Exorcists or Christ? Ms. Hall


Exorcists or Christ?

Ms. Hall writes:

Having spent an insane amount of time studying possession and exorcism (for the book that I wrote, and because I find it fascinating in general), I believe that someone like Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler is "perfectly possessed", meaning they are the embodiment of evil. Any exorcist worth his salt will tell you there is no amount of praying that will help that person. I've had two different exorcists say to me, "You just have to hope someone will lock them up before they kill too many people."

(This quote is one of the reasons I really like Ms. Hall's blog--she's straightforward and says exactly what she thinks. That is truly admirable, and at times, truly provocative in a good sense--stimulating thought and discussion.)

And I rather abruptly commented in her blog that I didn't believe these exorcists. (I apologize if I seemed rude--it was the haste in writing and not intentional) And I do not. However I believe a statement of that sort should probably be better explained than I offered on the blog.

I take for my example the parable of the importunate widow. The message we are to draw from that is to never cease in prayer for whatever cause. The parable doesn't say, "Pray until you decide it's useless, or until someone tells you that it isn't worthwhile," but pray always, continually. By constantly imploring God, we will achieve the ends of our prayer if they are within His Will.

I wonder where we would be if St. Isaac Jogues, St. Paul Miki, St. Charles Lwanga and, who knows how many others had determined that Satan had too strong a hold so resistance via prayer was futile, that some people perhaps some nations were beyond the reach of God's grace.

No, God's arm is not too short. There is no one living who passes beyond the reach of His redemption. To believe that someone is irredeemable and utterly beyond the help of prayer is to believe that God is not capable of fully effecting His Will. I cannot believe that anyone passes beyond that veil while living. However, I do believe that some may die without having been redeemed--that is certainly possible. I like to think it unlikely--but I won't debate that point. Suffice to say that I'm in the von Balthasar, Neuhaus camp on this issue.

I'm afraid that here I'm inclined to believe our Lord and Savior and the magisterium of the Church--neither tell us to give up hope or to abandon prayer even for the most depraved of souls.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 25, 2003 7:11 PM.

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