Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Father George David Byers: 9 Exorcism tips from Holy Souls Hermitage – Don’t have any heroes except Jesus!

By Father George David Byers

A merely human exorcist is always going to fallible in a thousand different ways. My stupidities would cripple me even more than I was crippled by a run-away-tourist-bus in Rome, as you see in the picture. That picture was taken in the mid-1990s by an exorcist, now deceased. The fellow I cut out of the picture was an exorcist in the making, whom I was helping to train. That was in Piazza Farnese, just off Campo dei Fiori…
Now, I should hope that there is no exorcist in training or any other exorcists who take what I present in these series without a critical eye. If not, I’d be tempted to give him a black eye. Jesus was an exorcist, and is, of course, the only exorcist still today. If anyone is ever successful in an exorcism, it is because Jesus is there. If an exorcist should pay attention to anyone, it is Jesus, not necessarily to any other exorcist. Jesus and the Church! Don’t make heroes of anyone except Jesus.

I must say that it is frustrating when priests over-romanticize exorcism, putting it in the too hard category to learn something about in a serious way, instead claiming breathlessly that all they need to know is what Father X said (because Father X is famous and they once assisted him). Exorcism is just a sacramental which needs a lot of common sense. The first thing to kill off common sense is breathlessly claiming an authority who is not Jesus or the Church, and this so as to rationalize some stupid thing one is doing.

The most pastoral, reasonable perspective one can have is not to have any special exciting bubbly insight. There’s no time for fluff in exorcism. No time for heroes. Satan will be sure to crush any exorcist if that exorcist has any supposed talents or tricks or insights or heroes. Depending on such things is to invite Satan to find fault with them. He will.

Now, I’m sure Father Amorth will forgive me for what I’m going to do now, for it makes for a great point not taking on any heroes without a grain of salt. I’m sure he would be the first to agree. I don’t think he wants to be anyone’s hero, but thre are countless budding exorcists who take him as a hero. I’m going to make just a little, gentle criticism of Father Amorth. The occasion for this is that Father Cameron, O.P., has included something Father Amorth wrote in the Meditation of the Day in the American liturgical publication called the “Magnificat” (401-402, on 30 August, 2011). Father Candido is cited. That caught my eye, since, for a time, he was my spiritual director way back in the 1980s. I’ve known Father Amorth for about that long as well... (continued...)


1 comment:

Pablo the Mexican said...

Christ should be our all, not just in exorcism.