Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The Devil made me do it.
Sympathy for the Devil.
"But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game
I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a generals rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you - Hope you guess my name..." Rolling Stones
There is an article about Fr. Amorth, as well as Pope Benedict (as Cardinal Ratzinger), saying Hitler and Stalin may have been possessed. I may have written about this before, but since it is Halloween, I'll focus upon it a little more.
If the "Rolling Stones" saw the diabolical presence in history and sang about it in their song, "Sympathy for the Devil" it should be pretty obvious to any thoughtful person who is the mover and shaker behind the murderous influences in the world. I believe it very safe to say the devil is involved in the abortion industry, as well as the genocide in Darfur. Are the abortionists possessed or is it more accurate to say people are deluded and influenced to such a degree that they succumb to "the diabolical influence that has swept the world" as Sr. Lucia of Fatima once wrote? Fr. Amorth and Cardinal Ratzinger would know better, I'm sure.
[snip] Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger also spoke about the influence of the demonic in the life of Hitler — but explained that it absolved nothing.
In the book "God and the World" (Ignatius, 2002), Ratzinger is quoted treating the subject at some length.
“There are reliable reports by eyewitnesses that suggest he had some kind of demonic encounters,” the future Pope said of Hitler. “He would say, trembling: ‘He was there again,’ and other such things. We cannot get to the bottom of it. I believe one can see that he was taken into the demonic realm in some profound way, by the way in which he was able to wield power and by the terror, the harm, that his power inflicted.” [snip] NCR
Many writers have documented Hitler's fascination with the occult, which clearly illustrates his openness to demonic influence, there is no question about that. Others feel he was simply a maniac, an insane ego-maniac. Another exorcist states that mental illness is not incompatible with possession.
[snip] However, dictators such as Stalin and Hitler turned away from God and refused such cooperation, he said. He also believes that mental illness and possession can often exist at once in the same person, and that psychological illnesses are frequently caused by persistent sinful behavior. [snip] NCR
Departing from whether or not Hitler was either insane or possessed, the concept that groups of people can be influenced by evil forces intrigues me. In your daily experience, have you ever noticed an apparent disruptive atmosphere in your situation, or another person's actions, if only on occasion? For instance, in a family or a workplace, wherein a negative, combative attitude may prevail. It has a way of growing and spreading, affecting people's relationships and causing a negative culture. In some families, people do not speak to one another - for years. When it arises in the the workplace it usually generates back biting and gossip, as well as factions. (By these statements I am in no way implying possession, rather the influence of the Evil One who delights in dissension and conflict, thus destroying relationships and disturbing good order.)
What can overcome it? It seems to take on a life of it's own. We dismiss it as 'people stuff' but I think there is a behind-the-scenes influence at work fostering the division. It may sound far-a-fetched, but I don't think it is. At any rate, with these experiences within our own everyday life, it is not such a leap when Fr. Amorth says that entire populations can be influenced by the demonic - if not possessed.
[snip]Regarded as the Church’s most experienced and prominent exorcist, Father Amorth warned Vatican Radio listeners Aug. 27 that the devil can possess not only individuals but also entire groups and populations.
“I am convinced that the Nazis were possessed by the devil,” he said. “If one thinks of what was committed by people like Stalin or Hitler, certainly they were possessed by the devil. This is seen in their actions, in their behavior and in the horrors they committed.”[snip] NCR
Although it would be a leap to say that our pro-choice, pro-death culture is possessed, it isn't unreasonable to see that we are indeed influenced by the demonic. That is one reason why the apparitions reported around the world make sense. In many instances, such as at Medjugorje, Our Lady repeatedly asks that we be converted, reform our lives, pray, and work towards reconciliation, always stressing the greatest commandment, that we love one another. It is the antidote to the enmity that exists between men and cultures. While she often makes her plea to us to make these concessions to peace in our daily lives and interactions with the people we live and work with.
Whenever I find myself in some sort of conflict in a relationship or in the workplace, I always - although not at first - but in the end, come back to myself. There was something about my behavior that contributed to it. Maybe pride and 'defending my turf' or 'fighting for my rights' - there is usually something amiss in my anger. Maybe I am not totally responsible for the situation since there are other players involved, but my approach or reaction, especially if it is anger-based, is oftentimes at fault. When I act on it- or better put, react, I create more division and unrest, fomenting a continuance of the negative. If people are gossiping or backbiting about me, maybe I deserve it, or called it down upon myself. In authentic prayer, I can see how I had been influenced by the 'evil of the day'. When I repent, and pray and strive for peace, letting go of any animosity, then the situation begins to heal itself - or so it seems to me.
It's kind of frightening to think entire populations can be so influenced and deluded by the diabolical - to the point of becoming afflicted with a sort of collective possession or obsession. The miscreants are not absolved from responsibility, especially since they invited the devil in. The invitation may have been extended by buying into, and accepting the 'evil of the day'. Whatever that may be. It's something to think about as election time draws near, when many people consider the lesser of two evils - or ignore evil entirely.
We must pray, and pray with the heart - unceasingly, and strive to make peace with everyone around us, even it if means losing.
[snip]At his general audience address Oct. 18, Benedict XVI gave some salutary advice on how to overcome the devil’s temptations.
“Truly, there are many ways in which the human heart can be perverted,” he said. “The only way to avoid them is to be in full communion with Jesus.”[snip] NCR
Let's listen to His Mother on how best to do this.