Spiritual Dilemma


As a former neo-pagan, I should have seen this coming.

My step-son (13 years old and was abused by a former step-father) is having some serious issues. He claims to be bothered by a spirit that visits him in his room several nights a week. It has spoken to him once, saying one word to him. “Help”. There was also an incident where he saw a faceless ‘spectre’ (for lack of a better word) outside his window. His step-father investigated but found nothing outside to indicate anyone or anything was there. He has tried to tell his mother and their family about this problem but they laugh at him.
He is having problems with nausea and vomiting to the degree that he has been hospitalized twice. He is in hospital right now having a nasogastric tube placed and is under observation. They can find no medical cause for the illness.
He came to me for help and information about the Catholic church a few weeks ago. (His mother’s family is Southern Baptist). He knows my spiritual and religious background.
I gave him some Holy Water and a blessed prayer card of St. Michael and instructed him to use this whenever the bothersome spirit showed up. He says he did, but it had no effect.
His mother has forbidden him to attend mass with us until she can further investigate the church and satisfy herself that we are not exposing him to anti-christian practices.
I am at my wits end. I want to help the boy. I, too, suffered from spirit visitations my entire life. If prayer and Holy Water are not working, what else is there? I would take him to my priest, but with his mother being difficult and believing us to be doing something that might hurt him spiritually, I am at a loss.
Any ideas about what this thing could be? Or, what I can do to help him?


This may be a spiritual problem, but then again it might be psychological in nature. In other words, it will take an expert to make an informed investigation and discerment on this. We here will have our opinions, but don’t depend solely on forum advice.

As luck would have it, Catholic Answers just had a very informative radio show about this that you should listen to. It can be found here:


Basically, Fr. Euteneuer’s advice is to seek psychological help first, and if they can’t find anything wrong to seek the help of a priest who may be able to perform or refer him to some type of recognized deliverance ministry.

It’s too bad he’s not Catholic because usually these types of things can be addressed simply by living a good Catholic life – practicing the virtues, prayer and penance and recieving the sacraments.

It’s unclear if you have legal custody of this child or not. If his mother continues to be incooperative, you may only be able to continue doing what you are doing now (and don’t do anything follish like take him to an unappproved exorcist or spiritual “healer” or attempt it yourself. This is very dangerous and should only be done by experts and with the approval of the Church). In any event, listen to the program and continue to pray for him. We will be praying with you.


I am so sorry to hear of your step-son’s problems.

If medical explanations have been ruled out, then this sounds like a case of demonic harassment to me.

There are some resources that may help at the St. Pio Center for Deliverance Counseling.
SPCDC Home Page
SPCDC Help Page
Spiritual Warfare Prayer Catalog**

His mother needs to be on board and supportive. Pray for her. That may happen by default when she wearies of the vomiting and visions. By the way, the SPCDC founder, Bro. Ignaitus Mary, was Baptist before converting to Catholicism. His conversion story may interest her:

Why Be Catholic?

Most importantly, keep praying for your stepson. It would be especially helpful if you and his father prayed together. Keep in mind that God answers prayers in His time, not ours. Just because you don’t see results right away doesn’t mean the prayer isn’t “working.”


*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

I was once harrassed by demonic spirits (I think). I got over it by devoting myself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (in the manner of St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary), and praying the entire rosary (all three mysteries) every day (in the manner of St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary). (Both True Devotion to Mary and Secret of the Rosary are available for free online) I also wore a blessed chain with a Mary medal around my neck, symbolizing my slavery to Mary, a Carmelite scalpular, and a cross with medals of St. Michael and St. Benedict, patron saint of exorcists. You can also pray to St. Benedict, patron saint of exorcsists and against any ancestral problems (sometimes you may not have done anything, but your anscestors have and so you have problems). I can post the family healing and St. Benedict prayers here if your family wants them. Mary, I believe is key, because **Secret of the Rosary **gives an example of a demonic possession where the demons stated that they fear her intercession more than anything else on earth, before the Rosary is used to cast them out.

After all, during the New Testament, Mary asked Jesus to do the miracle in Cana. He replied it was “not yet his time.” However, he did it anyways.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


Funny you should mention the devotion to Mary. I was looking at the Militia of the Immaculata yesterday. I am giving consideration to a much deeper devotion to Mary.

Also, the strangest (but most wonderful thing) happened last night. I found a Mary medal in my hallway floor. It is one that I got many years ago when I first converted. It ‘should’ have been in the storage building a block up the road (in the jewelry box it has been in for years) But just when I really needed her, this reminder popped up seemingly out of nowhere. I am awed and honored to have received such a sign of Our Lady’s protection and interest.

We do not have custody of the boy. I could wish that we did. In fact, and I hope this is not sharing too much, but my husband’s name is not even on the birth certificate, her ex-husband’s is. My husband really has no legal rights involving this child, but he loves him and so we struggle through this.

Thank you all for the wonderful advice. We definitely won’t be hauling him off to some deliverance minister. In prayer last night, I was shown that God has His hand on him and that my job is to pray for the child.
Thanks guys. You helped a great deal. I’ll remember you all in my prayers today.


Julia, is your stepson baptized? Surely his mother, as a Baptist, wants him to be baptized, and if even if he is baptized in the Baptist church it is a valid sacrament.

I cannot help but wonder if the reason why the holy water and prayer cards are not working is because he is not baptized and/or does not have his own faith and understanding of how the blood of Christ protects him.


Thought I would update. I lost track of the thread for awhile.
He has been baptized, but I doubt if he actually understands any of what that means. I think it was ‘just something to do’ at church because others were doing it.

Latest development…he had surgery to stop glands from over-producing stomach acid. While he was in the hospital, his mother decided to take the cellphone we bought him (and provide service for) because hers didn’t work anymore. We had the phone turned off until it was returned to him. She has decided now that he cannot come visit us here because I ‘might hurt him’ because I am jealous of her.
I have never even looked wrong at this child! I know I should pray for her, but I am so angry. Two years ago I would have made a voodoo doll and started doing spells…I guess I’ve made some progress afterall. No dolls.


No, do not allow yourself to be tempted to do spells or get occult knowledge about her. It will increase the negativity by a hundred fold. She is really jealous of you, of course. Reach through that with pure love, and you will be able to reach this child. If you reach out to HER in love, you will be able to keep in contact with him, since you have no legal rights.I know this probably seems like a lot, but instead of arguing about the cell phone, why not let her use it for a while, as long as she agrees to give it back to him in a certain amount of time? Remember what Jesus said about giving even the cloak off your back? That kind of pure unselfish love is the only way through the bad feelings here.


No, no. I am certainly not tempted to do such things. I was merely reflecting at the difference in my behavior now as compared to back then.
As to allowing her to use the phone, I just cannot do it. That phone belongs to her son so that he can keep in touch with his father, not for her to use for own use. She has a phone. She should get the service reinstated or get the phone repaired and let her son’s phone alone. Had she not refused to get one for him and demanded his father get one for him, I might see things differently.
I want to be able to pray for her. It is difficult because first she insulted me by not allowing him to stay on Sundays because we might take to mass. Now, she has gone completely over the edge and stated that I might be capable of hurting her child. I am sure that I will eventually get a handle on this with the help of Our Lord, but just now I cannot do it.
Your suggestions have the ring of truth to them. I am just not where I need to be to do those things. Is it possible to commit the act of love but still harbor hurt and anger? I think it would invalidate my act of love should I do so. Wouldn’t it? It would be a lie, would it not?


It isn’t possible to half-love somebody, but in reality, when you say to yourself, “I will overcome and be like Christ and love her though she is my enemy”, you will succeed some days and other days find yourself angry and bitter again. On those days, you just have to confess your anger and hurt and give it up to the Lord and be obedient to his command to love our enemies.

It’s really easy for me to say this because I am not you and I am not in your situation, but if you want to stay in contact with your husband’s son you must love his mother and show love to his mother as Jesus would love her. Yes, she should be responsible and get her phone turned back on, and obviously, there is conflict between you and her that is based on jealousy, insecurity, and resentment. But bottom line, this is the way that Jesus taught. He did not say it was easy to give the cloak off your back, and He did not say only people who deserve to be loved should be loved.

I don’t know why she divorced your husband, but there must be some resentment toward you hanging on somewhere- whether she left him or the other way around. When she demanded your husband get the phone, it was a way asking for something from him, and when she took the phone, it was also a way of taking something from him. So what? That is her problem. The way to overcome her problems is to overcome them, not entangle yourself in them. In reality, she has no hold over your marriage, your husband loves you, and she is no threat to you. So, just love with the security and maturity of a person who is secure in her marriage and in Christ.


Make an appointment and speak with your parish priest about it…Satan, in a special way, especial fears Our Lady, St. Michael and Catholic priests - so pray to Our Lady and St. Michael especially…


Thank you for your wonderful advice. It is much easier to say ‘Oh, I’ll follow that’ than to actually do it, however.
I did make an attempt to contact her to discuss her using the phone. Maybe they are having worse financial problems than we are. I ran into a wall, however. His phone is turned off and goes directly to voicemail. She hangs hers up when she sees my number, so apparently hers is working.

I will pray about it more. Really, I see no other option.


I would just like to mention that love is an act of the will…one doesn’t have to actually feel the emotion of love towards the person.

In prayer one can surrender the person that irritates them to the Lord, and hope the best for that person and the situation. We can’t turn our feelings on and off…but we can make a sincere act of the will before the Lord, to love. The Lord honors that.


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