REBELS AGAINST THE LIGHT

In his 1992 book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans, Fr. Martin wrote, “In every case of possession that comes to the point of Exorcism, the subject has reached a crucial crossroads. Some small corner of reservation remains, some glimmer or recollection of the light of Jesus still shines.” It is from that last redoubt that the possessed manages to muster sufficient autonomy of will to call for help. That is why their possession is only partial instead of complete. Not so with the perfectly possessed. Fr. Davies, in his 2008 book Exorcism: Understanding Exorcism in Scripture and Practice, observes that the far more terrible state is that of the possessed who are complacent. He calls such cases “perfect possession” because the individual has freely given himself totally to evil. It is instructive to note that although the Gospels recount numerous instances of Christ casting out demons, Our Lord did not exorcise Judas, nor did St. Peter exorcise Ananias, nor St. Paul Elymas. Those three did not want to be exorcised, and God always respects our free will.