Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fr. John Hardon, S.J. On "Possessions that are Beyond Psychological Explanation"

In the second form of possession, it is the devil who is the direct active agent. The power he exercises in the possessed person is beyond the capacity of any human being. The following are some of the phenomena that characterize this more extreme form of possession. The possessed person is unable to maintain a stable posture or to move around or is able to carry out certain functions or activities which the individual had never learned before. The variety of these activities is beyond counting. It may involve the ability to sing or to paint or speak or understand foreign languages which had never been learned. The one possessed may acquire the knowledge of persons, objects, or events that are long past, hidden, or at a great distance. At other times, the person will rise from the ground and remain suspended in the air in the levitation or will move through the air or perform amazing bodily feats. Or again, he or she will be able to move heavy objects or furniture without touching them, or cause these objects to rise above the ground. Under the influence of the devil, a person is able to open or close doors or windows from a distance, cause huge paintings to fall from the walls, shattering objects at a great distance. To be emphasized is that this type of possession is entirely different from what we are calling psychic possession. This one is beyond all psychological power. Before we leave our reflections on demonic possession, no matter what type it assumes, one thing must be reemphasized. What is never absent in a possessed person is the inhuman hatred of anything having to do with God. In one of my conversations with an exorcist in Rome, he told me of a seventeen-year-old girl whom he was exorcising. She belonged to the second class of possessed persons. The priest exorcist wanted the possessed woman to attend a Mass which he was to offer for her deliverance from the evil spirit. It took five strong men to be able to move her bodily into the chapel and seat her in the last row.
Link (here) to read the rest from Fr. John Hardon's talk.

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