07 March 2010

Auxilium Christianorum

I feel that the ritual is about to begin and sit expectantly on a pew. The exorcist extends his right hand and places it just over the girl’s face without touching her. Then, he closes his eyes, bows his head and whispers a prayer several times. It is then that the first unsettling shriek breaks the silence of the chapel, penetrating my soul and making my flesh crawl. It is not human. A profound and overwhelming howl comes out of Marta’s throat. But it cannot be her and is not her voice. It is hoarse and masculine. Father Fortea continues to pray while the howling goes on. Little by little the girl’s body begins to tremble violently. She begins moving slowly from side to side at first, and shakes violently thereafter.
Worn out after an hour and a half of combat, the exorcist rises and leaves the chapel. This cannot be fakery or a put-on. It takes guts to do this. It is a good thing that cases of possession are quite rare, says Father Fortea. He has done them for five years and has had only four in Spain. However, while he was studying for his thesis, he attended thirteen others. It is obvious that he has had practice; he commands and insists, and mercilessly tortures the demon in a soft but firm voice. He does it in the name of God and always where it hurts the most. And this is even though he knows what it is like to be assailed by Satan. Once, during an exorcism, the devil made him feel the pain of having a knife thrust into his arm.
Interview with an Exorcist

Auxilium Christianorum is an ecclesiastically approved body begun by exorcists who desired a core support group of lay faithful who would support their ministry through prayer, without any of the excesses of the charismatic movement. Membership consists in pledging to say certain daily prayers, along with the daily Rosary and frequent reception of the sacraments. It is not a ministry to be entered into lightly, as members will experience an intensification in the spiritual life and are known to undergo a period of purification. Entering into spiritual warfare is serious business, and one should not be surprised to experience some retaliation, as the prayers are known to be particularly efficacious. Those who feel a special calling to this ministry can find out more here.