The Catholic Defender: One Confession Is Worth More Than A Hundred Exorcisms
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Jesus on that first Easter night appeared to His apostles giving them the authority to forgive sins in his Name. Jesus is telling them that they will set people free through their ministry. The demons are even subject to them because of Jesus (Luke 10:17).
Sin has its consequence plunging souls into darkness, especially when mortal sin is involved. James 5:19-20 states, "My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."
When a person goes to Confession, the Lord takes those sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34).
The Confessional then truly is the mercy seat of God because it is there that the sinner is fully restored to the life of grace. When a person lives the life of grace, they will frequent the Sacrament of Confession often.
St. Peter warns, "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world." Because of temptation and the lures of the world, people open themselves up to demonic instructions. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 warns:
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared..."
This is a major battle and souls are at stake. That is why Jesus established the Sacrament of Confession. St. Paul writes, "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
One Confession is worth more than a hundred exorcisms. Yes, the Catholic Church has been given the chrism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus told His apostles, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you."
The Devil really has no power over you when we are obedient to Christ and living the life of grace, but sometimes people give him an invitation, falling into occult practices, drugs, power and promiscuous behavior.
I remember an old television commercial encouraging you to take care of your engine. You can pay now for the upkeep, changing the oil, or you can pay later after your engine blows up. It will be far more expensive if you wait.
People are not only demon oppressed, but sometimes there are those who are possessed. St. Paul testifies, "As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour." Acts 16:16-18
Demon possession is the ultimate in being held in bondage and Praise the Lord for His working in the Church to aid those who decided to either pay later or not pay at all. James 4:7 states, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." True liberty is the freedom to serve the Lord in a right sober mind. Let us keep faith and persevere past the trials of this age.
I remember the hearing of an Exorcism that took place in California when a Catholic priest was commissioned by the local Bishop to conduct the procedure. Priests will usually have prayerful help coming from others who are in good standing with the Church. During this particular exorcism, the demon was trying to stall as often they do. His tactic was to use a nun helping with the procedure praying. The demon began spouting her sins. Father showed great leadership knowing what to do, he closed down the exorcism and took the nun out into another room where she went to confession.
Once again, after the exorcism was resumed following the Confession, the demon attempted to employ the same tactic but this time, the nun's soul was pure and spotless. What an occasion to see the truth of the Confessional from the other side, the enemy.
Through Confession, your soul becomes pure and spotless, redemption is yours, it is a spiritual bath.
Glorious St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who standest always ready to give assistance to the people of God; who didst fight with the dragon, the old serpent, and didst cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defendest the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat thee to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I have to sustain against the same formidible foe. Be with me, O mighty Prince! that I may courageously fight and wholly vanquish that proud spirit, whom thou hast by the Divine Power, so gloriously overthrown, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, so completely overcome; to the end that having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with thee and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. Amen