Episode 135, Exorcism: An Expert's View from the Inside
Mr. Adam Blai holds a unique position as an expert in religious demonology and exorcism officially recognized by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. With over fifteen years of experience, he has been instrumental in training exorcists and has actively participated in numerous solemn exorcisms. His remarkable journey began in the realm of brain-wave research and psychology but has since become focused on exploring the profound realities of miracles, angels, demons, and possession.
Historical Roots of Exorcism and Key Signs of Possession
Exorcisms have a long history, with mentions even in the Old Testament, and the New Testament records Jesus performing exorcisms. It's important to note that while many who seek exorcisms may actually be struggling with mental illness, Mr. Blai has encountered genuine cases of demonic possession. He identifies four key signs of such possession, which include an individual's knowledge of multiple languages, awareness of secret information, the ability to detect holy objects even when concealed, and possessing immeasurable strength that can endure for hours.
The Art and Authority of Exorcism
The process of exorcism involves issuing commands with implied consequences for disobedience, and these commands carry the authority of God. Since 1614, the practice of minor or major (solemn) exorcisms has been entrusted exclusively to priests.
Controversy and Confusion: The Devil’s Denial
In the 1960s, Jesuit priest Herbert Haag controversially asserted that the devil didn't exist and that Satan was an antiquated belief. Regrettably, this perspective seeped into seminaries during the 1970s, leading to considerable confusion.
The Ritual and Tools of Exorcism
Mr. Blai explains two important terms in demonology: infestation, which relates to demonic influence over inanimate objects such as homes or land, and oppression, signifying possession and influence over an individual. During an exorcism, it is standard practice for a priest to be accompanied by others. Sacramentals, such as a Crucifix and holy water, are essential components, and additional items like relics and religious medals may also be employed. Requiring the demon to reveal its name is significant, as it grants power over the demon.
The Strength of Virtue in Overcoming Evil
In the spiritual realm, humility and obedience stand as two indispensable virtues for the priest, as Satan often attacks through accusations. These virtues are despised by demons, who are the embodiment of disobedience and pride. The devil fears Mary, who is the epitome of humility and obedience.
Throughout our conversation today, we discussed Mr. Adam Blai's latest book, "The History of Exorcism," which is an outstanding resource and can be obtained at sophiainstitute.com.