possessed people and about how they got that way and what it took
for God and the priests to deliver them from this great evil. Available from: Leaflet Missal Company (www.leafletmissal.org)
ROMAN RITUAL OF EXORCISM
OF SAINT TERESA OF AVILA
REGARDING THE DEVIL
(From the Book: Spiritual Direction & Spiritual Directors)
DEVIL: Evolving Perspectives on the Devil Throughout
Teresa early on in her spiritual development underwent a considerable transformation as regards the devils as enemies of the soul, for example:
In Her Early Life
"Those whom they fear - and it is right they fear and always ask the Lord to be freed from them - are the traitorous enemies, the devils who transfigure themselves into angels of light who are disguised. Not until they have done much harm to the soul do they allow themselves to be recognized. They suck our blood and destroy our virtues and we go about in the midst of the same temptation but do not know it." (ST.TERESA OF AVILA, Vol. II; p. 195)
Later in Her Life
I'm sick and tired of those people who go about saying: 'The devil, the devil, the devil,' when instead they should be saying 'God, God, God'. I fear these kinds of persons more than the devil himself." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. I; p. 13 and p. 170)
DEVIL: His Machinations as Regards Penance
"He tempts us in regard to excessive penances so that we might think we are more penitential than others and are doing something." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; p. 190)
DEVIL: Bristle and Fine Thread of Lies
Technique Which He Employs
"Beware, for the devil, through very small things drills holes through which very large things enter." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. III; p. 279)
DEVIL: On a Leash Held Firmly Under the Control of the Hand of God
Teresa observed from her own spiritual life experience that "the Lord, it seems, gives the devil license so that the soul might be tried and even made to think that it is rejected by God." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol II; p. 364)
DEVIL: Characteristic of His Effect Upon the Soul
"The devil can give the savor and delight that seem to be spiritual, but he doesn' t have the power to join pain - and so much of it - to the spiritual quiet and delight of the soul. For all of his powers are on the outside, and the pains he causes are never in my opinion, delightful or peaceful but disturbing and contentious. Thus, the devil has to get at the soul from outside of the soul since only God occupies the soul." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. IIp. 369)
DEVIL: His Shifting Tactics
"The devil has a good means of making us squander our thoughts on trifles. When he sees that one has no fear of him, he looks for other devices." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. Ill; p. 194)
DEVIL: His Cunning in Exploiting Us
Teresa, while keeping the powers of the devil to attack the soul in clear perspective, cautions her nuns: "The devil needs nothing more than to see a little door open before playing a thousand tricks." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; p. 416)
DEVIL: Serving God, the Soul Need Fear Neither Sin of Human Nature
(From Our Own Soul), Nor That Temptation to Sin Offered to Us by the Devil.
When Teresa speaks so unsparingly of the devil, one thinks as one reads her remarks. Is there here nothing more than a popular personification of the forces of evil? The difficulty lies in discerning what precisely comes from the human realm and what from that superhuman realm of principalities and powers. The essential point is that through Jesus Christ she feels liberated, free of all worries about all interference coming from either human or demonic powers, and in her efforts to serve Jesus she discovers that in the end He is always victorious, never fails those who seek to serve Him. (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. III; p. 13)
DEVIL: A Healthy Perspective
Teresa developed a healthy perspective as regards the devil, although alert to his powers and potential to attack, she stressed instead concentrating on thinking of Jesus instead of an unhealthy, wasteful, concentration on the devil. She summed it up very aptly in saying:"I get sick and tired of those people who keep saying, 'the devil, the devil, the devil' when they could instead by saying 'God, God, God.' She also stated that she feared much more the people who talked too much about the devil, than the devil himself." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. I; p. 13 and p. 170.)
DEVIL: A Source of Some Bodily Disorders
Teresa indicated a number of times that "in her experience in the religious community and outside of it that certain bodily disorders were definitely caused by the devil." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. I; p.213)
DEVIL: Most Effective Weapon Against Him
"It is necessary to be careful and awake in everything for he does not sleep. There is no better remedy than prayer." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol II; p. 68)
DEVIL: Our Health, Fear can be Useless
"If the devil begins to frighten us about losing our health, we shall never do anything." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; p. 79)
DEVIL: Physical Pain
"He can easily make one imagine non-existent pains" (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol II; p.85)
DEVIL: Taking Revenge Upon Him
"If you wish to take revenge on the devil and free yourself from his wiles, double your willingness to do things contrary to your nature which inclines towards self-love." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; p. 84)
DEVIL: Importance of Determination in Loving God
"He is extremely afraid of determined souls for he has experienced the great harm they can do. I know this well through experience." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; pp. 126-127)
DEVIL: Example of His Wiles
"The way the devil can do a great deal of harm without our realizing it is to make us believe we have virtues when we do not." (ST. TERESA OF AVILA,Vol. II; p. 186)
DEVIL: His Deceptions
"The devil could deceive one with respect to the spiritual delights given by God if there were no temptations, and do much more harm than when temptations are felt."
DEVIL: Power to Produce a Vision
"It is true that the devil can present a vision to the soul awake or asleep, but not with the truth and majesty of those produced by God. In other words, his are clearly counterfeits. If the vision is from the devil he will soon show a sign, and will be caught in a thousand lies. If the confessor has the ability to understand this he will give the proper spiritual direction accordingly."(ST. TERESA OF AVILA, Vol.II; p.232)
SAINT JOHN OF
HIS REFERENCES TO THE DEVIL:
1. The prophet Job said concerning the devil, that there is no power on earth comparable to that of the devil, who was made to fear no one (Job 41:24), that no human strength is comparable to his. Only the divine power is sufficient to conquer him and only the divine light can understand his wiles: The Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 3, lines 11-12.
2. Seeking out communications from God. Why God does not like it when people seek out special communications, such as prophecy or visions from Him. How the devil will deceive people when they seek out special communications from God: The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Second Book, Chapter 21, line 7.3. How the devil deceives souls who have had communications from God or from the devil to lead souls into the sin of pride: The Dark Night, Book 2, Chapter 2, lines 3-4.
4. That the devil will use supernatural phenomena with physical images, such as images of Saints, to deceive a Christian: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book III, Chapter 37.
5. The Devil's attacks the soul through it faculties, its knowledge and its
memory. "If the memory is annihilated concerning this knowledge, the devil is
powerless. For he finds no means of getting his grip on the soul, and
consequently can do nothing."
The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book III, Chapter 4.
6. The purification of Sensory Night. The attacks of the evil spirits of fornication, of blasphemy and the loathsome spirit(spiritus vertiginus). The Dark Night, Book I, Chapter 14.
7. The difference between God's visions and the devil's visions: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book II,Chapter 24, lines 7-10
8. The devil's great ability to deceive human beings and his great knowledge of the earth and future events: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book II, Chapter 21, Lines 7-13
9. Spiritual Lust & impure thoughts from the devil.
The Dark Night of the Soul,
Book I, Chapter 4, line 3.
Saint Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and wills to Jesus and Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able to soar toward God. See Saint Louis's book True Devotion To Mary. Saint Louis warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of saints:
Because the devils, who are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us. They watch day and night for the favorable moment. For that end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, by a sin, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years. Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness! Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace. It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they had but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on herself to preserve it for them. (Part One, Chapter 2, #88.) See Saint Louis's book: True Devotion To Mary.