How many demons are within you? – Luke 8:1-3
How many demons are within you? That may seem a strange question considering the belief that many of us think that there are those around us who could be possessed but we are not. Could I have a demon within me and not know it?
The first miracle in the Gospel of Mark (1:21-28) tells us that on the sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue and there was a man there in the congregation with an unclean spirit. Demons do not spare you because you are in the presence of the Most High God or in his temple. In the text of today’s Gospel, (Luke 8:1-3 ) we are told that Mary who is called Magdala had seven demons that Jesus cast out of her; not one but seven!
While we should not fear Satan nor should we be constantly looking for him in the ordinary happenings of our life, to deny his presence and his working is foolishness. We live in a world where popular satanic music, satanic street gangs, satanic games and even an increase in satanic worship are prevalent and blatantly spoken of.
In spite of this, many people do not take the occult seriously. They laugh off the notion of the power of evil as actually being a part of the “real” world in which we live. They entirely deny the possibility of demonic possession, either on the supposition, that there are no evil spirits in existence, or that they are powerless to influence us.
When given an opening, demons will therefore try to enter and possess. They can possess an object, such as a cursed occult artefact. They can also possess a place, especially if sinful or occult behaviour has occurred there. It is necessary to clarify that the devil is not able to take possession of the soul of a man (unless the person expressly consents to it), but only his body. The Evil One can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door for him.
The blessing of our home is not just some sentimental act that we perform. While Catholic tradition has been watered down to suit the ‘climate of change’ and accommodate all, the older ritual for the blessing of homes calls upon the power of God to drive away satan and every evil force in the home. A house, an apartment, or another building can be “infested” with demons if someone invites them in, even unknowingly. Or sometimes it can be a person who has an “open door” to the demonic.
Furthermore, satan (that’s not his name but his title) is a deceiver; that’s what satan means. He will not stop deceiving us into believing whatever he wants us to believe. When the new ritual for exorcism was released, Cardinal Medina, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, stated very poignantly, “I would like to stress that the evil influence of the devil and his followers is usually exercised through deceit and confusion. Just as Jesus is the Truth, so the devil is the liar par excellence. He deceives human beings by making them believe that happiness is found in money, power or carnal desire. He deceives them into thinking that they do not need God and that grace and salvation are unnecessary. He even deceives them by diminishing the sense of sin or even suppressing it altogether, replacing God’s law as the criterion of morality with the habits or conventions of the majority.”
It would be foolish to assume that satan will stop his mission to destroy the ministry of Christ. Yet it is also important to know that satan is a defeated enemy; defeated on the cross by our Lord. Yet, this is a shameless enemy who having been defeated never gives up. The battle against satan is real and happening in real-time,
Fix therefore your eyes and your faith upon Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are saved by Jesus Christ alone, through prayer, our adherence to the Word of God in the Bible, and through the sacraments, especially through the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
In our prayer, we should not forget to involve Mary, the Mother of God, who has crushed the head of the ancient serpent (Gen. 3:15). Devotion to Mary is a powerful means of protection in our daily lives.