In the website The Conversation, it is quoted that Sicilian priest and long-time exorcist Father Benigno Palilla recently told Vatican Radio that requests for exorcisms had tripled in the past few years. He said there were now 500,000 alleged cases of demonic possession recorded in Italy each year. With a population of around 60 million, this means the Devil is apparently active in one of every 120 Italians.
Less than seven years ago, if the topic of exorcism is talked about, even among priests, it would draw laughter and even heckling. Those days are long gone.
In the Gospel, as Jesus said goodbye to his disciples, He prayed that they be “kept from the evil one.” Why then, is the devil very active nowadays?
- Sin. We have lost our moral compass. We do not know what is right and what is wrong. We have justified the wrong. We kill the unborn, we call it choice. We encourage homosexual union and we call it alternative lifestyle. We have filled the air with porn and profanity and we call it freedom of expression.
- Deception. People think it is harmless to seek out wizards and fortune tellers, reading tarot cards, new age, and generally dabbling in magic and the occult. We always justify that it won’t hurt when the very opposite is true.
- When We remove God, some other spirits take over. Look at what we have done to our lives, we have taken God. Who will now protect us from the evil one? Why are there people who are affected by curse and those who are not affected by a curse? It is because the latter is in a State of Grace.
In December 2017, Pope Francis said in a television interview that the devil is a real person armed with dark powers. St. Paul said that the greatest battle is the spiritual warfare. Hence, three things to do:
- Always be in a State of Grace through daily reception of the Holy Communion, praying the Rosary, visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
- Be discerning. Not all things that cannot be explained are from God.
- Have faithfulness to one’s mission. Otherwise, idleness is the workshop of the devil.