Yesterday I wrote a post about Catholic exorcism and today I’m continuing where I left off with something that’s called demonic oppression. According to Father Gabriele Amorth who is the Chief Exorcist of Rome, there are a few different types of demonic affliction that Satan uses to attack mankind. In yesterday’s post, I touched on the type called demonic possession, which most of us have heard of and associate with the practice of exorcism. Demonic oppression (also referred to as diabolic oppression) is different because it involves symptoms that vary from a very serious to a mild illness but it is not nearly as severe and intense an affliction as demonic possession.
When a person is suffering from demonic oppression, he/she does not lose consciousness and there is no involuntary word or action; there is no possession at all. While possessions are relatively rare today, still a great number of people are struck by the Devil in their jobs, health or relationships. According to Father Amorth, exorcists find it no easier to diagnose and heal an oppression-related affliction than to diagnose and heal a person who is fully possessed. Though the degree of intensity may be different, the difficulty of the diagnosis and the amount of time it takes throughout the healing process are exactly the same.
Demonic Oppression in the Bible and Beyond
According to Father Amorth, the Bible is full of many examples of demonic oppression; one of them is in the Book of Job. Job was not possessed, but he lost his children, his health and his goods. Another example is the bent woman and the deaf and dumb man whom Jesus cured. They were not totally possessed, but they each had a demonic presence around them which caused physical discomfort. Saint Paul, though not possessed by a demon, had a demonic oppression which caused an evil affliction. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 it is written: “And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.”
Until I started experiencing my own strange symptoms of things being totally thrown off balance, I hadn’t realized that the Bible held such obvious answers to a puzzle that had plagued me for years! I wish I had known years ago to research this matter and seek the answers that I had once assumed would eventually just present themselves; they never did. It took hardships, depression, anxiety and what I once thought was plain old bad luck in order for me to finally see the clear picture for what it really is. Can I prove that I was under some sort of demonic oppression? Of course not. But I do know that there was always a sort of malaise that hung over me and that I often felt much older than my age. Sometimes I had these weird premonitions of future events long before they happened. I didn’t always understand what I saw or felt, and it wasn’t as if I was going around predicting the future all the time, but that sense of things made me nervous and sometimes fearful. In fact, I wrote a post about the era of my life when it all started. And the demonic presence I may have experienced as a child seemed to follow me wherever I went.
Battling Demonic Oppression
First of all, again, I have no proof that I was dealing with demonic oppression as a child or later on, as an adult. I have no proof that my issues weren’t just typical growing pains and natural childhood fears. My headaches were real and quite frequent, as was the stress that went along with them. But headaches are not so uncommon, and I suppose childhood stress isn’t either, especially in this day and time. I refuse to turn this post into some sort of pity party for myself! If anything, I’m hoping that by allowing for the possibility of what may have been plaguing me for years, I will in turn be able to connect some dots and possibly help others to understand this strange condition called demonic oppression.
In my previous post, I used a picture of a statue of Saint Michael the Archangel defeating Satan in battle. I chose that picture because not only have I become very fond of Saint Michael throughout the last year of my house disturbances, but also because he is the angel whom we should all be calling on in times of spiritual conflict. And of course, the weapon we should be using against any form of demonic affliction is the Holy Rosary. When we pray the Rosary, we are praying the Gospel. And the Gospel is the Good News and the Good News is Jesus Christ! The Rosary is the Blessed Mother’s prayer of predilection. How can we possibly fail if we are doing as Our Lady pleases, praying the Word of God?
Demonic oppression is probably more common than we realize. Its symptoms can range from unexplainable rages to complete isolation. I think the key to living a full, healthy and spiritually balanced life is to do one’s best to stay within a state of grace at all times. We need to avoid occasions of sin and anything even remotely connected to the occult. Satan attacks through anxiety and fear, and we need to remember to pray to the Holy Spirit for inner peace and wisdom so that we can learn to discern when it comes to making choices that involve our spiritual well-being (or lack thereof.) I’ll close with the Saint Michael prayer:
PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..