Demonic Possession...?


#1

If this is the wrong Ok, I am so ashamed of the following. Since I feel uncomfortable with telling anyone, I just wanted to post it here.

I come from a pentacostal background. Recently, a nephew of mine, (he’s pentacostal) was convinced that I was in need of exorcism. I don’t remember how, but I was persuaded by him to let him try to exorcise whatever might be there. I’ve been going through some difficult times, and in his opinion it was demonic (the idea isn’ that far-feched, since I’ve been involved in the occult).

He persuaded me to confess my sins directly to God, without a priest present, (which I actually shouldn’t have done, I know). After that, we spent hours ‘exorcising’ the demons.

I have 2 general concerns: I’ve let him pray for me, and I’m almost terrified at possible harmful consequenses of the ‘exorcism’, perticularily because he isn’t catholic, and he isn’t a priest, and I don’t know if he has any authority to do such things. I’m trying to tell myself not to worry, but I can’t help myself. Furthermore, it may all be suggestion, eventhough I really don’t want to consider that because I feel such a line of thought has the tendency to undermine every spiritual experience.

I am confused and I am ashamed of it - what should I do?


#2

See a priest, there are prayers that the general faithful are allowed to do for possessed people, but exorcisms are meant to be done by priests under the direction of a bishop.

It isn’t a joke and certainly fooling around may not only bring you harm, but him as well. Also you may not be possessed, possessed people don’t usually come onto forum and let others know about their predicament. But see a priest, perhaps ask Fr. Serpa in the ask an apologist section of the website.

Cheers


#3

Atrandomdutch:

If this is the wrong Ok, I am so ashamed of the following. Since I feel uncomfortable with telling anyone, I just wanted to post it here.

Hi Atrandomdutch…Certainly nothing wrong with posting your experience here - and wise to have done so, rather than let your anxieties build up within.

I see you are noted in your profile as “Catholic to be”. You can still make an appointment with a priest and discuss what has happened with him and in particular do mention that you have been involved in the past in the occult. A priest’s primary role is to be a ‘shepherd to the flock’.

I am confused and I am ashamed of it - what should I do?

Nothing intrinsically wrong with confusion and shame and we can all feel it for very many reasons - often it can be an entirely productive and positive - a valid way to feel. Mention this too to Father. At times if I am overcome by emotion prior to an appt. with my director/confessor, I jot down the points I want to speak to Father about on paper - as with me, emotions can block memory and I can be forgetful. This is not an uncommon experience either. The other way of dealing with emotions is to tell Father immediately the appt. beings that you do feel confused and ashamed and that this appointment is difficult for you. Father can then help you through it.
Certainly, in future be most hesitant indeed to act on any advice etc. given on some spiritual matter certainly by a non Catholic as a rule of thumb. All should be settled and peacefully after a talk with Father and this is always the very wisest of moves. Our priests’ primary function is to help us along the way and certainly with any problems that crop up. I will keep you in prayer.

But see a priest, perhaps ask Fr. Serpa in the ask an apologist section of the website.

Excellent advice too!:thumbsup:

Blessings and regards…Barb:)


#4

On what grounds did he think that you needed to be exorcised? is there something in your behaviour that called for that or is it some practices that you were involved in? Has anything happened during those exorcisms that you feel bad now?

Confessing your sins, if especially you were involved in occult, would be a very good idea - to a priest as well - and that could be followed by the prayers for deliverance - which can be conducted by a priest or by lay people.

Why not contact some Catholic Charismatics to get their perspective and discuss this in details.


#5

God wants us to be at peace and not to fear. Satan can play on our emotions, including feelings of embarrasment and confusion. There is nothing wrong with but everything right with the laity praying deliverence prayers. However, it is clear you should seek the council and direction of an orthodox priest. Repentance and turning away from sin is key to over coming satan.


#6

pierced77

God wants us to be at peace and not to fear.

Peace is the very important foundation of the spiritual life. If one is not at Peace something is surely amiss and it is best to seek spiritual direction …


#7

Dear Atrandomdutch,

A person can be harassed by demons but not be possessed. Actual possession is rare, but other levels of demonization, such as oppression, is more common.

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about your nephew’s praying for you since you are not yet Catholic. The fear and anxiety you have may not be so much a result of your nephew’s prayers, but may instead be leftover effects from involvement in the occult.

Although only a priest can perform a solemn exorcism, any person can say prayers of deliverance. People need to avoid using imprecatory commands and use deprecatory language when doing so. See some guidelines on that here.

Here’s a link to several prayers you may find helpful:

Spiritual Warfare Prayer Catalog

I recommend the Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance from the St. Pio Center for Deliverance Counseling. I completed those steps almost a year ago myself, with dramatic results for the better. Whether or not you are actually demonized, following those steps will help you become a better Christian.


#8

Claims by lay people of demonic possession is abusive and has been going on for centuries. Innocent people where hung at Salem Massachusetts, in the infamous Salem Witch Trials, on claims of demonic possession and witchcraft.

A person who is truly demoniacally possessed, would not be coming into this forum asking for advise on what to do about it. The demon would prevent such an action.

Stay away from fundamentalist who make accusations of demonic possession. They have no clue what its about, nor how an exorcism is done. In many cases, they’ve done more spiritual harm to people than good.

God bless
Jim


#9

Anonymity is helpful sometimes.

I come from a pentacostal background. Recently, a nephew of mine, (he’s pentacostal) was convinced that I was in need of exorcism. I don’t remember how, but I was persuaded by him to let him try to exorcise whatever might be there. I’ve been going through some difficult times, and in his opinion it was demonic (the idea isn’ that far-feched, since I’ve been involved in the occult).

Pentecostals can have an extreme view of possession. They call it deliverance and is sometimes very absurd. I would get a second opinion. Do you feel repulsed by sacred objects, such as a crucifix, Bible or holy water that gives him that impression that makes him believe this?

He persuaded me to confess my sins directly to God, without a priest present, (which I actually shouldn’t have done, I know). After that, we spent hours ‘exorcising’ the demons.

This is their version of exorcism. If he has no prior experience or training he needs to be careful and so should you. Praying for deliverance from evil is one thing. A full-fledged exorcism is quite another. Nothing wrong with prayer.

I have 2 general concerns: I’ve let him pray for me, and I’m almost terrified at possible harmful consequenses of the ‘exorcism’, perticularily because he isn’t catholic, and he isn’t a priest, and I don’t know if he has any authority to do such things. I’m trying to tell myself not to worry, but I can’t help myself. Furthermore, it may all be suggestion, eventhough I really don’t want to consider that because I feel such a line of thought has the tendency to undermine every spiritual experience.

I am confused and I am ashamed of it - what should I do?

Him praying for you is fine. Him having authority to command demons to leave is another. You should see a local priest, go through their questions, answering honestly and see what they say. They may ask you to see a psychiatrist first and an MD to rule out those kinds of issues. If they determine that an exorcism is needed they will set one up with you.

Contrary to what many people believe, it’s just been recently that some priests are receiving actual training to perform exorcisms. That’s a good sign. At least if there is not a local priest who will perform one for you (although there’s supposed to be at least one in every diocese), they can surely help you find one.

I understand that you are afraid of what might happen and you might feel ashamed. Don’t let that deter you from seeking help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of since you are honestly seeking help for it. Many people don’t seek help and live in fear constantly.

See a priest. Take it one day at a time.

Till then, I wouldn’t allow your nephew or just anyone to try to “exorcise” you. It may not be needed and even if it is, they could go about it the wrong way which could cause harm to you and them.

Peace…

MW


#10

Thanks for the input! It really helps!

Do you feel repulsed by sacred objects, such as a crucifix, Bible or holy water that gives him that impression that makes him believe this?

uuhm… no… in fact, quite the opposite of repulsion…

Personally, I think there was no real demonisation. It was late at night (I was tierd), and I’m struggling with some issues, so I poured my heart out. He thought the problems where caused because of demons. To be honest, a lot of the problem is the errenous way I’ve been accustomed to. I’m such a perfectionist that tiny sins will get me so frustrated that I tend to give myself no space at all when it comes to sin. I mean… obviously, I have some serious problems, but with demonic possession, isn’t it true that free will is impaired. I don’t believe my free will is impaired: it’s just that I’ve been learning some really stupid ways of thinking, and I think those deceptions are from satanic origin and oppress me, but that just means I need to learn to change my way of thinking. Isn’t that true? God needs to free me from this evil by His Grace, but that doesn’t mean that I have to have an exoricism. Is this about right?

Anyways, thanks for the help!


#11

:confused:

Deliverance is what is done to free someone from demonic harassment. Possession is not deliverance. Father Gabriele Amorth speaks very highly of using prayers of deliverance in An Exorcist: More Stories.

The idea that we can pray to be freed from demons is not absurd; it’s what the Church teaches.


#12

Fr. Gabriele Amorth, whom I mentioned in the post above, explains in his book that deliverance from evil spirits requires cooperation on our part. If we have impediments to grace, such as lack of forgiving others, then we give demons ground to stick around and harass us. The Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance linked in post #7 will help you become closer to God and remove obstacles to grace.


#13

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#14

You’ve totally read my post wrong. No wonder you are confused. I referenced pentecostal ideas of deliverance. Some believe that everything is demon related. Oh, you’re depressed, it must be the spirit of depression. Oh, you’re tired, it must be the spirit of tiredness.

That’s the kind of thinking I was talking about and the deliverance ministries of pentecostals is polar opposite than what YOUR church teaches. Pentecostals don’t usually ask the people to see a psychiatrist. Pentecostals don’t usually tell the people to see a doctor first. Pentecostals don’t usually believe in ghosts and end up sending them away without any knowledge of what they are doing.

That’s the kind of deliverance I see from pentecostals. It is absurd. It displays the same kind of ignorance that this friend has shown to the poster. Yes, I have the book, so I’m fully aware of what he teaches.

C’mon, Becky. The difference in deliverance and exorcism is clear and what I alluded to. PRAYERS of deliverance are great. I use them. Prayers of deliverance and the deliverance ministry promulgated by pentecostals are two directly opposite things.

Now, you know that I believe that we can be freed from demons. My life is living proof of that in the people I have helped. Now I’m the one confused by your comments. I never said otherwise. It would go against my whole website and 70 plus postings I’ve done on it that speaks of these things.

Peace…

MW


#15

You are welcome. I still encourage you to see a priest. Neither I nor anyone else here can tell you for sure. We would need to really delve into your background and present activities to be able to diagnose what is wrong and see if it is demonic.

Until then, pray often - especially the St. Michael prayer.

Peace…

MW


#16

No problem, and welcome aboard!

I come from a pentacostal background. Recently, a nephew of mine, (he’s pentacostal) was convinced that I was in need of exorcism. I don’t remember how, but I was persuaded by him to let him try to exorcise whatever might be there. I’ve been going through some difficult times, and in his opinion it was demonic (the idea isn’ that far-feched, since I’ve been involved in the occult).

He persuaded me to confess my sins directly to God, without a priest present, (which I actually shouldn’t have done, I know). After that, we spent hours ‘exorcising’ the demons.

Just to clear something up: There is no problem with confessing your sins directly to G_D. It is only G_D who has the authority to forgive sins – the priest has the authority only because it has been passed down to him from G_D through the original apostles to bishops through the ages to him.

The BEST way is to kneel before the person you have sinned against, confess or acknowledge your sin to them, and ask their forgiveness. This isn’t always possible, though, so the priest acts in that person’s place. To kneel before someone and confess your failures is a very humbling thing, putting the effects of your sin in perspective.

I have 2 general concerns: I’ve let him pray for me, and I’m almost terrified at possible harmful consequenses of the ‘exorcism’, perticularily because he isn’t catholic, and he isn’t a priest, and I don’t know if he has any authority to do such things. I’m trying to tell myself not to worry, but I can’t help myself. Furthermore, it may all be suggestion, eventhough I really don’t want to consider that because I feel such a line of thought has the tendency to undermine every spiritual experience.

I am confused and I am ashamed of it - what should I do?

Don’t let it worry you overmuch. As others here have pointed out, praying for deliverance is a good thing. He should be OK. Also, were you ever baptized in the past using the Trinitarian formula (“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”)? If not, or if you were baptized only in the Name of the Father, then when you become Catholic, you should be baptized with the Trinitarian formula. This effectively acts as an exorcism and should free you from any and all demonic influences and obsessions.

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#17

Do mention the fact you have been involved in the occult (opening post) to a priest…and this is another reason why you should speak with a priest.


#18

The Apostle said we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind.

This being so, why do so many Pentecostals (and I’ve met gobs) live in bondage, believing that they see a demon or two behind every coffee pot?

One Pentecostal lady of my acquaintance blames everything that doesn’t go her way (including a failed marriage that not even the groom was in favor of, or jobs she’s been fired from) as being “the devil coming against her.” She’s not one bit interested in hearing about how her own bad choices might have something to do with it.

Your past involvement with the occult might be a good reason for you to be received at least by conditional baptism, so the pre-baptismal exorcisms can be read over you and you can make a formal, public confession of faith.

That should take care of any lingering occult willies.


#19

Yes, Barbara. He should tell the priest everything he used to be involved with and what is going on now. Exactly.

Peace…

MW


#20

Exactly. That’s exactly what I was alluding to earlier. If you are looking for a demon everywhere, you certainly will find him. And just maybe the demon will get the blame instead of the person. There’s a demon for everything and that’s why I recommend that people who believe they are experiencing demonic activity to visit a priest.

Your past involvement with the occult might be a good reason for you to be received at least by conditional baptism, so the pre-baptismal exorcisms can be read over you and you can make a formal, public confession of faith.

That should take care of any lingering occult willies.

Yep.

Peace…

MW


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