Can one walk up to a priest and recommend himself for an exorcism?

Honestly, despite being consistent in my daily rosaries, DMs and regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament… I still have these VERY strong, persistent doubts about following Christ. Despite the Weekly confessions, despite everything I do to really try and give him everything and follow him without anymore reservations… Why is it that I always feel as if I were always back to square one again? For instance… I always feel that I am always being ripped off from my life (due to the rules and regulations of the faith). since I see my friends having fun… while I am being more and more ostracized as a fringe.

Sometimes when I pray… it seems like its just lip service to me, as if saying these prayers were just part of the daily routine and the meaning became cliche itself. As if it were just another task I needed to fulfill for the day.

And despite being raised in the faith for 23 years, despite having many “bad adventures” in my life only to be crying and running back to him… why do I still feel this way? I know that I dont even have a right to complain anyway, because I OWE MY LIFE to him and God has saved my life from catastrophes many times… but honestly, I do feel that it isnt just psycological anymore and that these attacks are spirtual in nature. I do feel that there could be a “demon” (knock on wood I hope there isnt though) playing with my mind and feeding me these frequent episodes of doubt. Why do I say this? Because I have been consistent with the rosary and I do believe that if it were psycological, it would have went away by now based on the promises of the rosary.

I really am convinced that this is no longer just my mind playing games with me… or that these are “withdrawal symptoms” from living a life away from Christ to living a life for Christ, especially now that I am upping the ante a bit with my religious life.

Anyway my main question is this… Can one walk up to a priest and recommend himself for an exorcism? Do confessions count as mini-exorcisms? Or do you have to be rigoursly assessed if you have a demon in you? How does the exorcism process work? Are there “levels” of possesion?

It is a process. The church has to first conduct an investigation to confirm a legit possession by demons/devil. I suggest you read the book called: Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin…a CC priest. It is about 5 exorcism cases in the U.S.

Greetings Lilsheep88,

They could, but I am not sure if the priest would take it seriously, as there is a process that one needs to undergo to rule out everything possible other than demonic oppression or possession.

Confessions do not count as mini-exorcisms. There is no such thing as a mini-exorcism.

One has to go through physical and mental examinations to rule out physical and mental disorders. More than likely they will want to know your background as to if you were involved in any occult stuff and ect.

Usually one talks to their Confessor and goes from there. There is not set way of starting about the process because there are many different cases and sitautations.

There are no levels of possession, though some exorcists will talk about “perfect posession.” which is extremely very rare.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

I don’t have an answer to you question re exorcisim.However,re your struggle to grow closer to God,I can relate to a certain degree. In my opinion,I don’t think you are possessed by the evil one,but the doubts you are experiencing as you grow in your faith are being put there by him.Just remember,as long as you are in a dark place,you are with the evil one.He sees your efforts to draw closer to God and he doesn’t like it one bit! Just keep doing what you are doing persevere ask ourvBlessed Mother to keep you under her mantel of protection,also pray to St.Michael to defend you in your spiritual battles. God Bless you,Jeanne

No,if you where demonized,you cant live a live like this. Take your cross and go on that narrow way. Im from Europe and we got a great Exorcist in Rome.
he says that only the thousandth person which comes to him got a demon inside, so:
Be confessed in your body spirit and soul
Love from Germany:thumbsup:

See, while I understand the prudence of not just admitting every person to exorcism despite it possibly being illness, what about someone who is ill and is being attacked? I mean, we acknowledge the spiritual danger of altered states of mind when it comes to things like drugs and transcendental meditation, so what about people who are in some way perpetually in an altered and weakened state of mind? I can’t help but think the Devil loves the thought that he can hammer into the mentally ill with oppressions and obsessions knowing that it’s highly against the odds that anyone will help them. I know I personally may be mentally ill, but when I converted to Catholicism one of my meds suddenly stopped working, and my previous symptoms went from melancholy and irritability and just exploded into disturbing temptations and hatred and scrupulousness, confusion, and a peculiar form of mind block that only affected my ability to reason about things pertaining to the faith - and to add further proof to the pudding they went back to normal when I hung a St. Benedict medal in my home. A more concrete example would be the fact that without the medal I feel so confused when studying theology that it physically hurts, and with it I can do just fine.

Aren’t people like me kind of screwed?

(Although, to the OP, there’s always the Benedict medal. Even if you can’t the prayers for exorcism said over you personally, you can at least get some equivalent of the Church’s authority against demons through the prayer of blessing on that medal. Kind of a roundabout way of getting it though.)

EDIT: Another problem is that some people seem to think that a person has to be levitating and screaming in Classical Latin before the Devil can be admitted to be involved. But a quick reading through mystical theology gives some good examples of what he can do to someone without going to that extreme. For example, my issues with confusion, scruples, and the general extreme paralysis of my ability to reason about the Faith are referred to by St. John of the Cross as the demonic attack of the Spiritus Vertignis, or spirit of dizziness. It literally cuts the legs out from underneath a person’s ability to think straight and rapes them with confusion.

** I always feel that I am always being ripped off from my life (due to the rules and regulations of the faith). since I see my friends having fun… while I am being more and more ostracized as a fringe.**

Sounds like your envious of your friends , whatever it is they are doing, apparently involved in sinful behaviour I take it . Isn’t there a nice girl you can take to the show, football or basketball game, go out and eat with. Those things are fun.

One needs to have balance in life, their faith, work and or study, family, clean fun, etc.

Like the other posters I don’t think your possessed, just the devil putting doubt and guilt in your thoughts.

It would be for the priest to discern.

Much as we would like to see ourselves ‘advancing’ spiritually, much as we would like to feel holiness and have the human problems disappear, and much as we would like to find spiritual life entrancing and our detachments to ourselves and the attractions in the lives of others to disappear, that’s not the way God usually does things.

What spiritual merit is there in finding everything easy? Faith and love is proved and we carry our cross, by daily continuing to live out the duties of our state in life, as pleasantly and cheerfully as possible, and in that spirit, choosing God above ourselves, choosing others often, instead of ourselves (while also taking reasonable care of the gift of self that God gives us) …by choosing I mean loving. There is no choice, no real faith or effort if everything is easy, and feels good. If it felt good always to do right, to pray, to be kind to others, the person we would be pleasing would be ourselves.

Did the saints feel holy and happy about themselves, their prayers, their kind deeds. ? Maybe sometimes, but have you ever read copies of some letters to his spiritual director of that extraordinary saint whom for so many was known as Padre Pio, now St Pio. Yes, God allowed him to be instrument of miracles of conversion, of being able to read souls, of many wonderful things…but his letters to his spiritual directors were sometimes so full of anguish and doubt about his own soul.

And we all hear of the saint and Doctor of the Church, St Therese of Lisieux, whose inspiration to the way of holiness for ordinary souls has inspired generations.
These are her words regarding her own desire and effort to be holy:

“This desire could certainly appear daring if one were to consider how weak and imperfect I was, and how after seven years in the religious life, I am still weak and imperfect. I always feel, however, the same bold confidence of becoming a great saint because I do not count on my own merits since I have none, but I trust in God who is Virtue and Holiness. God alone, content with my weak efforts, will raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me in His infinite merits. I didn’t think then that one had to suffer very much to reach sanctity, but God was not long in showing me this was so and in sending me the trials I have already mentioned.” Therese remarked that such holiness may “not be evident to the eyes of mortals.”

Are you possessed, I wouldn’t be inclined to think so. You are caught up in the walk of faith that so many of us are, and the walk is over rough ground, muddy ground, sleep inclines, unsteady footing…and so on, and our 'holiness" is the struggle to put one foot in front of the other, even after we just fell and are muddied. In the struggle we must also see the beauty and the goodness. Don’t miss the flower, the bird, the warmth of the sun when it shines tough, but this world is a place of hard realities as well as beauty

What you are describing are your life’s trials…which we encounter everyday. I think what you may need is spiritual advice…and are not signs of demonic possession.

We all undergo such trials everyday of our lives, not just you.

And to answer your question, No…the priest will not just conduct an exorcism. For one thing, he needs a bishop’s permission to conduct one, and there is an extensive investigation before one is approved by a bishop.

If you want to go visit and talk to a priest, go do so and make an appointment…and ask for a blessing instead.

Greetings WoundedIcon,

I will be replying to separate points in your message.

There are things in place for that. Unfortunately there is a process that one needs to go through. I never said that mental and or physical illness and demonic opression and possession are mutually exclusive.

He hammers into the non mentally ill too with oppression and obsessions as well. That is why the process is helpful. It takes discernment and actual expereience when dealing with these things. The Church does want to help those who are genuinely facing demonic oppresion and possession.

Far from it. I can’t really make any counsels or judgements as I do not know you. But no you are no screwed, and if you think you are, you are quite mistaken.

Never heard that before. Do you have the work where St. John of the Cross refers to this?

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

I wouldn’t worry about possession, seeing as that particular form of demonic assault is 1) rare and 2) pretty obvious. There are levels to demonic assault though, being temptation, oppression, obsession, and possession. There’s also the infestation of locations (hauntings if you will), and demonic subjugation (but you basically have to sell your soul to Satan or a pagan god for that to happen). There’s also the concept of strongholds, where you wind up helplessly addicted to a sin, but that’s basically an extension of obsession.

Temptations are the normal mode of attack, and everyone deals with them. Oppression is a form of external attack where the Devil wreaks havoc on your life through external means (think a ridiculously impossible-that-it’s-a-coincidence streak of bad luck, for a smaller example imagine you’ve just converted and all of a sudden your life falls apart), there’s obsession where the Devil attacks externally, but through internal means (horrifying dreams, violent temptations, emotional discord, utter confusion when trying to understand the faith, etc.) and then there’s possession. Which, like I said, is pretty obvious.

And remember,

“My brothers, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully developed, complete, with nothing missing.” [James 1:2-4] “So, even those whom God allows to suffer must trust themselves to the constancy of the Creator and go on doing good.” [1Peter 4:19] “These sufferings bring patience…and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.” [Romans 5:3-5]

“I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.” [Romans 8:18] “Happy the person who stands firm when trials come. He has proved himself, and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” [James 1:12] “Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed…to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold.” [1Peter 1:5-7]

Be encouraged, for “suffering is part of your training” as God’s children, but later “it bears fruit in peace and goodness.” [Hebrews 12:7, 11] “The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every cheek; He will take away His people’s shame everywhere on earth.” [Isaiah 25:8] “I tell you solemnly, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” [John 16:20] “What we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole of creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal His children … creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation has been groaning…we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.” [Romans 8:18-25]

Saint Pio wrote:

“Each soul…is a stone destined to build up the eternal edifice…it has to be polished with the blows of hammer and chisel…these hits of the chisel are the shadows, the fears, the temptations, the afflictions of the spirit, the spiritual tremors with some aroma of desolation, and also physical illness.”

“Be certain that the more a soul loves God, the less he feels it…God is incomprehensible…so that the more a soul enters into the love of this Supreme Good…this sentiment of love towards Him seems to diminish, to the point of seeming to love Him not at all…Say rather that you love, and that you wish to love with a perfect and consummate love. This good cannot be obtained in its completion except in the next life!”

He also wrote:
“Pray that God will console you when you feel the burden of the Cross, for in doing so you are not acting against the will of God, but you are placing yourself beside the Son of God who asked His Father during the Agony in the Garden to send Him some relief. But if He is not willing to give it, be ready to pronounce the same ‘fiat’ that Jesus did.”
[Letters 1, no. 184]

Make sure you do have some heathy recreation during some part of your day.
Even St Therese and Padre Pio shared times of recreations, activities, conversations.
It is a part of Religious Community life.
And remember that Jesus went to at least one wedding feast (Cana), dinner celebrations, eg, Simon’s house, Zacheaus’’ house, and his very good friends home, Mary Martha, and Lazarus. We avoid sin, but we don’t have to shut ourselves off from ordinary life and friendships, and healthy activities. We entrust our whole life to God. We share our joys and enjoyment as well as our prayers and sacrifices with Him.

Oh, trust me, I wasn’t saying you were. I just kind of used your post as a springboard for a rant. I just feel like there’s such a weakened level of belief in the supernatural in the modern day Church, and when that view takes the guidelines as an excuse to dismiss people like me out of hand then we have trouble. I guess I’m just trying to say that I expect more of an immediate dismissal on the grounds of “you’re just sick” than an actual effort to understand what’s going on with the person. Which is why I brought up weakened states of mind, because in my opinion it’s very likely for a mentally ill person to be more vulnerable to attack than someone who isn’t, so that (IMO) easy dismissal on the basis of sickness actually makes less sense. Then again, maybe I’m just lacking trust. It’s hard for me not to, when we live in a day and age where even faith in sacramentals is taken as superstitious. I just feel like, unless I’m spewing split pea soup, I’ll be understood as superstitious as well. I think I remember Gabriel Amorth or some other exorcist saying something along the lines of “most exorcists in the Church these days hardly believe in demons in the first place”. Which is where my fear of not being helped unless my issues are “in your face” comes from.

And here’s the link to the passage where St. John talks about the spirit of dizziness.

Greetings WoundedIcon,

Again I will be using your splitting up your posts to reply to it.

I can understand why you would rant.

NO one is dismissing you at all. Where do you seem to be getting this? It is just procedural that all aspects of what is going on in a person’s life be looked at.

I have seen some people who were mentally ill who have had much stronger states of mind than some who were not mentally ill while working with several exorcists and in delieverance ministry. So it works both ways.

I have read your prayer intentions here on the forum and I believe I am praying for some of them at the moment. I shall pray that you will have all the graces and strengthes that you are in most need of to trust.

I know that from the prayer intentions that you have posted there is a great deal going on in your life.

Yes this is very sad. It is also sad that many do not believe in demons or evil and these are among the priests of our Catholic Church. What we can do is pray that they will come to believe in these things. Pray that people may believe in these things. What you are doing to help dispel the false notion that “sacramentals are supersitious.” Many times I have found that talking and sharing do much to dispel those things.

However with some people, they will never believe. But there are many in the Church, I believe, that are very open minded to this and want to believe the Truth about demons and such.

I do not see you as supersitious. I see you as a person who is genuinely struggling to live a life in puruist of Union with God going through much difficulty and many things.

There are priests out there who do help. I wish that is was more prevalent. The Church is doing much to get that help to those who need it. I will pray that you can find the help you need and an understanding priest or rather I will pray that God will lead you to where He wants you to get help.

Thank you. I shall look into that.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

Many exorcisms take place simply by the priest asking Jesus to “do” it.
They pray to Jesus and Jesus does it. You see, Jesus waits on the words of his priests, and goes to work at their request.
ANY PRIEST CAN DO THIS ON THE SPOT, without a formal process of special authorization, because a priest can ask Jesus for things without permission from his Bishop.

It is rare that a priest will have to “arm” himself with the full authority of his Bishop and “fight fire with fire.”

So, yes. Mention it to a priest whom you trust. A good place is confession, where he is a sitting duck.

Better still, a good Confession “exposes” the devil to the action of the priest.
I compare Confession to wringing a chicken’s neck. It’s quick, it’s clean, and it won’t have to be done again. There is no resistence on the devil’s part, no answering back, and they won’t make a movie about you.
And usually, unless the possession is very deep-seated, a good confession takes care of it.

Be aware too, one of Satan’s access points is bad confessions or bad Communions. It is good to scan quickly (not scrupulously, and not if you have already done so recently) one’s past to see if there is an unconfessed sin, a sacrilegious Communion.
Check too for deliberate sins in one’s daily life, lifestyles that one has chosen that are sinful.
Then put it right in Confession. Remember, the priest is like a telephone. When you speak at him, Jesus hears it, and when he answers, it is Jesus who is speaking.

And even if the full rite is called for, the Bishop can give the priest permission, or appoint a priest. And they still won’t make a movie about you.

And they still won’t make a movie about you.

Excellent, very well thought out post… I as well as others I am sure appreciated the time you must have taken to do this…Thank you Anathama Sit :thumbsup:

Okay… Ill be honest. Around 3 or 4 years ago, I got into voodoo dolls. I had a voodoo doll for each aspect of my life. I had one for love, another for wealth, another for academics, another for good looks… but I threw them all away because I really did feel that this was gateway to the darkside.

Even less than a year ago… I invited the “darkside” into my life… IE: Breeding on envy, lust, hatred, competition as a springboard for my personal success but I didnt actually say or invite “the devil” to directly come into me… Just the “dark side” as manifested by these traits…

I actually had recorded affirmations of my voice that I saved as MP3 files and I would listen to it every night on my ipod. Some of these affirmations would resemble ideas such as
“Lust powers me”, “I use envy to propel myself to the next level”, “Life is always about absolute competition” “Life is a zero sum game” etc etc. I know its weird, but back then I was desperate and I wanted to be successful in everything I did (a jack of all trades) and I immersed myself on these negative traits to help propel myself to being the best that I could be.

I dont remember if I confessed it thoroughly enough or what… but this has been SEVERAL confessions ago. Must I confess it again?

Do you think that I may be haunted from my past?

Well, I’ll admit that it’s definitely possible that you opened yourself up to some kind of harassment there. And while you’re definitely forgiven after those confessions, you may have to go a bit further to break yourself off from what you’ve invited in. Confession erases guilt, but not all consequences. Just like if you put a hole through the wall and confess it you still have to repair the hole yourself, this needs to be repaired.

Seriously though, get a St. Benedict medal and talk to your priest. Be sure to mention how you messed around with the occult though.

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