Wednesday 29 April 2015

Musings of a two-year old Dominican exorcist

Whenever a difficult case is assigned to me, I would often jokingly tell Fr. Jocis and the team "I did not sign up for this." And they would respond: "We too." Then we would all laugh to our hearts content. But honestly, as a young dominican and later a priest, this part of the dominican and priestly ministry was never discussed to us. In fact even during our theological formation no one among our professors presented this in the classroom nor in informal talks and discussions. Back then I wanted to understand about the reality of evil spirits and how they affect us, and how the Catholic Church deals with cases involving them. Unfortunately, except for that small gesture of tracing on the forehead of a child to be baptized the sign of the cross in what seemed to be an exorcistic gesture, and the renunciation of the Devil and all his works prior to the profession of faith and reception of baptism, nothing else would be discussed about the devil and his legions. My theory then was either it was a topic not worth discussing or that no one among my illustrious professors really thought about it. How I wished really now, looking back, that our professors would have discussed this topic of angels and demons and freedom in Christ at great length, if not in dogma, at least in Christian Spirituality. Had we the appropriate background, perhaps our view of the priestly ministry would be a lot different, allowing more priests to help those who are being afflicted by the evil one.

Now, I just shake my head in disapproval, whenever I hear some of my brother priests' fearful view of the ministry of spiritual liberation and exorcisms. They have so many pre-conceptions and misconceptions often based on what they remember they saw in horror movies like The Exorcist. I would immediately say to them: "Why do you allow your faith to be shaped by Hollywood?" For indeed their fear of encountering the devil to the point of "let us not discuss him or the ministry of spiritual liberation" undermine the very faith they profess, preach, and celebrate. How does really one understand the meaning of Jesus' words: "...[I]f it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you;"(Matthew 11:28) when the priests who preach the Gospel and who believe that their priesthood is an anointing from Christ to "preach the gospel to all creatures"(Mark 16:15), fail to minister to people who will come to them for spiritual solace because the evil one has taken hold of their life? I guess I would be accused of being overly simplistic, but I believe that if we had been properly taught angelology and demonology and the spiritual battle during our seminary years, things would be different. And if we had talks from priests who are involved in the charismatic renewal share their thoughts, insights on the deliverance and spiritual healing ministry, our horizons may have been more open.

It is for this reason that drove me to to include it as part of the course in "Creation and Christian Anthropology" when it was offered to me to teach it in 2009 at the Faculty of Sacred Theology of the University of Santo Tomas and later at the Graduate School of Theology at the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary. The joy of teaching the subject lies in seeing my students be intellectually transformed from fearful ones to interested students to enlightened ones. I have the happiness of seeing some of my students volunteer to assist me in the ministry whenever they are able. A dominican student brother in fact because of his involvement with the ministry as a volunteer decided to have for his licentiate in theology thesis topic "The Spirituality of the Exorcist".

However, I do understand the reluctance of many priests to be involved in the ministry of spiritual liberation and exorcism. If I had known from the very beginning exactly what the ministry would demand of me, I would probably have second thoughts on accepting it when Fr. Jocis Syquia came to my office one day to invite me to be part of their team. Had I known how much time and effort it would take to minister to simply one spiritually oppressed or possessed person; how in closing the spiritual openings of an afflicted person that allowed the evil one to have access to their life would also take me to discover and close my own openings; or how in encouraging a spiritually afflicted person to persevere in prayer and the practice of virtues, it would challenge me to do the same; or in telling the afflicted and their troubled families to have faith in God and hope in His mercy and love, I would be required to do the same in the face of the enemy; or that they need to have patience and trust in the Almighty even if they did everything asked of them and healing seems to be not yet within sight, I would also need to do the same when after following all the prescribed prayers and going over them over the afflicted several times nothing significant is happening; or that after being liberated they would need to be vigilant so that the evil one would not retaliate or return, I too need to be vigilant in own my life so that retaliations would have no effect on me and my loved ones; or that the afflicted would need to live in habitual sanctifying grace henceforth in order to prevent further attacks in the future, I too would need to strive to remain in the grace of the Almighty so that His protection over me would remain, for it is His love alone that shields me from the perilous attacks of the enemy. It is much simpler if priestly life is about celebrating the holy sacraments, teaching in a classroom, administering in an office, preaching a retreat, directing a few souls. These are important and one can truly be holy by being faithful to these apostolic works. But involvement in the ministry of spiritual liberation and exorcism goes well beyond these. 

Moreover, it is not about being passionate of anything one does nor of making it crusade-like. As one cannot simply say this is my apostolate or my ministry. Rather, it is allowing the Lord to really work beautifully and powerfully through this ministry, me who is most unworthy of all priests, to save souls from the clutches of the noon-day devil because this is intricately part of the  reasons I was ordained and why I am a dominican. As it is now with what the Lord taught me and shown me in this ministry for two years, I have embraced it as part of my being a son of St. Dominic, the Doctor of Truth and Preacher of Grace. St. Dominic de Guzman, my father in the Order of Preachers, when he saw the terrible effects of the Albigensian heresy over the Catholic populace of Southern France and how the Devil who is the father of all heresies is sending many souls to perdition, asked the Lord: "Lord, what would happen to the poor sinners?" Hence, he made it his life work to combat heresy with truth in charity through preaching and teaching. And when in the apostolic work of preaching or teaching, he encountered the devil obstructing the preaching of the Truth, he had no fear in casting him out. In fact he used such opportunities to show the Truth of the Catholic Faith, much as the Lord Jesus showed His listeners that indeed he speaks the Truth by showing His power against the unclean spirits.

In fact, I have come to look into the Dominican Shield as representing the Order's readiness to do battle with the evil one and its minions.  The clarity of the black and white speaks of the clearness of the Truth and the Catholic Faith it proclaims. The shield itself is an instrument of defense against the assaults and attacks of falsehood that the devil throws relentlessly like arrows. The Truth of the Cross is the ultimate weapon that vanquishes the enemy. To Praise God (Laudare) unites the Dominican to the ministry of the Holy Angels before the Most High, singing and glorifying His praises. To Bless (Benedicere) has a double action one that faces the Almighty, blessing His Holy Name, and the other facing the people, blessing them in the name of Him who has saved them from the evil one. To Preach (Praedicare) is the way by which the Order assaults the kingdom of lies, it proclaims Jesus and the Kingdom of God. And that star is the Son of God that shines and is never extinguished in the Order.

After two years in the ministry of spiritual liberation and exorcism, I have seen the reality of the evil one trying to frustrate any endeavor that would steal souls from him. However, it is indeed worthy of our human participation and effort to fight him, not through our human powers, but that of Christ through the Holy Spirit. I have witnessed the evil that the devil is able to do in the life of its victims. But I have seen the mercy, compassion, love, and power of the Most High who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have ascertained and validated the teachings of the Catholic Church in her fight against the evil one. And I would say indeed without doubt: Credo in unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam ecclesiam (I believe in one. holy, catholic, and apostolic Church). This is indeed the Church founded on the rock of the faith of Peter in the Son of God, where the gates of hell shall not prevail.

These are teh fine prints indeed in being a dominican and a priest. However, I have to say with St. James: "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12) And again as St. Paul would eloquently say: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him--" (1 Corinthians 2:9).


Sunday 26 April 2015

CASE STORY: The dangers of playing with spirits

Way back in 1995 when I was just a few months old in the holy priesthood, I was the vicar of Santo Domingo Parish in Quezon City. In one sleepy Saturday afternoon, there was a sudden rush of people to the church because of a case of five children from nearby Tatalon area allegedly being possessed by unclean spirits. By a strange plan of the Almighty, I happened to be in the parish office and members of the family of the victims came asking for help. I told them to bring the children to the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary. They said they already did and the children are there screaming and convulsing. I was terrified of that situation back then. I simply did not know exactly what to do. I went back to the convent to see if there would be any senior priest who could help or instruct me on how to deal with this crisis. Fortunately, the Father Provincial then, Fr. Quirico Pedregosa Jr, OP, was in the snacks room. I knew he is involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Ministry and indeed his presence was certainly God-sent. I narrated to him the story while we both audibly hear the commotion in the church. I was hoping and praying that he would tell me that he would take care of it and spare me of the horror. But he did not. He simply told me to respond to it. I told him, "Father, how could I?" I wanted to vehemently protest that I am simply a neophyte priest, without any training or real experience on this matter. However, Father Provincial's response struck a chord in me. He said: "Your are a priest now. Remember that." I was petrified at first at his answer and took me a few seconds before I realized what he was saying. I passed by the view deck of the church located on the second floor of the convent to see the people at the side chapel where they brought the children. I saw the victims foaming at the mouth, cursing, convulsing. Their relatives where all crying. One asked: "Nasaan na ang pari?" (Where is the priest?). I recognized the man who approached me at the office, he was the one who responded: "Parating na." (He will be here.)

If only I could simply wake from this horrible daydream. But it was not a dream. I looked at the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila and I uttered a prayer. I told her: "Blessed Mother, please do not abandon me. I am a miserable sinner. I am no one. Please help me." With that, I went to my room, donned my Dominican habit and proceeded to meet the people. When I opened the gate going to the ground floor nearest the chapel area, I could hear the children shrieking in terror all the more. My heart was beating so fast, I wondered whether there was blood really pumping in my veins and arteries as I felt at the same time clammy and cold. When the people saw me, one shouted: "Andito na si Father!" (Father is here). I did not minister to the children at the side chapel of Our Lady as there were so many people around including tabloid reporters. I told the parents: "Bring them to me at the back-altar." And they followed. People accompanied them. There were curious lookers, and yes there were the reporters. I motioned the sacristan to lead the parents and the children to the baptistry area and bring me holy water. A handful of burly men helped carry the children to the place. According to those who carried the children, they were uncontrollable as they seem to possess extraordinary strength beyond their age.
I pleaded with the reporters to give the children and parents some privacy and allow me to pray and help them. But they insisted. I then have to strongly say no. But they countered that people have the right to know about these things. So I bargained in these words: "Do you know the gospel story where the Lord Jesus sent the legion of demons from a demoniac to a herd of swine?" They responded: "Yes!" So I added: "Then that is what I am going to do. Since you insist on knowing if the demons indeed possessed the children or they are simply delusional, I will send the demons to you." Of which they cried out: "No, Father. Please don't." Sensing their apprehension I then said: "Go away then. And allow me to minister to them in prayer." They left albeit grudgingly.
I went to the children who were still convulsing and foaming at the mouth, screaming, and pale ashen-faced. I faced the big crucifix and prayed in silence from my heart. "Lord, please heal these children. Rebuke the unclean spirit and cast them away. Glorify your name in them O Lord Jesus." Then I faced the children. I took hold of the holy water aspergillum from the sacristan, and while sprinkling holy water on them, I said in a commanding voice: "Unclean spirit, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command you to leave these children immediately and never return to them." We heard a final shriek and then all the children fainted. In a few minutes color returned to their faces and they woke up all well. I called each one of them and as they made their confessions and I them gave them the sacramental absolution. Afterwards, I blessed them and their parents and warned them never to play with the occult again.
What happened exactly to these kids? The children ages 6-12 were a mixture of siblings and cousins. They played with the spirit of the glass using makeshift paperboard patterned after the now common ouija board. It was supposed to be all for fun at first and they were amused that the glass was moving. Believing that they were able to control the spirit that they conjured, they called on it several times in succession for a number of days. On that afternoon that they were possessed, they played with it for the last time. When they were about to release the spirit in a ritual that they themselves concocted, the spirit refused to leave but continued on tracing words on the board. According to the kids themselves, the spirit traced on the board the words: "Di na ko alis. Sama na ko inyo lagi nyo kong tawag." (I am no longer leaving. I will join you because you always summon me.) Terrified with what they read, they simply flipped the glass, thinking that the spirit will just vanish and leave them alone. However, it did not leave but entered the most vulnerable among them --the six your old boy. They said that the boy entered the house as if in a trance, and got a big kitchen knife with which he attempted to hurt his companions. The other four kids ran in terror but the young boy was stronger and faster than them. When the adults saw what was happening they all took hold of the horrified kids hoping to get an explanation. But once the adults took hold of all five of them, all of them entered into a trance-like state and exhibited the symptoms that made the parents bring them to Santo Domingo Church.
1. No matter what spirit questors say, spirits cannot be controlled nor contained. Only the Almighty God has the power to control, contain, and cast them out in a real way.
2. These occult games like the spirit of the glass are very spiritually dangerous games. They open the player to very clear demonic influence and attack.
3. Every priest by virtue of the sacred ordination is given by Christ through the Church the authority to expel unclean spirits in emergency cases like this, all for the good and salvation of souls.

Friday 24 April 2015

CASE STORY: The Price of Treachery

In Dante's Inferno, the deepest recesses of hell is reserved to those who committed treachery. In that level, Lucifer dwells for he is the first of all traitors, who broke his fidelity to God and established his own rule. Hence, he was banished from the divine presence. And in the many cases we have handled at AMOE, it really seems that it is treachery against the innocents and the just or humble that is difficult to banish.

There was this case of a middle-aged married woman who requested help from AMOE because of frequent night terrors and manifestation of paranormal things like uncontrolled glossalalia or speaking in tongues, knowledge of hidden things, and extra-ordinary strength. AMOE diagnosed the case as that of possession and set up spiritual assignments for the afflicted.

As a brief background these are the entry ways of the unclean spirits in her life:

1. On the level of traumas and emotions
  • when she was still in the womb, the mother had the intention of pre-terminating the pregnancy because of the father's infidelity
  • the father had predilection of the daughter which the mother resented.
  • the daughter is closer to the father than the mother which the latter also feel bitter about.
  • the husband of the afflicted had an extra-marital affair with someone close to the family and therefore she felt strongly aggrieved by it.
2. On the spiritual level
  • the afflicted is a member of a "catholic" prayer community whose way of praying is suspiciously unorthodox
  • the group is encouraged to serve as a medium to the various "saintly" spirits that they call upon during their prayer sessions. The afflicted has in many instances served as a medium to a spirit that calls itself the Virgin Mary.
  • the afflicted as part of the prayer group habitually speak in tongues but would do it non-stop and even in those moments that silence is needed. If she is corrected and asked to stop she would lambast the fellow member and scold them with sharp words for hampering the flow of the Holy Spirit
  • because of this so-called gift of tongues and knowledge of hidden things which she equates with the gift of prophecy, as well as serving as a medium to the saints, the afflicted feels she is superior to the others in the group who do not have them.
During the pray-overs the reaction of the afflicted was typical of a possession we have encountered in other cases --screaming, using cuss words and cursing. While in trance state the afflicted knows what is being done to her even though her eyes were closed. She correctly predicted what Fr. Jocis was about to do. I was the one praying for her, but Fr. Jocis and the other lay-volunteers were applying sacramentals on some parts of the body. She accused her husband, who was with her during the pray-overs, with infidelity. She would speak in tongues while I was saying the prayers. The words were unintelligible to us and hence was simply distracting. She then would accuse herself with some sins. I commanded her to be silent. And she responded nonchalantly: "Okay." She would stick her tongue in-and-out and hiss like a snake. Although one of the lay-volunteers was restraining her, it was clear that although she was seated her body movement was slithering. At many instances she threw up foamy thick liquid but they were just minor ones, nothing major. The prayer lasted for more than two hours but nothing much was accomplished. Something was holding her up, or holding the demon in her life.

During the discernment period, the lay volunteers who were given the gift of discernment of spirits during the pray-over were all unanimous in describing that they saw a woman controlling her. We initially thought that perhaps it was the mother. And so we instructed her to pray for her mom and offer a prayer of forgiveness for her. We also instructed her to stop going to the prayer group she used to belong to as it was pretty clear to us that part of her spiritual opening to the demonic came from that group. She promised she would not longer join them.

A few weeks after another pray-over was done. But it was pretty much like the first one. All the reactions were similar. It took us two hours of continuous prayer to get her out of a trance-state. There was something holding the demon it was clear. But what would it be? After the pray-over the second time around, she said she feels very light and relieved. We were glad that she was feeling better. But we in the team knew that we would need a few more sessions to fully root out the unclean spirit.

We have not heard much from her for a few months. But when an update came, it did not come from her but from somebody else close to her, we at AMOE were truly disappointed and sad. Apparently, she went back to her old pseudo-catholic prayer group. She was now the star of the group teaching them what we were doing, how we cast out unclean spirits, how do we counsel and what we counsel. This was a clear betrayal for us. We wanted to help her but she wanted fame and approval or recognition from her leader. Indeed she was possessed but now we knew who the woman was that the lay-volunteers saw during the discernment. It was their leader who wanted to know what we do so that she could boast that she is a better "exorcist" that the exorcist of AMOE. The leader knew that we have weakened the evil spirit, so she thought that when she would pray over her a prayer of deliverance, she would be able to cast it out. Then she would take the credit of being the one who liberated her.

But the Lord disappoints the intentions of foul and treacherous people. Just as He frustrated the ambitions of Lucifer. Nothing came out of the treachery except that she is now again possessed and in a pitiful state. She is sending signals to AMOE to pray-over her again. But she had to set her heart straight first. Her treachery is her undoing. May the Lord be merciful to her and her group.

VIDEO: Dante's "Inferno" (Animated Epic 2010)

Animated rendition of the classic tale of Dante's Inferno. Many moral and spiritual lessons to learn in this classic. Please watch in HD mode for greater appreciation of the details.

Thursday 23 April 2015

CASE STORY: A Gay Man's Story -- Overcoming Lust by Humility and God's Infinite Mercy

As human beings, we take lust for granted as something that simply is ingrained in our nature. It seems like a sleeping giant where during childhood years, there is very little malice in our hearts. In the Philippines it is all to common specially in rural areas to see children swimming in the nearby bond, river, lake, sea, or water falls without any clothes on. Adults do not mind, we consider it normal. But when puberty kicks in suddenly the changes in the body also trigger changes in the mind, and seemingly in the soul as well. It is all too evident that it is in this period that starts for many their life-long battle to put their sexual urges, desires, lustful thoughts at bay and within control of one's rationality. However, what happens when one just simply surrenders and gives in? What happens when one considers lust as simply inherent and therefore the only normal way to live is to simply give in to every sexual craving? After all this is what is often seen on television, movies, the internet, in every advertisements --Lust and Sex Sells.

There is this case that was brought to AMOE of a young adult male who was so immersed in the gay-lifestyle. His sexual awakening started with what would practically be common among teenagers at the age of 13, he was taught the "M" word by his peers. At first he was so filled with guilt for what he has done, until he was told by adults and peers that it was normal and nothing to worry about. Soon he explored various ways of doing it, becoming a thrill seeker when it comes to sex. There was no longer any qualm in his mind, no guilt. He then started to fuel his lust with porn especially through the internet. Still in his teen years, he experimented with same-sex genital relationships devoid of any human affection except just to satisfy cravings. He liked it and considered it simply as "playing". He became immersed into the life-style of going to places that gay men frequented for casual sexual encounters. He experimented also with alcohol and drugs to heighten the experience. And he seemed to be enjoying all of it. When he reached his twenties he had already so many sexual partners most of whom were simply one-night stands. He was never successful in monogamous and life-long partnerships or real friendships because the desire for something different, something more intense became the moving factor of his daily life. He allowed himself to be bought for sex, and he himself has bought men for sex. Love and Sex were equated, as one always requires the other for him. He explored the occult and satanic practices as these are based on giving free reign to the flesh. He went into satanic worship not so much as worshiping the devil but in the sensation that he gets from the orgies that accompany them. The desires of the flesh for him had no end, he lived for pleasure and pleasure alone.

Things turned sour when dreams became nightmares and nightmares turned into night terrors. The night terrors prevented him from sleeping because whenever he closed his eyes in the night he started to hear vile voices, and non-stop lustful images even when he sorely wanted to sleep. Even when there was no more energy in him the images and voices kept coming in. What made him terrified was the image and thought that the greatest pleasure was to be found in death. In his dreams he saw vivid images of hell and ghastly creatures doing unthinkable things to men and women who lived uncontrolled lustful passions. What he saw was the souls begging for mercy to stop the lascivious actions being done by their evil tormentors. But the demons would not stop. Then a ghoulish demon approached him and told him he will be next. And he would awaken terrified. This night terror would repeat itself over and over again every time he would close his eyes even during daytime, such that he would fear even closing his eyes. He wanted to pray but every time he would attempt to lustful thoughts would enter his head. He could not concentrate nor focus. He could not even enter and stay inside a church to pray because he sees around him images of lasciviousness. He will see a young man in church and his thoughts would already generate erotic thoughts. His body would come into a state of arousal that it was impossible to pray at all. The only way to get out of such a state was to get out of the church. But it would not be long that he would act out again his desires. There was simply no stopping him. He would even involve himself into dangerous actions and sexual encounters just to please the flesh. He was getting tired of it and his body sore. When he was most down and in despair, he cried to the Lord to have pity on him. But the Lord seemed to be quiet.

He attempted to enter an adoration chapel, but every time he would, he would be overcome by wanton desires again. He finally decided to fight this off and forced himself to stay in the adoration chapel first in as little as a few minutes gradually staying to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. Somehow by persevering and determination he could find peace in the chapel. But the moment he steps out he again would be attacked by intense feelings of lust. He thought that he needed help as this was affecting now his work, and life. It seems that he was no longer in control of himself when it comes to lustful feelings and thoughts. He was being forced fed with it and brought to places he has gone before and doing things he used to do but he was no longer having any enjoyment with it. He finally realized he was a slave to the flesh and whatever unclean spirit that generates it.

He approached AMOE for help. And the lay-volunteer who took his case interviewed him. During the interview, the young man started to have convulsions and tremors, then entered into a trance-like state. A prayer of liberation done by the priest in the office brought him back to his senses. It became clear then that the person is being attacked by an unclean spirit because of his desire to be rid of the vice of lust. The lay-volunteer recommended to him that he undergo a deep conversion and change in life if he really would like to be healed. He had to renounce all the evil things he has done, and make an integral a confession as much as possible. He needed to mortify his senses, do penance, to fast, and pray. He needed to meditate on God's words, attend Holy Mass, and receive holy communion daily. There can never be any reason whatsoever to excuse himself from not doing the spiritual assignments. No headache, no nausea, should prevent him from doing them.

It was to be expected that the spiritual assignments would be a difficult hill-climb for the young man. But he had to undergo this to show the sincerity of his intent. The only way to overcome vice is through the practice of virtue. And since he was deeply enmeshed in "unchastity", developing the contrary virtue will indeed be very radical. And since it was clear that an unclean spirit is preventing him from undergoing this conversion, he had to develop the will to humble himself before God and ask for help to be rid of this evil. At this point it was clear to AMOE that we are dealing with OBSESSION in this case. The attacks are mostly attacks in the mind, compulsive and obsessive behavior attached to lust. Perhaps the evil one did not see the need to vexed the young man or to possess him as the sinful behavior in itself placed him within the dominion of evil. The unrepented sins, all of them grave ranging from sexual sins to sexual perversity aggravated by substance abuse and idolatrous worship, can already lead to eternal damnation. But the mercy of God was truly extended to him as his recognition of his sinfulness came early in his adult life. Had it come in midlife or senior years, the attack would be more than obsession.

The young man however did not complain of the assignments given him. In fact, he had done more. He was so intent of changing the direction of his life that he had humbled himself before God in true repentance and sorrow for living a life unworthy of the grace given him in baptism. Indeed this was the prodigal son story all over again. He stopped altogether his gay lifestyle and cut all ties with spiritually dangerous friends, acquaintances, places, and occasions. He made it a point to dress properly and modestly. He frequented the sacraments of the eucharist and reconciliation. He has prepared himself to receive as well the sacrament of confirmation. He likewise reconciled himself with his family which he estranged from himself as they would not approve of his life-style. He fed his soul with spiritual readings and familiarized himself with the teachings of the Catholic Church especially regarding homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and homosexual behavior. He accepted those teachings and began patterning his life according to those teachings. Moreover, he developed a devotion to Our Lady and her rosary and begged her to help him, to put him under her mantle of maternal love and protection as he totally surrenders himself to God.

Perhaps it was because of this sincere conversion of heart and life that when the day came for me to pray-over him, there were no fireworks at all. At a certain point during the prayers, copious tears just flowed from his closed eyes. After the pray-over which lasted for more than an hour, I asked the young man what he remembered. He said he was aware of the prayers I was saying until he started to see gruesome images of his previous deeds, as if his whole life was shown to him. He then saw faces of people, men whom he remembered to have been his sexual partners. Afterwards, they transformed into hideous looking creatures. He understood them to be demons at that moment and his was terrified. Because every time he would have relations with them it seemed that they were carrying a part of his soul with them to hell. He saw his soul in taters and being shredded into pieces. Then at one point he saw these repulsive creatures come together to become one big dreadful demon. This demon then forces itself to him in a carnal relation while at the same time eating him alive. He begged for mercy to Our Blessed Lady to help him as he has no one to turn to.

The miracle of healing and spiritual liberation came when a bright light, brighter than anything else came out of nowhere. He described the light as soothing, warm, and brings with it a serene feeling of being truly loved. His feeling of terror now was transformed into joy and gratitude. The demon vanished in great fear when the light came. In the light was a very beautiful woman full of love and kindness. He knew that it was Our Lady. She came to save him from the clutches of the Evil One.

While recounting this story, the young man was still crying. He could not help himself. There was so much wonderful emotion in him he could not control it. He said, how a big fool he was from looking at love in the wrong places and not finding it substituted something a lot less. And by doing so, he gave the devil dominion over his life.  Why did he not see it before? He blinded himself with carnal pleasure, he said to himself. Now he could see how spiritually depraved he was. How wonderful and merciful God is to him? How privileged he was that the Mother of the Lord came to rescue him when he was at that point of being dragged down to hell alive.

I told him to consecrate himself right there and there to Our Blessed Lady. I gave him a prayer of consecration, he went down on his knees and prayed with fervor. He was still crying doing this and in every verse, I heard him say: "Thank you Lord. Thank you Mother Mary."

He left the adoration chapel a new person. He learned his lesson about sin, about death, about the devil. Never again he said would he allow himself to be deceived by them. He saw God's mercy and how immense it is, that he a miserable sinner was saved by Him. He promised himself that he would never throw away grace again but rather treasure it forever.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

CASE STORY: The demon that hated the Resurrection

Last Saturday in the Octave of Easter, I experienced the power of the Risen Lord over a person possessed by an unclean spirit. This was the third time that I ministered to the person. Prior to the pray-over, I celebrated Holy Mass and beseeched the Lord to make manifest to us the grandeur of the triumph of His resurrection over the evil one.

I began the pray-over with the anointing of the oil of catechumens, followed by a Litany to the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. As we already have a name of the major demon involved in this case which was extracted in the first two earlier sessions with the afflicted, the team agreed to seek the intercession of the holy archangels in combating this ancient foe. During the pray-over, it did not take long that the demon manifested itself, as the spiritually afflicted started to react with a series of coughing at first mild then becoming heavier and heavier. When it came to the part of the prayer that commands (Praecipio) the unclean spirit to give its name, it did not respond immediately. This was to be expected. So I immediately proceeded to read the part of the gospel according to Mark 16:15-18. During the reading of the Gospel, it was very clear that the unclean spirit was agitated. Was it perhaps because it speaks about the power given by Christ to those who will believe in His name?

I knew from previous experiences that if an unclean spirit reacts immediately, it meant it is already sorely vexed as an effect of the previous exorcisms and the intense prayer life of the spiritually afflicted, so much so that an additional powerful exorcism prayer would be a heavy blow to its stronghold. I did not return immediately to the Praecipio prayer, but instead begged the Blessed Mother for assistance as we prayed aloud the August Queen of the Angels. The prayer did not elicit any violent reaction from the demon, until the part that we added the words Hallelujah at the end of the prayer. During Eastertide, the Hallelujah is added to prayers as a sign of rejoicing. When the Hallelujah was said the demon suddenly said in a loud voice: "No!" I followed the prayer with the verse: "Deign that we may praise you O Sacred Virgin, Hallelujah!" And immediately the demon screamed: "No!" But that was drowned by the response of the team: "And give us strength against your enemies, Hallelujah!" Again the demon screamed: "No!" I was wondering whether it was reacting to the prayer to Our Lady or to the Hallelujah? Perhaps both.

I proceeded immediately to the Praecipio prayer. I wanted to test my theory on whether the demon was reacting to the news of the resurrection, so when it came to that part of "...ut per mysteria incarnationis, passionis, resurrectionis, et ascentionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi,..."  I deliberately toned down my voice on the incarnationis (incarnation) and passionis (passion) and there was not significant reaction on the part of the unclean spirit. When it came to the resurrectionis (resurrection) word, I upped my voice in a confident and triumphant tone. And there the demon reacted vehemently: "Nooooo!" I repeated the word three times and it was very evident that the unclean spirit was very much vexed. When I reached the part of "dicas mihi nomen tuum" (tell me your name), it immediately answered: "Asmodeo" (Asmodeus). It was the same name it gave in the earlier exorcism sessions. But when I asked it: "diem, et horam exitus tui" (day and time of your departure); it answered: "Never!" I repeated the Praecipio prayer a couple of times more in the manner I did earlier and I received the same reaction and answer.
Artist's conception of the demon Asmodeus

Now certain of its identity, I went to pray the Exorcism Prayer I: "Exorcizo, te, Asmode, immundisime spiritus,..." (I cast you out, Asmodeus, you unclean spirit...).  Armed with the thought that it is sorely oppressed by the news of the resurrection of Christ, I capitalized on it each time I would mention the name of Christ. I would address Christ as the Risen Christ. Hence, when it came to the line: "in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi eradicare, et effugare ab hoc plasmate Dei." (In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, depart and vanish from this creature of God.) and also "quid stas, et resistis, cum scias, Christum Dominum via tuas perdere?" (Why do you tarry by resisting, when you know that Christ the Lord has brought your plans to nothing? I added resurrexit (risen) to Christ's name. As expected its reaction to the addition was immediate. It knew of its defeat in the resurrection. But its pride prevents it from surrendering immediately. I repeated those lines again and again but each time its answer was a defiant "No!" It threatened of killing me in the night but I did not listen nor feared him. I know very well he has no power over me. Everything is in the hands of the Heavenly Father.

Even in the supplication prayer, I never failed to add the word risen whenever the holy name of Jesus Christ is mentioned. I would say that I was amused as the demon would react with a grunt whenever that word was added; but each time it would react, it emboldened me all the more, for I am seeing the effect of the mystery of the resurrection of Christ in the pain the demon was experiencing. Why am I saying that it is specifically angry at the word risen when in fact the same prayer without the word is used everytime in a solemn exorcism? This demon Asmodeus is not unfamiliar to us we have encountered him many times over but it does not react immediately this way. In the succeeding exorcism prayers I made sure to add the title risen to the Savior's name and emphasized them repeatedly. But each time the defiance was evidently becoming weaker.

At one point in the Exorcism Prayer II, when I was saying the words: "contremisce, et effuge, invocato nomine Domini illius, quem inferi tremunt: cui Virtutes caelorum, et Potestates, et Dominationes subjectae sunt: quem Cherubim et Seraphim indefessis vocibus laudant, dicentes: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth... (Quake and fly afar, as we call upon the name of the Lord, before Whom hell trembles, to Whom the heavenly Virtues and Powers and Dominations are subject, Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim praise with unending voice as they sing: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!) The spiritually afflicted was moving its bowed head left to right in the manner of saying no. The demon was saying: "Stop praying that!" But I continued repeating those lines and in fact asked the whole team to repeat with me the words: "Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory." We said the hymn of praise about seven times. And while the team was saying the hymn in unison and in clear confidence, I commanded the unclean spirit in these words: "Unclean spirit, Asmodeus, I command you in the name of Him who is the first-born among the dead (Colossians 1:18) and whose name is above every other name (Philippians 2:9), to worship  and glorify Him in the words that you used to sing unceasingly in His presence before your expulsion from heaven." It was defiant in its answer: "No!" However, I commanded it again: "Asmodeus, in the name of Him who crushed your proud head (Genesis 3:15) by His resurrection from the dead, I command you to worship Him!" With a rebellious voice it responded: "Never!" So I continued: "Asmodeus, the Risen Lord Jesus has forever destroyed your dominion! You are completely under His power and authority! Worship Him!" And the spiritually afflicted bellowed out loud: "Aaaaaaaah!" And started to vomit so a large amount of frotty liquid. With this we knew that we have unshackled the victim from the demon.

I continued with all the exorcism prayers one after the other and the vomiting did not stop either. It was clear to us that the demon was no longer resisting as it was not talking or saying something. The afflicted was just expelling and expelling frotty liquid. I must have finished about six exorcism prayers, five from the Roman Ritual and one from the Eastern Catholic Exorcism Prayers until the afflicted stopped vomiting and there was no longer any reaction to the prayers.

I called the team for a moment of discernment and we left the client in the chapel. I asked him to pray and express gratitude to the Lord for the spiritual liberation. During the discernment period, the members of the team all expressed what they felt and seen during the pray-over. They saw a big angry demon shaped like a monstrous black bat;  which disintegrated into small bats who lost its wings and fell to the ground and melted. Then they saw a big serpent whose body was being chopped during the prayers and those body parts were melting until they were no more. Then there was the bull that lost its horns and disappeared and a rooster that lost its legs and died These were all symbolic of the demon Asmodeus' defeat. I asked have we in God's mercy cast it out completely? And their answer was: "We did not see anything anymore after the first four exorcism prayers." I took that as a yes. And that the non-violent response of the spiritually afflicted to the prayers meant he has been spiritually liberated finally.

We went back to the adoration chapel and recounted our discernment with the client. I asked him how he is feeling. He said tired but very relieved and peaceful. There is no longer any pain in his chest, he said. And as he was praying alone, he was praising the Lord and he could say the divine praises now with devotion and no pressing feeling in his body. I prayed over him for the last time, the Infilling Prayer after Deliverance, and the Cleansing Prayer. I reminded him of his need to be truly converted and walk in the ways of the Lord to be truly liberated from the Evil One. I then told him to continually give praise to the Lord, after which I gave the Final Blessing.
That day was indeed a wonderful moment. We in the team saw with our own eyes the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind He has indeed become victor over sin, death, and the devil. Indeed how wonderful the words of the Te Deum referring to Christ's victory:
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free, you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Thursday 9 April 2015

CASE STORY: Clairvoyance and Divination different words but the same thing and the same demon

Not so long ago a case was referred to AMOE of three sisters who have been seeing spirits since they were young girls. All the while they thought that it was a normal thing. Whenever, they would tell people such as relatives or friends that they see spirits around, in the corner, in a room, or anywhere else, these would always react in a negative way and in fear. But they would tell them that this spirit is kind because it is smiling, or whatever. They would also relate if the spirits seems to be bad because of the way it manifests itself. But no one wanted to hear about it. They soon realized that the ability they had is not typical of others. Some people have them, others don't. 

As they were growing up they learned to use the power to their advantage and developed a sense of pride of being different and gifted because there are people who tell them that it is a gift. Convinced that it was indeed a gift, they sharpened the ability even further. Enjoying the power that they had, they started talking to the spirits and making friends with them. They started to do spells as well. The spirits taught them how to do spells, identified to them who are their real friends and who are their enemies. What is ironical is externally and even internally they are devout Catholics. Little did they know that their power is not a gift from God but elsewhere. They claim that they are able to help lost souls by talking to them and leading them to the light.

Picture borrowed from
All that "gift" thing view started to change in the middle of their adult life, when eerie things began happening at a very fast paced in their family. The mother suddenly during a trip overseas entered into a coma. She was flown back to the Philippines and immediately underwent rigorous tests and the best of doctors. But the doctors could not find any medical reason for it. MRI, CT Scan, all possible tests were done with no conclusive diagnosis as to the cause of ailment. She was brought home to be cared for by the children. The mother developed sores all over the body that would become like a bark of a tree when dried. And this would be on top of the other. It was a pitiful sight to behold for the children. Then at times the mother's face would be wringing in pain as if fighting with someone. Things in the house would move, blood would drip from the ceiling. In the clinic of one of the sister's, the machines would start to move on their own. Clinic assistant's witnessed one of the chairs rise a few inches and threw itself several feet away. Soon terror started to grip the family. Scratches on the walls of the house would appear. Wailing in the house would be heard. What was happening? They could not get an answer from medical doctors. So they brought in from different parts of the country the best occult healers. They even imported healers from nearby Asian countries. But every time, the mother would be in a worst condition that before.

Paradoxically they never called in a priest early on in the sickness to sooth their mother with the sacraments of the sick and for the prayers of the Church. It was only when they tried all things that they finally invited a priest friend, who willingly oblige, to anoint the mother. When the priest came for the visit, things did not go well with him either. Upon entering the house he felt sick and an eerie feeling came upon him that he was not welcome in the house. But he managed to give the sacrament of the anointing of the sick to the mother. During the prayers the mother seemed to be resisting but upon the application of the holy of oil, the woman calmed down and the contortions on her face relaxed. However, she remained in a coma and the skin condition has not improved.

They then told the story to the priest who upon hearing of their tale recommended them to seek the help of AMOE. In the first interview with the members of the family, all four of them --the three sisters and their entered into a short period of trance in the office. This already was a sign how deep was their connection with the spirit world. Meanwhile, while the interview was going on, something perplexing was happening at home. According to the household helps things in the house started to shake violently and also as if someone very mad was kicking the walls. As this was happening, the helpers called the owners on their cellphone informing them of what was happening.

AMOE did not lose time to schedule a pray-over for all the siblings. The lay-volunteer case officer diligently walked them through the things that they need to renounce in their life and to spiritually prepare for the prayer of liberation. This gift which they call "clairvoyance" (the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known senses) is none other than "divination". And in all the experiences of the exorcist of AMOE regarding this phenomenon, it is mostly diabolic in nature. To consider this a "gift" is a misnomer and false. It is not a gift, but a trick of the devil. One now sees the fruits of this false gift. The paranormal happenings in their household was already a sign of the dominion of the unclean spirits over the family. The siblings have long enjoyed the powers, the use of this ability, both for their personal and professional life. Now the demon of divination consider it payback time and is taking his booty. Why was the mother attacked in this manner? AMOE learned that the mother was the one who introduced them to use this power. She introduced them too to diviners, and other clairvoyants, to occult practitioners. What was ironical was that the mother was also very religious and sadly superstitious at the same time.

When they were told to abandon the use of the powers, their faces became sad. Probably this was the same look Jesus saw on the rich young man who was told that if he wants to gain everlasting life, he should sell everything he has and give to the poor and follow Christ (Matthew 19:21-23). It was very difficult for them to renounce the power because they feared it would mean being now victims of people since they would not be able to sense who is a true friend who is not. Moreover, they used this ability for their professional advantage so they feared that this would bring "bad luck". They haggled if they could retain the "gift" but expel the demon that controls the ability. The case-officer said they must renounce both ability and the demon and all the things that they did under the influence of the demon of divination.

The first pray-over session was only with the two sisters. During that pray-over, the reactions where certainly bizarre. Their reactions were all violent. They were screaming as if pigs are being slaughtered, their tongue was sticking in and out with a hissing sound. And this occurred mostly during the Exorcism Prayer III. We were right in thinking that we are dealing here with occult spirits. During the closing of the occult third-eye, which is the eye of the clairvoyant to the spirit world, they were hysterical. We did not stop in the exorcism prayers until they became calm and still. Afterwards we asked them to consecrate themselves and the psychic abilities to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking her to close them forever.

Our experience on the remaining sister was uneventful. There was not much fireworks. If fact none at all. We were apprehensive at this because it simply cannot be that the two sisters who were prayed over a few days before had much reaction and this one had none. Could the demon have already left even before the exorcism because it knew it would be confronted? Or was it hiding? When asked how she felt during the prayers, she said she feels light, relieved and okay. But there was something she was not telling us completely. When asked if there was any pain in her body, her only response was a headache on the forehead. We did not proceed any further on her after the first one pass of the exorcism prayer and the closing of the third eye, and finally the consecration. I was hoping that showing her compassion and concern she would open herself more to the Lord. Seeing none of that,  I closed the pray-over session with the Infilling Prayer and Cleansing Prayer.

During the discernment period we had for this last client, we knew that she was not sincere in her renouncements. We suspected that she does not want the power to leave but only the demon. The none reaction of the unclean spirit on the prayers, and the headache on the forehead gave us a clue on the lack of resolve of the person to be truly liberated. We had to let her go and experience for herself what retaliation means.

After four days, nothing negative was heard from the two earlier cases. The two sisters prepared themselves spiritually well, their repentance sincere, the renouncements real. Meanwhile, that of the last sister was what we expected. She was bedridden for a week, she had no power to stand at all, she had an over all malaise and her nightmares were as terrible and vivid as day. When she became well, she called her case-officer for another schedule of pray-over. The case-officer inquired what happened to her and she recounted what happened after the pray-over. From her own lips she said that perhaps she is being retaliated upon. The case-officer prodded further to inquire what would perhaps triggered such retaliation on her alone when the other two sisters have none and are now enjoying a much more peaceful life. The client said she does now know. So the case-officer said that AMOE could not be of help unless she helps herself and discover in an honest to goodness examination of conscience before God what is lacking in her.

It would take a few more days before she admitted to the case officer that she was not fully resolved in giving up the power. The power has benefited her so much in her professional practice. She thought because of this power she was able to help many people and many souls. So she did not want it to go but only that demon. But the demon and the power are intimately connected. The demon is the one giving the power. And therefore the renouncement must be total and goes in one package. Now she said, "I am ready." The case officer wanting to be sure that she understood what the client said, queried: "What are you ready now?" She responded, "I am ready and now fully resolved to give up and surrender totally this ability. And I will entrust everything to God as He wills." Having heard this conviction, the case officer said that she would arrange for another pray-over, but that there was no assurance that it can be scheduled immediately as there were others who were already scheduled ahead. The client said she is willing to wait. The case-officer gave her once more her spiritual assignments which she must do with complete attention.

The day of the pray-over came. Her case was assigned again to me. I walked her through what we would do. During the pray-over, it was again uneventful. Was she again holding back? I asked her of any pain. She said only on the shoulders, back of the neck, back of her head. "How about the front?", I asked. "None, she replied. I continued the exorcism prayer against occult spirits and this time there was shaking, her body started to vibrate, then she started to stick her tongue in-out like that of a snake with some hissing sound, nothing more. I continued to pray and pray until there was no more shaking on her part. Then I proceeded to the closing of the occult third eye. I told her that if she really wants to be liberated, she needs to renounce the power and the demon. She said: "I have renounced it Father and will renounce it again and again." And so during the closing of the occult third eye, she gave a screeching scream as she was renouncing the demon of divination, then silence. As I was saying the exorcism prayer against the spirit of divination and the occult third eye she gave again a screeching scream. I instructed her not to close her eyes but to look at me as I anoint her forehead with exorcised-blessed oil. She was panting as I was doing it. I prayed the exorcism prayer against the occult third eye and the demon of divination and commanded it to be closed forever three times. On the third exorcism, she was already calm. She made her consecration to the Blessed Mother, and I confirmed her consecration by anointing her once more on the forehead and all the senses --ears, eyes, nose, lips, heart, shoulders, palms, soles of the feet. There was no more reaction. No pain, nothing. We closed the prayer session with a cleansing prayer. And instructed her of what to do next.

After four days she called the office, reporting how she was able to sleep soundly with no nightmares, no visions, no voices, no scratches, no sound of walking along the corridor. She is now experiencing what her other siblings were experiencing --peace. A few weeks after, she called back with much glee and excitement. Her clinic practice is successful, patients are coming in continuously. She has opened the door of heavenly blessing because she has closed the door to the evil one.

When all the children where healed the mother started to be healed as well. Her sores have all dried up and her skin is back to normal. Though she may still be in a coma her countenance has changed from one of suffering and anxiety to that of tranquility and peace. And if God wills she too would soon be healed.


  • Pride often accompanies those who possess the power of divination. Clairvoyance or third-eye, or by whatever one fancies to call it, remains to be from the evil one. Using the powers for whatever reason even if it is to help others or souls of the departed is simply an illusion. The teaching of Sacred Scripture is very clear on this and the Catholic Church reiterating the prohibition by God on using this occult powers clearly teaches that to attempt to control occult powers put one at great risk of being taken over by the evil one (CCC 2116-2117).
  • A person who is afraid to close this psychic ability through a prayer of exorcism by a duly mandated exorcist priest has now implicated himself/herself in recognizing that the power is not from God because if it is by renouncement of the gift in the context of an exorcism prayer that it closes then it is not from God in the first place. And a person who excuses himself/herself by saying that through it he/she is able to help others, is simply enjoying the power and the adulation of others that it brings. And the pride in the heart will deepen the hold of the demon of divination in the person. Now we are no longer dealing here with simply the spirit of divination, but of spirit of greed for power, and of the spirit of pride. All these demons now in the person because he/she does not want to let go of the power of divination.
  • Stop calling "Clairvoyance" or "Occult Third-Eye" as a gift, because IT IS NOT! Any one calling it a gift is deluding themselves. God will not give anyone a gift to have contact with the preternatural world 24 x 7 without the clairvoyant having any control. There was an urgent reason why God closed this ability in the first place. Know the reason why before attempting to open it and if one is unfortunately born with it, why it needed to be closed.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Torturing the Demons

Seeing a person being harassed, oppressed, vexated, or possessed by an unclean spirit is never an easy thing to look at. Perhaps no one would really be accustomed to it no matter how a seasoned exorcist they are like the great names of Gabriel Amorth, Francesco Bamonte, Antonio Fortea, or even here locally with Fr. Jocis Syquia. And although I have been only in the second year in this ministry, every case I encounter is a new case. Some of the tormenting demons might be familiar but the reaction of the human person to them is profoundly different each time. Looking on how the human being suffers even it be their fault, one is simply moved with compassion especially seeing how the unclean spirits torments them without mercy. Perhaps this is also one of those reasons why many priests would not want to venture into this ministry. Seeing so much pain and suffering, and walking a person to get out of such misery and enslavement can be taxing to a priest who needs to look after other duties and pastoral work. But how can one say no when the Lord brings a person to you to be ministered to, to show His love to them concretely, like that of looking for that one lost sheep?

As one sees how the demons torture a person, one cannot be emboldened to threaten it with torture as well. The rubrics of the Rite of Exorcism (Wellers, Vol II. 1952) instructs the exorcist:
16. "Let the priest pronounce the exorcisms in a commanding and authoritative voice, and at the same time with great confidence, humility, and fervor; and when he sees that the spirits is sorely vexed, then he oppresses and threatens it all the more."
17. "He will pay attention as to what words in particular cause the evil spirits to tremble, repeating them more frequently. And when he comes to a threatening expression, he recurs to it again and again, always increasing the punishment."
It would take some time before an unclean spirit reacts to the prayers. In some cases as early as less than 15 minutes, others beyond. But once, they react, then the exorcist knows that the prayers are weakening them. And he should not stop in the prayers until he sees them sorely vexed. How does that really look like? It takes on several forms, at times suddenly the unclean spirit talks mocking the prayers, or the demoniac stares at the exorcist, at times it blasphemes because of the prayers, at times it becomes a show-off. But whatever it maybe, the unceasing confident and trusting prayers have an effect on it. Grace is never wanting to those who ask in confident and trusting faith in the Almighty.

One thing that is simply amazing to see is how they react to particularities in the prayer, especially in the mysteries of the Christian faith. Every demon has its personality and weakness. Not everyone reacts in the same manner. But there is common agreement among them. They often would blaspheme and curse to no end when they hear the words of the prayers that has something to do with "man being made in the image and likeness of God or of Christ". They simply abhor those lines. Often this is where the fireworks happen like when the possessed sticks their tongue in and out like a snake, or move in a slithering fashion, or hurting themselves by pulling their hair, or scream or howl like an animal, curse the body, says cuss words, act lasciviously, or reveal the hidden sins of the possessed if they have not repented of it or confess it, or threaten that they will never leave because this human being they possess is theirs, etc. All these to show how they abhor that reality of man being made in God's own likeness. Some demons would even say why they hate man. They would reveal that it is because of the plan for man that they rebelled against the Most High. That God is giving man something more than the angels, something more than those of the seraphims, who are the highest of all the angels.

These same demons that would often in great anger and hatred reveal their envy of man's supernatural destiny, would in many cases be also reacting to the line in the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John: "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth" and any part of the prayers that has something to do with the Incarnation. This part tortures them a lot because they saw how their scheme backfired. There were demons who would laugh heartily and mockingly and triumphantly at that part of the prayer that tells of man's deception, of man falling, of man sinning and disobeying God. But then suddenly change their reaction to utter frustration when something directly related to the Word becoming man is mentioned. The demons reveal that the reason for the temptation of Adam and Eve was to prevent the Incarnation. By tempting that our first parents to want to be like God, then the Incarnation would not be needed, God would not become man, and man would not be made higher than the angels. And they succeeded in that aspect of man falling. But they never knew that God would still be made man and this time around the Incarnation would be redemptive. And they hate that so much, that some demons would go on a tantrum. Repeating that part of the prayer over and over vexes them immensely. And many would shout and scream: "No!" It is torture for them to hear how the Almighty was able to accomplish what He intended to do from the beginning.

All demons are filthy, unclean, and all will attempt to tempt man to be like them. But some demons have more connection to the sins of the flesh specifically of lust and anything that is connected to sexual impurity and perversion than others. And one immediately recognizes them because they react to anything in the exorcism prayers connected to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. They react specifically to that part Imperat tibi natus ex Virgine (He who was born of a Virgin commands you.) of Exorcism Prayer II and that of the Exorcism Prayer of Pope Leo XIII: Imperat tibi excelsa Dei Genitrix Virgo Maria, quae superbissimum caput tuum a primo instanti immaculatae Conceptionis in sua humilitate contrivit (The most excellent Virgin Mary, Mother of God, commands you, who in her lowliness crushed they proud head from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception). And when one encounters an unclean spirits that reacts so strongly with the mention of the Virgin Mary, in her purity, in her humility and obedience, then the best way to torture the unclean spirit is bombard it repeating this portion over and over and over again. Some exorcists like Fr Franceso Bramonte, to vexate the demon further, would command it to explain how the Immaculate Virgin crushed Satan's head, or how the various mysteries of the faith related to the Virgin Mary like the Immaculate Conception, the Annunciation, the Assumption, the Queenship of Mary vanquished them completely. Often they would refuse as this would be a recognition of their defeat. But the force of the command compels to reveal the truth. In many instances after this proclamation they immediately leave the possessed because they are terrified with anymore commands to speak the truth. In fact this was how  St. Dominic de Guzman was able to expel the demons in one of the Albigensians. He forced them to tell why they fear Our Blessed Lady so much. In many instances, I myself used this method. When the demon curses me for praying to Our Lady, or says cuss words when I mention the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary; I torment it by calling on the Blessed Mother even further, and threaten it by repeating the words of the exorcism that refers to her.

Perhaps the most difficult of all unclean spirits to cast out would be that of vain glory and pride. Their reaction is diverse. It seems that the demon of vain glory would talk a lot at the beginning and then be silent towards  the end when it is cornered and weakened. While the demon of pride would be very quiet and then start to be very noisy towards the end when it is already severely debilitated. Either way their reaction to the imperative exorcism prayers (command prayers) are very similar, they can withstand it. It shows you how strong kind of demon they are, unbending; very similar to the people they possess, unyielding, vain glorious and proud. It would take multiple sessions of exorcisms before they start to bend. It would take great courage and humility on the part of the possessed to lodge these demons from their souls. They would need to practice mortifications, alms-giving and real works of charity. They have to observe well what their reactions towards these humblings works are. For if they start to be proud or vainglorious when they are able to accomplish these "penances" then they have to modify things again. They have to learn and practice sincere gratitude to others and to God. And to learn to praise others for work well done, and to give praise to the Lord, always. Meanwhile, during exorcisms, the demons of vain glory and pride react more to the supplicatory prayers to the Almighty. The supplicatory prayers, in the Ritual, precede each and every imperative exorcism prayer. It beseeches the Almighty to be the one to rebuke, bind, expel, curb the power of the unclean spirits. Only when weakened do they react to the imperative exorcism prayers. Their reaction is the most dramatic one to my opinion. When severely weakened, they talk and ask for a compromise. If the exorcist would not listen, they would attempt to derail the unceasing prayers, by threatening the exorcist and those assisting him of revealing their sins. If they could not get away with those threats, they would do some astonishing feats like bizarre body contortions and levitation. If they could not do those because they are being impeded by very powerful sacramentals used on them, they would curse and blaspheme.

However, the command that they pay homage to God the Father, to God the Son, to God the Holy Spirit, to the Word made Flesh, to Jesus of Nazareth, to the Lamb who was slain, trips them off. And when the exorcist unites his prayers with those of the Angels and Saints in heaven in their triumphant praise of God in the continuous acclamation "Holy Holy Holy Lord God of host. Heaven and Earth are filled with your glory, Hosanna in the Highest..." they would continue to resist it and simply say "No! Stop it!" And blaspheme God's holy name. But this is a sign of their utmost powerlessness in the midst of all that divine glory that it once beheld when it was still part of the angelic hosts in heaven. And when they are commanded to kneel and humble themselves before the divine presence and to worship Him, they would resist with all their might, but they know they are defeated. Hence,  either they would oblige or leave rather than suffer such humiliation in the presence of human creatures. I find the proclamation before the unclean spirit of Philippians 2:9-11: "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"; to be a real power house that tortures them. For they are then commanded to give glory and kneel before Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and to give glory to God the Father. The command breaks them for the truth cannot be denied that they are completely under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Saturday 4 April 2015

CASE STORY: When the disposition of parents matter in the spiritual liberation and healing of their children

In many of the gospel stories of healing of children and young people, it is usually the parents that seek the help of the Lord Jesus. The story of the Cananite Woman, for example, reported in Matthew 15:21-29 and Mark 7:24-30 is worthy of repeating here:

Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Matt. 15:21-29)
Likewise, this scene from the movie Jesus of Nazareth can give us a visualization of how a parent's plea is looked upon by Jesus as a motive to cast out an unclean spirit from the boy. The story is taken from the Gospel according to Mark 9:14-29. Please forward to segment 2:15 - 5:14.

In the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcisms, we often encounter, that in so far as children and young people are concerned, most of the spiritual openings to the unclean spirits in them where brought about by their parents.When they bring their children to AMOE for healing and pray-over, in tears they would ask that their children be helped. But during the prayers we are able to discern that the hold of the unclean spirit on the child is caused through no fault of their own but of somebody else. There indeed is the presence of the unclean spirits tormenting the child, but if after prolonged prayers there is still very little change happening to the child, then the cause is often connected with parents. When the parents are confronted on this matter, they would often deny that there was something wrong that they did. The classic filipino answer would be: "Hindi kami nagkulang." (We were not remiss in our duties.) "Ang gusto lang namin ay ang pinakamabuti sa kanya." (The only thing we desire is what is best for him.) But perhaps it is not the duties themselves, nor material aspects that are missing, but rather more on the moral and spiritual part. This area is something very complicated to explain because it would challenge the parents to really look into their lives and how they raised the children. And upon discovering the reason they would be filled with so much remorse that instead of facilitating the healing of the child, it worsens it, as the parents now enter in a crisis of faith themselves.

But just like in the healing of the Centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10;John 4:43-54), unwavering faith and humility is required as manifested by the father of a possessed boy:
"...But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:22-24)
Certainly the love of the parents for their children is very important; after all if that love and concern were not present they would not have sought for help. But in this case, human parental love is not enough. Supernatural love, flowing from their love of God is vital. They must surrender themselves totally to Jesus and have full confidence in God that He loves their children more than they could ever love them.  As Jesus himself would teach us:
"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:11-13)
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,… (James 1:6-7)
Take these four cases for example:
 "If you will return, O Israel," declares the LORD, "Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, And will not waver, And you will swear, 'As the LORD lives,' In truth, in justice and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will glory."… (Jeremiah 4:1-2)
1. There was this case of a mother and father bringing their daughter to AMOE for help as the girl had seizures that doctors could not diagnose. Interviewing them, they have said that they are devout Catholics and have raised their children also to be good Christians. During the pray-over and the discernment, the lay-volunteers given by the Holy Spirit the gift of discernment of spirits during that ministry, privately told us that they saw idols and people offering incense. And one of those people they saw looked like the parents. When the parents were questioned in private, it was only then that they revealed that indeed they have been offering food and incense in a pagan ritual just to please the grandparents who come to visit. They did not take that as something serious. But the demons did, and God as well. Without a sincere and honest heart before God, no grace would be given for the Lord detests those who offer to idols.

"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord..." (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)
 2. There  was this case of a university girl who had been tormented by unclean spirits. She had undergone many pray-overs by herself with no companions. Her parents were never there whenever she is prayed over. They considered her just making things up. She requested them to stop going to occult practitioners and bringing her potions and barks, and amulets coming from them. But they would not listen. They did not believe that their going to the occult practitioners had something to do with her case. They only woke up from their spiritual slumber when they had another case at home, this time the younger brother of the girl was being attacked by unclean spirits. Only when the parents, especially the mother, renounced her superstitious beliefs and ties with the occult did healing start to come, for the Lord abhors those who consult sorcerers.. Without humility and repentance, no grace would be given.

"Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:31)
"I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people." (Leviticus 20:6)
3. There was this case of a mother who invited a spiritist or a necromancer, one who conjures the spirit of the dead, to call on the deceased husband in her home. The necromancer and the conjured spirit seemed to be of help for a time, or so she thought. Until, something strange, bizarre, and violent started to happen in their small family. When things got out of control, they sought the help of AMOE. During the discernment in between the multiple sessions of pray-overs that have been done. It became very clear, that the mother has only remorse, but no faith. She wants the family to be healed, the daughter who was under the devil's spell to be liberated, but her lack of faith is a hindrance. She would cry and cry being tired of the unfortunate events in her life. But no persevering faith, no persevering prayer. Without total surrender, complete faith, persevering faith, no grace would be given.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
"But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,…" (James 1:6-7)
4. There was this case of a boy possessed by many spirits, who himself was becoming a medium, because the spirits come in and enter at will. The parents brought the boy to AMOE for help. And in the discernment they saw how the spirits come in and out. Through a series of prayer-overs, the entry-points of the spirits have been closed and the attacks have lessened substantially. But the boy was not yet healed and  still goes into a trance. The mother was becoming desperate, questioning every time after every pray-over: "What do we still need to do?" In one discernment of AMOE, we were wondering whether the mother was a significant factor in the slow healing of the boy? And we were inclined to believe so. Her lack of faith, trust in God is becoming a hindrance. The boy cannot answer for himself yet in matters of faith. But the parents can on his behalf, and if they waver, then what faith would stand against the onslaught of the enemy against the boy? He is dependent completely on the faith of his parents, who also stood on his stead when he was baptized. Without faith it is impossible to please God.


The journey of faith of the parents, their conversion, is as important as the spiritual healing and liberation of their children. Because unless the parents are converted, and their relationship with the Lord, their spouse, and their family is intentionally set according to the Word of God and His Commandments, any healing would be temporary. And that which is most important, the salvation of all, is left hanging. This is the reason the Lord does not heal in the manner of the understanding of the pagans and unbelievers. He seeks to heal first the soul which is of utmost importance, then he heals the body and what ails it.

In the gospels, the Lord heals the pagans and unbelievers in a different manner than His disciples. He heals the pagans and non-Jews immediately in order to show them how totally unlike He is from their false gods. But with his disciples, He deals with them in another manner. He disciplines them like children (Hebrews 12:6). He now teaches them that without Him, they could do nothing (John 15:5), and the devil, will murder them (John 8:44), and sift them like wheat (Luke 22:31) if they do not abide in Him. And so that they may remember this and etch it in their hearts (Deuteronomy 11:18-19), he allows them to suffer for a little while so that they be made perfect in suffering and their relationship with God be restored and strengthened (1 Peter 5:10).

When we encounter the stormy of the seas of our life, let us remember the gospel story when the Lord Jesus Christ calmed the storm in the presence of His disciples who were fearful, anxious, and weak in faith.
"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)