from Courageous Priest

Satan Exists, And Sometimes He Reveals Himself!


By:  Msgr. Charles Pope

It would seem that one of the more common tactics of Satan in our times is to hide and/or disguise himself. Indeed, in our times he is never more powerful than when he is denied or forgotten. In secular and rationalistic times why should he tip his hand too frequently or do anything that might cause further belief in the supernatural?

In other ages, more noted for faith, and where few denied either the existence of God nor the presences of demons and angels, it would seem that Satan was far more likely to use fear and would often disclose his presence more widely. Demonic torments, obsessions and possessions were more frequent, and people took the presence of demons for granted. Jesus Frequently drove demons out, and exorcism was once a widely used sacramental in the Church.

But the fact is, Satan is no less present today, in fact he may be more present given the widespread darkness of these times.

I can tell you I have surely had to wrestle with him, and there terrible torments for me in my mid thirties. There was a dark presence in my bedroom and I often could not sleep there for both fear and torment. I slept often in those years in my outer room with the hallway door open. In my own bedroom, terrible demons of anxiety would torment me and deprive me of sleep. And often, when I had finally found relief, and the demons, which may have been gone for weeks, would often suddenly assail me for no apparent cause or activating event.

It was all quite inexplicable from any merely psychological or physical reason. When people would notice my tense looks, I would just say that my anxiety demon had jumped my back, once again. It took me the better part of 15 years to be wholly free from their sudden influence.

Oh, I know there is a devil and that demons are about. I also know that the Lord has rescued me. Thank you Lord, I am largely free of anxiety and my terrors now.

As a spiritual director I can also say I have a few directee’s who are sorely assailed by demons, much like many of the saints of old were. They are not possessed, but they are tormented, just as I was. And it takes a constant barrage of deliverance prayers and holy water to keep things in check. I will not recount the details, for discretion prevents me from speaking of confidential matters. But let me just say, their torments are real. These are not crazy people.

Yes, Satan is real. I have surely encountered him, and know others who have as well.

But more often today with most, he is quieter. And we moderns are more prone to attribute physical causes to things rather than spiritual ones. Never mind that demons can effect physical things, Satan is quite content not to get the credit in these current times and draws a greater harvest from our foolish denial and redefinition of him and his effects.

You may count yourself lucky if you have never encountered Satan or demons in any obvious way. But don’t be too sure about that. Satan and his fallen demons often have their greatest power when we deny or ignore them, or insist that their work is simply explained by disease, insanity or foolish superstition. And while such things are sometimes operative, Satan prefers and relishes the fact that we so quickly conclude that today.

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