The Screwtape Letters (Narrated by John Cleese)

Interview With an Exorcist

Beliefnet interview

Clinging

Clinging, clinging to You,
As a leaf clasping the vine
With mouth pressed
And soul hungry,
Receiving in its will
Sustenance and vigor.

Stress, season, time,
And the tempters three,
World, Devil and fleshy me,
Turn, test and try resolve.

Clinging, I cling,
Clasping fast,
For only the glue of love
Suffice as bond,
To quell and conquer,
The wanton, the unruly.
For the Conqueror abides in me,
I cling to the Almighty Three.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Clinging

Clinging, clinging to You,
As a leaf clasping the vine
With mouth pressed
And soul hungry,
Receiving in its will
Sustenance and vigor.

Stress, season, time,
And the tempters three,
World, Devil and fleshy me,
Turn, test and try resolve.

Clinging, I cling,
Clasping fast,
For only the glue of love
Suffice as bond,
To quell and conquer,
The wanton, the unruly.
For the Conqueror abides in me,
I cling to the Almighty Three.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Playing with a Ouija board isn’t funny. It’s stupid and dangerous

via Playing with a Ouija board isn’t funny. It’s stupid and dangerous.”………Catholics are sternly warned again the activity. That’s because we know the Devil is real and that it’s folly to ever consider dabbling in the occult. It’s not “fun”; it’s playing with hellfire. Again, because we have just celebrated Halloween, there has been a spate of articles on the diabolic. I read an article about the film of The Exorcist in Alateia magazine for October 31st. One particular detail stood out: that in the famous case in 1949 of demonic possession, which became the basis for William Peter Blatty’s novel of 1971 (then followed by the film of his book), the family of the youth involved, a 13-year-old boy from Maryland, “thought he might have been plagued by the spirit of a recently deceased aunt, who had introduced the boy to the Ouija board.”

The youth was exorcised in St Louis by Jesuit priests. William Bowdern SJ, the lead exorcist, was in no doubt that this was a case of genuine possession. The whole process lasted a month, ending successfully on Easter Monday. Significantly, Bowdern fasted during that month, in acknowledgement of Jesus’ own warning that fasting is as essential as prayer when engaging in serious spiritual combat.

The mention of Ouija boards reminded me of my own youthful folly in this area.

As a student at Cambridge in the 1960s I took part in a séance organised in Magdalene College by some undergraduate friends. I was motivated by sheer curiosity to see what would happen and it was certainly bizarre and scary to watch the upturned glass move fast under its own volition round the table. I can’t remember the questions we asked the “spirit” we seemed to have conjured up and, feeling uneasy about the whole incident, I never returned for follow-up séances. I now see it was a stupid and dangerous activity to have engaged in.

I suspect that modern man rejects Satan because of films like The Exorcist; sensational Hollywood horror treatment turns the story into a creepy thrill that is dismissed as sheer fantasy. But as CS Lewis reminds us in The Screwtape Letters, the Devil doesn’t generally bother with spectacular phenomena such as possession or conjuring up spirits; why bother, when he can trap us with greater success through our own human weaknesses, our vanity, our egotism, our imprudent curiosity?

The genesis of The Screwtape Letters is described by Walter Hooper in his recent CTS booklet “CS Lewis: Apostle to the Sceptics”. Lewis wrote to his brother on 20th July 1940, mentioning that he had been listening to Hitler over the radio and finding that “Statements which I know to be untrue all but convince me…if only the man says them unflinchingly”. Still thinking of Hitler’s persuasiveness, he told his brother the next morning “Before the service was over…I was struck by an idea for a book which I think might be both useful and entertaining. It would…consist of letters from an elderly retired devil to a young devil who has just started work on his first “patient.” The idea would be to give all the psychology of temptation from the other point of view.”

via Playing with a Ouija board isn’t funny. It’s stupid and dangerous.

 

Spiritual Warfare Prayers

August Queen

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send Your holy Legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. Who is like God? O good and tender Mother, Thou will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend me and to drive far away from me the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen

Saint Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

“The Smoke Of Satan” Homily – Jimmy Akin

As the Church is in the news and Cardinals and bishops clash, (if reports are to be believed) here’s a bit from the thought of Pope Paul Vl reflecting on Vatican II

via The Smoke Of Satan Homily

Here’s the paragraph in which the quotation occurs, as well as the following one:

Referring to the situation of the Church today, the Holy Father

affirms that he has a sense that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan

has entered the temple of God.” There is doubt, incertitude,

problematic, disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. There is no

longer trust of the Church; they trust the first profane prophet who

speaks in some journal or some social movement, and they run after him

and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we are not alert

to the fact that we are already the owners and masters of the formula

of true life. Doubt has entered our consciences, and it entered by

windows that should have been open to the light. Science exists to

give us truths that do not separate from God, but make us seek him all

the more and celebrate him with greater intensity; instead, science

gives us criticism and doubt. Scientists are those who more

thoughtfully and more painfully exert their minds. But they end up

teaching us: “I don’t know, we don’t know, we cannot know.” The

school becomes the gymnasium of confusion and sometimes of absurd

contradictions. Progress is celebrated, only so that it can then be

demolished with revolutions that are more radical and more strange, so

as to negate everything that has been achieved, and to come away as

primitives after having so exalted the advances of the modern world.

This state of uncertainty even holds sway in the Church. There was

the belief that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for

the history of the Church. Instead, it is the arrival of a day of

clouds, of tempest, of darkness, of research, of uncertainty. We

preach ecumenism but we constantly separate ourselves from others. We

seek to dig abysses instead of filling them in.

In the next section the subject of the devil is further expounded upon:

How has this come about? The Pope entrusts one of his thoughts to

those who are present: that there has been an intervention of an

adverse power. Its name is the devil, this mysterious being that the

Letter of St. Peter also alludes to. So many times, furthermore, in

the Gospel, on the lips of Christ himself, the mention of this enemy of

men returns. The Holy Father observes, “We believe in something that

is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to

suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the

Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness

its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to

be able, in this moment more than ever, to exercise the function God

assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers. We should

wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord

gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.”

Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of

God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our

very own human spirit. Whoever believes with simplicity, with

humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior

testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth.

Read Jimmy Akins analysis here: via The Smoke Of Satan Homily.