Well, first, any fallen angel can - it is questionable whether the head chief would personally be involved every time.
Second: the fallen angels can only do what God allows. If a person has done some very bad occult things, fallen angels may receive power to torment (or, in rare occasions, possess) the person. Usually a state of unrepentance after committing one or more grave mortal sins is present, for it is our understanding that Christ, the Mighty to Save, always readily forgives the penitent heart - although He entrusted the Church with the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession, the ordinary means through which he absolves sins and restores sanctifying grace.
It is written:
And where sin abounded, grace did more abound. That as sin hath reigned to death; so also grace might reign by justice unto life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Possession is extremely rare (as far as we know) in ordinary people, and the more we are close to God the more these powers of darkness are driven away, as it is written:
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
As for those in the state of grace, they must have no fear whatsoever, for they are partaking in the divine nature of Christ as members of His body, the same Christ who said:
The prince of this world comes: and he has no power over me. …] I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven …] all authority has been given to me in Heaven and in the earth
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
[quote=GEddie] I doubt that one must give “consent” to be possessed. If that were necessary, possession would almost never occur.
Implied consent would be not living in a state of grace. For example, living in and with mortal sin. If you are outside of the flock and reject the Sheppard, then naturally I’d assume you could be picked off at anytime. All things considered, His will be done of course.
I didn’t know there were so many experts on demonic possession and exorcism here.
Theology Nerd, If you seriously want a correct answer to such a question, as your diocese to put you in contact with a local exorcist. All you are going to get on a forum is well meaning folks guessing at the answer.
I mean no insult to those trying to help, but come on now.
That said, here’s my amateur guess based on second-hand anecdotes. :o
It seems that when demonic possession, and lesser forms of extraordinary trouble with demons which seem to be more common, occur it is often when the person has been involved with the occult and with various forms substance or sexual addiction (including pornography). I’ve heard an exorcist speak in terms of opening oneself up to evil spirits through these things.
As far as refusing, again anecdotally it seems that whatever attitude of openness may have been present when the possession began the person receiving the exorcism has often gone to the priest willingly and is trying to be freed from this affliction. Therefore it seems to me that more is needed than simply deciding one does not want to be possessed.
By the way, last time I browsed through the selection of books sold through this Catholic Answers website there was one about exorcism. I haven’t read it and it had nasty, horror-movie kind writing on its cover (the exact opposite of what I would want for a book on this subject), but I would hope it would be reputable if it is sold by Catholic Answers.
Thanks to those who tried to help answer my earlier question about satan.
Saints Alive - great idea! Thanks…I will do that and the student will probably enjoy waiting for an “expert answer”!
1ke - why, yes. Thanks for asking in such a kindly fashion. I have an MA in systematic theology from one of the better seminaries. I also have a doctorate in religious education. Nope…we never covered that. :eek: