Friday, November 6, 2009

Old Scratch

For the record and this just in: Monsignor John Esseff, retired exorcist for the Diocese of Scranton, says Old Scratch is afraid of you (or, Jesus within you).

Stuff and nonsense? We threw all that tripe and piffle out the window with Catholic reductionist thinking years ago? Hmm..
Mgr Esseff said that each baptised person was united to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. He read passages from the Gospels in which Jesus exorcised demons and then sent his disciples to do the same.

He said that Jesus ultimately defeated Satan through his death and Resurrection and then sent the power of the Holy Spirit to his Apostles at Pentecost.

"When God looks down, he sees Jesus in you," Mgr Esseff said. "You have that power as baptised, confirmed Christians. And so when he [Satan] sees you, he hates what you would discover about that power that is within you."

He suggested that each audience member had been tempted that day because temptation was the ordinary activity of the devil.

"Your soul is a battlefield because there is also someone who hates you," he said. "That one is the devil. The devil knows who you are and what you have. God passed him by. God did not choose to become one of the angels. God chose to be one like us."

But just as each person was tempted, Mgr Esseff said, another spirit also was at work.

"In your life today, this very day, has been the Holy Spirit," he said. "God is in you. God the Holy Spirit is operative in you. God the Holy Spirit wants to bring into your heart love. God wants to bring you peace."

Mgr Esseff also told students of the power of angels and encouraged them to renew their devotions to their guardian angels.
For my part, I will own both what the Magisterium of the Church teaches and the anthropological insights of Girard's mimetic theory. If Satan's great tricks are (1) convincing people he doesn't exist, and (2) convincing people that he does if the form of the one I may scapegoat, forget at your peril the converse of (1).

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