Great Magdalens, by
Msgr. Hugh Francis Blunt, twenty true stories of women guilty of the
abominable -- adultery, murder, fornication, and abortion -- plus the
inner sins of envy, hatred, jealousy -- but rescued from that state due
to the mercy and forgiveness of Christ! Starting with Mary Magdalen, we
progress through true representations of how we all may convert and
whether men or women must always seek a purer spirit.
CROATIAN EXORCIST WARNS OF TRICKY DECEPTIONS THAT 'APE' TRUE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
The more pride we have, the more likely we are to be deceived. It happens to everyone. Even the most well-intentioned can be deceived -- in matters of the world or spirit. In the realm of mystical, this can even happen with "gifts of the spirit" -- such as healing. It's one reason the Church is so careful. Years ago, a person we know was "healed" by a "visionary" but the healing was temporary and this person was soon worse off than with the original affliction.
How can that be? Can demons heal?
According to Monsignor Milivoj Bolobanic, an exorcist from Croatia who has written extensively on the topic (for our discernment), deceptive spirits can "cause physical and spiritual visual and auditory illusions; a false state of ecstasy; make a body radiate and cause a feeling of great warmth in the heart; cause a sensual sweetness; cause stigmata and other sensory or mystical bodily occurrences; and cure uncommon diseases in an instant that have originated from evil spirits."
In other words, just about anything; and they can remove illnesses they themselves have caused (or exacerbated).
That's not real healing, of course, and there is always a price to pay.
One has to be careful because evil spirits are of a superintelligen and without Jesus we're no match for them. Notes this priest: "Among all the saints, Satan and the occultists prefer to mystify by imitating Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. People who are fanatically devoted to Padre Pio seek a way to receive the stigmata, become able to bilocate, and so forth, all for the purpose of rendering his imitation as true as possible."
Deceptive spirits can cause "odd images" in photographs, Monsignor Bolobanic (in An Exorcist Speaks) points out, and so it is that when we encounter a "sign" or a person with a mystical gift we must first step back and consider it through the lens of humility, fasting, and prayer.
We have to be careful not to be overly wary (look at how Jesus was accused, when He caused miracles, of operating in concert with the devil), but we also have to look closely at anyone associated with a supernatural happening and look first and foremost for humility.
Holiness and a heroic life of living evangelical virtues are preferable, he says, to spectacular manifestations.
But manifestations there are, and the evil ones apes them as a diversion. This is a very common tactic of the devil: to distract us. He distracts us with idols. When we think of idols we think of half-human, half-animal representations in Egypt or the golden calves of Babylon or the goddesses or Rome and Greece. And idols -- evil -- they were.
But there are other "idols," and if it seems strange that the Vatican should teach that those other idols include such things as money, fame, power, entertainment, food, comforts, luxuries, or other bad habits and "mis-orientations," we should look at them in the sense of what they are: distractions. Like the golden calves of old, like multi-armed goddesses, and jackal-headed images of pharaohs, they divert us from the path of holiness. We are addicted to the fleeting enjoyment but they never fill us and leave us satisfied, as do things from the Lord. How can we compromise with evil and still be okay? There is no such thing as the "lesser of two evils."
There is intrinsic evil and we are blinded to it when we have lost touch with the good deep part of us that discerns in the spirit of self-effacement.
Monsignor Bolobanic points out that "some people are hindered to turn to God because of their 'enlightened' scientific and philosophic accomplishments. Their pride is blocking them from seeing the Truth. As a result, they go to the opposite extreme, putting their trust and worship in their favorite idols: gold idols -- economic power; brass idols -- technology and armaments; stone idols -- massive buildings."
How many of us are diverted by those things in our pockets and purses called cell phones?
How much time do we spend talking versus praying, listening to radio or gossip or television versus waiting for the soft still Voice of the Lord?
Now here's a prayer he gives us:
"Jesus, my Lord, have mercy on me. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed. I despise all my sins and sinful occasions. I kindly ask You to forgive me. Wash me in Your Precious Blood. My Lord and my God, have pity on me, a sinner. My soul thirsts and longs for Your Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Spirit so powerfully that I may be cleansed, healed, and saved. Thank You, Jesus, I praise You, Jesus!"
Says a responsorial psalm from last week: "The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth."
[resources:An Exorcist Speaks]
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