Friday, 24 August 2012

When in Rome.....more on re-evangelisation

Thanks to a good priest friend and following my post of yesterday, I have been pointed in the direction of Rome.

Of course, where else would one look for guidance?

I only hope that those movers and shakers in the Vatican who are helping the Holy Father in his plans for breathing the flame of the Holy Ghost into those of the Faithful who might be better described as the "Faithless" also look to this same source, right on their doorstep so to speak.

A certain Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, Rector of the International Ecclesiastical College, San Carlo and Primicerio of the Basilica of SS Ambrogio il Carlo al Corso, set about re-educating the great unwashed.

His method was to produce concise leaflets, roughly A5 in size and covering key elements regarding Catholic Doctrine and Social Teaching.

These leaflets he left at the back of the Basilica and, within two years, he found that he had distributed over 2 million of them. Two million leaflets! What an achievement!

Now, just think...these leaflets are all online.......all within reach of every parish priest AND every member of the Church (we are all bound to be teachers of the Faith are we not?)

Mgr Martinelli's website is HERE

And here is one of his leaflets on the subject of the devil - of course, these would need some trimming on the translation front as, at present, they are Google translations:-

What power does the devil have over us?
  • In the First Letter of John we read: "The whole world lies in the power of the evil one" ( Jn 5:19). Saint Paul speaks of our battle against spiritual powers (cf. Eph 6:10-17). It 'also because of his sin and its consequences (disease, suffering, cataclysms, and especially death) entered the world.
  • The devil generally acts through temptation and deception, he is a liar, "father of lies" ( Jn 8:44). He can deceive, mislead, or deceive. As Jesus is the Truth (cf. Jn 8, 44), so the devil is the liar par excellence. The French writer Charles Baudelaire said that the most perfect cunning of Satan is to persuade us that does not exist.
  • The devil has great power of seduction:
    • seduced Adam and Eve, of all the works done by the devil "the most serious in its consequences was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God" ( CCC , 394);
    • tried to seduce Christ directly (cf. Lk 4:1-13) or using Peter (cf. Mt 16:23); 
    • tries to seduce the disciples of Christ. The strategy followed to achieve this is to convince the man that a life lived in disobedience to God's will is better than living in obedience. Deceives the people persuading them that they do not need God and are self-sufficient, without the need of Grace and Salvation. Even deceives men falling, even by removing the sense of sin.
  • "The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that it is pure spirit, but still a creature can not prevent the building up of the Kingdom of God "( CCC , 395). 
  • His action, in addition to being limited, "is permitted by divine providence, which guides the history of man and of the world with strength and gentleness. Providence should permit diabolical activity is a great mystery, but "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" ( Rom 8:28) "( CCC , 395).

Because God "allows" Satan to "harass" the man?
Life on earth is a time of trial, during which God allows the devil to groped and 'test' the man, but never beyond his strength. But we know by faith that God is able to bring this evil a greater good because, by his grace, my heart goes out purified by the test and faith becomes stronger.

How Jesus acts with demons?
  • He first speaks frequently of the devil (see eg. Mt 4:10; Mk 4:15; Lk 10:18; Jn 8:44).
  • He also acts against the devil:
    • see the temptation of Jesus in the desert, he reacts strongly (cf. Lk 4:1-13). "The temptation in the desert shows Jesus, the humble Messiah, who triumphs over Satan by his total adherence to the plan of salvation willed by the Father" ( CCC , 566);
    • in the Gospel of St. Luke, we read that Jesus commands the demons, who recognize him as the Son of God (cf. Lk 4.41, 8.28 ...);
    • between the miracles that Jesus performed, there is liberation of diabolical possessions (cf. Mk 1.25 to 26, 5.2 to 20): realizing such healings, he "took our infirmities and bore our diseases" ( Mt 8:17);
    • several times the Evangelists tell us that Jesus practice various exorcisms , by which free people from the torment of the demons, thus anticipating the great victory that he will implement the prince of this world (cf.Mk 1.25 to 26), with his death and resurrection;
    • Jesus preached the coming of the kingdom of God, which is the defeat of Satan's kingdom: "If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God has come upon you the kingdom of God" ( Mt 12:28);
    • devolves power to cast out demons even to his apostles (cf. Mk 3:15; 6,7.13; 16:17); 
    • wins the whole world of evil with His death and resurrection. Jesus Christ defeated Satan and has definitely broken the rule of the evil spirit (cf. Col 2: 15; Eph 1, 21, Rev 12, 7-12), he is "the stronger one" who won "the strong" ( cf. Lk 11, 22). "Trust - says the Lord - I have overcome the world" ( Jn 16, 33); 
    • when, after his death, descended into hell , Jesus reduced "impotence, through death, he who has the power of death, that is, the devil" ( Heb. 2:14).

How do you win the devil?
In many ways, complementary
  • First with a genuine life of faith, characterized by trusting abandonment to the fatherly love and providence of God (cf. Lk 12, 22-31), and obedience to his will (cf. Mt 6, 10), in imitation of Christ the Lord. This is the safest shield.The most beautiful victory over Satan is the ongoing conversion of our life, which has its own special and continued implementation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, by which God frees us from sins committed after our baptism, he gifts us his friendship , and confirmed with us the grace to withstand the assaults of the devil.
  • With a permanent vigilance "Watch. Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour "( 1 Peter 5:8). 
  • Welcoming and witnessing, increasingly, by word and deed, the Gospel. This requires a full and courageous announcement of the Gospel: we must not be afraid to speak of the devil, and especially the victory that Christ has already reported on it and continues to bring in the person of his faithful. 
  • Struggling against her seductions and temptations. "The whole history of man is in fact pervaded by a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness fight started from the beginning of the world and will continue, as the Lord says, until the last day. In this conflict, the man has to struggle continuously to be allied to goodness, nor can he achieve his own integrity without great effort, with the help of God's grace "( Second Vatican Council , Gaudium et Spes , 37, 2).
  • Fleeing to avoid sin, which "is an offense against God:" Against you, you only, have I sinned. What is evil in your sight I have done "( Ps. 51.6). Sin sets itself against God's love for us and our hearts away from him. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become "like God" ( Gen 3:5), knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus love of oneself even to contempt of God "( CCC , 1850).
  • Using discernment. "The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, necessary for the growth of the inner man with a view to "perseverance," and the temptation that leads to sin and death. We also need to distinguish between "being tempted" and "allow" the temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears is "good, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable" ( Gen 3:6), while in reality its fruit is death "( CCC , 2847). 
  • Praying. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" ( Rom 8:31). The same Lord, the prayer of the Our ​​Father taught us to pray to God the Father: 'Deliver us from evil. " "Ask to be delivered from evil, we pray as well to be freed from all evils, past, present and future, of which he (the devil) is the author or instigator. In this petition, the Church brings before the Father all the misery in the world. Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance in Christ's return.Praying thus, anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of everyone and everything in him who has "the keys of Death and Hades" ( Rev 1:18), "who is and who was and who is coming, the ' Almighty "( Rev 1:8) "(CCC , 2854).
  • Sometimes even resorting to exorcism.

What is an exorcism?
  • Exorcism is an ancient and particular form of prayer which the Church uses against the power of the devil.
  • Is called an exorcism "When the Church asks with his authority, in the name of Jesus, that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion" ( CCC 1673).
  • It is "a kind of sacrament prayer" ( Rite of Exorcisms , Praenotanda , 11). The sacramental "are sacred signs instituted by the Church, by which sanctify different circumstances of life. They include a prayer accompanied by the sign of the cross and other signs "( Compendium of the CCC , 351). Among the sacramentals which occupy an important place blessings (of persons, meals, objects, places), the consecration of persons, the dedication of things to the worship of God, the blessing of holy oils, exorcisms. 

In what forms is practiced exorcism?
In two forms: simple and solemn.
    1. The simple form is one in which ordinary exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. "Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, are pronounced one (or more) exorcism (i) the candidate. These are anointed with the oil of catechumens, or the celebrant imposes upon him the hand, and he explicitly renounces Satan. Thus prepared, he may profess the faith of the Church which will be "delivered" by Baptism "( CCC , 1237).
      1. "The solemn exorcism, called a major exorcism can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. In what must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church (cf. Canon Law, can. 1172). Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Very different is the case of illness, especially mental, whose care falls within the scope of medical science. It is therefore important to ensure, before an exorcism is performed, which is dealing with the presence of evil, not a disease "( CCC , 1673).

      What other features does the solemn exorcism?
      • "The exorcism should take place in an atmosphere of faith and humble and trustful prayer, so as to avoid any impression of effectiveness automatic: the liberation from the influence is evil if and when God wants. If, as indicated in 35 of the Preamble, are some of the faithful, they are encouraged to pray intensely in accordance with Rite. 
      • Despite the confidence with which it is usually celebrated the rite of exorcism is not a private matter, but an event that involves the whole community. The Exorcist is in fact a member of the community, acting in the name of Christ and in the name of the Church, has a specific ministry. Even the faithful asking for exorcism is a member of the community, one of those members of the community must love of a preferential love: when it is in the power of the Evil One, in fact, he is the poorest of the poor, in need of help, understanding and consolation "( Rite of Exorcisms , Presentation CEI , nn. 13, 16).
      • Every act of exorcism is yes prayer for the release of the person possessed by the devil, but at the same time is the announcement:
        • the Kingdom of God and of Christ, who takes upon himself our infirmities, and that, as the only liberator and savior, delivers us from evil;
        • of total liberation (spiritual and physical) and mediated (through the Church) by the influence evil;
        • of the eschatological reality: a sign heralding the final victory of Christ over Satan, illness, death.

      How do you become exorcists?
      • The Exorcist (a term related to the greek verb exorkízein = ward) is a man of prayer, acting on behalf of the Church with the power of the Holy Spirit. A ministry that is God's gift, conferred by the bishop exclusively to priests in the diocese, and thus they exercised through the Church. Piety, knowledge, integrity of life, balance, discernment, theological and spiritual experience, listening skills are the essential requirements for a ministry that is also a path to holiness particular it leads to direct confrontation with the devil. In particular, the exorcist prudence is required to detect the presence of the evil one, and to observe the rules laid down by the Church.
      • The ministry of the exorcist, as well as liberation, it is also a ministry of consolation.

      How to recognize a demonic possession?
      Certainly. In fact:
      • "The extraordinary diabolical phenomena of possession, obsession, of harassment and infestation are possible, but in fact, according to experts, are rare" ( Rite of Exorcisms , Presentation CEI , 7).
      • The ritual of exorcism noted several criteria and clues that allow you to arrive with prudent certainty, the conviction that we are faced with a demonic possession. It is then that the exorcist authorized can perform the solemn rite of exorcism. 
      • Some of these criteria are: 
        • speak with the tongues of many words or understand; 
        • disclose distant or hidden things; 
        • prove forces beyond their condition;
        • vehement aversion to God, the Virgin Mary, the Saints, the Cross and the sacred images.

      There are prayers to be recited in minor cases of influence of the devil? 
      Certainly. In the Rite of Exorcisms are also:
        • prayers to be recited publicly by a priest, with the permission of the bishop, when judging wisely that there is an influence of Satan on places, objects or people, but without reaching the stage of a real possession;
        • a collection of prayers to be recited privately by the faithful, when they suspect with the merits of being subject to evil influences (cf. . rite of exorcism , Appendix II, Prayers of the faithful for private use ).

      What other tips gives the Church in regard to the influence of the evil one?

      Here are a few:
      • "Do not search for the sensational and avoid both foolish credulity that sees evil actions in each event and difficulties, and rationalism bias that excludes any form of intervention of the evil in the world;
      • be on guard against books, television programs, information media, which for profit exploit the widespread interest in unusual phenomena or unhealthy;
      • never use those who practice magic or profess to holders of occult powers or mediumistic or presume to have received special powers. When in doubt about the presence of an evil influence is necessary to apply first of all to the discernment of the priests and exorcists support of grace offered by the Church especially in the sacraments;
      • know the true meaning of the language used by the Sacred Scripture and Tradition and develop a proper attitude about the presence and action of Satan in the world;
      • remember that superstition, magic and, a fortiori, Satanism are contrary to human dignity and rationality and faith in God the Father Almighty and in Christ Jesus our Savior "( Rite of Exorcisms , Presentation CEI , 8).

      Of course, this is a little more than my friend MC was suggesting; we are now getting on to CTS territory but to think that this resource is there just at a few clicks of the keyboard........


      1. It might be worth mentioning that there is a new book available from CTS " Manual of Minor Exorcisms" for the use of priests". It is excellent and contains exorcism prayers that can be used by all priests, not just the "Official" Exorcists. I strongly recommend it. It contains prayers for protection for the priest himself. Am just a little (a very little!) surprised that every bishop has not drawn attention of all Clergy to its existence

      2. I'm very confused. What are these things: 'demon', 'Satan', 'Devil', 'exorcism', 'seduction', 'temptation'? We didn't cover these things from the pulpit or CCD in the 80s. Maybe you should sing a new church into being and put these things aside. [sarcasm off]


      3. EFPE - thanks Father, the CTS is an excellent organisation and has worked wonders. Following the Holy Father's instructions regarding exorcists I also am surprised that the bishops have not drawn attention to it (no, I'm not really surprised). Scott - that's what we need, a song for a renewed Church.

      4. Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli has a very sound background in catechetics and is now Bishop of Frascati.

        From 1980 he was at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in which he was the coordinator of the work for the preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and was also appointed as editor and coordinator of the Secretariat in the elaboration of the Compendium the Catechism of the Catholic Church.