I recently read an article about a reporter going to visit Fr. Gabriel Amorth the most experienced exorcist in the world. Fr. Amorth invited the reporter to witness an exorcism during which the demon revealed itself with the name Asmodeus. After reading the article I wanted to see the responses so I took a look at the comments and, as always, it was filled with vitriol from the atheists and Satanists.
One of the comments in particular expressed one of the major fallacies about the powers of darkness.
The Comment read:
“I’m not saying that I believe any of this, but I did a little research into the demon ‘Asmodeus’, and the articles I’ve read state that he is the ‘king of demons’. If that were the case, why would a so-called ‘king’ not put up more of a fight?"
Ill be honest at one time in my life I may have had the same opinion. That was until the first time I witnessed an exorcism. There is no doubt that the demons are powerful and will put up a terrible fight but the demons power compared to the Priest is just pomp and show. Its common to think that a Priest should be afraid of demons. It is actually quite the opposite. Demons are terrified of Priests. I mean absolutely terrified. The first priest I assisted with an exorcism was small in stature. Nothing to be intimidated by but the second he walked into the room the demons began to howl in fear. There was not a second that the demons were on the offensive. In fact it was quite the opposite. Father confidently and resolutely attacked the Demons until they were literally begging for some relief.
A demon, even the king of demons is afraid of Priests. All Priests. Not because of the man. Not because of his courage or strength. Not even because of his holiness (although this certainly helps). A demon is afraid of the Priest because the Priest stands not in his own power but in the power of Christ. The Priest is powerful in so much as he understands the power comes from the Church when he stands In Persona Christi. This is a very important point in the theology of exorcism. Holiness, humility and courage protect the Priest and assist in the effectiveness of the exorcism but the true power of exorcism is the power of the Cross flowing from the Church and punishing the demons. This is why an eighty three year old priest can handily take on the “prince of demons”. It is the demons who should be afraid because the Catholic Church is on the offensive. The Power of even the most powerful demons is nothing against the almighty and terrible power of the one who laid down his life for us.
Since being involved in the ministry of exorcism I have not looked at Priests the same way. I have learned about the power of vocation and the power of liturgy. Priests have the power to bring me to the Cross. Priests have the power to give me the food of eternal life.
Let God Arise. His enemies will scatter.
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.