from Evil Spirits
by Francis MacNutt
Can evil spirits manifest in animals?
Last August the story jumped from the pages of The Los Angeles Times. "Tokyo's Feathered Terrorists," said the headline over a story that described how huge crows, some measuring two feet, were haunting the world's largest city, attacking and even stalking people (waiting for them to come out of a building) like something out of a Hitchcock movie.
They swarmed on kids. They hung out near graves. Before an attack, they seemed to have summoned each other. In one case they were suspected of starting a major fire -- a blaze sparked "when the birds picked up incense from a graveyard and dropped it on a nearby forest."
It was eerie stuff, and it brings forth a question: can animals be possessed? Can spirits inhabit them? Can this too a "sign of the times"?
The answer is yes. First off, the Bible tells us of the time Jesus cast demons into a herd of swine, who then threw themselves into the sea (Matthew 8:32). If spirits can affect humans, why not animals? We note that in the early days of Christianity, a pope exorcised the vicinity of Nero's tomb when there were rumors of spirits plaguing the area and apparitions in the neighboring district were said to take the form of crows.
I don't think anyone needs to be reminded of the significance of animals -- crows and black cats -- in witchcraft.
We note what also seems like an explosion of crows in parts of the U.S. (where, as in Japan, materialism, occultism, and atheism have grown rampant).
We have seen cases where crows seem to hang around at peculiar times and seem to caw in aggravation.
We have seen times when they have fled in the face of prayer.
That may sound ridiculous, but not to those acquainted with Christianity's mystical literature. In the Life of St. Hilarion it's stated that the saint often dealt with furious animals possessed by demons. "One day there was brought to him an enormous camel which had killed several persons," noted a famous demonologist named Father Delaporte in a classical work called The Devil. "It was dragged along by more than thirty men, with great ropes; its eyes were bloodshot, its mouth frothing, its tongue swollen and constantly moving; its frightful roaring filled the air with a strange and dismal sound."
Hilarion addressed the spirit with derision: "Whether thou art in a fox or a camel, thou art always the same," he said. "Thou dost not frighten me."
With that animal tried to charge him but suddenly fell to the ground.
[Let's also remember that a crow can be good -- witness the one that hung out with Elijah -- and that when we are thinking of spirits and birds our thoughts should fly with the doves]
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