Remember that post I had written about when I interviewed a real exorcist?
I paid Father Henry (not his real name) a visit last week since he wanted to lend me some books and that gave me a chance to discuss some more fun woo-woo stuff with him. We discussed some of the cases he’s been involved in and his training as an exorcist in Rome. That eventually led to a deeper discussion of the nature of angels and demons, how they operate, what you need to look out for and how to discern the origins of our feelings and motivations.
FH: Father Henry
EER: Earth Energy Reader
EER: Father Henry, from what you last told me and based on what I’ve read elsewhere, my understanding is that demons have one raison d’etre and only one, to basically destroy mankind?
EER: How can they do that?
FH: You have to remember, according to our beliefs, angels and demons predate the creation of this Earth and the creation of Man, they have been around from practically the beginning of time, bearing in mind that God is beyond time and space. They can know us through our actions and our speech. They can make very good guesses as to what we will do in any given situation based on how we have acted in similar circumstances in the past.
EER: Can they read our minds?
FH: No. In fact one thing neither the angels nor demons can do, is see into our hearts. That is the one place they can never look into.
EER: Really? That’s very interesting, why is that?
FH: Because that’s where Life truly resides and Life comes from God, they simply are not allowed. That’s why we stress the importance of prayer and meditation. It’s an act of connecting your heart to the divine. If you can pray out loud, even better.
EER: Given that demons want nothing less than mankind to destroy each other, does this, to some degree explain wars, feelings of vengeance, blood feuds between families and nations? What about people who try to destroy themselves, like in instances of suicide?
FH: Yes absolutely. Feelings of anger, loneliness, sadness are normal. We all have them, we all experience them. It’s perfectly expected. What raises dangerous flags for us is when those feelings suddenly become disproportionate to the incident which caused them in the first place. Say for example a man and woman are deeply in love and become a serious couple. One day the woman runs off with another man for whatever reason. It would be understandable if the rejected man experiences feelings of anger, rejection, humiliation and some depression. He’s human. However if those feelings change into feelings of blood-thirsty revenge and these thoughts of harming this woman and other fellow start becoming an obsession for him, they start to consume him, that is most likely demonic in origin. Heaven forbid, he acts out on them. Or say he never learns to forgive this woman and carries a grudge against her for the rest of her life. That anger is deeply embedded in him now and he’s not willing to deal with it. It’s like receiving a deep cut, you have to disinfect the wound, clean it and then properly bind it to allow it to heal. If you don’t clean it out, it festers, become infected. maybe gangrene settles in eventually and the hand or foot needs to be amputated. If he doesn’t do something about that anger, it will infect his physical being eventually. Maybe he develops heart disease or an ulcer later on which does eventually kill him.
EER: What about depression? I mean when I worked as a counselor I dealt with many people who were deeply depressed and even had to work in some capacity with suicide prevention for some of these cases.
FH: Mental illness is more complex. Of course now we understand that many mental illnesses are medically based. Not enough happy hormones in the brain, hormonal imbalances or deficiencies which then cause behavioral problems. It’s always a question of the degree to which a person acts. Most people get the blues now and then, that’s fine. With medication, counseling and the support of loved ones, they can usually pull through. However, say someone loses their job, they lose their home, they become severely depressed, they begin to lose all hope, they then begin to see life as meaningless, then thoughts of suicide start to creep in, then they go even further and start looking into ways of committing suicide. In that case, there is something demonic definitely going on. Always remember that demons are against life. Anything that takes you further away from life is usually demonic while anything that brings you closer to it is divine and benevolent.
EER: You had said that angels and demons can never know what is in our hearts. What happens if I decide to pray out loud and ask an angel to guide me? How do I know a demon isn’t listening in on it?
FH: (Starts to laugh) Well, the thing with prayer, like I said, is that it supposed to bring you in closer communion with the divine. Demons hate the divine, they can’t stand it. So say for example, you have a very important exam to do that day. You have studied hard and have prepared well. Before you leave the house, you say a prayer out loud and ask for the grace of the angels to help you on this important day. That’s it, you can’t ask them to help you pass the exam if you didn’t study, you can only ask them to be present with you and be grateful if they do help you out (i.e you suddenly remember an example the teacher used in class which was not in the textbook and that helps you answer a difficult question correctly). If however, you prayed that morning and suddenly your best friend tells you he has the answer key right before the exam and asks if you want a copy, that would definitely not be divine in origin.
EER: I know the Catholic Church places an important emphasis on the saints. Are there specific saints who are known to be especially powerful against demons and evil influences?
EER: I’ve heard that St. Joseph, Jesus’s foster dad, is as well.
FH: I’m not sure about Joseph however over at St. Joseph’s Oratory, there is a panel there depicting him as a banisher of demons. There are probably instances where he was called up during exorcisms and was effective and that’s how the reputation started. It’s usually how things start up within the Church.
EER: I came across this passage from a Bulgarian Christian Gnostic mystic, named Mikhael Aivanhov. I know it’s from a tradition which the Catholic Church disagrees with but I’d be interested to hear what you think of this. (Pull out the book and show it to FH, which he then reads to himself).
“Have you thought about the importance of opening and closing doors? Do you know when to open a door and when to close it? You do know in normal life, of course; all day long you go in and out of doors and let others in or out when they come to visit you.But the doors I am referring to are the ones within you. Those are the ones we have to learn to open and close: to open when we want to reach heavenly realms or allow angels to come into us, and to close so as not to let the dark spirits in, to keep our spiritual riches safe. There are doors of all kinds within us. In our physical body alone we have twelve – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, a mouth, two breasts, a navel, and further down two other doors. These doors all connect us with the physical world around us, but what is not known is that they have another function – they bring us in touch with the psychic world and the spiritual world. So that is a vast area of study – when and how to open or close those doors.”
FH: This is very, very wise and true on a psychic level though I would hesitate to encourage anyone to experiment by themselves on how to find out the effects of opening and closing these “doors” (laughing)! But yes, what he is saying is that there are mysteries around the human body itself which are far from being understood. That’s why we Catholics just go around blessing everything. Medicine and the sciences only deal with the physical influences. Openings are just that, openings. It falls on us to remain vigilant at all times to safeguard them on all levels.
EER: Thank you Father Henry, it’s been a very enlightening talk.
FH: You are most welcome.