An Exorcist Tells His Story by Gabriele Amorth

Ordinarily, I would never dream of rewriting a book review several years after composing the original, but in this case I’m making an exception, for two reasons: (1) My metaphysical beliefs have changed drastically in the interim. I was Christian when I penned the original; now I’m, well, an individualist, sceptic, and psychic dabbler. (2) At almost 10,000 views currently, this is the most popular review on my site, which lends it some importance in my eyes.

There are those who believe in God and those who don’t. Generally, theists are comfortable accepting the idea of supernatural occurances, while athiests balk at the notion. But there are also those theists who say they believe in God, but get uncomfortable or embarrassed at the mention of anything remotely paranormal. These people require the Flood to be rendered as a myth or explained by meteorological means. Likewise with the fire that rained from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. To them the idea of demons as actual beings is preposterous. This category of Christian probably comes about as a result of pressure from the intellectual atheist majority, and as a vain attempt at keeping some degree of credibility in their eyes. The thing is, if a person believes in God, it is perfectly logical to grant God permission to bend or break the laws of the universe that he set in motion. And if we already accept the existence of a being who lives beyond what we can see and touch, it’s hardly inconceivable that there are other entities in existence outside our perception of what consistutes reality: angels and demons, for instance.

I wrote the above paragraph because what this book is essentially trying to do is raise awareness of a perceived crisis in the Church. This general lack of belief in the supernatural side of Christianity means that exorcisms are rarely performed today, despite the fact that the Bible clearly depicts Jesus and his disciples freeing demon-possessed people. My interest in reading about demons was not for personal amusement, but because the Bible says so little about them.

Contrary to such films as The Exorcist, real demons apparently do not talk much. It is, after all, to their advantage to remain undetected. Other topics, such as demon oppression, witchcraft, curses, etc., are also covered in the book. Amorth’s account of his experiences with demons are fascinating, and are presented in a completely non-sensationalist manner. The book is written not for the titillation of the public, but as a wake-up call to fellow priests. Amorth maintains that there are many people out there who are needlessly suffering, people who have gone from doctor to doctor on a fruitless search for a physical cure to a spiritual ailment. The author is also careful not to downplay the arena of medicine, and he stresses the importance of being able to differentiate demon-possession from genuine mental disorders.

All that being said, when I read about a woman coughing up razor blades, I have a hard time taking this book seriously. Even if I accepted that there was a literal devil who had the power to bend the laws of physics, I can’t help thinking how weird it is that a person should vomit up an object that is man-made in a factory using a great deal of human skill. I ask myself, “Did the blades have ‘Gillette’ or ‘Wilkinson’s Sword’ printed on them?” Even giving credence to the supernatural, would the supernatural really manifest itself like this? It just starts to sound more than a little thin, and has the hallmarks of stage magic.

Amorth seems to be a well-meaning guy, but I have serious reservations about his experiences. I want to think the best of him, but whether he is knowingly telling lies or foolishly misinterpreting his experiences, either way he is reinforcing a false sense of reality to the public. There is simply no evidence of a hidden demonic realm seeking to get its claws into the material world. A thorough study of Satan in the Bible reveals the character to be a changing myth, from an angel in God’s employ (Book of Job) to God’s arch-nemesis (Book of Revelation). The literature of the Church of Satan denies the existence of demons. And my own personal psychic dabbling has never put me in harm’s way. Meanwhile, quacks like TV exorcist Bob Larson continue to prey upon a credulous public.

My original review of this book concluded with these words: “My gut reaction is that this is an honest book written from the direct experience of a level-headed Christian. It should not be placed on bookshelves among all the hauntings and UFO accounts and other sensationalist ‘true’ stories written for profit.” I can no longer, in good conscience, stand by my original endorsement. As far as real demon possession is concerned, I would have to see it to believe it.

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191 thoughts on “An Exorcist Tells His Story by Gabriele Amorth

  1. Michael says:

    Excellent post. As a Roman Catholic I decided to study up on the subject myself and I discovered more about Christ, why he allows such things to occur, and ways that I can prevent such things from happening in my life. Fr. Amorth is a great Priest, Exorcist, and teacher. A person can learn many things from him. Another noted exorcist who studied with Fr. Amorth is Father Fortea, google him if you are interested in more knowledge on this subject. Also Amorth wrote another book called “An exorcist tells his story: more stories” I would highly recommend you to read that book as well.

    Pax Christi on your journey!

    Michael

  2. Damien says:

    Darryl,

    Praised be Jesus Christ — now and forever!

    As a Catholic, I testify that Christ is central. Sadly, you are baffled by Mary and traditions because you are divorced from history. I claim that the Catholic “Tradition” is the fullness of what Christ taught and gave to the apostles, who in turn gave to all peoples for all generations, which includes the Bible.

    You are an intellectually honest writer, which I appreciate. If you come to understand the history of Christianity, then you will understand Catholicism. Perhaps you won’t agree with it, but at least you won’t be baffled.

    I pray that you remain happy and well.

    Damien

  3. Janice Brown says:

    Michael:

    I think you must sell cars. Fr. Fortera & Father Fortera brought up
    pages of car, etc. ads. More info needed. Thanks J.

  4. Heather says:

    As a convert to Roman Catholicism from an Evangelical Protestant background, I can tell you why we venerate Mary. When God asked her to do the unthinkable, to become an unmarried, pregnant teenager, a fate punishable by stoning in her time, she said, “Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.” This total willingness to do whatever God had planned for her, even unto death, is something we all should try to follow. In addition, she was the first disciple…the first to recognize the divinity of Jesus. She followed him from his conception to his death and resurrection, even when his chosen Apostles ran in fear. For this, we ask her to pray for us just as we would ask any other Christian friend to pray for us. She is the mother of the King, the “Queen Mother.” She has his ear, probably more closely than any other person that ever lived. He is central in our lives, the Redeemer of the world, the source of our being, worthy of all worship and praise. But she is the best example of how a human Christian should live, pondering all things in her heart.

    As for your belief that we don’t follow the Bible, I have to say, having been on both sides of the line, there are few people more biblically centered than Catholics. Read, “An Introduction to the Church Fathers.” It might help you to understand the history of the Church from the time of the apostles until today.

    I would also tell you to attend one Catholic Mass before you believe the Anti-Catholic rhetoric out there. One should not condemn that of which one has no knowledge or experience. Those people who propogate anti-catholic hate have never bothered to set foot inside a Catholic church, relying instead on what others have told them. You won’t burst into flames and you won’t see people worshipping statues or the Devil.

    God Bless You Brother!

  5. francis devine says:

    I have long thought protestants are ‘baffled’ by catholic veneration of Our Blessed Mother because they believe She can’t do anything for them, so why bother with Her, we don’t have to honour her … so we won’t.
    Jesus on the other hand He can do so much for us, like give us everlasting life … Oh we LOVE Jesus. Perhaps Our Lord will one day ask ” I can understand
    why you didn’t send My Mother flowers, but why did you resent others from doing so”

  6. Tom says:

    Help me to understand Protestants. Where in the Bible does it say “the Bible alone is to be the only source for faith”?

    Tom

  7. Tom Mulcahy says:

    Dear Mr. Sloan,

    Thanks for your book review, but I don’t understand your comment: “we hang onto the Bible alone.” Did the Bible just come out of nowhere? I was taught, but correct me if I’m wrong, that in approximately the fourth century a group of Catholic Bishops met at a council and selected the 27 books of the NT. Apparently this group of Bishops rejected many other writings claiming to be inspired. In other words, it was the Church that selected the books of the NT (under the guidance of the HS) – the same 27 books we all still use today.
    In fact, Protestant terms like Bible only or faith alone don’t even appear in the Bible. On the other hand, the Bible teaches that the Church is the pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15).
    Frankly, it is impossible not to have an interpretive tradition,
    whether Catholic or Protestant. That is why there are so many
    Protestant denominations: they all have their own traditions.
    Keep in mind that Jesus chose apostles to form His church, and handed authority over to them to build the church.
    The tradition of “Bible only” came out of the Protestant Reformation. It is not found in the Bible or prior to the Reformation. It is a tradition started by Luther, and based on his own private ideas.
    But if God guided the Catholic Bishops to choose the 27 books of the NT, would you not think that he would continue to guide that same Church found on the rock of Peter – the church that gave you the NT?

    Tom

  8. Jason says:

    Hi. I am a Roman Catholic. I just wanted to say a few things in light of the notes left by others. First, I congratulate the author on his understanding of the supernatural and demonic. Secondly, there is a bad rap by protestants for Catholics. I used to be one. However, there are many reason that have justified their misunderstanding. The human element of the church has at times made many mistakes, as will any human-run organization. A problem is the lack of humility by said element in accepting these mistakes. Another problem is the way Mass and our tradition are being slowly torn asunder. However, there is a tradition there, and while there may be errors made within the human element of Catholicism, the faith itself is infallible.

    Heather had it right about the Blessed Mother. She is an example to us all, and her love for us all is as perfect as a human being is capable of. We ask her to pray for us as you would ask your Christian friends to do. She, being such an example of a follower, lover, and student of Christ, does has a special place in the heart of Jesus our Lord. Just look to Luke 1:45-55 for an account of her faith and loyalty to God, and pay special attention to verse 48.

  9. Kathamandap says:

    I dont know much about Christianity but I like the post.

  10. Stephen says:

    I addition to what others have posted concerning honoring Mary, I would just like to add my two cents. Honoring our parents is part of the Ten Commandments. Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, he would either have to honor her or break the Ten Commandments. If the Scriptures say the Jesus is without sin, then it goes to follow that the never broke the Ten Commandments. It is that simple. If Jesus’ honors Mary, then honoring her can’t be wrong. Since we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ and members of his body, it goes to follow that Mary is our mother too. So, we must honor her as part of keeping the Ten Commandments. God bless you.

  11. Dorothy says:

    To get a better understanding of the Catholic Mass and how it came to be structured, read ‘God is Near Us’ by Pope Benedict [then Cardinal Ratzinger]. It is a good read for Protestants and especially Catholics as many Catholics do not appreciate the great gift of the Mass. The auther gives historical facts for its formation of Catholic Liturgy and how Luther erred in his reasoning which has passed on to other Protestants. There were two break offs from Catholicism: Luther and Church of England. All other protestant churches resulted from these break off and were not direct break-offs from the Catholic Church. Also visit the Coming Home Network http://www.chnetwork.org/ This website provides help to protestants with questions about Catholicism and introduce them to other protestants who have made a full circle and returned home. St. Paul was converted because he truly was seeking the truth and believed he was upholding truth in his persecution of the early Christians. So Mr. Sloan I invite you to discern further and be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God bless you.

  12. Angelita says:

    All I can say to people who resent honoring the Blessed Mother is to meditate and ask the Holy Spirit about this issue in their hearts. Surely protestants believe in the Holy Spirit, then let the Holy Spirit be their guide. Enough of these rhetorics. Love in your heart will guide you to the will of God.
    Love and peace to all.

  13. dawn walsh says:

    Thank you for the very insightful review of Father Amorths’ book. I liked it as well. I am impressed with your intellectual openess, as you were willing to give credit where credit is due, in spite of coming from another faith tradition. I had two thoughts to share. First of all, if Mr. Sloan, you accept the possibility of God bending or breaking the laws of the universe, what we would term a miracle, then you can also imagine that when it came time to find a fitting human Mother for His only-begotten Son, Our Father would perform a miracle. This one a miracle of creation, a woman without stain of original sin, to be the worthy receptacle of His Incarnate Son. Seeing my own common sinfulness I know this is only reasonable as none of us women, without a special gift of grace from God, could ever be capable of bearing the God-Man. She is God’s greatest human creation, not because of her, but because of Him. That’s why we love her, venerate her,(thank you for using the correct term) and honor her. She is the first Christian. She is our Mother as she is yours. Our Lord gave her to be our (Spiritual) Mother when he “gave” her to Saint John (John 19:26). She is the Woman spoken of in Genesis(Gen. 3:15),the Woman spoken to in Saint John’s gospel(John 2:4) and the Woman referred to in revelation (Rev. 12:1). She loves you! Love her back!!

  14. Darryl Sloan says:

    Wow! Where did all these comments come from? I’m guessing someone mentioned my review on a Catholic forum somewhere. Thank you all for dropping by and taking time to comment. I’d like to address a few misunderstandings.

    On the veneration of Mary: perhaps I could have phrased my confusion better. I’m certainly not against honouring her. I just don’t understand the role you give her now, today, in her afterlife. I find the notion of praying to anyone other than God (whether Mary or saints) strange. God, after all, is the only one who is omniscient, and therefore capable of hearing prayer. Mary, a human woman, does not possess such an attribute.

    On Catholics and the Bible: someone misunderstood my statement about Catholics following two thousand years of tradition. I meant two thousand years of tradition in addition to the Bible, not instead of. Protestants do not accept Church tradition on an equal footing with the Bible, i.e. the Bible is the only divinely inspired work.

    Someone asked why Protestants only accept the Bible alone. I don’t have a good answer. I don’t know why Protestants believe that the New Testament was God’s final and complete revelation. It’s not a notion I hold to with any great conviction. How can any man say definitively that God will never raise another prophet to speak his words?

    My best friend is a Roman Catholic. He became one out of an agnostic background. He has gone a long way to mellowing my view of Roman Catholicism, although I never subscribed to the more hardcore forms of Protestantism in the first place. This summer, I accompanied him to a Mass for the first time. I didn’t participate, of course, but I observed. An interesting and enjoyable experience. The real bone of contention is, of course, the nature of the bread and wine. I don’t want to get into that here, and I don’t have clear views on it, anyway. But what I will say is that the whole experience was much more conducive to worship and contemplation than a typical Protestant church service.

    Again, thanks for your comments, everyone. This response may provoke further debate, but I would really rather avoid that, because I know we’ll be opening a real can of worms that will take an age to work through.

    (If anyone is interested, the Christianity category on my blog has a few more reviews of Christian books.)

  15. petercoch says:

    to try and keep this huge issue as simple as possible I would like to point out that honouring the memory of Mary is obviously good and proper. The problem arises when Catholics or anyone starts believing that Mary is able to provide answers to prayer. This is obviously an open door to the satanic realm and demonic manifestations are bound to occur- like the teenager in benoni, south africa, who during her by now famous visions of mary was instructed to entreat fellow devotees to gaze into the sun in order to receive enlightenment. We now have several more physically blind people to pray for as a result. Mary died a natural death. She is not YHWH. Enoch who was taken away in chariot of fire was never mistaken for God. The root of this problem lies in church manipulation. Capture the female heart and you capture her male devotee. Feminism prefers a female deity. When we perceive the truth in humility we can no longer be manipulated. Padre Peo realised this. Thats why he was subjected to such demonic oppression. Being catholic is not the problem. Being stiff-necked is.

  16. ken88 says:

    Where did the Bible come from? From who’s Authority? To accept the Scriptures without accepting the Authority of the body that presents it to us (The Catholic Church)is illogical. Study the Fathers, and the Early Councils, they will show you the Catholic Church.

  17. John says:

    Hi,
    No Mary
    No Jesus
    Know Mary
    Know Jesus

    Jesus IS God!
    John

  18. Connie says:

    Dearest Friend in Christ,
    “When he comes, the Spirit of Truth, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-15).

    We truly have the Truth, whole and entire, in the Roman Catholic Church…no worries about who is teaching what, who is changing what law, who is starting another church… Please go before the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus if He is there…He will answer you!! I just know you will convert one day! God bless you and that great review of Father Amorth’s book. In His Love, Connie

  19. Pax Christi says:

    Interesting discussion, folks. Of course, Mary is not God, but Catholics believe she intercedes for us when we pray to her. Of course, we could pray directly to God and we do, but she certainly has his God’s ear. One only has to recall the wedding in Cana when Jesus asked his mother what she would have him do when she told him the wine ran out (she responded by telling the waiters do as he tells them). And there’s the many church-approved miracles such as Fatima that shows her as being the “woman clothed with the sun.”

    I would recommend Protestants read a century-old relatively short book titled “Where We Got the Bible” by Henry Grey Graham, a former Scottish minister who converted to Catholicism. It can be read online for free at: http://www.geocities.com/militantis/biblecontents.html

    Mr. Sloan’s foray into a Mass reminds me of Scott Hahn doing the same thing. Hahn was as rabid an anti-Catholic as one could be before he went to a Mass and took notes from the back of the church. What he found was something entirely in communion with the panorama of the New Testament. He has since converted to Catholicism and is one of the church’s most brilliant theologians. Google “Scott Hahn” and you’ll turn up a treasure trove of wisdom.

    Two other sites I invite Protestants to explore: http://www.catholicreport.org and http://www.biblechristiansociety.com. The latter site has a link called “Newsletters” that’d call up interesting and informative exchanges between Catholic apologist John Martignoni and Protestant readers. The former posts a half-dozen Catholic-related news with informative commentaries by the site’s host, Dave Hartline.

  20. Pax Christi says:

    P.S. Mr. Sloan, I enjoyed your review and thank you for it. I had recently purchased another of Fr. Amorth’s book and look forward to reading it soon after finishing “Tower of Light” by Catholic author Michael Brown, whose Web site, http://www.spiritdaily.com, I also check out regularly.

  21. Tom says:

    Now if you really want to come into the Heart of the Father through the love of the United Hearts – Jesus and His Blessed Mother please read the messages at http://www.holylove.org. Evil is being revealed, Hearts are being convicted, and people are loving God and their neighbors more.

  22. Joachim says:

    Great comments!
    Great questions on the spiritual nature of humankind.
    I came from a family of seven.
    My spouse and I are raising a family of eight.
    It is reassuring and comforting for each and every child ever born to know that there is Mother and Father, tending and nurturing. Each has a unique role in parenting a child.
    When one is not present, it is very noticable for the child,
    usually a sad spot. I’m glad Heavenly Father was kind enough to
    give us a most wonderful Mother-His very own-
    to help us on our spiritual journey to Heaven.
    …God love you.

  23. RayL says:

    Mary says in Luke 1 that her soul magnifies the Lord. That is, her soul makes Jesus clearer, larger, and more in focus, and that is a great thing indeed, especially since her soul is still very much alive.

    Elizabeth, also in Luke 1, says that Mary is blessed among women. That would make her holier than my own mother and my own wife.

    In Revelation 11:19, St. John says that he sees the Ark of the Covenant, and in the following verse, he describes it as a “Woman clothed with the sun”. Since Mary’s womb contained the Word made flesh and the bread from heaven, just like the Ark of the Covenant contained the Word and manna, that makes her the Ark of the new Covanant.

    Eve’s yes to lucifer enabled sin to enter the world. Mary’s yes to Gabriel allowed salvation to enter the world. Eve is the physical mother of all of the living, and Mary is the spiritual mother of all of the living (Rev 12:17). Eve came out of Adam, and Jesus came out of Mary.

    And that’s why Catholics venerate Mary.

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  25. Phil says:

    This is a comment pertaining to the subject of Fr. Amorth’s book…

    Anyone who rolls their eyes at the suggestion that there is a REAL Satan and that possessions and exorcisms are REAL should read this book, as well as the follow-up volume, “An Exorcist: More Stories”. As someone who has had a member of my family go through the horrifying experience of demonic oppression (at the very least), followed by an exorcism, I can assure you that this is all very, very real.

  26. heatlight says:

    Well, the Bible – or at least the New Testament – is the authoritative writings of the Apostles, those who later wrote down what the Apostles told them, and those the Apostles dictated to/through, as the Apostles – in the BC era, were the mouthpieces of Jesus. As such, the New Testament is the whole of Apostolic teaching, and was recognized (as genuine, apostolic, and authoritative) as such – with little disagreement – by the early church long before anything resembling what we now refer to as the ‘Roman Catholic’, with popes, saints and liturgy, church came into being. The Old Testament was the writings of the ‘Prophets’, God’s mouthpiece in the period prior to Christ, recognized as authoritative by the Hebrew people. So, both texts were authored by God’s mouthpieces and the authority, rather than being given by His people, was recognized by His people. That’s how we got, and why we revere the Bible. When the Apostles (who were handpicked from those who personally saw the risen Christ in the flesh) passed away, there was no more Scripture to be written. Even when the Bible speaks of ‘prophets’ in the New Testament, the sense of the Greek word for ‘prophet’ is so different from the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament that it’s likely the gift is quite a different one (as in the OT it was the ‘office of prophet’ and in the new the ‘gift of prophecy’ – something is different). Anyway – with no authoritative spokespersons/mouthpieces of God, how could we have modern scripture?

    p.s. – I have many Catholic friends and relatives, and believe most to be saved. I hope my disagreement on matters of the origins of Scripture don’t lead anyone to any other conclusion.

    blessings

  27. RayL says:

    The canon of the bible was first put together at the Council of Rome in 382 by Pope Damasus. Subsequent 4th century councils of the Catholic Church at Carthage and Hippo verified both the OT Canon and the NT Canon. A total of 73 books were considered to be scripture, until the 16th century when Luther threw out 7 OT books that were not originally written in Hebrew, but in Greek, just like the NT books were.

  28. Scott Thong says:

    Hi there, as a Protestant exposed to (but not steeped in) anti-Catholic notions for years, I can concur with petercoch’s comments. The Chick Tract meme goes, statues of Mary cry because Mary is sad that people pray to, honour and worship her instead of Jesus!

    A lot of Protestants and Evangelicals consider Roman Catholics unsaved because of various factors – exalting Mother Mary to a level close to idolatry, prayer to the saints, veneration of statues (which looks like genuine idol worship), doctrines of salvation not by grace alone but with works and sacraments, a purported lack of a personal relationship with Jesus or God, etc.

    I don’t necessarily agree with all the above either way. That aside, what I wanted to share was my father’s personal testimony of Protestant-style exorcisms (more precisely, Baptist). I shall retell one that I remember clearly.

    My dad was in New Zealand for his university education. He had already been to seminary. There was a frat-boy party that he was invited to, which he attended out of frindship and avoided the booze.

    Late into the night, one guy started acting all weird and zoned out. He was creeping out even the tough NZ rugby players. One guy from Malaysia said to my dad: “Hey, you know what… I think he’s possessed.”

    My dad asked, “Well how do you know?”

    “My aunt does lottery predictions for a fee. Every time she wants to make a prediction, she goes into a trance like that.”

    (Lesson to us all – supernatural stunts almost invariably involve demonic possession. I used to have a neighbor who could predict lotto numbers incredibly well, at the cost of scary nightmares for my family every night. When we realized what was up and prayed to rebuke the evil spirits, the neighbor never predicted another winning number again.)

    Well, my dad told everyone who was still hanging around that it was time to go home, he’d handle the freak-out guy himself. As no one wanted to be near the dude, they were happy to oblige.

    So my dad prayed over the possessed fellow, sang hymns, commanded the spirit to come out in the name of Jesus. Friend whose aunt is a lottery-predicting medium also stayed around to help out in case the guy got violent, as some possessions get.

    The spirit was stubborn, refusing to let go of the guy. Instead, he’d insult and joke with my dad. Dad just kept it up.

    At one point, dad called up a pastor he knew to come and lend a hand. This was well past midnite btw. Well, the pastor came and saw the guy – who was acting normal now – and said that there wasn’t any problem, then left. The possessed guy, of course, went back to his antics as soon as the pastor’s car drove off.

    But my dad kept it up. Several times, the guy would suddenly act calm, and claim that he was okay! No more possessed! You can go home now. But to be sure, dad kept up the prayer, and after a bit the spirit would lose patience and drop the calm act.

    Dad kept it up until almost dawn. Then he felt as if a breakthru had happened. The guy lay down and fell fast asleep. But to be sure that the ordeal was finished, dad prayed for a sign from God, a very specific sign – his young wife (i.e. my mum) would send a letter to him from Malaysia, and it would reach him today.

    And it did, that very morning, from the postman who was the first person to visit the apartment where the exorcism took place. Halelujah!

    When the guy came to after hours of sleep, he didn’t remember anything. Just that before he lost awareness, he heard/felt a presence ask him to let it in. Being clueless about spiritual matters and (in his mind) a brave, dare-to-try dude, he said yes. Which started the whole mess.

    And that’s what most exorcisms are like. Just a battle of patience and faith, often as simple as praying over a room to chase out a presence that’s been bothering baby and making him cry every night. No levitation, no buckets of puke (though these have been reported to happen), but definitely lots of freaky behavior, voicing and often unnatural strength!

    Hope my sharing has been meaningful. I testify that it is true, as far as my memory can be trusted! Amen.

  29. Will Riddle says:

    This is a really interesting post. The comments are interesting too. Hang onto your Protestant faith, Brother. No matter what all the Catholics say in their veneration of Mary, it is totally unbiblical and Jesus Himself seems to warn against it.

    However, to your point about honoring the Catholics, I am thankful you talked about it. Since Pope John Paul, the Protestant community has rightly advanced from their position that Catholics were AntiChrist (as the Lutherans historically believed) to their being part of the fellowship in Christ, whom we can learn much from. Their perspectives on the spiritual disciplines, in particular, are stunning–clearly you have found comraderie in their endorsement of the supernatural as well.

    perhaps this is why the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was so popular as well. Deliverance, tongues, healing, and all sorts of supernatural phenomena have been well-guarded and defended by Catholic writers, so it would behoove all the supernatural haters (including those within the Protestant camp) to read some. Thanks for your insight.

  30. heatlight says:

    RayL…
    p.s. – I came to my views through a year long study of the canonization process where-by we read all of the early church father’s references of apostolic writings, canon, and other issues related to the formation of the New Testament. You are correct, there was a ‘pope’, however the Papacy referred to at such a time was QUITE different from what was to develop later. Thanks for the correction, though.

  31. jakestimp says:

    Have you checked out the book “Pigs in the Parlor” by Frank Hammond? It’s where I first learned about demons and deliverance ministry. It’s very good and even has some Bible in there. You can find it on this site.

  32. loudmouthprotestant says:

    This is an excellent post. I am totally interested in reading this book because I consider myself to have interest in the supernatural aspect of our faith. An interesting book on demons and how they interact with Christians is C.S Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters.” Granted this was fiction but I was actually able to follow it and understand that these are actual tactics used by demons when they are trying to break a Christian. Nevertheless, thanks so much for the review on this book.

  33. Susan says:

    Hi. Nice review of the book. A good website for Fr. Jose Fortea is http://www.fortea.us/english/index.htm. He writes the book Interview With an Exorcist by Ascension Press. http://www.ascensionpress.com/PressRoom/Exorcist.pdf
    I think it is better than Fr. Amorth’s book as it is written in question and answer format for the non-literary person.

    I actually met with Fr. Fortea (he is an exorcist from Spain) recently here in the states. He prayed with me and found there to be “external influences” around me………around my husband as well. It is just as they say: the demons are trying to destroy all who want to serve God.

    Jesus, have mercy on us!

    Susan

  34. billphillips says:

    A friend and I go downtown witnessing, and I believe we’ve encountered people who are possessed (of course there’s no way to know for sure). The people we suspect will be in our face yelling as soon as they see us, spewing hatred and blasphemy. Almost all of them happen to be Catholic. Maybe praying to and idolizing a dead woman–Mary–is a good way to attract demons (aka necromancy).

    I like to ask Catholics (and Christians, as there are many false converts) whether they’re born again (John 3:3).

    Thanks,
    Bill

  35. anaidace says:

    We pray to the virgin Mary and the saints because we believe in “The communion of the Saints….” as we recite in the Apostle’s Creed when we pray. And because of that, we believe that the saints who had gone before us and who are now in heaven are the ones who relay our petitions and requests to God. These saints will be your ally to pray with you for your request. But it’s not imposed on any one. You could always pray directly to God…. Just that, the Catholic church thinks it’s better to have two or three gathered in prayer. ^_^ but anyway, thanks for your book review. I want to be able to buy that book too.

  36. eyesicle says:

    Outstanding post and commentary. THANK YOU to the Catholics who responded about Mary. I finally understand and it makes perfect sense. God Bless You.

  37. wellsme says:

    Thank you for your excellent book review. I had read it a few years ago, when I really wanted to understand… ie know thy enemy.

    I had an experience as a child with my best friend.. I went to church most Sundays and she had never been. I didn’t know much about God except that I loved Him and he loved me.. I was only 12.. but we were having a sleepover, and we started talking about school and stuff and she asked me about church..so I started telling her about my faith.. I guess like a child does; just simply. about God and Jesus and heaven.. I remember talking about it and being happy to share it. Like giving someone a great present.

    Then literally all of a sudden both of us were aware that a dark force had entered the room. We had both seen a man standing in the shadow of the stairs. At first I thought it was my Dad, coming down to check on us.. but when I called it receeded.. and it was not him. It became chilly and we were suddenly shaking, afraid. It is strange, but I remember almost feeling like all the air had been sucked out of the room, like right before a bad thunderstorm..

    I could not understand why, if I were talking about God and good things, that something bad would happen.. something to make us afraid. My Mom had Holy water in a bottle.. I don’t know why she kept it down there, but it was where we were.. so I remembered it.. Michelle and I clutched each other and I opened it sprinkling it all around the room and saying the Our Father (she didn’t know it). I then said, “In the name of Jesus I command you leave us.” After a few minutes the air became warm and scented with the most beautiful smell.. like a pure freshness of pine or a forest. Like incense, but none like I have ever smell before or since. We were also filled with a joy.. literally we sang Holy Holy Holy Lord. I taught her the words. We were so happy we did not want to go to sleep… we did not want the feeling to end. We kept it a secret until we were seniors in High School; and only then to some close friends who had messed with a ouija board. We had some strong advice for them about that. I never told even my parents until I was in my mid-20’s. Wow.. it was such a taste of heaven. I had still pondered why it had happened that way.. and I asked a close priest friend of mine.. and he said that when heaven is being opened to someone.. that their heart and mind are understanding.. that it infuriates the Devil and the demons. They literally tried to scare children. As an adult, the only thing I had read that was similar was the children of Fatima.. in praying for people’s souls, demons showed themselves to them as well.

    Christians (and the Catholic Church/Catholics in particular) are always under attack. Most people would just rather keep their eyes shut. The Devil does love that. No challenge.

    Was not the sex abuse scandal a call for Catholics to involve themselves more fully in their Church? To defend it (not the abusers) and love it? Sometimes you nearly have to lose it all to realize how much it means to you.

    Catholics are born again in Christ everytime they receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist worthily.

    To all my fellow Catholics: in the general confession.. remember the words, “I confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault. In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do….”

    FAILED TO DO might possibly be bigger than the sins we have committed. How many lost opportunities to offer hope, encouragment… or just to stand up to the Devil. See it for what it is, and don’t blink. Next time you go to Mass, pay attention to the words.

    I read through all the posts, and I hope that in being Christian, we are united, Catholics and Protestants in simply loving one another. I do believe that Catholics have the “fullness” of Faith available to them, but it is up to them to partake in it. Many Protestants live their Faith better undoubtedly than the “I was born Catholic” Catholics.

    Catholic only means “Universal”, and in loving Christ and one another we should strive to be in agreement.

    God Bless all who take part in this important discussion.

    Jen

  38. mike seaman says:

    Will Riddle writes:

    “No matter what all the Catholics say in their veneration of Mary, it is totally unbiblical and Jesus Himself seems to warn against it.”

    Too bad you did not back that up with a quote–perhaps because you can’t (maybe you were thinking of people in the OT who worshiped a false goddess but that’s not what Catholics do).

    Let’s see what the Bible actually says regarding the veneration of Mary: “Hail favored one, the lord is with you” and “Most blessed are you among women.” Gee, sounds a little like that prayer we Catholics say. If you want to convince us of your anti-Marian position, you’ll have to do better than that. Try addressing some of the excellent points made earlier by the Catholics in the blog (i.e. what about the Wedding at Cana; how do you square the protestant view of “Sola Scriptura” with the fact that the “scriptura” was put together by Catholic bishops, etc.).

    By the way, I have heard Amorth speak and he is rock solid. He wrote a follow-up book on the same topic entitled “An Exorcist: More Stories.”

  39. Mark Darren says:

    I would highly recommend that you read Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Leon Cristiani.

  40. Maria says:

    I would like to post a comment on the first subject- do demons really exist.I believe that they do excist just as do Holy Angels, well we have also the Un-holy Angels. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two at times to . As in that even Satan can come accross as a “Angel Of Light”.I also believe that bad spirits (aka demons) are responsable for a lot of the bickering, violence and what comes across as some mentel illnesses of today. We are in a battle ground of spiruital warfare, and here we are bickering about if we should ask Mary to pray for us. YES! we should ask her and anyone else that may be listining too. We must learn to put our religious differences aside and realize that we all need each other and each others prayers too. One day is comming soon when we will be glad to be in the company of any “Christian” person. I have witnessed evil entities jump from person to person and them not even be aware of it. Subtle changes in them can reveale it. One can be opressed by demonds and not be possesed totally. We all have a chance of being “under the influence” of a demon. we should all pray for each other plus ask all angels and saints to pray for us too. thank you.

  41. Maria says:

    Wellsme—-We could have grown up in the same household asI too had many experiences simalar to the one you just descibed. God Bless you and continue to protect you.

  42. Michael says:

    Darryl Sloan,

    Your getting so many hits b/c your site is listed on http://www.spiritdaily.com a Catholic news site that draws alot of people. Now all you need to get is featured on the drudgereport.com and you’ll be set!

    Pax,

    Michael

  43. wellsme says:

    Boy us Catholics get riled up when defending our Blessed Mother.. but like her, let’s be gentle.

    I once heard a simple story that may help explain her role in the Catholics of today..

    A child comes home from school, proudly carrying a slightly cracked, multi-colored clay pot. (You know “”only a Mother could love.. yeah one of those)

    It is his Father’s day present.. and he want to give it to Dad, right now.

    Mom says.. hold on, go wash your hands and do your homework while I fix supper. So the kid does.

    Mom fixes Dad’s favorite supper. She finds and box and some paper and they wrap the present. tie it with a bow. the kid draws a picture for a card.

    Mom calls Dad for dinner.. then nodding to the child he presents his Dad with the Father’s Day present.

    Do we not come to God, Our Father.. as a little cracked pot sometimes? It helps when our Mom helps us to present it in the right way, to be with us, guiding us along the way. She knows how proud, or full of sorrow or joy we are. She helps us to be patient. She loves us, because God loves us first.

    Yes.. we do pray directly to God, Our Father.. but sometimes it helps if Mom is on your side too.

    Mary is not a goddess, she was human. A fine example.. and one of the most bibcally based prayers is the “Hail Mary”. It is okay not to understand. But do not criticize what you do not understand.

    Peace to all.

  44. Tony says:

    This book gives us a good understanding of how evil operates, but also the great mercy of our Lord.
    to Billphillips:
    To answer your question, yes I am born again, we are born again when we are baptized.
    Regarding praying to the dead-you might check out Matthew 22:30.
    Jesus is very clear on this point, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. As Catholics, we believe that if we die in Christ, we will continue to live.

  45. wellsme says:

    good Post Tony.

    A few of the books of the Bible that Protestants miss is Maccabees (Intecessory prayer).. and Tobit (Archangel Raphael and the Demon).. I think Esther is another. All in all there are 7 books missing from the original canonical texts (aka Bible). My husband was Protestant.. and I was talking about Tobit.. and he had never heard that Bible story.. so it got us to looking at the differences. We thought maybe his King James was an odd copy, then we looked at a NIV…same thing. Until that point I did not realize there was such a big difference.. or what could be conceived as such. When “arguing” bibical points it is hard to do if the other guy has never seen it.

  46. Sean Farrell says:

    Hello Darryl,
    You mentioned doubt regarding the Eucharist and I thought the following scripture might help. In John Chapter 6, 53 to 59, Jesus explains His body and blood, but a little bit at the end can easily pass one by. Jesus here refers to the manna from the Old Testament which their ancestors ate and still died. It is curious that after talking about His body and blood, Jesus makes reference to the actual manna. Manna would make no sense as a point of reference if the Flesh and Blood Jesus refers to were simply symbolic of scripture. Jesus mentions the manna to drive home the point that the Eucharist to come at the Last Supper and thereafter, through the Apostles, was indeed a bread from heaven.
    Another way of approaching the Eucharist in a private and personal way is to visit a 24 hour Adoration Chapel.

  47. Marie says:

    Thanks for publishing your review. The posts are great too. I hope the words here will help unite all of us who are following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in His Love. It seems like the demons have increased in power and strength in the last few years. I’m almost shocked over some of the things I’ve seen recently. Beware of the devil but keep your eyes on Jesus. Hang on to Him and do not let go! Peace be with you all.

  48. Bunny says:

    My dad was a Nazarene minister, now in heaven, Catholic, I’m sure. I speak to him in heaven b/c through the Catholic faith tradition we believe that God grants saints a ‘beatific vision’ of everything happening on earth pertaining to them. So the saints in heaven *Dad* ….hear our ‘prayers’ (ok, its a bad term..they’re not actually prayers, but entreaties to pray for us) because God is good and they are in the communion of saints, the church TRIUMPHANT, which prays for the church MILITANT still on earth.

    Oh, and as a former protestant, I justified my sin of abortion because ‘it wasn’t in the Bible.’ How weak is that? I knew in my heart it was wrong. But we can justify alot in God’s name, can’t we? For me, that disproves “THE BIBLE ALONE”. Especially because the earliest Catholic writing, called the “DIDACHE’ expressly forbade abortion. These ‘extraneous traditions of men’ prove trustworthy and helpful…when we can get past the religious spirit we have as being raised in our Nazarene or Baptist or Assembly or whatever church as the ONLY truth. God help us become little and receptive like the Christ who humbles himself to be born in a manger, in Bethlehem, House of Bread, and appears to us today under the SIGN OF BREAD in the Catholic Communion…

    If you don’t believe it, go into a Catholic church, ask for the Tabernacle where the Bread is reserved,and ASK God whether he is present there. I dare you to listen for his voice. Be amazed. Be very amazed!

    Grateful for my Nazarene upbringing..yet grateful more that I have the Catholic church now to help me draw closer to Christ…

  49. nalejbonz says:

    Good post. Not sure if anybody already mentioned this, but this reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. Have you read it?

  50. errantartifex says:

    Two things,

    As a former catholic, it was this sort of narrow-minded and pretentious thinking that drove me from my practice. You marginalize entire patterns of belief and call fellow Christians ‘wishy washy’ simply because they don’t agree with your world view. Are we all to believe that the bible is one hundred percent true if we are to be counted as Christians? What about the parts that are a bit extreme, or can easily be taken out of context? Should we, like Abraham, be prepared to sacrifice our own children if we think God has commanded us? What if we are mistaken? Where are we to draw the line between Christian and un-Christian?

    Not every believers conception of God is the same, nor their conceptions of the bible. Catholics and Protestants have different views of faith and their practice of faith, but you said yourself that the “Protestant anti-Catholic propaganda” is unjustified. Open your eyes and realize that others might have different ways of believing in the supernatural and the events depicted in the bible, just as Catholics and Protestants have different ideas about which Sacraments are important.

    Further, who is the “intellectual atheist majority” ? The United States motto, for one, is “In God We Trust.” Further, in 2001, only 14.2% of the population identified themselves as Atheist or agnostic, while 76.7% identified themselves as Christian. It may be convenient to blame troubles of faith on imaginary enemies, but just because some people think supernatural events are imaginary doesn’t mean they’re not real believers.

    cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States

  51. finch says:

    nice entry 🙂

  52. The review on Fr. Amoroth’s Book is excellent. It certainly fired up a lot of controversey among christians. Those of you that claim to follow “Only” the Bible and criticize how other christians worship, is that really an example of living the Word of God or are you just quoting what you think you know? The Command Of Jesus is to, ” Love one another as I have loved you and your neighbor as yourself.” Is that what we are doing when we argue sensely over religion? The example of Christian love is not in what we say, but in what we do with our life. Do We live what we believe? Let me clarify something about Catholicism, Catholics do not worship Mary, We love and honor Our Holy Mother because: She was chosen by the Father; She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit; The Mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Christ gave her to us from the Cross, “Behold Your Mother.” The words, “Hail Mary” Pronounced by the Angel Gabriel, honoring Mary by announcing that she is blessed among women. The Word became flesh at Mary’s,”Let it be done to me according to your word. Throughout the Scriptures prophetic verses refering to Mary are quoted. In the New Testament we see witness to the love, veneration, and honor given to Mother Mary by the apostles and followers of our Lord Jesus. She is not elemenated in the four Gospels nor in the book of Acts, either. Catholic
    christians are devoted to Jesus’ mother. We love and honor her as all thos who followed Jesus in the early days of the church. In reference to the statues and images of Jesus and Mary and the saints, let me ask you this, Do you carry pictures of your loved ones in your wallet and have them in your house? Do you worship those pictures or are they just reminders of those whom you love? Our sacramentals are a significance of our love and devotion to Mother Mary. she certainly is the cause of our joy, who is Jesus. The Immaculate Heart of Mary always points the way to her Son Jesus just as John the Baptist once prepared the way. At the Cana wedding they ran out of wine, A great embarrassment at a Jewish wedding, her intercession was sought and she said, “Do Whatever he says.” Jesus did not refuse his Mother that first miracle. Mary is the greatest creature in Heaven. She loves God perfectly. She is humility personified and has never refused God anything. The seven swords continue to pierce her tender, motherly heart as we behave like foolish children rather than followers of Christ. Jesus and Mary bring us together in Peace,it is the Evil one who causes division through spiritual warfare. Let us repentand unite in Prayer for the glory of our God.

  53. Steve L. says:

    “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” says the Lord (Jesus), “if anyone believes in Me, even if he dies, he shall live.” Does the Blessed Virgin Mary qualify? Was she a follower of her Son, did she persevere to the end? (to be saved?) You know the answer is yes to all of these. An honest and complete reading of Sacred Scripture tells you so. Therefore, she inherited the promises given to those who hear God’s word and keep it. She has eternal life.
    She was there at the beginning of Jesus’ Incarnation and gave her consent to God’s plan to redeem the world and save sinners. She suffered with her divine Son “a sword shall pierce your heart, that the thoughts of many might be revealed.” She endured with Him, she who stood at the foot of the cross while her only Son was cruelly crucified, suffered and died. (Tonight on TV, I heard a woman who was speaking about her son who died as a result of a car crash caused by a teen who was text messaging while driving … she said ‘you don’t know what it’s like, watching your son die before your eyes’ … I thought of Mary who watched her Son, innocent of any wrongdoing or sin, brutally treated and executed by evil men, to pay for our sins. Can you even try to imagine the pain she must have felt?)
    After I accepted Christ into my heart at an altar call at an Assembly of God church outreach, they gave me a New Testament, I prayed and said, God where does this leave me with the Catholic Church?(which I had left as an unbeliever or agnostic years before). He gradually led me back in. But because of my Protestant friends ridiculing Catholic beliefs, I got down on my knees with my Bible, and begged God (at different times) one by one to show me the truth about our differences … about the Pope, about the Holy Eucharist, about Confession, about the Blessed Virgin Mary … and each time He showed me the foundation for Catholic belief in the Holy Scriptures (later on verified by official Catholic teaching) … but I was just going on the Bible and there was no question that when I beseeched Him from my heart, He showed me the answers. (I’m just giving you the first part of the Scripture … please read the whole passage yourself, after asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten you. Pope: “To you Peter, I give the keys of the kingdom …”, The Holy Eucharist: “This is My Body … This is My Blood (not a symbol, but “IS”) and TO HIS APOSTLES = “Do this in memory of Me” Therefore when the Apostles obeyed Jesus command and “met daily for the breaking of the bread, the shared prayers, the teaching of the apostles and the fellowship”, essentially the Catholic Mass, the Holy Eucharist (at once a sacred banquet and a re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary presented in an unbloody manner) … and they spoke the words of Jesus, invoking the power of the Holy Spirit, over the bread and wine, which truly and substantially became the Body and Blood of Jesus, for our spiritual nourishment and salvation … “He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will live forever … for My Flesh is real food and My Blood, real drink … whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will have everlasting Life.” It says that some of his disciples walked away, because this saying was too hard for them to comprehend. Now, did He run after them, saying, ‘Hey, fellas, wait … I really didn’t mean it that way?’ I don’t think so … He turned to His apostles and said, “Will you also leave?” And what did Peter say? “To whom else can we go, Lord, You have the words of everlasting life.” Will you be one who walks away or among the ones who hear the word of God and put it into practice?
    Confession: Again, He is speaking to His Apostles on Easter eve. (and those properly ordained successors), not just anyone, “As the Father has sent Me, so also I send you”. He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them. Whose sins you shall retain, they shall be retained.” What did Jesus do that got the scribes and Pharisees and high priests so angry?
    He FORGAVE sins and in their understanding, only God could forgive sin, and Jesus was thereby making Himself equal to God, which was blasphemy to them and a capital offense, punishable by death. But Jesus was and is God (“the visible manifestation of the invisible God”, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God” …
    the only Begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth). So those who pushed for His execution were wrong, they judged by appearances not the reality. Does and did Jesus have the authority to forgive sins? Absolutely, because He is God and He paid the price for our sins, to save us from sin and eternal death. Does/did Jesus have the authority and ability to hand on the POWER to forgive sins to His Apostles (distinct from His teaching on forgiveness when He taught the Lord’s Prayer … which is me forgiving you, your trespasses and you forgiving me, mine … but I can’t absolve you from stealing from Sam which is the power He gave to the Apostles and their legitimate successors.) The answer is YES, Jesus had the authority to forgive sin and He communicated that authority to the MEN, whom He left in charge, Peter, the Rock on which He built His Church, with the Apostles as the foundation. Why did He give that authority to MEN? So that very essential part of His ministry would continue throughout the ages to the end of time – the ministry of reconciliation (of man to God) in His Name and through the power of the Holy Spirit which He breathed upon His Apostles.
    To Mary: I prayed on my knees, asking the Lord, “What’s my relationship supposed to be to Mary?” I’m not kidding …within 24 hours, if not minutes (I can’t remember exactly), my Bible opened up to the Scripture where Mary is standing at the foot of the cross, with the disciple/apostle “whom Jesus loved” and Jesus, in His final agony, says to Mary, “Mother, behold thy son.” And to John, He says, “Son, behold thy mother. And at that moment, he took her into his home and cared for her.” I knew that’s what God was saying to me … in direct answer to my question, asked from the heart. That Jesus had given His own Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be my own mother. Besides addressing John personally in that moment, John, also was standing there in the place of every Christian, and indeed every human being, but especially for the believer. “Will you, too, go away?”
    Mary was there in prayer with the Apostles in the Upper Room on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. She who was already “full of grace”, was present with them as the honored Mother of their Resurrected Redeemer, at that moment when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Many see this as the birth-day of the Church and hence Mary is known as Mother of the Church and Queen of the Apostles. The other moment also seen as the day the Church was born, was when Jesus’ side was pierced and blood and water (which cleansed and redeemed us, giving the Sacrament of Baptism it’s power, which also makes us children of God and part of His family and bringing us into the Communion of Saints and temples of the Holy Spirit) … Mary was standing there at that moment, also.
    We can call on the Blessed Virgin Mary, for help and protection, because she is our Mother, and because of her complete and total union with her Son, Jesus Christ. In the garden after the Fall of Adam and Eve, God addressed the serpent, saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head and you will strike at His heel.” In this union of The Blessed Virgin Mary and her Son, the only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, through her cooperation in fulfilling the plan of God, the head of the serpent has been crushed. So she is not dead, she lives in Him, assumed body and soul into her heavenly reward, where we all hope to be. Just as I can ask you to pray for me, and you have the power to intercede for me because you are a believer and follower of Jesus, a fellow member of the Body of Christ, I can ask for her intercession, the Mother of Christ and His Mystical Body and it takes nothing away from God’s glory. In fact, it is part of the mystery of God’s plan and the economy of salvation that we can help each other in this way and she who was righteous in the sight of God, more than any created human person has been given through the Holy Spirit, great intercessory power with God on our behalf. “The fervent, effective prayer of a righteous man, availeth much.”
    She did the Father’s will from beginning to end, she was preserved from the stain of sin from her conception, by the Father’s will and plan, to be a fitting vessel for the conception, gestation and birth of her and His Divine Son, the Incarnate Word of God, who is God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and became man … fully God and full man, “like us in all things but sin.” The eternal Word of God took His flesh and blood from her, conceived and nourished in her womb. But because of the unity of these two natures, divine and human in the one divine Person, Jesus Christ, Mary can and is rightly be called the Mother of God. In other words, Jesus was not a split person, you can’t divide Him up, just so you can avoid calling His Mother, the Mother of God. That’s who she is and that glorifies God and takes nothing away from Him … “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” God is Mary’s Savior, He redeemed her and made her holy beforehand in view of the merits that her Son, Jesus Christ would gain on the Cross. That is why God gave her the title, “The Immaculate Conception”, because she was immaculately conceived in her mother’s womb, due to the merits of her Son’s lifegiving, redeeming actions in His Passion, Death and Resurrection. How could the angel Gabriel have addressed her with the words, “Hail, full of grace!” if she weren’t already made holy in the womb? The baptism Jesus commanded His Apostles to perform to cleanse people from sin and to bring them into the Kingdom of God had not yet been established.
    “All generations will call me blessed …” So, it’s okay. You can call her the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can call her the Mother of God.
    And you can call on her in prayer, she will come to your assistance for she is your Mother. Jesus gave her to you/us on the cross. Why reject this great gift? Whatever Mary does for us, is done out of love, to bring us closer to her Son. Does any human being know Him better? And Jesus brings us into union with the Father, in the Holy Spirit.
    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.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

  54. Hello my dear friends in JESUS
    May they be brought to COMPLETE UNITY to let the world know that YOU SENT ME
    We are all poor sinners together…
    We need THE MIRACLE OF THE UNITY to convert this world
    Satan always divide
    JESUS IS THE LORD of LORDS why are we not OK that JESUS crowned His MOTHER as QUEEN of HEAVEN and EARTH.
    My country is BELGIUM we have a King and Queen..We will have very fun.
    my revelation is;;
    MARY ARK OF THE NEW CONVENANT
    THE SIGN OF UNITY FOR ALL THE CHRISTIANS..She is THE full time gospel business women
    wow;; I do my best GOD WILL DO THE
    REST…I just need just 2 americans DARIN and ROBERT the mother is very wellknow in the CRR.. and this will be the sign that GOD will answer my poor prayer;;faith move mountains
    and ALL WE NEED TO DO IS PRAY..

    I Love you all
    and GOD BLESS YOU
    NICOLE DESLOOVERE

  55. Delaney says:

    Oh, everyone – you’ve kept me awake reading. What wonderful posts – my fellow Catholics, you belie what so many not of our faith believe, that we don’t know the Bible!

    Briefly, two books that I would recommend for further reading, one written at least 20 years ago and an excellent compilation of true exorcisms (performed via the Roman rite by Catholic priests) “Hostage to the Devil” by Fr. Malachi Martin. (Yes, he was a priest until death, released from his vows by Paul VI such that he did not need to be incardinated meaning enrolled as a diocesan priest under the authority of a Catholic bishop) but could (and did) perform priestly functions. He struggled to make a living until his writing took off, but after leaving Rome, lived and worked largely in New York City until his death.

    Second book, “Four Witnesses, The Early Church in Her Own Words” written by a former Protestant (and new Catholic), Rod Bennett, about Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons. Believe it or not, there is a real phenomenon going on in the conversion of bucketloads of Protestant ministers to the Catholic Church, most of them independent of one another and as a result of incredibly courageous pursuit of Truth via study of the early Church Fathers. One of the posts above mentioned the “Coming Home Network” where the truth of this phenomenon can be pursued.

    As a coworker of mine is fond of saying: “Life is fragile, handle with prayer!”

  56. Gordon Lucas says:

    Hi. I’m a former Evangelical (25 years) now Catholic. I would like to comment on one aspect of Mr. Sloan’s querie that may shed light on the fact of why we catholics “pray” to Mary.

    Most Evangelicals consider prayer to be worship. I think it might be more accurate to say that prayer is a form of communication. We communicate with Mary and the Saints as a form of intercession, much as a dear Protestant Brother will ask a friend to pray for him if he is sick. This communication takes the form of prayer, but is not worship.

    To us, the Saints in Heaven, and Mary, are alive and well. They are not dead, and because they have the beatific vision, they are able to intercede for us very well indeed. Just like the Protestant (or Catholic!) friend praying for his brother.

    If we define our terms before discussion, so much more Brotherhood can result. Assumption is the foundation of all mistakes.

    May the Lord be with all of us.

  57. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thanks for all your posts. I’d like to clarify Protestant thinking on the matter of Mary, for all the Catholics reading. Hopefully, much of this we will be in sync on.

    First, we believe man has a sinful nature. This nature is transferred to descendants through man’s seed. This makes all people on earth sinners. This unfortunately includes Mary. If God decided to perform a miracle, granting her sinless perfection, he essentially would make her something other than a descendant of Adam – something other than a human being, in other words. We have a problem with that, because we believe that in order to save humankind, Jesus had to be human. He escaped having a sinful nature because he was not born from the seed of man.

    When Catholics talk about Mary’s miraculous sinlessness, they don’t realise that they are stepping on some strongly established doctrines. I realise that I’m scratching the surface of deep mysteries here, but clearly God had to go through a very specific process in order to save mankind. We can’t simply inject a miracle here and there where it suits us, otherwise we might as well say, “Why didn’t God simpply materialise as a thirty-year-old man and sacrifice himself for mankind?” What we know is, for redemption to be accomplished, God had to become a true descendant of Adam. Essentially, that means Mary had to be a true descendant of Adam.

    In defence of the idea that Mary is “ordinary,” there is a Scripture verse indicating that Joseph had a normal sexual relationship with his wife after the birth of Jesus. If that offends anyone, I would suggest they review their views on sex. Protestants typically don’t seem to have to same baggage about the so-called evil of sex. In another Scripture, Mary refers to Jesus as “my saviour.” In order to need a savior, one must be in need of salvation, i.e. an ordinary sinner.

    Protestants do not have a problem with the idea of God being conceived inside an ordinary woman with a sinful nature. We are very clear of where sin comes from and how it is transferred. We don’t regard the physical body as evil.

    The Catholic idea of Mary of being able to intercede for us is super-strange to Protestant ears. With the exception of the few deleted books, there is no mention anywhere else in Scripture of anyone praying to anyone but God. The very idea of it seems to cast a shadow on God’s independence, wisdom and love. He loved us to the point of death, knows perfectly what we need, has all the wisdom of the creation of the universe inside him. I don’t see how you can add Mary as intercessor to this picture without slighting God’s perfections.

    Again, I bring up the fact that Mary is not omniscient, nor are the saints. People are people. They cannot be prayed to. Their souls do not exists everywhere at once. Can I be sure of this? Well, the ultimate destination of the human soul is to be resurrected in a glorified body on the Day of Judgment. Be are body-creatures, and while we will be disembodied at our death, our ultimate destination is a body again. I find it absurd that we gain the power of omniscience in the in-between period.

    This will be the last thing I say on the subject. I don’t want to get into a hot debate, and I hope I haven’t offended. I just wanted to make it clear why we believe what we believe. In attempting to help me see this issue the Catholic way, many of you seem to be coming at it from a more emotional, less scientific, perspective. That’s not how I can be convinced, I’m afraid.

  58. Mary says:

    The Blessed Mother is immaculate and born without sin in order to have within her womb the incarnate one, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Read about Our Lady appearing to Bernadette in 1858. She announced when asked who she was…I am the Immaculate Conception. The young child, Bernadette, couldn’t understand such a concept let alone utter words such as these. Heaven gave us a sign by the apparition of The Blessed Mother that would be uttered by the Church of Peter, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This is why it is understood the the birth of Our Lord who is sinless and perfect would have to be born within the womb of one who was without sin. Also, don’t forget the prophesy of St. Simeon who told Mary that her heart would be pierced 7 times…Read about this for clarification into how she has been and is being blasphemed by so many..May you one day, come home to the truth Our Lord has prepared for all of us..As One Holy Catholic Church..

  59. Michael says:

    Darryl,

    You know what I find interesting? Your Founder, the father of the reformation, Martin Luther had a profound belief in the Holy Mother, He prayed (THROUGH) her, not to her. He also believed that she was without sin, and he did NOT believe that she had other children, that was a belief that was started by Wycliff and the other people that broke from Luther.

    How can you go upon the broken theology of man made religion; ie: Protestantism and forego thousands of years of teaching left by the apostles, church fathers, and bible. On my blog, I have a very biblical representation that proves that Jesus did NOT have any brothers and sisters and Mary was a virgin, and this is all taken from your bible, not mine. Thus far I have not gotten involved in this debate, but hearing you so blatantly speak against my Mother.. I must defend!

    Here you can find Martin Luthers devotion to Mary: http://whoislikeuntogod.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_archive.html

    And here if you scroll down you can find the post on whether or not Jesus had brothers and sisters: http://whoislikeuntogod.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

    I know that your mind is set on this, like many of your doctrines, if you find that they were only belived after the 15th century and not before back to the time of Christ then your so called foundation will shatter, I challenge you to stand up and take this challenge and discover the truth for once and not watered down scriptures by some preacher who got his theology degree online.

    Pax Christi,

    Michael

  60. J. DUMON says:

    I was told a story about a possessed child with evident signs of demoniac infestation. The boy’s parents who were protestant faithfuls went to expose the case to their pastor. The pastor said some prayers with the parents, with no effect, things even getting worse.
    At last he directed them to a Catholic priest saying that only Catholic priests are able to free a possessed person.
    Strange indeed?
    There is another similar story that I could read on the net, but 2 or 3 centuries older . The possessed person was infuriated and one was obliged to tie him on a bed. Two pastors went to attempt an exorcism: The Devil through this person’s mouth began to laugh at them with a caversous voice, saying: “Hey who are you to command me to get out of this man? I am better than yourselves since I at least, I believe that Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Christ”.
    Frightening indeed!

  61. Darryl Sloan says:

    “Hearing you so blatantly speak against my Mother.”

    Michael, all I did was state a rational argument, attempting to clarify the Protestant position. It may or may not be the right one, but it’s the one that reason led me to. My intention was not to offend. Obviously, as a Catholic, you’re not going to agree with it, but do you have to take it personally? How else can people learn from one another without sharing what led to their beliefs?

    I’m done talking about this topic. And this time I mean it. Future posters, let’s stay on the topic of exorcisms and possession.

  62. Beth says:

    Scott Hahn (author)
    A Father Who Keeps His Promises
    The Lamb’s Supper ISBN 0-385-49659-1

    Thanks for the review on Father Amorth

  63. Deborah says:

    On the matter of Mary…

    A few quotes from Scripture that are not given to any other character in the Bible begs one to ask, who is this woman chosen by God?

    “Hail Mary full of Grace”. (Luke1:28)What other creature has been given the fullness of Grace on earth.

    “All generations shall call me Blessed”. (Luke 1:48) We continue to honor her as His Mother.

    “A sword will pierce your own heart so that you will know the souls of many” (Luke 2:35)Again, do you know of anyone else with this Gift other than the Lord?

    She said YES to the Holy Spirit on the Incarnation of His Son. (Luke 1:38) Now imagine her “free will” denying His request!

    Commandment: “Honor thy Father and MOTHER”. Speaks for itself.

    Further more…
    Paul clearly states “that we must hold fast to Traditions whether they be WRITTEN or ORAL.ie the Catholic Church.(2Thes2:15)

    Scripture reading without the proper authority brings one to confusion. ie…30,000 Protestants denominations is a good example. see(2Pet 3:16)and also Paul (2Thes3:6)

    Furthermore as a Catholic, Scripture is written on our hearts through His Eucharistic Heart which we celebrate in the Mass. But sadly our Protestant brethren now deny His Eucharist Heart. Something Luther never expected in his 95 thesis.

    In completion of the three year cycles, you will know the mystery of how the Old Testament reveals the New Testament. Thats the whole Bible mind you, not just the letters from Paul.

    As a witness to many Protestants returning to His Eucharistic Heart (in droves I might add). I continue to pray and offer up the Mass for the rest. But “Only the Father can reveal these things.” (John 6)

    I continue to pray that we will again be One Faith One Church, One Baptism, One Holy Spirit.(Eph 4:4-5)

    PAX

  64. Bobby says:

    Mr. Sloan:

    Good review of the book. And also an honest and healthy review of your thoughts about Catholicism. That you can say that not all anti Catholic propaganda is justified shows insight. Being baffled by Mary’s place in the Church likewise shows more in the way of curiousity than criticism, though both may exist, and more importantly, you don’t let that bafflement get in the way of our common ground – a belief in the centrality of Jesus as well as an important belief in the supernatural of all natures. God Bless You.

  65. Bobby says:

    Whoops. Just read your last post re staying on the subject of exorcism – so I will this time.

    Not sure who said it first, but it goes something like – the best thing Satan (for himself) can do is convince us that he does not exist – and that is what Satan has done. Oddly enough, convincing us he does not exist has now allowed people to openly do things we would never have allowed just a few years ago – to wit: the rise in popularity of witchcraft (even in schools), the open declarations of satanists, etc. Maybe Fr. Amorith’s book will help lead believers to understand the dangers of all this.

  66. Darryl Sloan says:

    Thank you, Bobby. I appreciate you saying that.

  67. Tom says:

    Let us remember that the prophet Simeon in Luke’s gospel tells us that, in relationship to Jesus’ passion, that a sword would also pierce Mary’s heart (a profound statement regarding Mary’s closeness to Jesus during his passion); and that in John’s Gospel Jesus gives Mary to us as our mother, saying from the cross to the apostle, “Behold your mother”; and again in Luke’s gospel we are told that “all generations will call her blessed.” And Elizebeth calls Mary “the mother of my Lord.” We can all put forward our personal opinions, but as Catholics we don’t have to guess which denomination got it right: we trust that Jesus guides the Church he founded 2000 years ago. Not the Church Luther founded or Calvin founded or Moody founded – no the church Jesus founded on Peter (Matt 16). This Church is the oldest, continuous institution in the world – all the way from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI.
    We love our Protestant brothers and sisters, but y’all swimming in a sea of subjectivity trying to figure out what the Bible says, one group saying once saved always saved, another group preaching the health and wealth gospel, another group trashing baptism despite our Lord’s command to baptise, and so on. You desperately need the Bishop of Rome – the Vicar of Christ, to whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom.

  68. Roger says:

    Hello all,

    The other night, my wife and I happened across an extraordinary program on the evangelical station TBN, a conversation between a Catholic priest (and pastor of St. Anastasia Catholic Church) and an Evangelical Pastor, leader of the Kensington Community Church—two large churches near each other in Troy, Michigan.

    The structure is the pastor asking the priest to answer the questions, and dispel the misconceptions, Protestants have about Catholics. Along the way, the priest shares a number of things Catholics can learn from Protestants. These two men clearly are filled with affection and respect for each other, and their conversation is one of the most inspiring and beautiful encounters you have ever witnessed. If only Christians always treated each other this way.

    The full 1 hr 47 minute talk—produced by Kensington Community Church, and distributed by Ninevah’s Crossing, a Catholic business—is available on DVD. Here’s the site(s):
    http://www.catholicprotestant.com OR http://www.protestantcatholic.com

    For the background on how this occurred, what has transpired because of it, and how these two churches continue to work together to foster love and respect between their communities, check out:
    http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/CommonGround/CGHistory.html

    Do yourself a HUGE favor and buy this DVD.

    As for me, there’s an old saying that “God writes straight with crooked lines,” and my own journey is testament to that. It began in a troubled Jewish childhood, further marked by a profound aversion to all things Christian; wound through three decades of study and practice in eastern mysticism, with seemingly endless miles crossing the baddest of badlands; then came, on April 19th, 2005, at the exact moment of Pope Benedict XVI’s first appearance on the Vatican balcony after his election—which I just happened to see on the airport news between flights during a business trip—to the most inexplicable turn of all: an encounter with the one person in the universe that, all my life, I’d wanted absolutely nothing to do with, the very sound of whose name actually made me ill. It was the Jewish Messiah, called Yeshua then and Jesus now—the Christ.

    This past Easter, when my wife and I entered the Church, I was asked to give the witness testimony, and I told my story. I don’t pretend to have answers for any of the mysteries being discussed above. My own unlooked-for, unwanted, undeserved (of course), and thoroughly incomprehensible conversion is enough of a mystery for me. I pray I will always be humble before the mystery of Grace, and its Author, however He chooses to touch anyone.

    God bless,
    Roger

  69. Steph says:

    I’ve been checking in regularly to this site since April after having read a review of Mr. Sloan’s book “Chion”.

    I’m not a Christian so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I have to say, I have really enjoyed this discussion. What strikes me, as an outsider looking in, is that Christians in general share many more deeply-seated foundational beliefs than they have differences in forms of worship.

    I also enjoyed Mr. Sloan’s review of “An Exorcist Tells His Story”. I’m interested in taking a closer look at this book.

  70. Is it possible that the human mind is so powerful in its imagination that it creates angels and demons from within?

  71. Darryl Sloan says:

    Although I believe in demons, it is purely an objective belief. I have no verifiable experience in their reality, and I have much confusion about what part they play in our day-to-day struggles with sin. For any sins I commit, I place the blame squarely on myself. For any temptations I fail to resist, I blame the weakness of my sinful nature rather than any external demonic force. However, occasionally I suspect there are other oppressive forces in play – mitigating factors, if you will. And the sins I’ve commited in my life lead me to believe that there is something deeply flawed in the nature of man. I would find it difficult to accept an atheistic view of reality, in light of my own experience of fallen human nature.

  72. Francis says:

    John 2 reveals not only a beautiful and very human interaction between Mother and Son
    where Jesus reluctantly performed his first public miracle at the wedding at Cana
    But shows very clearly the ease and influence with which only Mother Mary can have on Jesus.
    One can imagine Jesus sitting with His disciples at the wedding discussing the coming Passover
    and their upcoming journey to Jerusalem and how nothing can sway or cause to change the
    unfolding will of The Father …When suddenly The Mother of Jesus comes and says “They have no wine”.
    We can almost see Jesus roll his eyes as Peter and Andrew contemplate the unalterable path of the Fathers will.
    Jesus the leader says “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”
    Mary does what only Mary as the Mother of Jesus can do. She ignores Jesus, and tells the servants
    “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
    And Jesus as a good son obeyed His Mother.

  73. Tom L. says:

    Q. How do I know if I love Mary too much?

    A. If I love Mary more than Jesus loves Mary, then it is too much.

  74. Regina says:

    It is not possible to love Mary more than Jesus does. Blessings.

  75. Trimelda says:

    I will probably get a few raised eyebrows, but I am the non Catholic bishop of a Recovery based church geared towards abused people that is Liturgical and Marian. That means we literally believe that Jesus meant what He said about Communion being His Body and Blood and we approach the Church in the example and devotion of Mary. We ask to live as she lived, to pray as she prayed and to be faithful as she is faithful. This is especially needful for abused people as they have a tendency to be flighty, unreliable, self centered and lazy. You need both a mother and father for such people to keep them from being totally out of control. Mary provides that.

    I think the core of the argument about saints and their intercession flows around this: Do we truly believe in the afterlife? Do we believe that when you die you go somewhere and do something or are you just dead? If we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, as Paul says in Hebrews 12, then that means the saints in Heaven MUST see and hear something after death. After all, how can you be a witness if you can’t hear, see or react? It seems to me that the younger churches, in terms of age, have problems seeing how if you say saints don’t pray for us when we ask them to do so then that implies that they are dead like Rover. This negates the Resurrection and opens the door for all sorts of very serious heresies. I think we had better believe as the Early Church believed on these sort of issues. Safer, more stable and more likely to succeed as Believers in the long run.

  76. I’m mostly commenting so I’ll remember to check this book the next time I pop by the library. It sounds fascinating! I, too, am Protestant, but sincerely believe that God is . . . well . . . God. Anyway, thanks for the excellent commentary.

  77. […] SURFING — found a blog post by a Protestant author reflecting on demonic activities in An Exorcist Tells His Story by Gabriele Amorth.  He sounds very open to […]

  78. Maureen says:

    Why do Catholics venerate Mary? The Creator of all the universe asked her to conceive, to bear, to teach and to raise Himself . Out of all the women who lived or will ever live, God Almighty choose Mary. Think of it–two thousand years ago, the Eternal Father was willing to entrust His beloved Son to her as a baby, as a child, to teach Him, to protect Him, to raise Him. If you had to entrust your child to someone else would you be willing to choose just anyone? If you were God would you settle for anyone other than a sinless human to raise your sinless Son ? Why wouldnt Catholics honor Mary-God had alread given her the greatest honor a human could receive by selecting her to be the Mother of God . If the Eternal, all Powerful, Omniscient God so honored Mary , shouldnt we do the same ? It seems incredibly disrespectful to Catholics when this woman who bore and raised Jesus and was with him from conception to death is dismissed as some minor character in the Bible.
    As for the hang up about whether we “pray” to Mary and not to God—I think it is a matter of semantics- it probably is confusing to non Catholics when we speak of praying to her -that is not what Catholics mean-note the words of the “Hail Mary” we are actually asking her to “pray for us” . Addressing Mary in our prayers is also a matter of preference. Of course we can and do pray directly to God, but we also know that Mary is a loving human mother who can identify with our problems and our sorrows. I love my mother, if she asked me to do something I would do all I could to please her. We believe that God would do no less for His own mother. She will ask on our behalf but it is God who will act on our prayers.

  79. Anastice says:

    Interesting. Very interesting!

  80. Emma says:

    Darryl,

    A book which I am in the process of reading is called The Mystical City of God written in the 17th century by Sister Mary of Agreeda as revealed to her in mystic vision. It details the life of Mary, her creation and the fall of Lucifer.

    It tells how God told the angels that he was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God-man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. Lucifer in his pride demanded that he should be the Christ,In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him.
    When it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, another, a third precept was given them, namely, that they were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a Woman, in whose womb the Only begotten of the Father was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the Queen and Mistress of all the creatures.

    I recommend you read this book as it may help to clear up some confusion regarding the role of Mary as the new Eve dispenser of God’s grace.

  81. Good discussion!

    I don’t know that these statements are entirely accurate:

    You said:
    Well, Roman Catholic beliefs and practices are built upon two thousand years of tradition. Not so with us Protestants. We hang onto the Bible alone.

    And followed up with:
    Protestants do not accept Church tradition on an equal footing with the Bible, i.e. the Bible is the only divinely inspired work.

    Hanging onto the bible alone almost sounds fundamentalist, which certainly doesn’t define most Protestant denominations.

    John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, had a methodology of theological reflection called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
    Scripture – the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments)
    Tradition – the two millennia history of the Christian Church
    Reason – rational thinking and sensible interpretation
    Experience – a Christian’s personal and communal journey in Christ

    While scripture is held higest as the sole source of truth about God, the other three values form a matrix for interpreting the bible, all balancing each other.

    The more I study church history, the more I find core beliefs to be the same. As humans, we impose our understanding into social constrictions that divide rather than draw together.

    Growing up Catholic, I was taught a system that didn’t leave room for questions or, in my opinion much personal connection.
    It seemed I was to be Catholic first, with Christianity or following Christ buried somewhere inside. After years were distant from any faith, I have found a personal connection to Christ and have chosen to be his disciple. I find organized religion to be a way to connect to Christ, but secondary to really following.

  82. Regina says:

    Please remember, for Catholics it is the Bible AND Tradition. The Bible came from the Catholic Church as did Tradition. What is not to understand about that?

  83. Delaney says:

    Michael Honza – I just lost it! How on earth do you get a more “personal connection” with Christ than by receiving into your body, His Body, the Eucharist? Drives me crazy when former Catholics say that “oh, I never had a personal relationship with Christ” until I left the Church. THE Church. The 2000-year old one. What were you listening to when you were being taught about First Communion? Were you just looking out the window? What gives? I’ll never forget when I made my First Communion – you don’t get ANY more personal than that! No, I don’t believe it! Unless you were completely “out to lunch” for however long you were Catholic. How in the world do you leave the Eucharist? You’re leaving Christ then. How do you do that?

  84. Marie says:

    Mr Sloan, I appreciate what you are saying in your posts. Although there is much I would like to say about Mary and how she does love you personally, I’ll try to stay with your requested topics of demons and exorcism. I can only relate my experiences with the evil one. I know little about possessions or exorcisms. I pray that God saves me from ever needing to know. True enough that we can’t give the evil one credit for our choices in sin. That wicked guy takes delight in it. Especially if in our giving him credit it keeps us from confessing our sins to God, further separates us from God. It seems, our imaginations about the devil, too much focus on evil, and curiousity about it can keep us in sin, too. But the devil is real (GOD is in control). I know and have seen that the devil sends us confusion in our faith especially when we solely rely on our believed intellectual, spiritual, emotional, etc prowress over God (a pride that we must take responsibility for). For myself, pride is a sin I struggle with mightily. But, the evil one works to convince us that all God has given that is good comes from him. To me, he has tried to do this with the Catholic Church’s devotion, the Divine Mercy, given by Jesus. When I saw evil’s hatred for the Divine Mercy prayer (I did not understand the mystery of the prayer but put my faith in it), I began praying it as often as possible. Especially the prayer on the Our Father beads. The evil one also tries to imitate our Blessed Mother in Heaven and even our Lord Jesus Christ. He does this based on how we (I use the pronoun we in place of I–I don’t know anyone else’s experience, only my own) believe they look, what we’ve read, even the Holy Book (as the devil tried to trick the Lord with Scripture), or how they talk, etc (the devil knows our prideful nature and works on it). When you really know the Lord, and you can’t know Him enough, I think as He is calling us from everywhere, with His help you can see through the devil’s tricks. Then, He holds you closer to His Heart. Along with many other people, I beg everyone: after praying to God for guidance, please go find Jesus Christ if you don’t know Him, and please know Him as well as you can, if you do know Him. It is true that there is a constant battle for your soul. Please don’t wait until your defenses are down, either while alive or as you’re dying. Please pray for me that I will grow closer to Christ. Peace.

  85. jgrab1 says:

    > You could say that people belong in one of two categories:
    > they either believe in God, or they don’t.

    Clearly, you need to do a lot more reading on the subject.

  86. Mike says:

    I’ve never read more delusional comments than posted here. No wonder religion is considered by many to be the root of all evil.

    Because it only serves to create distinction between us, keeping us from coming together and learning the one absolute (and easily provable) truth. The absolute truth that mitigates all the man-made derision and perversions of God’s word under the name of religion.

    Any of you self-professed Christians out there know what it is, or does your religion keep getting in the way of your faith?

  87. scott47 says:

    I can honestly say, I’m not exactly sure what category I fall into. I would say that I believe in supernatural forces, but at times I think it is just a crock. I am a christian and I believe in God with all my heart, but I do not go to church. I say my prayers and thank him for my blessings. But this is a very interesting post. As well, many many of these comments are interesting =p

  88. titus2woman says:

    This is a subject I’d like to study more… Very interesting! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  89. Delaney – I do understand and appreciate a lot of my upbringing in and the tradition of the Catholic church. My particular, personal experience was not getting connected, but I’m certainly not saying it was all bad. I’m glad you had a very good experience, I wish mine had been better. The Catholic faith and most religion work well in theory, but fall very short in practice. From nuns who did not tolerate any questions or deviation from dogma, to family & friends that professed one thing and lived another, to just going through the motions of confirmation, I did not connect in a personal way to my faith.

    I did come away with a lot of religious and scriptural knowledge as well as an appreciation for faithful men & women who have dedicated their lives to serving. The end of my Catholic days came when I got married outside the church and was informed that I was no longer eligible to participate in the sacraments. I decided that this was not the church that Jesus was talking about. Your desire to rant on me further illustrates what I don’t like about most organized religion. I have come to the understand that following Christ is about figuring out what you are called by God to do. I now serve as a youth minister and worship leader. My years of wandering have given me the ability (by God) to cut through the crap of religion and help others find a real relationship with Christ and a desire to find their calling.

    I can’t hear the message of Christ from you because you are figuratively beating me over the head with it. Can you explain to me how your technique is serving God?

    Delaney Says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 6:21 pm
    Michael Honza – I just lost it! How on earth do you get a more “personal connection” with Christ than by receiving into your body, His Body, the Eucharist? Drives me crazy when former Catholics say that “oh, I never had a personal relationship with Christ” until I left the Church. THE Church. The 2000-year old one. What were you listening to when you were being taught about First Communion? Were you just looking out the window? What gives? I’ll never forget when I made my First Communion – you don’t get ANY more personal than that! No, I don’t believe it! Unless you were completely “out to lunch” for however long you were Catholic. How in the world do you leave the Eucharist? You’re leaving Christ then. How do you do that?

  90. Mike says:

    The more you study, the more confused you’ll be until you find one religion (major or minor) that suits you best for more reasons than the others, whether consciously or sub-consciously motivated.

    That’s what religions are set up for. That’s what they do. That’s how they distinguish themselves from the others. All religions set themselves up as espousing the “True Word of God.” But there can only be one absolute truth, or there is no truth at all – only half truths.

    To distinguish or otherwise separate ourselves from one another over the misguidance of any religion is NEVER what God intended.

    So why are there so many religions and offshoots all proclaiming to be THE Truth? Some might call it “good business.” You might first start by asking yourself, “What happens to a church or religion without enough followers to keep it viable?”

    Please refer to my previous post about only one absolute truth.

  91. Jason says:

    The Foot of the Cross (Father Faber)

    THE MEASURES OF MARY’S COMPASSION –

    The picture that has been drawn of the measures and dimensions of Mary’s Compassion fall not only below the truth, but it sensibly falls far below the real image of it in our own minds. Words do not seem to be measures for them. They are thoughts of love; and love does not speak; it burns. Moreover, there must be limits to all things except loving. There are no limits there. Love is an eternal work. Love alone can measure the Compassion of Mary. The dimensions of her love in the Compassion is yet another love to which it marvelously outstretches. It is the love of Jesus for her. The breadth, and the depth, and the height of that love of Jesus for His Mother are the only true dimensions of her Compassion.

    Here are five abysses, five measures, five standards: His sufferings, His beauty, men’s cruelty, her deep love for Him and His deep love of her. We must do our poor best with them all, and we shall reach a view of our Blessed Mother’s Compassion which will be good for us and acceptable to her, but it will be below the truth. A work which Jesus and Mary made together, out of God’s wrath, and man’s sin, and the Hypostatic Union and the sinlessness of a pure creature must be a marvel about which at best we can but stammer, and lovingly go wrong; and such a work is Mary’s Compassion. Love will give our poor thoughts a truth of its own which will make them good for souls. It is a beautiful and a dread sight to see all the sorrows of fallen earth resumed in the broken heart of our own Mother. Has it moved us? Then why not for the rest of life, in sober panic at the world and worldliness, go and sit at our Mother’s feet and meditate on her griefs? Compassion with her is already compassion with Jesus; and we may say that compassion with the Invisible Creator Himself is the devotional feeling out of which we shall serve Him most generously, and realize Him most tenderly as our Eternal Father. Truly Mary lays us evermore in the lap of God.

  92. Mike says:

    Pure religious dogmas.

  93. Jason says:

    From the Mystical City of God – Book 1 Chapter 3
    CREATION OF THE ANGELS AND THE FALL OF LUCIFER

    The angels were created in the empyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they might be first to merit the reward of glory. For although they were in the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until they should have merited such a favor by obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, remained only a very short time in the state of probation; for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instants or moments, separated by short intermissions. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Then followed a short pause, during which the will of the Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and command was given to them, to acknowledge Him as their Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for which they have been created. During this pause, instant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought that great battle with the dragon and his followers, which is described by the apostle Saint John in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. The good angels, persevering in grace, merited eternal happiness and the disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the punishment, which they now suffer.

    At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it, but with a certain difference; the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely and admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.

    In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God-man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.

    (I don’t want to take up to much space so below is the link):
    http://www.sacredheart.com/The_Mystical_City_of_God_Book_01_Chapter_03.htm

  94. Mike says:

    That’s a very nice story and whoever wrote that must surely sit at the right Hand of God to know exactly how it all came about. Seems to cover all the bases necessary for a Christianity based religion.

    But what about the other religions out there who consider themselves the only truth? People who believe in their religious teachings just as fervently as the Christians do?

    Just asking because I’d like to understand how you can be so committed to a version of something rather than the absolute truth.

    Unless replied, I’ll not continue to challenge your belief system with my (obviously) unwanted remarks.

    I do respect your right to believe whatever you wish and apologize if I’ve seriously offended anyone.

  95. H.Portiers says:

    Michael,

    Perhaps Delaney seems a bit passionate about the Eucharist, but if one believes that Christ surrenders Himself personally and physically to each one of us in the Eucharist, it is a staggering, really unthinkable prodigy of love. And it is not altogether unreasonable to look upon this with singular passion. And in fact a great crowd of disciples who had accepted everything else Jesus had required of them, also felt as though He were ‘figuratively beating them over the head with it,’ when He said His flesh is “truly food” that must be eaten (See John 6:60). They all wanted to cover their ears, and all were utterly offended. Only the twelve had faith enough to accept an intolerable offense, and all the rest left Him. It is also true that the Church lends its witness to the physical presence of Christ from the earliest reflections on this sacrament.

    I very gently and respectfully urge you to distinguish the people who made the early impression of Catholic faith in your mind, from the Catholic faith itself. You will surely find that they are a universe apart.

    H.Portiers

  96. Carlque says:

    You want to be close to Jesus? Don’t insult HIS Mother!

  97. H.Portiers – You make good points. Your description of the Eucharist is beautiful. You are right on target with the difficulty of some of Jesus’ message.
    I do differentiate between Catholic faith (all faiths in fact) and the people who practice them. I believe I stated as much previously.

    Jesus told us to remember him with the Eucharist.
    He also gave us very clear instructions on how to treat each other (everyone from friends, family, strangers, & enemies).
    His opinion of church leaders who thought they had all the answers was quite clear as well.

    I’ve been studying the book of Acts and letters written after Jesus had left.
    It seems the apostles (Jesus’ hand-picked closest people, who didn’t always get everything that He talked about) didn’t always have a clear picture of what they were supposed to be doing.
    They and the other disciples did understand that they should spread Jesus’ message and correct new followers when practices didn’t fall in line with that message.
    They knew that they didn’t have all the answers.

  98. Joy says:

    Well Mike you keep talking about this absolute truth that you know and we Christians do not know. Maybe I’ve misunderstood you but it sounds like you have arrived at some supposed absolute truth after looking at all religions in the world, deciding to throw them all out because they all said they were the truth. This conclusion is nothing. Already done by a well-known philosopher, and without his followers, he would fade out of recent history as fast as could be. Seems like you’re attacking everyone left and right while you hide behind your closet door. So come on out with it.
    PS Jesus said “I AM the truth.”

  99. Born Catholic says:

    Daryl,

    You can see by the way this has played out that the devil would really rather confuse everyone by getting off the subject.

    This is a subject he would rather have us argueing over than getting to know his tactics. I read this book a few years ago and it is a valuable tool in knowing how he works. He knew if you hit a nerve with the Catholics about Mary that we would protect our Lords mother and forget about the original subject(although she deserves being protected at all costs. If she was good enough for our Lord she is good enough for me).

    Remind me of some of the devils tactics in the book.

  100. Born Catholic says:

    you didn’t insult Her but mentioned her and that was enough for us to want to tell you of why we honor her. Excuse me for using the wrong word for what you said.

  101. Born Catholic says:

    About the Eucharist. Let Jesus tell us what he intended the Eucharist to be and what we are to do with it. John chapter 6 needs to be read and prayed about. Read the whole chapter and listen to what Our Lord says about what this is. Then decide what you should do walk away or believe.

  102. Tom says:

    Mary was chosen by God the Father to be the human mother of God’s only son; she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and impregnated with the divine logos – JESUS CHRIST. She gave Jesus his DNA and all the attributes of his physical body – the body that was resurrected and that Jesus will have for all eternity,
    meaning that God’s interaction with Mary – and no other human – changed God’s own nature because now Jesus is fully human, forever, an attribute he did not have before the incarnation (he is also fully divine – the hypostatic union).
    Do you get the impression the Holy Trinity loves Mary. Do you think God would use such a wonderful mother for our good? God is not diminished by Mary being venerated; to the contrary,
    God’s greatness is manifested through Mary and all the saints “who are made partakers of the divine nature” (1 Peter)
    Like Gabriel, let us love our mother and say, “Hail Mary,” the mother of our most precious redeemer, Jesus.

  103. Regina says:

    How many has ever bothered to read about the thousands of Eucharistic miracles that has happened, even today. Very many of them proven by science. Blessings

  104. Jim says:

    Our Blessed Mother, Mary, was never blemished by sin – it would not be logical nor consistent. Consider the Ark of the Convenant: It was a vessel which carried the symbols of God – not God Himself. Yet it was venerated and protected by God Himself from ever being defiled in even the slightest way, because it represented the Almighty. When a man trying to protect the Ark reached out to keep it from falling, he was immediately struck dead by God.
    Consider then the Blessed Virgin. She was chosen by God to be the new Ark, the vessel to carry not just symbols of God, but God Himself. It is unthinkable the The Almighty would carefully and strictly protect the representations of God but not do likewise for His Son and the womb in which He was enclosed. Our Blessed Mother could never have been blemished in any way.

  105. Marie says:

    Also, although it’s been said here already, the devil hates that Jesus Christ is present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Francis Yepes, the brother of St John of the Cross, said that demons told him that 3 things especially torment them. 1. The name of Jesus, 2. the name of Mary, and 3. the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, which was given to St Simon Stock by our Blessed Mother.

  106. RayL says:

    ********A friend and I go downtown witnessing, and I believe we’ve encountered people who are possessed (of course there’s no way to know for sure). The people we suspect will be in our face yelling as soon as they see us, spewing hatred and blasphemy. Almost all of them happen to be Catholic. Maybe praying to and idolizing a dead woman–Mary–is a good way to attract demons (aka necromancy).*****8

    Necromancy????? LOL!!!

    Another great spiritual warfare book from Amazon.com is “DEAR HEATEMUP”. Great insights as to how the devil tricks us all, especially men, in the 21rst century…

  107. Born Catholic says:

    rayl

    How do you know they are catholic. What kind of witnessing do you do? If you call witnessing insulting catholics and spreading lies about them then you need to find out what a catholic really believes and does.

  108. Mike says:

    Joy,
    My apology was sincere and offered to show I didn’t mean to “attack” anyone. My only reason for writing what I did was because I got hooked on reading the entire blog and realized everyone seemed to be distracted with their own interpretations of truth as to go off track from the original post.

    I guess I did the same thing and so, I apologized. But my distraction wasn’t the teachings of any one religion, as I believe all the primary ones (at least the ones I’m familiar with) have the same characteristics of differentiating themselves from one another while simultaneously having one common belief.

    That commonality is that a higher power does indeed exist by whatever name, gender, force or other reference.

    It seems so typical a human weakness to allow oneself to distinguish or differentiate themselves to even the point of murdering their brethren on the basis of religious doctrine.

    There is only one absolute truth in this world. And that truth beaconed out to me and literally saved me from totally succumbing to a cult-like diversion from reality. One where I actually experienced what could only be called, supernatural phenomena on an almost daily basis for over 3 and a half weeks. And it all appeared to be Divine.

    As the tests became more demanding, it also was one where I was literally “scared to death” over leaving for fear my salvation would be forever lost. In spite of this numbing fear, I ended my aversion and stepped out in sheer faith alone of my Creator.

    The words that saved me was what “God” put in my heart as assurance to quenching the fires of my fear.

    He instructed me to go outside, find a tree and wrap my arms around it. Once I did, He put upon me the words which I said aloud, “I know of only one thing for certain in this life and that is, only God could have created this tree from nothing and as surely as God created this tree, I know He also created me. And I also know that He loves me because He created me. Everything else beyond that, is nothing more than pure conjecture.”

    Those words gave me the strength and inspiration to break free from the binds that held me.

    After freeing myself and knowing my salvation was assured (as it had always been, it was only my deviation from the absolute truth which caused my fears) God, once again, put another assurance on my heart.

    “You will never be afraid of anything, again.”

    Those were His words speaking strongly inside me and I’ve never been more assured of anything in my life. It gives me rest and peace from anything this world of man (or beyond) can ever come up with. I only have to rest in His assurance and He will see me through.

    Thanks for reading. I hope I helped you understand what I meant by “Absolute Truth.”

  109. Pete says:

    If one wants to understand from scripture the holiness of the Mother of Jesus one has to look at the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. Remember the incident when they were carrying the Ark, Uzzah (a sinner) was struck dead for reaching out (with good intentions) to touch the Ark to steady it when the ox stumbled (1Chron. 13:9). The Ark was holy because it had in it the Tablets and Yahweh was invisibly above the Cherabim of the Probitiatory on its top. Because of its holiness, no person could touch it, because every man, even though good intentioned, is a sinner and not perfectly holy.
    So, how can it be that the Mother of God the Son, Who was inside Her womb and not just above her, and was a divine Person and not just a sacred object, and Who took His human nature from her own personal matter (her ovum, which she agreed to let the Holy Spirit
    fertilize, in order for Him to become a man) could have been just an ordinary woman(sinner)as His Mother, and not slay her? After all, Someone infinitely holier than what was in the Ark of the Covenant, God’s Divine Word Himself, took His human flesh from her body. It is, therefore, not fitting for God’s Divine Plan,given His action with the old Ark regarding His own Holiness, for the NEW Ark of the New Covenant, namely His Son’s necessarily Holy Monter to have that Virgin’s matter ever to have been under the influence of sin, which every other son and daughter of Adam and Eve suffers from. Therefore, at the moment of HER conception, her matter was, by God’s choice, preserved from any influence of the Fall(sin) in view of God the Son’s Incarnation from and in her, thus saving her from sin from the first moment of her existance. Thus the fruits of His coming Saving Sacrifice were being aptly applied to her before the Event rather than after the Event as with us.

  110. Joy says:

    wow, Mike. I am so deeply sorry that I misunderstood what you were trying to say. Very much. I’m sorry I was so way off the mark. Serves me right for making assumptions. You are a very brave person. From what you’ve said about your experience, I think God has great things in store for you. Praise God! I think through prayer you will come to a deeper understanding of the words He put upon you. Just my two cents. Again my deepest apologies.

  111. Mike says:

    Thank you, Joy for your kind words.

    And please, no apology is necessary because unless I explain my story (testimonial) it is hard to understand what I mean at first. (I really need to work on that!)

    Your original reply gave me the opportunity to explain it.

    Thank you.

  112. Born Catholic says:

    Mike have you read the book by Gabriel Amorth/

  113. Mike says:

    No. I haven’t. Why do you ask?

  114. Mike says:

    Btw, I made a typo in my testimonial. It should have read “9 and a half weeks” instead of “3 and a half” which was incorrect. Sorry.

  115. Joy says:

    Mike, stay strong my brother. I suspect there is much to learn from you. As I said it shows acts of courage to deal with your experience, and to share it here. I think what’s important is where it brought you and where it’s taking you. Be careful tho & it seems you already know it. There are people out there, wolves in sheeps’ clothing, who will find a way to spiritually abuse you if you don’t pray your way out of it. It is happening all over. From the severe case in Phoenix where a man killed his daughter during an exorcism to the name it/claim it crowd who are actually bringing demons to others because they have their own selfish agendas. There are bullies who will hide behind the Holy things of God. Only prayerful discernment will reveal them to you. ‘By their fruits you shall know them.’ Sometimes it can seem like a lonely journey, but there are people with good fruits. You’ll find them. God bless you.

  116. Marie says:

    I haven’t had a chance to check out the book yet but there is a good interview with FATHER Gabriel Amorth at this site:

    http://www.medjugorje.org/framorth1.htm

  117. Mike says:

    Actually, most of the times I’ve gotten taken has been at the hands of people professing themselves as “Christians. (You know who you are.)

    For me, I don’t know anyone with the authority to proclaim themselves “Christian” much less judge anybody else. But you hear it all the time. “I’m a Christian.” or “She’s not a very good Christian.” etc., etc.

    Yet further distinction being made between one another of God’s children to keep us separated. It seems to never end.

    I don’t believe I have the authority to proclaim myself a Christian but I believe I do have a responsibility to try and lead a Christian life. (Adjective as opposed to noun) That, I also believe, is what Jesus Christ was about. Leading by example and not proclamation.

    And frankly, I’m quite wary of anyone else claiming to be one or know one.

    Funny you should mention discernment.

    One of the most wonderful blessings that came from my 9 1/2 weeks was acquiring a heightened level of discernment. It was almost like progressively harder testing, eventually coming to a point where things appearing completely white, would actually be totally black and vice versa. More difficult were the things appearing so white, you could hardly see the black hiding in it. All very challenging (nerve-wracking at first) but with each test, pass or fail, I learned more about discernment.

    I don’t know why that was in so many examples but it was and I’m thankful for it. And thank you for words. You are already blessed by God as am I. We only need to acknowledge Him in our lives and accept His unconditional love, abundant blessings and merciful forgiveness.

    “It is only at the hands of man, we allow ourselves to suffer.”

  118. Mike says:

    Man, I should have started my own blog.
    :<)

  119. ocrawf says:

    I’m not a catholic, but it doesn’t matter, i believe in Jesus and what he has done for me. I am upset at some of the comments on this page, there is a lot of fighting that between people who have the same ultimate beliefs. People who call themselves CChristians should spend more time hanging out with people who don’t know the good news than fighting online about menial things, i agree with the author of this page, stop arguing, it’s not achieving anything

  120. mgseamanjr says:

    Darryl,
    While you have the right to edit out comments made by others on your own website, it is intellectually dishonest of you to delete those that criticize your misinformed opinions. I see that the critique I made this morning of your flawed posting has quickly disappeared from your website. Let’s hope that you will seek out the truth in such important matters, even when it makes you uncomfortable.
    Mike Seaman

  121. Anita says:

    Yhank you Mr. Sloan. It is so good to hear a Protestant Christian be agreeable that we Roman Catholics are also Christian. Father Amorth’s book is right on. I have a copy of it. I also have a copy of a Derek Prince book that speaks about deliverance and exorcism. He was a Protestant author. There are many areas that all Christians believe the same about. In God’s timing he will bring all of us into one fold like it was originally.

  122. freetobelieve says:

    In fact, I did start my own blog. Anybody interested in continuing an enlightening, frank and open discussion about religion, God, Jesus and anything else along those lines and this IS important…
    WITHOUT GETTING MIFFED, OFFENDED OR YOUR FEELINGS JUST PLAIN HURT, you are indeed welcome.

    I would like to share some of my experiences and opinions and welcome you to equally share yours regardless of your disillusionment.

    OK. Sorry. I just had to put that in. See you got offended already. Just kidding.

    Seriously, here’s the link: http://freetobelieve.wordpress.com/

    Come visit anytime.

  123. […] Says: October 16th, 2007 at 7:02 pm I’ve never read more delusional comments than posted here. No wonder religion is considered by […]

  124. Joy says:

    At your blog is there a page for those of us who are easily offended or miffed? lol

  125. freetobelieve says:

    Joy, You are aptly named. With such serious discussion and sidetaking, your sense of humor is refreshing.

    I suppose I could put one there but..
    that would kind of be defeating the whole purpose.

    :<)

  126. freetobelieve says:

    Darryl,
    I apologize for getting so “off-topic.”
    This is after all, your blog about book reviews and not a religion forum.
    I don’t know what came over me.
    Sorry.
    Mike

  127. Tony says:

    Some of you probably have like stories to mine below.
    I used to pray with our daughter at night since she was a small child, she is now 22 yrs old. We continued these evening prayers until she was 17 or 18 yrs old, although it was not every night. About 7 years ago she had the same recurring nightmare and this continued for 6 consecutive nights. On the 7th night, she was at wit’s end and so was I. After praying with her for the 7th time in 7 evenings, I was at a loss at how to help her. She was worn-out because she didn’t want to go to sleep for fear of this nightmare again.

    As I left her bedroom walking downstairs, I remembered that my wife and I, only a year earlier, went on a trip to Europe(Rome included) in which I had picked up some holy pictures. One was of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and another was the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I had these images blessed, but put them on a shelf. My wife is not Catholic and didn’t approve of these “sacramentals” in the house. But this night I retrieved these images and brought them up to my daughters room, she was already asleep from exhaustion. I put one in one corner of the room and the other in the opposite corner of her room and went back downstairs to bed. The next morning when my daughter came down, I asked her how it went and she told me in a relieved/excited voice “no nightmare”. I told her what I did, as she was unaware because she was asleep when I brought the pictures up to her room. My wife approved the images to remain out because it helped our daughter and we had them framed and eventually put them in a hallway in our home.

    About 3 years later my daughter told me the nightmare was back and happened 3 nights in a row. I told her, “you know what to do?” She brought the pictures back into her room and the nightmares ceased immediately. The pictures have been in her bedroom ever since that time. Some of you might be asking “how can a picture stop a nightmare”. The truth is, I really don’t know. What I do know is that there is no magic or power in the images themselves, although we don’t know for sure how evil sees a “blessed” object in the spirit world. One possibility is that it may shine with the brilliance of the light of God or something similar. The power is in the person behind the image. Power that ultimately comes from Jesus, but because of His great love and mercy chooses to delegate some of His power to created beings, some are holy and some are not so holy. I would highly recommend Fr. Amorth’s book and his follow-up book “More Stories”
    God bless all of you who are sincerely searching for Truth. I pray that your search will ultimately bring you home to the Catholic Church-the pillar and foundation of truth.
    “I have hidden thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

  128. wellsme says:

    Good comments… I am about 39… and besides my experience listed above when I was about 12, I recently had a tragedy… my husband of nearly 18 years died of ALS (Lou Gehrigs) 2 months ago.

    The reason I bring it up was because the last 4 years were filled with despair… Despair is only from the Devil I know, but facing what we were it is hard not too. I found solace in praying… a lot. I would go to church everyday and prostrate myself before the crucifix. I would pray about 2 hours a day, while the kids were in school. I wore out one pair of shoes on the top (that happens when you kneel that much).

    You know we got the 1st diagnosis the day after seeing the Passion of the Christ?

    There were so many days when I could not really pray. So I would just show up and sit in the pew. I thought.. at least I am here. God wants us to listen too. Because I had that experience as a child..I remembered what happened when I was really loving God.

    I would pray sometimes.. not because I felt like it, or received joy or relief. Sometimes I would pray just to tick off the Devil. I knew he wanted me to give up. He wanted us all to fall apart and turn our backs on God. That night in the hospital ER, I was alone with my husband, so the staff called in a volunteer to sit with me. Turned out she was unfortunately the wrong person to have there. She did everything in her power to distract me, to keep me from loving my husband until the end. She asked ridiculous questions like.. what funeral home have you chosen? What do you think the weather will be like tomorrow?

    Seriously I wanted to yell at her.. she was so odd.. but I would not permit myself to let the peace be shattered. Even though it was 3:00 AM, I called a friend of mine and she came, in the meantime my brother brought the kids in. I asked my friend to serve as a buffer between me and the volunteer.. which she did. I talked to a priest about the experience because I could not shake it.. and he said oftentimes the hour of death can be “one last try” of despair for the Devil. I really saw it that night. Don’t get me wrong, she was not possessed…but I think anyone can be used as a tool.

    In the end, when the kids got there I told them we should thank Dad for being a good provider and loving Dad, to ask forgiveness for the times we didn’t obey or weren’t patient.. forgiveness for the days when we did not love him fully. Then I reminded the kids of the good times, before he got sick.. his silly jokes etc. That was important for the youngest, because she was only 4 when he got sick.

    I sang What Wondorous Love is This to him.. and Amazing Grace. We said all of our Catholic prayers… what I could remember anyways. In the end, when his heart stopped, I waited a bit.. and then I kissed his forehead and said.. I love you Sweetheart.. and his heart started again. for a minute or so. that was heartbreaking to me.

    Yes.. we must all stop bickering, because in the end only God will judge.

    I have known despair deeper than I ever imagined. I will tell you I clung to my Faith. I believe about a year ago I nearly lost it. I went to church out of sheer will. And sometimes when you don’t “feel your Faith”, your will is enough.

    Please pray for one another and for me and my kids.

    Peace-

    Jen

  129. Karen says:

    I have never responded to anything in a blog before and rarely do I even read them (5 kids, no time) and while I have shared the following with others I have never written it down but somehow it seems appropriate to what I am reading here. Before I get to the story, I read Father Amorth’s book during Lent (the 40 days preceding Easter) of this year after sensing for some time that the Lord had been calling me to a greater understanding of ‘prayers for deliverance’. I had been meditating on the last part of the Lord’s Prayer: “and deliver us from evil” for quite some time while praying the Rosary (which is a meditative prayer on the life of Christ, the annunciation, the incarnation, etc.., for those who may not know) Anyhow, I found the book informative and confirming of many of my own thoughts on demonic activity. I appreciated reading a non-Catholic’s take on the book. Thank You, Mr Sloan.

    Jesus is the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. And He humbled Himself and became one of us. What was He thinking? Well, He was thinking He could pour Himself out to us and see where love might carry us. Back to Him, let us pray.

    I share the following personal experience regarding the Blessed Mother as an image to ponder:

    My brother’s wedding invitation sat for several days on my kitchen counter waiting for a reply (he knew I was coming so I was in no hurry to reply) when an answer to prayer occurred one evening when I lay down to sleep. I had been beseeching Our Lord in prayer to help me explain in simple laymen’s terms the role of the Blessed Mother to the women in my prayer group (Catholic). When I closed my eyes I saw myself in my kitchen, the Blessed Mother was there also. She glanced over at the invitation on the counter and I followed her gaze. She seemed to say to me “why haven’t you opened the invitation, the invitation you received on the day you were baptized? It is the most important event of all time-the wedding feast of the Lamb. You must go. Why haven’t you RSVP’ed, my child?” I replied “Oh Mother, I cannot go. I have no clothes to wear.” To which she replied: “I will help you find something to wear” “But my closet is a mess”, I said, “surely there is nothing in there I can wear.” “My dearest child, I will help you clean it out, no matter how long it takes, don’t worry, we will find something, God has provided all you will need, there is no need to look elsewhere,” she said. “But I have no way to get there. I cannot go”, I persisted. “I can take you there. I will help you get ready. You will be beautiful. Do not be afraid. The Lord is waiting upon you,” she entreated. “Alright then Mother, I will RSVP, I will tell the Lord I am coming.” Next, after much effort cleaning out my closet, I see myself in my room where she is helping me get ready and it dawns on me that I am the Bride, that the wedding feast is my union with Christ in heaven. That we are all invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb, that He desires union with all of us. Finally I am ready, as I settle in to the back seat in my wedding gown, I half-jokingly ask the Blessed Mother: “this is going to be a long trip, isn’t it?” She smiles. We stop along the way and everyone is inquiring where we are going, when we tell them we are going to the wedding feast of the Lamb, everyone who hears this joins us, the limosine seems to stretch indefinitely. That is where this experience ends, still on the journey.

    Let us remeber that God truly gives us everything. Christ holds nothing back for Himself, He completely pours Himself out for us (as a Catholic, that includes giving us His very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist) Why would He not give us His Mother?

    May all glory and honor be yours, my Lord, forever and ever. Amen

  130. Darryl Sloan says:

    Don’t apologise for turning this review into a religious forum, folks. I’m happy that there are so many discussions going on. I have only one request: keep it friendly. I’ve already deleted two posts, purely because a couple of people got a little cheeky with me. Most of us here are brothers and sister in Christ, right? So let’s act like Christians and leave out any mockery and arrogance when we disagree.

    Incidentally, this blogspot reached the number one spot WordPress’s populatity chart for a brief spell yesterday. That’s against 1.6 million other blogs. I’m gobsmacked!

  131. rhiana13 says:

    I am a Roman Catholic, a Christian as how you say it but i dont believe in demon oppression, witchcraft, curses etc.. my whole life I never seen such but I heard a lot… What you see is what you believe right but don’t mistake me, I believe in my religion, I do… But these things, I think its only the people themselves who’s making such stories(mostly). I am not saying that these things ain’t true, who knows they maybe but it’s just keeping your faith and believing in it is what makes it more important.
    See, for me I get my strength in praying… I pray a lot and I am safe and happy…
    After all… we may differ in religion and all but we only have one God…

  132. Nan says:

    FATIMA-ANNIVERSARY Oct-15-2007 (460 words) xxxi

    Fatima’s message is that following Gospel is path to peace, pope says

    By Catholic News Service

    FATIMA, Portugal (CNS) — The heart of the message of Fatima is that following the Gospel is the path to authentic peace, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message broadcast Oct. 14 at the Marian shrine.

    Marking the 90th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three young children, Pope Benedict said the shrine continues to echo Mary’s call to “her children to live their baptismal consecration in every moment of their existence.”

    “She is the refuge and the path that leads to God,” he told thousands of pilgrims at the shrine for an anniversary Mass and the dedication of a new shrine church.

    During his midday Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the pope asked Mary to give “all Christians the gift of true conversion so that the perennial Gospel message, which shows humanity the path to authentic peace, would be proclaimed and witnessed to with coherence and fidelity.”

    Cardinal Bertone marked the 90th anniversary of the last Fatima apparition with a Mass Oct. 13, then dedicated the new church Oct. 14.

    In his homily Oct. 13, Cardinal Bertone told an estimated 300,000 people gathered at the shrine that while the Fatima apparitions marked a “supernatural” sign from God “it would be foolish to continue to ask indefinitely” for more outward signs of God’s presence when the most effective signs of God’s love “are interior signs: the change of hearts touched by the grace of God.”

    “Our Lady did not ask to be admired, invoked or venerated,” he said. “She asked people to entrust themselves to her. She asked that the hearts of individuals, nations and all humanity would be consecrated to her.”

    Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he said, is a vow to follow her example in doing God’s will, in following Jesus and in remaining faithful to him even in times of trial.

    Cardinal Bertone said each individual Christian has a role to play in bringing faith to the world and in defending the Gospel values that the world needs for peace and true progress.

    “Unfortunately, many people think that victory depends essentially on the talent, ability or value of those who write in newspapers, those who speak at meetings, those who have a more visible role and that it is enough to encourage and applaud these leaders like one encourages and applauds players in a stadium,” Cardinal Bertone said.

    But, he said, that would be like a soldier thinking that victory in war depended only on the general.

    As Mary’s choice of appearing at Fatima to three illiterate children demonstrates, “heaven requires the effort, even seemingly insignificant, of the most humble servants,” he said.

    END

    ——————————————————————————–
    Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
    This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
    CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250

  133. […] Recently I was reading one of the WordPress top posts when I came across this one written by Darryl Sloan. […]

  134. Michael says:

    Rhianna,

    As a Roman Catholic it is your duty to be knowledgable on your own faith, as a Catholic you must accept that the devil exists. Praying and such is good, and your best bet against the enemy, but not believing that the devil exists or that there is demonic possession, that is the biggest lie that you have fallen into. Please re-read the bible passages that deal with exorcism, Christ exorcised, other did in his name.. and opression, curses, witchcraft, satanism, demonic worship, hexes, opression, obsession, and many other things are all very real and they are ALL used to draw us away from Christ, from his truth, and from the love that we deserve. Be on your guard, and not only believe and pray, but know that all things are possible and just because you don’t believe it, doesn’t make it not exist.

    Pax Christi,

    Michael

  135. Michael says:

    #134.. I have to say in answer to your post.. yes Christians can be both stupid and saved. The deeper question would be.. As a mere creature and your apparent lack of intelligence, understanding, fortitude, respect, and many other misfortunes… can you be saved? I would have to say yes.. you can be.. but it will only be through the mercy of God as he looks down upon a sad and hopeless human that takes life and all its wonders for granted. Your total lack of respect for people on this forum shows your immaturity and lack of faith. May GOD shine his light down upon you and may you reacte to that light and live a happier life.

    Vade Retro Satana, Ipse Venena Bibas!!! J-M-J

  136. frangelo says:

    Thank you for your being so fair minded. Your review was very helpful.

  137. Robert Gravlin says:

    Several comments. AS for prayers to Mary. We Catholics believe that God allows saints who have died and good angels too to know of our situation Hebrews Vs 1. Just as we can ask the living to pray for use we can ask saints to pray for use.
    As for the Bible alone, as there are over 2000 churches each believing they follow the Bible alone and they differ on many things we Catholics believe God has placed a true church to help us discern the truth from the falsehood on interpreting scripture. This is not to disparage the elements of truth in other churches God Bless Bob.

  138. Tessa says:

    Good afternoon in Christ Jesus from here in Houston Texas…

    I wanted to share some thoughts regarding the Marian issue. Though I believe we are all connected to the body of Christ regardless of Christian denomination, I wanted our brothers/sisters in Christ to really think about the simplicity of the concept of our Spiritual Mother as Co-Redeemer.
    In our scriptural teachings in regard to this beautiful and perfected human, we know our savior entered the world. In Protestant thought, Mary is just another human like you and me. And this true. But something about Mary is very different from you and I. She was sinless. How do we know this? Because in reference to a famous saying from the lips among evangelicals “because the bible says so.” In the message at the annunciation “Hail Mary” in scripture is given to Mary from the voice of God thru the angel Gabriel. Translated from original text, this “Hail” was a royal greeting given only to royalty as in “Hail Cesar” of those times. If we are knowledgeable of scripture we know Angels always spoke for God. God commissioned the Angel Gabriel to seek his human servant & daughter to speak for him. When Gabriel spoke it was God’s voice.. And what does God say? “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you and blessed are you among women.” So if God calls upon this human servant and raises her up to royal status, why can’t you? What is it to be full of grace? Its like when you get a glass of water & fill it to the brim. No more water is needed or it will overrun. Therefore it is satisfied. Enough! This message of the Angel Gabriel reveals to us the holiness of Mary in her perfected soul. Full holiness in its completion. The love of this soul is so great it magnifies who God is for us. So then God enters this perfected human with out blemish, she proclaims through holy spirit revelation, “My soul doth magnify the Lord” This reveals to us God does not need us to be great, greater in magnitude. He already was and is. But we make him more visible and magnify his greatness when do his will here on earth. This is what Mary did by virtue and obedience. But with Mary she was chosen apart from all creation. God, all knowing, knew there was not going to be anyone before or after her born till the end of time who would be perfected as she. Why? Because Mary was sculptured, molded and created for the divine task before time as we know it began. This is how God wants us to love…to perfection so he can come into our heart in fullness in the most spiritual way. With Mary it was both physical and spiritual. We believe for her task she was consecrated to God 7 cleansed of original sin before her birth.
    Since we as Christians believe where God is there is no time but always the present and forever, we must believe the soul and body of Mary was thought of in the Divine mind before time began on the earth for us. Since God is the Alpha and the Omega, we know he already knew of our beginnings and end before time began. The divine plan was for God to empty himself and become a Godman to show us how to love and serve through the second person of the trinity, Jesus, our brother and savior. From Scripture, Mary’s “Yes, it will be done according to your word,” she is speaking to God the Father. We have a God father, and brother in Jesus. Both are one God in the same. But we are missing an important person, a mother. We cannot have a Son without the mother. God could of just popped up in the sky as a man, Jesus, with a snap of his fingers without the aid of Mary. God needed a mediator not in saving us but using her to get to us so we could know who he is. . God needed Mary to love him enough to let him come. God did not command Mary. God lovingly asked Mary. “Can I come into you to save Mankind?” And she said YES!!!. Because of her YES! you have a chance for salvation. This is why we ask her aid in a co-redemption. She does not redeem us. Only God does. But because of the divine plan so it could be written in word, she brings us the divine word in the flesh. In her “Yes” is the reason you have a bible today.

    Mary knew she would have to give her son to us in the most painful suffering way and still she said YES. Per scripture, God then rewarded her with great and blessed things that we do not understand in this world because of her love and her own sacrifice in giving up the only son she had so his death could be accomplished for you. What a gem she was. We believe that if we do not give honor and veneration to the Mother of the Word, the Word will not acknowledge us when we come before him. Its like he will say upon his throne to us, ” Come meet my mother, whom I wanted to share with you at the foot of my cross, but you didn’t want my gift of her, who is of my own flesh.” In his humanity, Jesus wants to share his greatest love, his mother. How can we deny him or her?

    I know I cannot convince anyone of the importance of Mary in the life of a Catholic, but I want you to see whey we reverence not worship the mother of Word our savior. Many anti-Catholics hate and are disgusted at what they do not understand. Mary is all about motherly love. I think the hate is more directed at Catholics because non-Catholic Christians think we worship Mary. So they take it out on her. Hopefully one day you will be more Mary friendly than just at Christmas time.

  139. Robert Gravlin says:

    VS reference was Hebrews Ch 12 vs 1 about us being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. And as for demons I think they are most dangerous when they impersonate our thoughts and we think this is our thinking. discerning our thoughts from God’s Spirit speaking or from the evil one is the difficult part of discernment in ourselves and our own spiritual lives or in praying deliverance prayer whic we all can pray for and is for less extreme cases of domonic influence in our lives.
    God bless Bob.
    God Bless Bob.

  140. Regina says:

    Tessa– What a wonderful post. As a Catholic I have always known this, but you have such a great way of putting it into words. I would like to copy your post to give to my twenty-two grandchildren. God has been good. P.S. Also there has been many great posts on Mary. If we love Jesus, we must love his Mother.

  141. Karen says:

    Mr Sloan,

    Re: your previous entry—Let me refer you to John Paul II’s three year discourse on the “Theology of the Body”, beautifully summarized by Christopher West. You will find no baggage on sex there; on the contrary, you will find the most beautiful understanding of human sexuality ever expounded by anyone. I guarantee you will never view the gift of human sexuality the same. Blessings

  142. Tessa says:

    Thank you Regina..As you can read I love the Mother Mary like she is a real mother to me as as my own mother. Since I have communicated with Mary my whole life up to this point, I feel Jesus as my real brother has allowed me to really feel how much she loves all of us through him. What a portal of light she is for us to get to the source of our light, Jesus.
    Sister in Christ. Tessa

  143. winiann says:

    Praise God for all the wonderful Christian comments on this post! I especially like the understanding of Catholic veneration of Mary. I have interpreted that to mean worshiping Mary, which I did not accept. However, I believe I have a much better understanding of the place Mary should have in our faith.
    As for the ‘Bible only’ comments, I have to state that the Bible does have answers for every human condition. Yes, it was selected by people led by the Holy Spirit, whether Catholic or not. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us. We can call on God for anything we want or need. It doesn’t mean He will grant what we ask, but He commands us to be persistent in asking. If we all remember that, we can truly be God’s hands and feet in this world and join Him in heaven when our lives on Earth end.

  144. mattbear says:

    “intellectual atheist majority”? That fallacy alone takes away any credibility you might have.

  145. luke137 says:

    Firstly, I’d like to state how terrific this thread of postings has been to read. And, I appreciate Darryl Sloan for his tolerance. I suspect that he didn’t anticipate this type of response, but, God’s will be done. 😉

    I believe this thread is a testimony to Catholics devotion to the Blessed Mother. It is an expression of Love. And, I agree whole heartedly with many of the positions expressed in defending the Mother of God.

    One position that I see as having clarity on the issue is John 19:26-27 “Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son”.
    Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”

    It is stated that Jesus is speaking to His “favored” disciple. His favored disciple is the one that was with Him to the very end and stood beside His Mother. Christ’s last commandment was for His favored disciple to take the Mother of Christ into his home. Was Jesus speaking figuratively or literally when he made this statement to His favored disciple?

    As Christians, shouldn’t it be our ambition to become “favored” disciples. From a logical perception, I don’t see how it’s plausible to ignore or abstain from Mary his mother in an effort to become a favored disciple.

    My suspicion is that there exists a fear among certain Christians that if they embrace Mary that they are somehow damaging their personal relationship with Christ. When has ever loving another’s mother damaged the relationship of two persons. I trust that fear is the hurdle on the matter.

    To have a love for Mary allows for Christians to participate in a triune of love.

    Regarding the issue of the existence of demons and how the affect our human behavior. The objective of Satan is to lead humanity away from being united with Christ. By being united with Christ we become greater than Satan. Fear(especially the fear of being without)is the greatest weapon at the disposal of Satan. I suspect that a fear of being without salvation could hinder an individual from embracing the Mother of God.

    Lastly, a prophecy made long ago that appears to becoming to fruition;
    “It was revealed to me that through the intercession of the Mother of God, all heresies will disappear. This victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for his Blessed Mother… Before the second coming of Christ, Mary must, more than ever, shine in mercy, might and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic Faith.” Venerable Mary of Agreda 1602-1665

  146. Tessa says:

    One more thought that I was thinking as I read through this last post.

    Love brought a savior to us. And it was because of one human person’s great love that a savior came and still comes to us. Mary’s love for God and no other is the reason we have a redeemer. We as Catholics should all be in awe and wonder of such a lovely soul.

    Regarding the Devil, demons, etc. I believe if we believe in the spirtual world then all kinds of demons exist in the present. In the story of Genesis, in the fall of man there existed all kinds of dark angels when the one who beckoned them all fell from grace. The centrality of sin is rooted in pride. Because of pride Lucifer and Adam fell from grace. Lucifer was so beautiful above all angels that he prided himself as being greater than God. Adam through the thoughts of pride in trying to be more wise than God fell for the same reason. Anytime we ourselves become more prideful in anything that keeps us from God we turn away from God which demons love for us to do.

    There are demons all around us 24/7 to do their bidding. Anytime we have negative thoughts about ourselves, that is darkness. When we think positive and good in attitude we are choosing the light of a good spirit.

  147. Marie says:

    Many of the great saints in the Catholic Church battled evil. At times the battle was an actual physical fight. Padre Pio comes to mind. We must consider why God allowed this to happen since He is in control (not us, not the evil one). Job’s trials also come to mind. So does the story of Emily Rose from the Church. Very devout people. Does Father’s book shed any light on this issue?

  148. Laura says:

    I just wanted to point out that nowhere in the bible does it say that the Bible alone is the only source for Christian teaching. The Bible as we know it did not even exist in the first century. The early Christian relied heavily on tradition. Also, the whole story of the fallen angels- where is that in the Bible? But we all believe it, Catholics and Protestants alike.

    I think we have all gotten a bit off topic, which is the book by Gabriele Amorth. I wish his writings were more widely read, it would steer society in a better direction.

  149. Mike says:

    “Steer society?” Don’t we have enough factions attempting to do that today? It’s called the “media.”

    Noted you did say “in a better direction” but that seems very subjective and open for wide interpretation.

    Just my 2 cents…respectfully.

  150. Regina says:

    Come on Mike, Why so negative. It would sure beat the “media” we have now… respectfully, Just my 2 cents.

  151. Darryl Sloan says:

    To MattBear:

    “‘Intellectual atheist majority?’ That fallacy alone takes away any credibility you might have.”

    It’s common knowledge that the majority of scientists are athiests. It doesn’t make them right, but it is the way things are.

  152. Darryl Sloan says:

    Hi, folks.

    I thought I’d make a general comment, in an attempt to read between the lines of some of the posts.

    There has been a few misunderstandings about Protestants and the importance/unimportance of tradition. We do not jettison tradition; there is much to be learned from it. We are, however, very clear that it is not on an equal footing with the Bible. Jesus himself often quoted the Old Testament, calling upon the divinely inspired authority of the Scriptures in order to rebbut the traditions of the Pharisees. We believe that all things should be weighed by the Scriptures.

    You should also understand that we don’t view Luther as our point of origin. We claim Church history as our own, as Catholics do. We are as happy to quote from the likes of Thomas Aquinas as you are. We are not like a cult that sprang out of nothingness, having no historical basis. I think there seems to be a view among Catholics that Protestantism can be dismissed entirely on the grounds that it’s relatively new. Catholics are saying we are right because we have all the history and tradition. So do we! 🙂

    I may be wrong in this observation, but what I’m seeing in these posts is an emphasis on tradition, tradition, tradition, to the obscuring of the authority of Scripture. God’s people throughout history, from Old Testament times, have constantly needed corrected by a higher authority than their own traditions. Terrible things have happened in the ancient past. God’s people, Israel splitting into two kingdoms, called Israel and Judah. Eventually Israel itself is wiped out and only Judah remains (please don’t draw any Protestant/Catholic parallels here; I’m not inferring any; I’m only illustrating the turbulent history of God’s people). Let’s remember Jesus himself was the biggest tradition-breaker. Kicking over tables in a temple, calling the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs.” Christianity itself was originally seen as a cult of Judaism. Imagine a first-century Jew saying, “Christians? Pah! They sprang out of nowhere. They can’t be right. We’re the ones with all the traditions.” And yet Catholics constantly call upon tradition to dismiss Protestantism.

    So what am I saying? That Protestantism is the truth? No. I’m suggesting that the reasons Catholics seem to give for dismissing it are bad ones.

    I may not be seeing the complete picture, but “sola scriptura” still makes the most sense to me as a Christian – the testing of all things by Scripture. It is exactly how Jesus operated. “It is written …” etc.

  153. Darryl Sloan says:

    I’d like to take a break from all the debate and share a couple of personal things about my life and where I stand as a Christian. Although I am a Protestant, I have largely given up on religion. I can barely attend a church service without feeling depressed. This comes from a mix of not fitting in with the people, disagreeing strongly with sermons I’m hearing, feeling nauseated by false spiritual atmosphere created through music. It’s got to the point where I no longer attend my regular church, and the thought of searching for another just makes me wince. I’ve tried a few. I am a lonely Christian with no home.

    I do not take any form of Holy Communion (even when I attended church), because I simply do not know whether the Protestants or Catholics have it right. You Catholics would be horrified that some Protestant churches use “Ribena” (a British grape-flavoured soft drink, probably containing artificial flavours and colours) in place of wine. I’m actually a little horrified, too.

    I have no problem in embracing Roman Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve shared many great spiritual conversations with my Catholic best friend. I’d be insane to create a schizm between us where none really exists.

    None of the disagreements on this post have bothered me, except when the poster displayed a love for arguments, arrogance or mockery. Sometimes it was clear that a poster only wanted to tear down, rather than to inform and to help. These are sins you should bring before the Lord and seek to overcome. “The tongue is a fire, full of deadly poison,” as James said.

    Here’s the thing: do we all believe that we are here to strive to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbours as ourselves? Then, despite all controversy, we are brothers and sisters.

  154. Nan says:

    Dear Darryl,

    I believe that this piece by Fr Svet will truly speak to you – soul to soul. You may have to copy it into your browser piece by piee as it is a long address. Mir!

    http://www.mothersvillage.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=16&Itemid=37

  155. Anne says:

    Mr Sloan,

    I am a Catholic with some questions based on what you said above. Please understand these are questions. If it seems like I am attacking anybody, it isn’t my intent.

    You say you are a Protestant. To protest something, then something has to exist prior to the protest. Not trying to be flip. Well, maybe I am but Protestants have been protesting for how long now? It boogles my mind. The movement seems odd somehow standing behind Christ while protesting. I know I’m simplifying but I don’t understand this about Protestants. I take it that they are saying Christ started His Church with us, we Protestants are right, BUT we are going to keep on protesting. I love you my brothers and sisters but I don’t get it.
    My take on what you are saying about Holy Communion is that you maybe have a concern that what the Catholic Church says is right. Somebody posted a suggestion above. I agree and restate it. Maybe I’m wrong but I do not believe you will be able to reason it out–not entirely anyway. If you get a chance, do go to a Catholic Church where the Most Blessed Sacrament is. Spend some time in front of the tabernacle giving your concerns to the Lord. Be honest. Be patient. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off. (This is what happened to me.)

  156. Ghân Bûri Ghân says:

    Getting back to the topic of demon possession and exorcism, the Bible makes no claims at being a technical encylopaedia or manual. For example, the Bible does not explain neurosurgical procedures. Instead, it answers the much more difficult question of ‘Why?’. So, in technical matters, the guideline is that at no point must some procedure depart from the Word of God, and at no time must any such either provoke an undermining of the inerrancy and infalibility of said Word. It would, of course, be easier if the Bible said something like, “When confronted with a person exhibiting such and such behaviour, the correct diagnosis is possession with a type-3 demon which should be exorcised by the following method…” But that would limit considerably the reach and impact of the Word of God, since it would reduce it to a manual of procedures.
    Harold Bredesen wrote a book titled “Deliver us from evil”. A very good read.

  157. Darryl Sloan says:

    Anne,

    What you say illustrates how unfortunate a word “Protestant” is. Actually, we rarely ever use it. We refer to ourselves as simply Christians. It only came up so much in this post, because I had to differentiate Protestant from Catholic, for the purpose of clarity. If I had said Christian and Catholic, that would have meant I was accusing Catholics of not being Christian. So, I used the unfortunate word “Protestant.” It’s doubly unfortunate where I live (Northern Ireland), because here it’s more of a tribal word than a religious word; it differentiates communities, regardless of what the individuals in those communities believe.

    There’s an old Northern Irish joke that goes like this: A thug comes up to a man and asks, “Are you a Protestant or a Catholic?” The man replies, “I’m an athiest.” The thug says, “Okay, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic athiest?”

    There’s no ongoing protest. We just embrace some different beliefs. It’s an ugly word, really.

  158. Jason says:

    Darryl,

    Hi, and no one argues about the importance of the Bible, but who’s interpretation of the Holy Scriptures is correct – that is the question, and Jesus Christ has given His authority to His Church by the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead His people INTO all Truth. So, do we trust ourselves and in our pride believe we have alone have been given the truth as Luther, Calvin and ongoing protestants have done, or do we trust Jesus and His Church which the Bible tells us is the pillar and foundation of Truth (1 Tim 3:15)?

    Thanks for the dialogue!

  159. Anne says:

    Thank you Mr Sloan. I understand a little better now. I’m limited, trying to be nice to myself since really I should say ignorant, in my knowledge of Ireland. I’m an American mutt but a descendant of a Protestant (non-Catholic) McKinney who came to the states during one of the famines in Ireland. Makes my ignorance even worse.

    Could be I’m really going out on a limb. It’s sounding kinda sorta like a tower of Babel. If we can’t hammer out the terms to identify what it is we’re talking about isn’t that what we have?

    Thanks for your blog!

  160. Darrell says:

    Darryl,

    I am a Catholic, raised Protestant but spent most of my adult life not believing in much of anything except myself. Had a huge conversion experience a little over 5 years ago, and have come to become a very devout Catholic. So I can relate to the Protestants, Catholics, New Agers, and atheist/agnostics, as I have been all of these at various times in my life. A few personal thoughts and recommendations:

    Darryl, you wrote, “I think there seems to be a view among Catholics that Protestantism can be dismissed entirely on the grounds that it’s relatively new.”

    Actually, I personally don’t believe this, and it’s not what the Catholic Church teaches:

    “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church”
    –Catechism of the Catholic Church, 838

    Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College (also born Protestant and converted to Catholicism, and in my humble opinion, one of the best thinkers of our time), states, “I also believe everything affirmed and emphasized by evangelical Protestantism is true.”
    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0028.html

    So for any Catholics who have mistakenly led you to believe that we dismiss Protestantism, I apologize.

    There is another great book I would recommend, Rome Sweet Home, by Scott Hahn, a Protestant minister and theologian who, in his studies, came to recognize the scriptures in fact were the teaching of the Catholic Church.

    As for the Blessed Virgin Mary, here are a few thoughts, from a simple and humble lay person’s perspective.
    http://darrellbowles-climbingthemountain.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html

    Peace and God’s Blessing to all of us, God’s children,
    Darrell Bowles
    http://darrellbowles-climbingthemountain.blogspot.com/

  161. Darrell says:

    Darryl,

    You write, “I can barely attend a church service without feeling depressed. This comes from a mix of not fitting in with the people, disagreeing strongly with sermons I’m hearing, feeling nauseated by false spiritual atmosphere created through music.”

    I appreciate your candor. I can relate as I was in a similar place at one time; then, after my conversion experience I discovered the weekday Mass–no music or singing, just prayer.

    And yes, we are all brothers and sisters. God Bless you in your journey, my brother.

    Darrell

  162. Stephen says:

    Mr. Sloan, I appreciate your post number 58. While I do not agree with the Protestant position, I appreciate knowing where they come from. I do not think you intended to misrepresent the Catholic view, I think you were only presenting the Protestant view of Catholics. I view your posts as a good source for opposition research. In some of these posts, there is an issue that is being touched upon indirectly and lightly that is very important to the Western world. As any practicing Christian should be well aware of, one of the main causes, if not the main cause, of moral decay in Western civilizations is moral relativism. As a Protestant, do you mind explaining to me how going by the Bible alone solves the problem of moral relativism? I anticipate that your answer will be very insightful. May God bless you brother and I will keep praying for you.

  163. Mike says:

    Regina –

    Negative?

    Have you looked around? I thought I was being an optimist.

    I’m outta’ cents. Will you take a check?

  164. Tony says:

    Mr. Sloan,
    I appreciate your honesty regarding your faith. Jesus said, “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. So Jesus is telling us that, without the truth, we will not truly be set free. Therefore, I am confident everyone will acknowlege that truth is of the utmost importance. You stated earlier that along with Catholics, Protestants also have “history and tradition”. I know traditions can vary with the many non-catholic denominations that exists today, but can you point me to the writings of the early christians of the first few centuries that believed what Protestants believe today? Thank you for this discussion.

  165. Regina says:

    Sorry Mike, Guess I did not read you right. I’m outta’ cents also. Cheers

  166. Mike says:

    Isn’t the whole process of living with the accumulation of all our experiences and (hopefully) learning from them also a way path to coming closer to God and understanding His ways?

    This ongoing, never ending dialogue between each singular facet of differing religions is what people fight, maim and kill over.

    All in the name of “their” religious differences.

    Further proving my posts of #87, 91 and 95 accurate.

    You’re all invited to my blog http://freetobelieve.wordpress.com/ if you can get your mind around the concept.

    No disrespect intended.

  167. Darryl Sloan says:

    Stephen,

    You asked me to say a word on how going by the Bible solves the problem of moral relativism. This is a tough one, because from experience I also know there are dangers with moral absolutism.

    I’ve met people whose grasp of Bible morality was very cold and legalistic. I remember testing someone with the question, “If all you had to do to save someone’s life was photocopy a page from a copyrighted book, would you do it?” He actually got really angry with me.

    For myself, I know that I would happily, say, lie to a bunch of thugs who had maybe broken into my house, if it meant saving someone’s life. This, interestingly, is exactly what Rahab was praised for by God.

    I came to the conclusion that morality has a sort of hierarchy. This is illustrated by the fact that when Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” he did not answer, “They are all equal.” He said it was love for God first and love for one’s neighbour second. All other morality falls under those umbrellas. In the normal run of day-to-day life, that means that the hundreds and thousands of moral precepts in the Bible can be followed unswaveringly. But occasionally, life’s situations get messy and we may be called upon to make difficult decisions.

    In the situation I mentioned, will God judge me for telling a lie, or will he judge me for my failure to love my neighbour by protecting him? To those who see the law of God as a cold, lifeless thing, this question doesn’t even register. It’s an open and shut case of legalistically following rules.

    But one of the most important things I ever learned as a Christian is that the law of God has a heart to it, and at it’s heart is love. And that may mean that once in a while we are called to be law-breakers in the smaller things.

    This is a far cry from the moral relativism of the world, where all that’s needed to break a moral is to quote an advantage. My most recent experience of this was buying an item from someone online. I agreed a price with a lady who was selling something on behalf of her son. But a few days later, she said, “Someone offered my son more money, so he went with the better deal. I hope you understand.” I simply replied, “I’m disappointed that you’re not willing to keep your word.” In the end, she sold me the item. But this shows you how easily corruptible man is. We are so easy to change, and we deceive ourselves into thinking that our actions are okay because we can see advantages to them.

    Women have any number of reasons for aborting their children in the womb. On TV, keep an ear out for the polititians who make terrible moral choices, and then in the next breath talk about how the country will benefit in one way or another.

    The world is like this because it has a broken moral compass. And few non-Christians realise that the remnants of a compass that they do have came from Christianity. They seem to think that the relatively peaceful society that they enjoy living in will always stay that way, not realising that it was built on a Christian foundation. The less Christian a country allows itself to become, the more that foundation will erode.

    Athiests would have all us all be accoutable only to ourselves, as if the heart of man is pure goodness. The fact is we are weak and corruptible and selfish, in need of guidance from a higher authority.

    A man who spends time getting to know his Bible realises he is called to a much higher form of living than what is common. Proverbs speaks of the man “who swears to his own hurt, and does not change.” We are not allowed to “go for the better deal” just because it’s more advantageous. We are to be people of our word. I don’t consider myself to be anything special morally (in fact, I struggle greatly with certain vices), but I’m a better man than I would have been without all the years of Bible reading I’ve done.

  168. Darryl Sloan says:

    Tony,

    “Can you point me to the writings of the early christians of the first few centuries that believed what Protestants believe today?”

    I’ve heard Protestant writers quote from Augustine and Aquinas, but have to confess I’m not well read on church history by any means.

  169. Darryl Sloan says:

    If anyone is interested, I keep a more personal blog about my Christian life here:

    http://darrylsloan.wordpress.com/category/christian-faith/

  170. Nan says:

    Darryl,

    Thank you for post 169. I can say that having received the Revised Standard Version of the Bible (catholic edition) free from a ‘protestant’ charity it became my chosen bedside reading and it has illuminated my whole life and the practise of my faith since. As you say on your blog, Love is primary. The intention behind an action matters as much as the action itself. Only God knows our hearts and our intentions as well as ourselves and so he is entitled to be our true judge. As one who had an experience of dying and reviewing my whole life from the inside out along with the incredible love of LOVE ITSELF I came back with the certain knowledge that we are made by love, for love and to love – each other and in so doing, loving our maker – Love Himself – the one, true and only God.

  171. Stephen says:

    Good post, Mr. Sloan. I admire your humility in admitting the difficulty of addressing such an issue. As I expected, your post was insightful. In my way of thinking, believing in a moral hierarchy, to use your terminology, does not diminish the acknowledgment that particular acts are wrong, just that sometimes they are a smaller offense compared to the only other choices that you have available to you. This is where the virtue of prudence comes in. While two people may agree on the moral quality of certain objective acts, they may disagree on what the most prudent choice is when trying weigh differing moral concerns when given a difficult situation. Also, I would just like to add that the culpability incurred by a person that commits a particular act can be reduced by external circumstances that are involved in making the moral choice. A few of these circumstances could be the ability of the moral agent (person performing the act) to know if the act is morally wrong, and if the person is truly exercising free will or is acting under constraint. The ability of a person to know if an act is morally wrong could be undermined by an unwanted lack of education (compare that to deliberate ignorance) or lack of sufficient mental development due to age, disease or birth defect. In addition to external coercion, a person’s free will may be hampered by mental disease or psychological condition. In some difficult situations, free will and the ability to know what is the right thing to do are both hindered. Only God can find a way out of some difficult situations and find a way to do so without violating any moral principles. I guess that is where prayer comes in. I would also like to add that while we may be able to judge that a particular action is objectively immoral, only God can judge the guilt of the person performing the action. I would like to humbly conclude this post by pointing out that I am not as well studied on this issue as I should be and I am not sure if I am representing Catholic teaching with complete accuracy. I am only stating my own understanding. I would advise anyone who wants to know the teachings of the Catholic Church to read the official documents of the Catholic Church, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. May God bless you, brother.

  172. Nan says:

    Dear Darryl and Stephen,

    You are both on the right road. I recommend a visit to Medjugorje with an open mind to see why it is so powerful against the evil one. You will find a good blog on it at http://www.crownofstars.blogspot.com/ and the local site is http://www.medjugorje.hr

    May the Peace of Christ be with you.

  173. Karen says:

    Darryl,

    I would accept the consequences of photocopying the page.

  174. Anne says:

    Darryl wrote:
    “I’ve heard Protestant writers quote from Augustine and Aquinas…”

    Sts Augustine and Aquinas were Catholic though. I want to understand my Protestant brothers and sisters. So I have to ask or say that here is how my mind works. In reading the words of Jesus, it does seem to me He was pretty clear, a shoot from the hip speaker. Those who were with Him loved him and chose to follow Him. It seems something real and concrete and permanent would have been laid out. That’s just how I think.

  175. Tessa says:

    Our Church fathers have already given us much theological thought and have come to the most beautiful way of letting us know faith and this is the way I see it from what I believe up to this point in my life. If the Holy Scriptures were never written, we would still have what I am going to explain to you regarding the faith. If there was ever a time where it was commanded that all the bibles be burned or destroyed because of religious persecution, sola scriptural believers would perish in numbers regarding faith matters, since Protestant faith is based on bible only. Which to me still does not make since its a Catholic book put together by Catholics and officially closed in cannon in the 3rd century by Catholics. Then two guys got a different idea and the rest is history.

    We have three important provisions if faith. The Magisterium, Scripture and the Church. All stand together of equal importance. One not greater than the other. All of these come together in faith for us as the viable means by which we operate as “The Catholic Faithful” The Hierarchy being the living breathing entity. Scripture being a handed down record of faith and the Church being the body in the Mystical, (the people, the building, good news and a communion).

    We know the word communion means, sharing, giving, partaking, unity, oneness, intimacy and even intercourse of persons. In Catholicism our belief is that there is the communion of all faithful persons, saints, angels, of the departed and the most important, the mystical Eucharistic communion. What is so awesome about Catholicism is that all these communions become one holy communion in our most greatest interchange from of prayer; a Holy Mass. There is much we know of this Holy Communion ritual but for the most part it is a mystical union which has not been revealed us in its magnitude. Its like looking in a mirror and we can see ourselves but without clarity. What we do know is that when we as persons come together from all walks of life for a Holy Mass ritual, we all become in a union of oneness with Jesus Christ in the remembrance of his Last Supper. Christ, our spouse wants to marry us & become one with us as in an interchange act of love as much as we can. Christ wants to have spiritual intercourse with him as many times as we can. Isn’t that what our human loving spouses want too, since our marriage unions are suppose to foreshadow the real union of spiritual love in our eternity with Christ. Therefore we believe this deepest from of unity happens we take Jesus into our mouths, to our souls. We are having a conversing here in the interchange of souls with Jesus.

    We all have hope for salvation for one another. Not just ourselves. God gives us 6 days to exist in living the life we have woven by working, taking care of family, going through life’s pleasures and disappointments, emotional hurts and illness, deaths and so on. When we all come together on the 7th day, we give thanks and offer up our hearts with Christ’s heart in body and blood he so lovingly gave us at the cross. Our Christ really died from a broken heart because we did not love him enough. This same heart takes upon himself all our hearts with him to the father. He takes our worries, hurts, disappointments, thanks, etc and offers them to his father. We all are thanking, sharing, partaking, giving when we partake of the most holy Eucharist, which is Jesus transformed mystically from the bread/wine to the body/blood. We memorialize the most important part of Christ’s ministry, his death to save us. The offering is being done 24/7 all over the word without ceasing where ever the Eucharist is being transubstantiated. We as Catholics are in communion with Catholics all over the world in hypostatical unions. We come together as one. The Gospel/Liturgy in Germany and Austria is the same one I am hearing here in Houston. So this means my offering & prayers may help by being in union with my many brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world as far as Italy.

    We are in communion with you Darryl and our non-catholic Christian brothers but it is not full communion because of this reason. You do not partake of Jesus of himself in offering of coming together with us. This is our belief I know. Not yours, but this is why we think this way. By Scripture, we know Christ wants one body, one faith, one church because he says so and reaffirms in “The Bread of Life discourses” in John:6. Christ says “You must eat and drink of the body/blood of my flesh or you will not have life eternal.” We take this figuratively and mystically. For us, this is why it is so important for us to honor Christ by going to a Holy Mass on the day commanded by God and not to give it a miss. For us, to not honor the 7th day for a mystical communion is staying in the perpetual 666….. And we know to not honor the 7th which represents fullness all over scripture means we are not in the fullness of communion. A consecrated Holy Eucharist sits and awaits in every Holy Catholic tabernacle all over the world.

    We also believe if it were not for the consecrated Holy Eucharist, the earth indeed would be shaken off its axis. In Scripture Peter the Apostle says, “Master, Stay with us for the night is young,” and Jesus replies, “Do not be afraid, I will be with you until the end of time.” And he is in the most physical ways for us in the Holy Eucharist.

    Sorry I got carried away on this post

  176. Tony says:

    Mr. Sloan, you said (on 154) “I think there seems to be a view among Catholics that Protestantism can be dismissed entirely on the grounds that it’s relatively new. Catholics are saying we are right because we have all the history and tradition. So do we!”

    I asked you(on 166)

    “but can you point me to the writings of the early christians of the first few centuries that believed what Protestants believe today?

    You responded (on 170)
    “I’ve heard Protestant writers quote from Augustine and Aquinas, but have to confess I’m not well read on church history by any means.”

    I believe you have “hit the nail on the head” and as Cardinal Newman said “To be steeped in history is to cease to be Protestant.” Protestantism may be “dismissed” based on many issues of which “it’s relatively new” is only one. But since evidence of Protestantism is conspicuously absent in early church history (ever see archaeologists dig up an ancient Baptist church?), it seems like a stretch to say “So do we!”
    My intent is not to be disrespectful, but I know no other way to confront this issue, except directly.

    thank you again for your responses

  177. Darryl Sloan says:

    Tony,

    I’m going out on a limb here, without having anywhere near enough knowledge, but the one assumption I think you are making is that the Catholic Church had stayed the same for, say, 1600 years or whatever it was until Luther objected. Luther objected to what was happening then, in his own time. Protestants do not see the Roman Catholic Chruch as corrupt from the get go, and for this reason they happily quote the early Church Fathers.

  178. Nan says:

    Darryl,

    Yes, you are again correct. Martin Luther was correct to point out discrepencies he observed in the lives of people who professed to be leaders of God’s people. The pity was that it caused a split in the ranks rather than a renewal in peoples’ lives. I recommend you visit Our Lady’s shrine at Knock in Co Mayo Ireland. There is a tremendous bookshop there part of which is geared to the questions posed by those outside the catholic tradition. The apparition at Knock was a silent one but has skoken volumes to many since. The very positioning of the figures and their gestures reveal the form of the ongoing dialogue between Heaven and Earth. The fact that this apparition occoured OUTSIDE the church seems also to indicate that it’s message is truly a gift and grace meant for everyone who contemplates it, not just us catholics. The webpage is here http://www.knock-shrine.ie/

    Marian devotion flowered in the catholic church in the years following the split in the churches and therefore it’s growth in the wings that split off was stunted as a result. It’s finest form (in my humble opinion)can be found in the writings of St Louis Marie de Montfort. He suffered a lot in his own lifetime but his writings survived – a link to his most famous treatise is here http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/truedevo.htm A short biography of his life and links to download all his writings is here. http://www.themontfortacademy.org/Pages/BioStLouisdeMontfort1.htm

    May Jesus, Mary, Joseph and John be forever with you.

  179. Tessa says:

    Per D. Sloan:
    “Protestants do not see the Roman Catholic Church as corrupt from the get go, and for this reason they happily quote the early Church Fathers.”

    Mr. Sloan….I don’t believe the church has ever been corrupt.. This just can never be possible. That would be saying “Christ was corrupt or corrupted.” in a certain century. Because the Church is the Body of Christ your saying something on his body was bad at one time. The body of Christ was/is perfect without a blemish if we are thinking of the mystical relation of the human body of Christ and his church. Plus, if you think this way then you would have to believe there is a probability the reformed church(s) can be corrupt or corrupted again in the future too. Can it only be corrupted once? Can you agree? I think your trying to say, “persons in the church were corrupting the message of Christ in those times.” Right?

    Because of the Prophecy I know of the Church in scripture, it says “the gates of haddes will never prevail against it” Therefore, the church is invincible and incorruptible. Now, is that regarding your church or mine? Anyway, the Church still stands today and the message of Christ stays truer than ever. Those who were made human and imperfect in our Church made wrong choices, were confused by their own ideologies since pride was the factor in that time. Pride was also the factor in regard to Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. They wanted to mold the Body of Christ founded to their way of professing faith. What makes them right and us wrong? If I saw the Reformation was a good thing…I would say Christ would of approved, but I think this is not the case. The Reformers have only splintered the church into thousands and thousands of other continuities spinning and spinning out of control. And this is what the great anti-christ enemy of the church wants, confusion and uncertainity. What Martin Luther should of done is prayed for the Church’s leaders to guide them like the masses of those committed to faith did. Eventually, the errors men of the Church made were corrected and the same Christ guided Church still stands today. The Church of Lutheranism and its spin off congregations do not have the global spiritual impact & respect as the Roman Catholic Church has today in the world. And that should speak volumes.

    In the many secular biographies of Martin Luther written you will learn he had a great hatred for the Papacy. And this is where his action of Protest really was aimed at. Because of Pride, he and his followers started their own Church that is suppose to have the keys to the kingdom. Somehow, Luther delegated himself as the rock or the recipient of the keys Jesus bequeathed to his Apostle, Peter. I read on Martin Luther’s death bed he regretted leaving the Church Christ founded.

  180. […] the review and started writing comments. I had over 3,000 views in a single day, and ended up with over 180 comments posted. For a brief time, the post actually attained the number 1 spot on WordPress’s Top 100 […]

  181. Darryl Sloan says:

    Folks, I am officially declaring any further debate on Catholicism closed here, because it’s taking over my blog and overshadowing comments that are being posted on other book reviews. Somebody mentioned “Pope Joan” and things started spiraling out of control once again. No more, please. I’ve deleted that post and the subsequent responses.

    Feel free to post any comments relating to the theme of the book review, though.

    It’s been interesting.

  182. Jess M says:

    Hi, Darrel. I enjoyed the book, too, though I prefer the writing style of Fr. Fortea in Interview with an Exorcist. Here’s the Amazon link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Interview-Exorcist-Insiders-Possession-Deliverance/dp/1932645969 . Thanks for your honest blog. I hope we Catholics haven’t made a bad impression. Love in Christ!

  183. Ann says:

    There are also the legions of Holy Angels to consider – this is a good place to find out more http://opusangelorum.org/index.html

  184. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  185. Nice post about An Exorcist Tells His Story by Gabriele Amorth « Darryl’s Library. I am very impressed with the time and effort you have put into writing this story. I will give you a link on my social media blog. All the best!

  186. Michael Seaman says:

    I am entirely unimpressed by the time and effort you have put into writing this story. The author the book you review is the world’s leading expert on exorcism. He has performed hundreds of thousands of exorcisms. That fact alone should give you pause before quickly dismissing the book as being similar to a text on UFOs. One thing the author states is that those who dismiss the supernatural so quickly, as you have done here, are akin to those who state “There are no such things as lions because I have never seen them myself but only read about them in books.” Though this is a critique of your posting, I would hope that you have the intellectual honesty and courage to post it and not delete it so quickly as you have done with my other posts that critique you.

    • Darryl says:

      It boils down to evidence, Michael – of which there appears to be none available. Calling Amorth the world’s leading expert on exorcism means little. He may indeed be that, but I’m sure someone, somewhere is the world’s leading expert on the “fairy” phenomenon. And I’m sure that doesn’t convince you that fairies are real.

  187. Michael Seaman says:

    There is plenty of evidence, Darryl. If you want evidence for the proof of lions, don’t stick to books or simply contemplating them but go to the zoo or on a safari. How easy it is for you to sit back in your easy chair and intellectualize about such matters but if you want proof of demons and exorcism, you should go talk to an exorcist yourself. Each Catholic diocese in the US is supposed to have one. They can tell you about their personal experiences and, if you still feel the same, you might even ask to attend an exorcism. It will make your hair stand on end and put an end to your doubts. But I doubt that you would ever do such a thing. No, you would find it much easier to “not go there” because it would be too uncomfortable and cause you to radically change “your world view” (as you put it in other postings).

    • Darryl says:

      A man recounting stories does not count as evidence. Nor does witnessing a good act (or mental illness). Nor does an attack on my character.

      For your information, I have gone through several radical changes in my worldview over the years. In fact, my original review of this book was a positive one, as I was a Christian at the time of writing, and more credulous than I am today. If you can’t offer an argument of substance in favour of your position, that’s your failure. And pointing the finger at me is nothing more than a fallacious diversionary tactic. But I’m used to that treatment from your tribe.

      As for the credibility of demon-possession, let’s look at the marvellously enlightened attitude Jesus had to epilepsy (from Mark 9):

      ——————
      A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

      “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

      So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

      Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

      “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

      “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

      Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

      When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
      ———————

      I discuss demon-possession rationally in the following video, if you’re interested:

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