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Spiritual Warfare Forum: Obedience to the Church

by Catherine Frakas 15 Sep 2002

Obedience to the Church QUESTION from Father Taurasi September 10, 2001 Dear Brother John Paul,
Thank you for your fine explanation of the prayers of Exorcism of Pope Leo XIII. You are correct when you say that the laity may not use these prayers, nor may the priest use this Exorcism without the faculty of his Bishop.
If this be true, why is it so difficult to get certain members of Charismatic Prayers Groups to obey the Church in this important matter? Don't they realize that all of us must obey the lawful authority of Holy Mother Church. Are they unaware, that when they rebel against the Church, they fall right into the hands of the Evil One! Why can't they understand that the path to true holiness begins with obedience, not rebellion!
What can we priests and Religious do to change this sad situation? Thank you for your help.
Father Taurasi
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 20, 2001 Dear Father Taurasi:
Well, one reason is that the Charismatic movement is emotion based which is improper. The Church officially teaches that we must approach our faith utlimately through reason. Emotions are fine and are a great gift of God, but emotions MUST come under the scrutiny and guidance of reason. Failure to do this can and WILL lead people astray since emotions cannot be trusted to give us an accurate account of our world.
What often develops with this emotionalism is pride and arrogance. Those charismatics who are out-of-balance are swept away in their Pride and emotion and refuse to recognize the legislation on exorcism prayers. After all which sounds more impressive:
Father in heaven please rebuke this demon of anger Or
I rebuke you demon of anger And of course the I rebuke you.... is often shouting as if the demons are hard of hearing.
It is the great ego, the great I that entraps people even to the point of rebelling against the Church.
If it were not for the abuses of the Charismatic deliverance teams in the first place this current legislation restricting the use of imprecatory commands may not have ever been promulgated. But I am glad that it was.
Why would anyone want to butt heads with Satan personally? Why not let God do it. Even the great Archangel Michael did not invoke the great I when rebuking Satan in Jude 9. Michael the Archangel said, May the LORD rebuke you. If the great St. Michael the Archangel doesn't use the I langauge, I sure am not going to!
The safer approach is for us to pray and let God do the work of butting heads with Satan.
But it sounds for powerful and impressive when we say I rebuke you...... Really? Who is more powerful to rebuke the devil? Me, I, or God?
A phrase like Father in heaven please rebuke this demon of ..... is just as powerful and is actually more powerful than us placing our egos in the equation.
What can priest do about this? Preach and teach this from the pulpit. Preach obedience, preach fidelity, preach balance for those in the charistmatic movement and INSIST that any charismatics in one's parish practice their devotion properly.
St Teresa of Avila said: The more we see failure in obedience, the stronger should be our suspicion of temptation.
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