Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Exorcism Prayer

Published by order of His Holiness
Pope Leo XIII

  The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer. Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (and official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with the Bishop's permission.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 


  Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in "our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." (Ephes., VI, 12) Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to their image and likeness and whom Jesus has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven. Pray therefore that the God of Peace allows men of faith to expel Satan, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of "the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan," bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit "so that he may no longer seduce the nations." (Apoc., XX, 2)

1(Lay people omit this parenthesis.) 


  In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of our Savior, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints, 1(and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry), we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil. 

  Psalm 67: God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him. 

  As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God. 

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies. 

R. He has conquered, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the offspring of David. 

V. May thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us.  

R. As great as our hope in Thee. 

The crosses indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; 
if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross 
to be made silently by that person. 

  We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects; in the Name and by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, do may you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb. Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God's elect and sift them as wheat. The Most High God commands you, They (Trinity) with whom, in your great insolence, you still claim to be equal; "They who want all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Tim., 1I, 4) Yahweh commands you. The eternal Son commands you. The eternal Holy Ghost commands you. Jesus, God's Word made flesh, commands you; He who to save our race outdone through your envy, "humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death;" (Phil., 11, 8) He who built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her commands you, because He will dwell with Her "all days even to the end of the world." (Mat., XXVIII, 20) The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you, as does also the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith. The glorious Mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, commands you; She who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, crushed your proud head. The faith of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles command you. The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you. 

  Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, by the true God, by the Holy God, by Yahweh "who so loved the world that He gave up His only Son, that every soul believing in Him might not perish but have life everlasting;" (John, 111,16) stop deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation; stop harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Begone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation. Give place to Christ in whom you have found none of your works; give place to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and Terrible Name of Jesus, this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which causes hell to tremble, this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Armies. 

V. O Lord, hear my prayer. 

R. And let my cry come unto Thee. 

V. May the Lord be with you. 

R. And also with you. 

Let us pray. - God of heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness; deign, O Lord, to grant us Thy powerful protection and to keep us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. 

  From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord. 

  That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, we beseech Thee to hear us. That Thou may crush down all enemies of Thy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Living the Mysteries: What is Grace?

St. Leo the Great said that the days between Easter and Pentacost are God's favored time for revealing the mysteries.
It is as if, the Mother Church has birthed us at Easter and only now can we begin to take our first baby steps into
a new world. A world, more real, more permanent. We look not so much to the things which are seen, but things
which are not seen. The real hidden mysteries of life. For many of the things which are unseen are eternal.
These are exciting times if you really stop to think about it. I mean, I'm reaching you right now through the
internet. The internet can be a great tool for both good and evil. I try to use it for good. And I hope you
will agree.

Grace is another gift of the Holy Spirit. It is leniency when we give in to sin. It is the beauty of nature.
It is each stride along a divine path, back to God, through this life and all the unspoken, unthought of, unheard
changes that follow a divine path. Entering mystagogy is nothing less than allowing God to continue teaching us.

St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa were brothers born to a noble family. Their paternal grandfather
was regarded as a saint and the maternal grandmother died as a Martyr. Of the ten siblings 3 became bishops and 3
are regarded as saints. At the time, the church did not baptise people as infants and children, so Basil presented
himself for instruction in faith and to recieve the sacraments in due time. He discerned a vocation and traveled to
Egypt, Palastine, Syria and Mesopotamia to observe the many ways that men were living as monks. Basil would 
eventually be named Bishop of the bustling metropolis of Caesaria.

His brother, Gregory, had married a woman named Theosebeia and begun work as a rhetorician. Gregory was a great
scholar, steeped in the greek tradition of philosophy, culture and literature. He and his wife took to the unusual
step of living in celebacy while married. They devoted themselves completely to prayer and contemplation.

There is much more to know about St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa and it can be found in the book,
Living the Mysteries by Scott Hahn and Mike Aquilina

Neither Basil, nor Gregory were particularly pious as youths, but they moved into the faith, as I am by becoming a
church musician in the Catholic Church. I'm not saying that I compare with St. Basil or St. Gregory but, I'd like
to in some ways. Music is my passion and I play a lot of different kinds of music and write original music.
I even have a Catholic song for Funerals entitled "Grandmother". But I digress...

I, myself, respect celebacy, but I don't think that I could practice it. I love women too much to ever be celebate,
myself. I suppose there may come a day, long after I'm married that sex won't be as much a part of my life anymore,
but I am only 27 and I should look for a fuller life, by supporting myself well and having children that I can
sculpt and mould into good upstanding people who think deep thoughts and share them, like myself. 

Independance of faith and the role of the Church.

Man's response to God must be free, but not in the sense of anarchical freedom, but freedom as a gift of obedience and adherance to God's Law.  The laws of God have come to us from the Prophet Moses and the other Hebrew Prophets.  They are passed along through all Abrahamic Faiths.

No one should be forced to embrace the faith without his or her will.  There should be no Inquisitions and the Inquisition was a sad and harrowing time for the Catholic Faith.  Times have changed and the Catholic Faith is much less repressive and much more forgiving.  

In our freedom, sometimes we all make mistakes and sin.  This is the role of The Church among other roles; to encourage but not force people to be free from sin.  God calls man to serve him in both spirit and truth.  Consequently we are bound to God in consience, not through coersion.

And this fact met its fullest manifestation in the person of Christ.  Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them in any way.  For he bore witness to the truth but refused to force or impose against those who spoke against it.  And this is not some flaw that led to his demise, but a graceful gift of the Father who spoke through to Son, Christ Jesus.

Faith as a Human Act.

As we have said previously, believing is possible only as a Gift of the Spirit, but that does not diminish in any way that believing is also and authentic human act.  Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed are contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason.

How could it possibly be unreasonable for a person to seek after the gift of faith?  Faith brings so much to life.  To believe is not only a sacred act and Gift of the Spirit, but it is a mark of enlightenment on the part of the believer.  It gives a human great dignity to believe.  If this is so, still less it is contrary to our dignity to yield by faith the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals and share in an interior communion with God.

God does reveal and not just in Revelation as many people believe perhaps too strongly, but in the Gifts of the Spirit, in the Gospels and in the Epistles as well as in the Torah, and through the Prophets of the Old testement.  In a doff of the hat to Muhammed, he also talks in the Koran about the stories of the Torah and translates them into Arabic, so that these stories of the Prophets spread and prosper in the world.  While I am not a Muslim, I do appreciate a good Sufi story and if you are interested in hearing one, CLICK HERE.

Don't forget to click older posts at the bottom of the page.

Faith is a human act which God wants us to accept as a Gift of the Spirit.  Are you willing to accept your gifts?

Faith and the Trinity.

Faith is a Gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by God.  We must remember that this gift is not given to us by flesh and blood but by our Father in Heaven.

Now there is open debate of what this heavenly God is all about.  In the Catholic faith, we believe that there is a thing called the Trinity.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost.  No one comprehends the thoughts of God, but the Spirit of God.  And the Spirit of God is divided into three main segments, the Trinity.  God, the Son, or as he is commonly called, Jesus, comprehended the thoughts of God the Father because he was "the Word made flesh".  

Now there are many words for God.  Now there are many words for God.  The Hebrew word for God is YHVH or yod-heh-vav-heh, which translates roughly to Jehovah or Yahweh.  In Arabic and Aramaic, the world is Allah or Eli.  Any way you look at it, Jesus was this word manifest as it could possibly be in human form.  He was the Messiah or as the Zoroastrians say the Saochyant.  Time started over for most people in memory of his birth in Bethlehem so many years ago.

In addition to the Son, there is the Holy Spirit, a both feminine and masculine presence.  The Holy Spirit takes many forms to move in the lives of the faithful.  It is by the Holy Spirit that we have the Gifts of the Spirit in the first place.  The more you let the Holy Spirit manifest in your life, the better off you will be.  But it is through Faith that all of this is possible.

Remember that one cannot believe in Christ without sharing of his spirit.  It is of course the Holy Spirit that teaches men and women to say that Jesus is Lord.  One must have the interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, which moves in the heart and converts it to God, Almighty.  If you open your eyes to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, you too will believe in the awesome power of God, Almighty.

The Trinity is like an egg.  It has a shell, egg whites and yolk, but it is one egg.  Such is true about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Father is like the yolk, the Son is like the whites of the egg and the Holy Spirit is like the shell that we see today, but it is all one egg that comprises God.  God is one entity even though it is divided.

Mother Mary: Point of Light

Blessed is she who believed.  The she is, of course, the Virgin Mary.  When the archangel Gabriel came to her, she believed and was obedient, not to any human convention, but to the Gifts of God.  For Jesus was a true Gift of God to the Virgin Mary.  He was in part, her lifeforce in the world, which is why we have the Assumption that she too was born without sin.  Why, you may ask must we assume that the Virgin Mary was born without sin.  Some of you may not even believe that Jesus was born without sin, but there is wisdom in the church's teachings and it would behoove yourself to take heed.

Mary said, "Behold I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word."  She accepted the Gifts of the Spirit, of which children are certainly one.  Now children aren't perfect by any means, but that doesn't mean that they aren't a special part of a parent's life.  I myself am not a parent yet, but I hope to be someday with the right woman.  Like St. Joseph, I'd like to bear a child with a woman and let it shine like the sun.

Forgive my pun, but Jesus shone like the sun and was the Son of God.  

Throughout her life and until her last ordeal at the foot of her son's cross, Mary was the obedient handmadien of the Lord.  Obedience is really a quality that is not cherished by society.  There is so much pressure to be disobedient to God's Will.  Why do we succumb to it?  Lord knows I'm not perfect.  The Lord knows everything impure and evil about me, but the Lord still loves me.

Think about how the Virgin Mary was obedient to the Lord even at the foot of the cross.  At the very sacrifice of her Son, Jesus.  Try to be more like her.  She is a model of virtue and with Mother's Day so close behind us, we should think of her more as a model of Motherhood.

The Virgin Mary is venerated by the Church as the purest realization of Faith and Faith is a prime virtue of the Spirit.