Fr Ripperger: Levels of Spiritual Warfare
The above video is provided by the Sensus Fidelium apostlate. The following transcript is provided by WQPH.
I tell people that I’m becoming famous just by telling everybody what the saints say. You don’t have to say anything original or phenomenal, you just have to tell people this is what the saints say and everybody thinks “well, that’s just wonderful, this is wonderful.”
All right, tonight we want to talk about the levels of spiritual warfare and there are different levels. This means a few things in addition to the fact that we’re all conscripted.
You know, as a priest, people will very often say to me, “father, you know I really admire your work I don’t think I could ever do it.” I’m going to say something a little bit about how they have a level of spiritual warfare that they’re completely unaware of, or a lot of them are unaware of, and so I tell them, “you’re still doing the same thing I’m doing it’s just that I’m doing it a little bit differently,” obviously more intensely.
But this spiritual warfare then means that it’s in engaging it that we become purified–that we become perfected.
One of the things that happens during the process of people–when they’re possessed and they actually go through a series of exorcisms–that they begin to realize is that the demons are actually the instruments of their sanctification.
We tend to think of demons as the things that are detracting against our sanctification; that’s only true when we give in to them, but when we fight them and work against them, they actually become the instruments of our purification, because we have to deny ourselves–we have to work against them–we have to build virtue contrary to that. The demons are constantly trying to get us to commit sins–to become vicious as we have vices, so that we become weak, and then, that way, it’s easier to combat us. In that process, they want to set up an abusive relationship with us. But if we combat them, then what happens is we begin to develop virtue.
The definition of sanctified perfection is the adornment of the soul.
Let’s start this back up, it’s excellence in grace, which means you have a lot of sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in your soul, and this indwelling is by degree, the saints say. You can have more and more and more of it. You can never have too much of it, in fact. So that means then that it’s the excellence and grace, which means you have a lot of it.
So then they ask, “well, how do you get this excellence in grace?” It’s in building virtue so that, in point in fact, our perfection comes as a result of diabolic influence in our lives. Let’s face it, most of us, would end up mediocre, at best, if there was no diabolic activity in our lives; if there was no temptation, or no nothing, most of us wouldn’t develop any level of virtue whatsoever. But the second component to that aspect is this: when we have to fight against the demons, it means that the application of our wills, and the struggle that we do, is harder and we have to exert more energy, and we have to do it more strongly. As a result of that, we gain a level of virtue. Our virtue is higher than it would be if we were just inculcating it on our own through a normal process of just developing virtue.
Excellence in grace; the adornment of the soul of all of the virtues. God chooses which virtues He wants to adorn on which souls. Now, technically, he wants all of the virtues, so we have to detain all virtues, but He chooses in particular people’s lives different degrees.
There’s only one individual other than Christ who has absolutely perfect virtue in every single virtue, and that’s Our Lady. Everybody else in heaven, other than the angels, all have varying degrees of the virtues. Why? Because God likes variety. How do we know this? All you have to do is look at the number of bugs he’s created and you know He likes variety.
God likes variety, so what He wants is a heaven that has a certain beauty, or a perfection, by a variety of different aspects to it, and all that variety comes together in a harmony and perfection of the heavens; that’s what He’s looking for. But…He chooses in a particular person’s life a series of virtues, or a virtue, that He wants them to attain in such a manner that they will excel in it.
Most people fail to realize that the very area that they habitually commit sins in–if you’re falling in one particular area of your life on a habitual basis–what that actually tells you is that God wants you to attain a level of perfection in that virtue, because it’s through the struggle that you develop the virtue and that perfection. So, instead of looking at it and saying, “you know, I’m never going to get this,” it should be the other way around; we should be working on it harder in the particular areas that we fall in order to attain that perfection.
The demons enter into our lives. He allows demons in to enter into our lives primarily as an instruments of our sanctification, even in cases possession. I will make demons admit–exorcists do this on a regular basis, it weakens them when you force them to admit to the person they’re possessing that this person is becoming holier as a result of the demon’s involvement in their lives. They have to fight against him, they have to constantly make acts of confidence in God. They have to constantly be working towards God. They have to work on their own healing. They have to work on their own perfections, or virtues, or vices, etc, constantly, because when you’re possessed, there’s no swimming freely; you either have to fight your way out, or you’re going to go down. There’s no mean. But that’s actually also true of the whole spiritual life, there’s not a single aspect of the spiritual life in which we must not be working on in some degree if we’re not going to attain perfection.
Either you’re moving upstream in the spiritual life or you’re floating downstream. There’s no treading water.
One of the biggest or most unfortunate things among a lot of Catholics is they like to reach a certain plateau where they’re staying out of mortal sin they might have a few venial sins they’re struggling with, they feel comfortable in their spiritual life, they might be going to mass regularly, they’re receiving the sacraments, and life just seems kind of comfy, and they know that in order to eradicate those last imperfections in their life there’s going to have to be a lot of suffering and a lot of self-denial. And so they shy away from it. Demons don’t let you do that. God allows them into your life precisely to drag you one way or the other. God allows demons in our lives so that we can grow in virtue. We become the instrument of their humiliation. We become the instrument of their justice.
When Adam ate the fruit and Eve ate the fruit, God said to the serpent–which is another name for Satan–He said to him, “because you have done this you will crawl on the ground all the days of your life and eat dust.” The crawling on the ground means that he will be constantly humiliated.
Beelzebub, which is another name for Satan, actually admitted to me once that God the Father actually goes out of His way to set him up to get humiliated. Why? Because it’s his just punishment. Because his sin was pride. So he’s going to crawl, that they’re on the ground all the days of life and eat dust. And then the Fathers of the Church asked them, “what’s this dust?” And then they simply make the reply Memento, homo, quia pulvis es,” which is the Latin for, “remember, man, that thou art dust.”
What that means is that the demons are now stuck with us. They hate us, they don’t want anything to do with us, but now they are stuck with us, and essentially, because Satan caused our fall, he is now stuck dealing with us, tempting us, doing those things. By the way, it’s true he gets a sadistic delight out of seeing us fall, in us to see commit sin, but he has also admitted to me that every time he gets someone to fall, there is an increase in his shame. So, in point and fact, every time he gets us to fall, his suffering increases. And this is part of God’s punishment, and we become the instrument of his punishment, and an instrument of his of justice by denying him and by combating him.
So, what are the levels of spiritual warfare? Well, the most elementary level is ordinary temptation. All of us suffer from it.
Ordinary temptation essentially occurs in this way: the demons actually can introduce into our imagination images. Now they can’t create images of things that we’ve never seen before. They can take parts of those things in our memory and put them together in order to create different images, but they can’t–St. Thomas says they can’t say make a blind man see color or imagine color–they have to use something that’s already there. This is one of the reasons why I tell people, never under any circumstance, whatsoever to ever view any pornography, aside from the fact that some of it’s being cursed. Now the fact of the matter is that once you view it, that material even if you ask for the grace of forgetfulness, God permitting, the demons can use it.
The demons are on a very, very short leash. They can literally do absolutely nothing that God does not permit and by that I mean everything from the degree of the temptation to the kind of the temptation, this applies to all forms of diabolic influence, they cannot do anything that God does not determine.
The first time I came across this was a case of a woman who is possessed and the demon was possessing the woman’s lower back–because they usually possess a part of it–so I said to the demon–I commanded the demon, I said, “why are you commit possessing the lower part of the back?” And he just says to me, “I don’t know.” I said, “what do you mean you don’t know?” By the way, when I say it colloquially, it’s actually very formal in session, I’m commanding the demons to tell me why don’t you know. And he says, “I don’t know,” he says, “when I entered Christ restricted me to that part of the body.”
When they enter, one of the things that the Church tells you when you’re doing exorcisms, is there’s a series of questions that you’re supposed to ask the demons and get the information out of, and what that actually tells you is–one of them, which is the sign of departure is that–when they enter–at least the head possessor–not necessarily all of them the–head possessor knows the complete dynamic of the possession. He may not know all the details of the process of his getting the boot, but he very often knows the date and the hour when he’s going to get kicked out because it’s revealed to him. He’s told what he can and cannot do during in that possession case, as far as preternaturally manifesting, whether he’s going to levitate or not, or anything like that–all of that is predetermined by Christ–whether he can even speak in languages.
There comes time when the demon the suffering and the punishment of the demons is so extreme that the demons will literally turn to God and beg him to allow them to go back to hell, and he returns silence to them, because he doesn’t hear their prayers. but why is that it’s because of the fact that they they and that what happens is that he wants them to have to go through this this punishment now part of this has to do with the fact that too is that they even know when and when they can and cannot reveal things in order to get the person liberated.
Why am I going into this, it’s very simple, you have to realize that God uses the demons like any other instrument.
Even the demons will even admit they are slaves of Christ. In fact, every one of us is a slave of Jesus Christ. There’s only one question, there’s only one dividing line, and that is, are you willingly a slave of his or not? That’s the only question. In their case, they’re not. Now, that, being the case what that means is is that they are forbidden to tell the information okay but in our lives that means that every every single aspect of their involvement in our lives is an indication to us from God what he wants us to become purified in, what he wants us to excel in virtue, how he wants us to work out our salvation, what kind of graces he wants to us to beg for and achieve, the prayers that he wants us to use in order to that. Why? because, again, God loves variety.
So he uses the demons for that in temptation there’s a variety of different levels temptation can come in very, very subtle forms even in forms where it appears good hey you know you should just go mention to so and so about you know how wonderful you think their grass how they how well they’ve done with their grass this year you walk over you say to the person you know you did such a wonderful job with your grass this year and the next thing you know the guy’s biting your head off you’re like, “where did that come from,” right? And it’s because his wife was just chewing him out because he spent too much time on his grass, right?
So what does this mean? It means the demons can be permitted in spiritual warfare to suggest even good things to good people to cause damage. This is one of the reasons why the saints talk about the gift of the Holy Spirit of counsel. The gift of the Holy Spirit of counsel is the gift by which we know what to do and what not to do in spiritual warfare, among other things.
And so that’s one of the things to ask for is the gift of counsel, but it also means that there has to be a certain humility on our part to realize that. Look, sometimes you’re just going to be used as the as the dope in this particular situation, and you just have to have a certain level of humility to realize that demons can put even good ideas in your head, they can very often start out very subtly.
Beelzebub’s tendency is of temptation the structure of temptation is identical to his nature how he manifests in possession is identical to his temptation he starts out subtly he ramps it up he then opens it up widely so usually person will in the temptation process they’ll start thinking about something that’s innocuous before the next thing you know he suggests the turn to something impure because he’s the demon of impurity and then what he’s looking for which is the same thing he’s looking for in the section once he comes out strong and boldly, he’s looking for your reaction of fear. And the reason being, is because when we’re afraid, Saint Thomas says our mind is focused on the object of fear and we ruminate about it in order to try and figure out how to get out from underneath it. And so what he suggested something he just suggests something, especially to men of sensitive conscience: once the impure thought is then suggested they react in fear, like I could fall here, and that’s the hole that he has rather than it having the person immediately turning to God or to Our Lady and saying I have perfect confidence in you so these subtle things that’s how they can start out very subtly so the very lowest levels are subtle forms of temptation and then they can actually work up through it.
Diabolic warfare is not just in relationship to temptation, I’m going to go through the higher levels but we’re going to talk about how it applies to us in our own particular lives.
The next level is dolor, which is not going to apply to us, that’s when they attack the saints physically, that doesn’t apply to us. If it does, come see me, because you’d be the only case I’ve ever authentically seen of it. I’ve read about them but I’ve never seen them.
The next level is oppression this is where they attack people from the outside now there’s two forms of oppression, and I’ve never talked about this before, but Father asked me to talk about stuff in relationship to the upcoming elections, and this is how it plays in this next level of diabolic influence or spiritual warfare, Oppression, is where the demons attack you from the outside this is when they attack your relationships, your finances, they attack your property, sometimes your health; things of that sort.
In one particular case, in Memphis, they think I have the gift of healing, which is absurd. I have no I have no charismatic gifts whatsoever.
People say, you’re an exorcist, what gifts do you have? Nothing. I got nothing. I’m serious, I’ve walked into complete and fully infested houses, I’m like look looks good to me! Then I prayed and then of course things happened. But the point being is that I have no sensitivities in that regard.
They brought this man who had fourth stage pancreatic cancer to me, and they said, “would you be willing to pray over him?” And I said, “sure.” Now I don’t have the gift of healing but I did a minor exorcism over him. A week later he was cancer-free. A year later they brought him back he had some other weird illness. So I prayed over him. That was gone a week later. So I finally told him you’re under some kind of a curse.” This is a form of oppression.
So there’s curses, which is a kind of a higher form of oppression, but there’s kind of curses and the curses are basically are designed to influence people for in the negative. But the oppression can be in a variety of different ways.
Now, there’s a twofold distinction in relationship to oppression. There’s indirect oppression and there’s direct oppression. direct oppression is when they actually attack your particular life they attack you, your health, your relationships, your finances, the way the things, how things, are operating within your home, etc. So they attack you directly. But then there’s a certain level of spiritual warfare that all of us deal with where we have to deal with the indirect fallout from oppression. This is when things like politicians and [people] like that, who are under the influence of the diabolic, do essentially evil things.
Let’s cut to the chase, we are not living in a political atmosphere where there are differences of ideas, we are living in a political atmosphere where it’s good on one side and evil on another.
It’s not a matter of differences of ideas. The ideas that they throw out are just to promote their evil. It’s that simple. If you cut to the chase of it, and get down to the bottom of it, there’s certain people that are just nefarious. They’re just doing evil things. And how do you know this? Every single thing they do maximizes damage within the context of what they’re able to do. This is the type of thing that actually ends up affecting us. It is not rocket science, in fact it’s stuff that you can actually read about right on the internet, that there are actual politicians, international politicians, and even some in this country, who are actually involved in Satanism and Witchcraft. And you can tell it by the stuff that they do. I’m not gonna name names…I can see it now–it’ll be all over the newspapers!
We have to recognize that this indirect oppression that we suffer is when other people do evil things to get demons involved in culture, in society, in the Church.
It’s not a rocket science to see that there’s a fundamental problem with evil in the Church right now. When you have bishops and cardinals coming out saying that it should be okay for two men to enter into some type of civil contract with each other, there is something fundamentally wrong and evil that’s going on in the Church. That being said, these are the things that we have to suffer; we’re all suffering indirectly this spiritual warfare that’s occurring at that level. It’s very intense.
What some of the most intense places of spiritual warfare that we end up having to deal with and this is–again, sometimes, it’s in the parish, at the upper levels of the parish, sometimes the priest gets attacked, it’s on the diocesan levels.
The vitriol; the absolute hatred that demons have for bishops…when you see [the demons] talking about bishops in possession cases, the the hatred they have for them is palatable. You can literally see the hatred they have for them. At the level of the Vatican–the warfare we’re all suffering from–this warfare is going on at that level, and that’s a form of indirect oppression.
What we have to recognize, of course, is that the Church is indefectible. Christ said that the Gates of Yell will not prevail against it. It doesn’t mean that the Church members can’t become really sinful. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have a Holy Father spouting things that are very odd and strange, and even contrary to the faith, because the Church itself has said it’s only under these conditions that we know that he is infallible and is going to tell us what we know to be the truth necessarily. Doesn’t mean we ignore him, etc, it just means that we have to have a clear understanding of our faith and that’s a very important point.
One of the principle ways to combat in spiritual warfare is you have to know your faith. It’s not good enough just to say a few prayers here and there, you have to continually learn about your faith so that you don’t get sucked into this this indirect oppression, because, if you don’t; it’s so toxic.
Modernism, which is now the heresy in the church, is so toxic. It’s so much in the air that, unless you have a special grace or unless you really know your faith extraordinarily well, you are simply going to end up in error. It’s that simple, so you have to pray for God for that. But this is an indirect spiritual warfare that we all have to deal with. We all have probably experienced this, when you sit here, and you read some of the stuff that’s going on that’s coming out of the Vatican, or some of the things that these cardinals are saying, or some of the things that the bishops are saying and doing. And then that the whole pedophilia scandal and all this other stuff that’s going on, and then the fact that they were shuffling this around. This is a burden to a good Catholic, and this is the suffering. And this is exactly the kind of attack that the demons are willing to get if they can’t get to you directly they’re willing to take you down by having you despair or give in to discouragement or disappointment or even scandal in relationship to the Church.
Saint Thomas Aquinas says there’s two kinds of scandal, active scandal which is when you actually do something the scandalous, but then there’s passive scandal. And what does that mean? It means when you see something do somebody do something evil and it causes you to sin or to lose your faith and he says that is sinful it doesn’t matter what these people do it doesn’t matter what anybody does it doesn’t matter what any priest bishop or cardinal or Pope or whatever they do it doesn’t matter you should know your faith well enough and you should not allow it to affect your faith at all. It’s difficult but it’s part of the spiritual warfare.
We also suffered indirectly in relationship to politics. This is one of the reasons why we as part of spiritual warfare you have an obligation to vote. The Church has reiterated, in fact John Paul II himself even said in one of his documents, “each citizen, if they have the right to vote, has an obligation to vote, to vote in order to secure the common good for the society.” And it’s a negligence to do so it’s a sin. You have an obligation to get out there and do this. Why? Because we have an obligation, as Leo the 13th said, and Pious the 11th said, and of all the saints have said, especially the popes in the last 150 years, that we have an obligation to establish the Kingship of Christ. even in the secular sphere. And that means as as citizens of this country we have an obligation to go and vote for those people who are going to uphold life–that is the the values of the Church uphold life protect the common good.
One of the brainchilds of Freemasonry is Communism. We know that Freemasonry is diabolic from the top to the bottom. In fact, one demon even admitted to me that the name of every single level of Freemasonry is named after a particular demon. We also know, at the very top levels, it’s actually Lucifer–it’s not satanic–Satanic it means that you actually worship Satan–but it’s Luciferian, which means you become your own God. So we know that, at the top, it’s Lucifer.
One of the triumphs of Communism–one of the ways that communism has spread its errors, as Our Lady said at Fatima, is that everybody thinks that the most important thing in an election is the economy. No, it’s not. The most important thing in any election is the spiritual and moral welfare of the citizenry, that’s the most important thing in an election. The fact that we tend to think that the primary thing is about the economy–you know, “it’s the economy stupid.” No, actually, your stupid for thinking it’s about the economy. Saint Thomas says in the his work, De Regimine Principum, the reason that you have to promote a good economy is so that those citizens can develop virtue. That’s what it’s there for.
But one of the ways that we’re dealing with this indirectly–and this is why we have to part of our spiritual warfare one of the lower levels–is just doing our part to help culture to help the politics to help the society in relationship to how we vote and what we do, etc, what we support, etc’ those are the things we have to do in order to combat the diabolic influence. And that’s just all at the level of oppression.
Then there’s diabolic obsession. Diabolic obsession is when they actually attack the person’s person psychologically, that is, by besieging their imagination to such a degree that the person cannot think outside the box, that is, they cannot think outside of fear, or lust, or anger, or things of this sort.
How do you tell that between that and something that’s psychological? When it’s psychological it’s pretty consistent because it’s a habit–it’s an intellectual vice, which is basically what a mental illness is; it’s an intellectual vice, unless it’s caused by an organic cause; something psychiatric. But it’s it’s it’s very consistent and it’s set on or off by external stimulus. Somebody says something mean to you and then you react in anger; that’s psychological. Whereas, when it’s diabolic obsession, just it switches on and switches off and there’s no external stimulus that indicates that it’s there. One of the ways that you can notice it is in people is they go to confession and all of a sudden it’s gone. Then, after three or four days, or more, it sets back in. And this can be about any kind of particular sin.
Why does God allow [the demons] into their lives. Sometimes it is because he wants them to become holier through the process. Alphonsus Liguori said in one of his works–this business of everybody thinking that God is always going to give them a grace all the time even at their death that is absurd, in fact, what he says is that there’s a certain number of immortal sins that God preordains. Once that person reaches that point he’s going to pull the plug on the grace and the person’s just not going to be able to combat the diabolic. And how do we know this to be true we know this to be true? Because the Traditional Church practice of praying for final perseverance and final penitence. If God always gave us a grace even in our deathbed all the time to every single individual why why did the Church ever start that devotion. Wouldn’t make any sense, right?
God will allow demons into people’s lives sometimes to punish them–it’s not too common, and usually, it’s because the person has made the decision that they are not going to get their act together. “I’m not going to change, therefore, I want this sin. I want this to happen.” And so God will allow the demon into their life to afflict them, to show them what the true punishment is. He’s literally giving them what is the product of their sin.
What most people don’t realize is that the proper effect of every mortal sin the proper effect of every mortal sin is possession.
We usually vet somewhere between 600 and 800 people a year, in the society that I’m in, for diabolic influence, and out of that six to eight hundred only three on average two or three a year are possessed. So you’re talking about a very much less than one a half of a percent. But all these people are committing mortal sins today, you see that in the culture, and so why isn’t it that so many people are possessed? Because it’s very simple, it goes back to the principle: God controls the demons, not us. So, even when we open up the door, it’s up to God to determine whether he’s going to allow the demon to step through the door, whether it’s going to be good for them or not, ultimately, sometimes he does allow it but very rarely–very rarely does he allow the demon into the person’s life as a punishment. Part of it is to clue the person in. “Look, this is what you’ve chosen. This is what you wanted, and this is what this is the effect of your sin.”
There is a false understanding of Freedom of Religion out there. First of all, religion is the sub-virtue to justice, and in religion is the virtue by which you render God his due. So, technically speaking, there can be no freedom of religion that isn’t about God. So the Satanist and the and the witches would say, “well, this is freedom of my religion–it’s not a religion–you’re calling it that, but it’s not a true religion because a true religion has to do with God.”
When you have a false understanding of Freedom of Religion what ends up happening is is that the Satanists and the staff which–we see it–they’re using it now to bring lawsuits and things against various states, etc, in order to try and promote abortion, because abortion is their their sacrament.
Once it gets into a culture then it becomes extraordinarily difficult to get out of the culture. Our culture is in a particular precarious situation underneath Satan. There are what we call “the five generals”
The five generals are the five demons that are immediately, hierarchically, underneath Satan, and they are the ones who execute his plans. In some cases they call it the table because it’s basically they get to divide up certain things.
The first demon under him is Baal. Now Satan actually is the demon of impurity, but Baal is a demon of impurity; his principal function is to get cultures to succumb to impurity, primarily through fornication. Once the fornication sets in then what happens is that the perspective that the conjugal act is ordered towards children is lost. From that arises the idea that sex should be recreational and that you can use it for any you any way you get pleasure–that’s fine.
So Baal lays the groundwork. We saw this in our own country, was called the Free Love movement. They lay the groundwork. The next thing he tries to do is…as we read from Saint Paul, God delivers men and women up to their lusts, and men will start to want to sleep with men, and women with women, which basically means what once the spirit of fornication sets in, which, by the way, I don’t know if you noticed in the New Rite they removed this: “From the Spirit of Fornication, deliver us,” from the Litany of Saints at the very time that the Free Love movement gained ascendancy.
What we pray for is what we get. You don’t pray for it, you’re not gonna get it.
After that, then what happens in the culture is the next three demons show up. The first is Asmodeus, he’s the demon of homosexuality in men. Then there’s the demon of Leviathan, which is the demon of homosexuality in men, but of the masculine kind; these are the women who are–heavy on the heels–we would say. Then there is the spirit of Lilith, which is the more seductive form of female homosexuality.
If you look at the cultures, every single culture is pushed in this direction historically, not just ours. Historically, this is always the progression: once you have fornication, you end up with contraception, and then the upshot of that is, homosexuality, and then abortion. Baphomet is the fifth one and he’s the demon of child sacrifice; abortion in our culture. Think of this, they shot down the fornication laws and so they delivered us into the hands of Baal. Then they had Roe versus Wade and delivered us into the hands of Baphomet. And then they allowed gay marriage, and so now our country, politically, is in the hold of the top five demons in hell other than Satan. They delivered us into their hands. That’s where we’re at.
We’re all in this spiritual warfare. This is a level that we’re all dealing with. Let’s face it, 100 years ago, people in that culture weren’t dealing with the level of spiritual warfare that we’re dealing with. The types of spiritual warfare don’t change, it’s just the amount of it. And the more sin that people commit the more empowered the demons become and then the worse it actually gets.
So diabolic obsession can be of various kinds. People once asked me, “how many people in the united states do you think are diabolically obsessed?” And I said, if I had to estimate to the adult population, I would say 25%. Roughly two weeks later after I said that they actually came out with a statistic that kids between the ages of 18 and 25, 22% of them either have or are currently seeing a psychologist.
Then there’s diabolic possession, which is rare–it’s very rare. As I mentioned, it’s less than half a percent of those people who even show up to us, but possession is becoming more and more of a problem. We’re seeing it even in the media and in the culture.
If you actually look at or listen to some of the women–specifically the women–although the men are involved in it too–in Hollywood and in the music industry, they are openly talking about what’s called an incubus; that they have an incubus, which is basically a demon they have sex with. They’re openly talking about it, and many of these women are actually possessed. You see it by their psychological patterns, because the psychological patterns are very distinct between possession diabolic influence and things like psychosis and things of that sort. They have very distinct, even though, to the untrained eye, they look the same.
Possession is actually of two kinds. There’s partial possession, and that’s where the person has periods of lucidity.
I’m sure many people here watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It was actually based upon a true story. The woman’s name was Annelise Michelle. She was possessed twice actually–the movie didn’t get it, right by the way–but she was possessed twice. First, in 1967, and then she was liberated about 1969 or 70. She was liberated. Three months later, Our Lady appeared to her and said, “would you allow the possession again so that many would come to knowledge of it?” and she said yes. She became possessed again. She ended up dying from it because the demons shut down her ability to eat, which they can do, God permitting. But during her periods of lucidity, she would spend hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, making reparation and praying for the clergy in Germany because at the time this was from 1970, roughly until 1972, the German priests were going off the rails at that time. She offered up her possession, all the pain and the suffering that she went through because, when demons manifest, sometimes a person just blacks out but sometimes the person feels every single thing that the demon is feeling or going through or experiencing, and so it’s literally like going through a torture session–that’s one of the reasons why it’s hard to keep them on focus or on track–but she offered all of that up for the clergy at the time. Christ actually told her, according to the memoirs, that she would eventually be raised to the altar, which is another way of being said she would be canonized. She was an extraordinarily holy woman, which tells you something…
You can be possessed and it doesn’t say anything about whether you’re in the state of grace or not, because possessions in the body. Holiness, that is the sanctifying grace, is in the soul. They’re in two different locations.
If you look at the different levels of which people actually have to deal with–all of us have to deal with these things indirectly. There’s people out there, in your life, you probably don’t know that are actually possessed. They just seem psychotic, or they’re just like, why is that person always doing evil? Or whatever the case, but then in relationship to priests…
So I’m going to go back to that observation I made. Priests say, “you know I admire your work but I would never want to do it myself,” and I said, “do you hear confessions?” And they say, “yeah, well, it’s a little late for that isn’t it?”
Confession is actually more efficacious in most cases than solemn exorcism. If someone has an unconfessed sin and they’re actually possessed. That means the legal hold the demon has on them is broken, that means every time you commit a sin or every time you make a choice, you either bind yourself to God to the choice of the good or you bind yourself to the demons in evil. The term absolution, absolvere in Latin; literally means to dissolve or untie, or to remove the bond of justice, because, in justice, you’ve taken yourself out from underneath God and placed yourself underneath Satan through your sin, and as a result of that, you’re connected to this guy now. And so when you go to confession it breaks that tie. With that absolution, you’re no longer bound to your sin or the effects of sin.
I tell priests, “look, if you’re hearing confessions, you’re already doing minor exorcisms and you don’t even know it.” And a lot of times people will go to confession and all of a sudden it breaks.
The priest who taught me exorcisms said, “hey, by the way, there’s this thing called fishing,” and I’m a fly fisherman so I got quite interested. And he said, “this is what you do, if you’re sitting in the confessional, and you know there’s people out in the Church, and they’re not coming to confession, start saying a binding of prayer against any demons keeping them from going to confession. It’s like clockwork, you’ll do that within a minute somebody will step into the confession, “Father, I wasn’t going to go to confession today but…” And what that tells you is that demons can actually convince people and sway them regarding their own spiritual development.
It’s only been in the last 40 or 50 years that people have this idea that somehow or another if they have a positive emotional reaction to some spiritual thing then it’s of God–that’s what Martin Luther thought. In fact, he actually made it to the criteria just at the time when God sent Saint Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross to the Church, who completely departed from that and said the emotions cannot be trusted. Why? Because the demons have access to them; they can cause the emotions–and I’ve seen it. They can cause positive emotions in relationship to certain pious practices but they can also block them as well.
So you can’t follow your emotions, they can’t be trusted, you have to follow reason enlightened by faith. That’s what we should be following.
One time when did an exorcism, this one woman who was possessed said, “well, I just feel like…” I said, “wait a minute, let me get this straight, you know the demons have control over your emotions and you’re basing your decision off your emotions?”–which is a real big problem because, in possession work, you’re constantly trying to get the the psychological separation between the person who’s possessed and the demon, because the demon’s gotten into them psychologically, and is messing with them, and you’ve got to get that psychological separation, because if you don’t the demon can hide behind that. You can’t get anywhere.
I tell the priests, if you hear confessions you’re absolving people of that tie that they have to these demons, and it breaks the hold that the demons have on them, and as a result of that the demon is going to retaliate against you. This is why even good priests sometimes will just go through these periods where they’re being attacked, assaulted internally in relationship to it.
As an exorcist, the only difference probably, between me and most priests, were unwilling to get involved in this area, which, by the way, if a priest wants to get involved–I’m not so sure. Most good exorcists are the ones who got drug into it kicking and screaming, but the difference is this is a boxing ring. It’s a boxing ring in several ways. One it’s warfare, you’re going to take a beating. Every one of us is in the boxing ring. Every one of us is going to take a beating in some way or another from demons. There’s going to be some suffering, there’s going to be something that they’re going to do to us. It’s just the nature of our existence after the fall. But it’s also our opportunity for for raising our place in heaven. Taking your beating is just part of the process. You just have to be willing to take your beating and fight this thing, and you know you’re going to get attacked, and you just have to be willing to suffer through it, and be willing to go through that.
The key thing is that willingness to suffer. And that’s the thing that demons don’t want you to master. they will use every form of fear possible to keep you from being willing to suffer because, if you’re willing to suffer, there is nothing in your spiritual life that you cannot obtain. But if you are unwilling to overcome that fear of suffering–that horror of suffering, as they used to call it in the Catechisms–if you’re unwilling to overcome that, you will never reach the heights of perfection.
You’re in the boxing ring you know you’re going to take your beating you might as well just man up and deal with it. And that’s the real issue: priests have to realize that the minute they’re ordained the target’s on their back, and they’re going to be taking the beating. The question is, how much are you willing to do it for the sake of those under you, that’s the real question.
As an exorcist, are you dealing with a high level of of spiritual warfare, yeah you are [Music] it’s pretty high is it constant no even God gives us reprise. People will very often ask me, “Father, what do you do for to get away from it all,” because I smoke scars and drink scotch, right? If someone said, “do you realize it?” Yeah, once in a while. Why do you do that? Because, I refuse to allow demons to rob me of a normal life. That’s what demons are trying to do. They envy our lives. They envy the good that we can enjoy, and as a result of that, they want to rob us of that, and make us think, oh, these things are evil. These things are bad. When, in point in fact, decisions as long as you’re in moderation, are fine.
You have to be able to leave work at work. This brings up a very key point, in spiritual warfare: St. Peter said, “be vigilant and watchful for the devil goes about seeking someone to devour.” That’s what you have to be vigilant.
Vigilance isn’t going to seek it out, it just means you keep an eye on it, so if something spiritually disordered arises up in your family–if the demons kind of pop up their ugly head–that’s when you cut their head off–not before. You don’t go around looking for them, because if you look for them, they’ll find you. You have to you have to avoid that.
The levels of spiritual warfare can be very high. Probably the highest level of spiritual warfare is the person who’s possessed and actually who has decided to cooperate with the will of God and fight their way through it. In fact, I’ve even told some of the people that have been possessed, I say, “okay, now, look it, when you get to heaven you have to be nice to me because you’re going to be you’re holier than me, which means you’re going to be above me and you can boss me around, so you have to be nice to me when you get to heaven, okay?” Because they are some of the holiest people I’ve met. And it’s through that spiritual warfare that they gained that level of holiness.
I’ve seen a woman who was possessed by Beelzebub–he’s another name for Satan, the demon of impurity–go six months without committing venial sin–venial sin!
So when we think to ourselves, “oh, I’m struggling in my spiritual life,” we don’t have a clue! These people’s spiritual bowel and warfare is on a level that none of us ever experience, and yet, God gives them everything necessary. And that should give us confidence and hope. It doesn’t matter what the level of spiritual warfare, what the attack is, what the onslaught is, whether it’s in me, or whether it’s in my family, or whether it’s in the Church, or in society or in the culture, in politics; it doesn’t matter.
In the end, God is the Lord of History. God has control over it, and God will be the one to determine what we can do with it and how we can overcome it, and that just means that we have to cooperate with Him if He wants a demon in in your life. And usually everybody’s got one, usually most families in my experience, most families have generational spirits; sins that the parents or somebody committed, and it gets passed on from generation to generation as a form of temporal punishment due to the sin; that’s all part of the traditional Catholic teaching.
Some people think, “oh, this is all Protestant.” No, it’s not it’s actually part of the traditional Catholicity. All you have to do is look at Adam and Eve. We all got stuck with the generational spirit, Satan, from their one sin. It’s just that some people get passed on specific things. The other thing is too is that God wants your sanctification; that tells you something how much demons are involved in your life, and attack you, tells you the level that he wants you to obtain in heaven. That’s what that tells you. If you have absolutely no demons in your life, which is unlikely, but if you’ve got just little guys running around that’s a bad sign. It’s a sign that you’re not gonna probably get too high, whereas if you’re struggling, you’re fighting your way through it, etc. This is one of the reasons, when I see families who have a strong Catholic faith, and they’re being besieged, I look at them and I think to myself, “God wants holiness out of that family more than it does others. Because that’s really what’s going on there.
I’m not suggesting the demons are good, no they’re completely evil. Their will is completely bent on evil, and one of the things I’ve got to dispel–because it’s all complete nonsense–is this business that says, “oh, at the end of time nobody’s going to be in hell because God’s going to give people the choice.” First of all, that is directly contrary to Revelation, it’s directly contrary to the words of Jesus Christ. He said very clearly that the fires of Gehenna are eternal, “where the worm dieth not”–which is another name for your conscience–will eat at you for all eternity. It will not end. It’s a formal part of Church teaching that it’s permanent. Once you’re in hell, it will last for the rest of eternity.
The second thing is, those in hell, their wills are fixed. They can’t change, even God isn’t going to give them the grace to change anyway because that’s what the Church has decreed. They can’t change because their will is fixed in evil. You see this with demons. You’ll sit there and say, “okay, let me get this straight, so you were created to have the beatific vision?”
“And you were created to have this phenomenal knowledge, and to help people in this way?”
“And you decided that you weren’t going to do that, and you knew the effects of your sin?”
“And you knew this was going to be eternal?”
“And you knew you’d be suffering all these things?”
“You’d do it again?”
They can’t change. They don’t want to change. They have chosen. Through their choice they have chosen to attach themselves to the sin that they wanted, permanently. For human beings that are in hell, that permanency comes at the time of their death. When you die, either your will is fixed in the good or it’s fixed in the evil. There’s no change.
So this business of, “oh, eventually…”–it’s all sentimentality–it’s all based on false understanding of mercy and justice. “Oh, God is so merciful.” Don’t give me that!
We have to recognize that God made this landscape, he could have done it differently, but God loves a good fight–a really good fight. You know, even as human beings, God kind of gave us a natural inclination for that, right? I’m not suggesting that you go out and watch boxing, but when there’s a good boxing match, and it’s just blow after blow, and they’re just going after each other, and one guy just finally gets the batter off him, you know everybody’s standing up and sharing. God’s the same way. Everybody in heaven is the same way they love a good fight, right?
The difference is this: you know in the movies–and these exorcism movies I can hardly sit through them–but when you watch them, what ends up happening is, they always show the exorcist going in. The dynamic is the exact opposite, when an experienced exorcist, steps into the room with a demon, the demon is scared to death. And the reason he’s scared to death is because there’s a 500 pound gorilla standing behind the priest, and that gorilla’s name is Christ, who’s about to beat him so badly that he will get to the point where his threshold of pain is so bad, he will simply shut down and can’t function. He knows that’s what’s coming, he knows it’s going to go badly, he knows he’s going to get humiliated, he knows he’s going to have to do and say things that, when he gets back in hell, he’s going to get ridiculed over, he knows all that, so he’s scared to death.
But that should give us the courage to recognize that, when it comes to our own spiritual battles, Christ is standing behind us as long as we are standing with him. Christ actually said to the disciples–when they came back, they were all joyful, and they said, even the demons obeyed us in your name, and he said, to them he said count not the fact that the demons were subject to you, don’t be glad for that reason be glad rather that your names are written in heaven. That means that the more intense the person’s spiritual warfare is in their life, it’s actually a greater sign of predestination if they cooperate with Christ through that process. But then Christ also said, you count yourself as useless instruments–useless!
I can’t tell you how many times demons will say in session, “you can’t make me do this.” No, I cannot. One time, during one of my conferences, someone asked me how many people have you liberated? I said, none. I haven’t liberated anybody. No, Christ liberated lots of people in my presence. But I haven’t liberated anyone because I don’t have the power to liberate anybody. Only Jesus Christ, acting through me, through the exorcist or through you, can he liberate you, or people in your family, or what have you.
The point being is this: we are useless and it’s only when we let Christ act through us.
One time, during one of the sessions, that I had this woman was possessed by a demon of fear. And what Christ was asking from all of us, we found out, is that everybody work on humility, everyone, from the extra sister, the one who’s possessed, everybody around, to work on humility. And so, at a certain point, I got the demon manifested. And I was making him say the Litany of Humility, and at a certain point, about a third of the way through, the thought–I think it was a grace–I’m going to chalk it up to a grace–came into my mind: “Get out of the way.” And I got this distinct impression it was Christ telling me, “it’s not your place to draw people to you, your job is to draw people to me, and to stand out of the way. And that’s when I began to realize, and when the demons would say, “you know you can’t make me do this.” No, but He can.
When you say He can, which by the way–it’s kind of interesting, because–demons, if you just say ‘he’, they know what that refers to God. If you say she, that refers to Our Lady. They can make you do it. I can’t make you do it. But that tells you, even in your own spiritual warfare, you have to realize that you have to get out of the way. Let Christ work for you and work on the humility, and then you will be very powerful in relationship to cleaning up the demons in your own lives, and the lives of your family.
Once the demon looked at me–and he’s [a demon] in relationship to Our Lady–he said, her power is in her humility. Now think about what that means. That means that, when we are proud, we’re weak. Why are we weak? Because we take control. Whereas, when we’re humble, we let Christ operate through us, and he has infinite power; he’s omnipotent, and, therefore, can accomplish anything. And so it’s her humility that made Our Lady so powerful in the end–it’s even her humility now that makes her that perfect instrument of her son.
The perfect instrument, or the tool, does exactly what you want it to do when you want to do it. And that’s what Our Lady was and still is. She always does God’s will, whenever and in the manner that He so determines, and puts herself aside, and never ever counted the personal cost, ever
You have to work on humility. It’s a grace. It has to come. And you have to ask Our Lady for it.
These are the different levels and we’re all dealing with it.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you sit down and figure out, “okay, I’m at this level…” I’m not suggesting that. What I’m saying is that, if there’s a demon that God allows into your life, and he brings you to a level of spiritual warfare, don’t cower from it. Just ask Christ, “Christ, make me strong. Give me the willingness to suffer. Keep me humble. And then, help me to keep the course.” And if you do those four things, ask for those four things, you will keep the course, you will attain that crown of glory that Saint Paul talks about.