An Exorcist Explains the Demonic
By Father Gabriel Amorth
Sophia Institute Press, 2016
160 pages, $14.95
To order: sophiainstitute.com or (800) 888-9344
Shortly before Father Gabriel Amorth, a longtime exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, died on Sept. 16 at the age of 91, he added one final work to his literary legacy — An Exorcist Explains the Demonic.
In less than 200 pages, Father Amorth offers an extraordinary compilation of advice on how to recognize, avoid and fight the wiles of Satan, all without sensationalism.Shortly before Father Gabriel Amorth, a longtime exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, died on Sept. 16 at the age of 91, he added one final work to his literary legacy — An Exorcist Explains the Demonic.
Father Amorth lays out the details and the examples in a conversational way. The book’s seven chapters act as a perfect frame because they begin and end with tremendous hope — hope founded in salvation through Jesus.
The exorcist details the devil’s tactics, the means people fall into them, and then offers many ways to avoid or fight them. For instance, one of the two subterfuges Satan uses, as he did with Adam and Eve, is to make evil appear good, interesting, positive and beautiful, a gain rather than a loss.
In one chapter, Father Amorth explains various diabolical disturbances, such as possession, vexation, obsession and infestation. He goes through ways the devil manifests himself and who, usually, are his victims. It’s reassuring to hear him explain that the devil keeps his distance from one who nurtures his faith and frequents the sacraments, and he is fearful of Marian places and shrines, as well as the saints and their sanctity. During exorcisms he invoked Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, and had his assistants pray the Rosary silently during the time of exorcism.
Father Amorth warns strongly against any kind of contact with the evils of witches, wizards, the practice of magic and anything occult. He also reveals the grave and great spiritual dangers of spiritism/spiritualism, trying to contact those considered to be dead souls. He also warns against Satanic music, as well as watching horror films and reading comic books that celebrate the occult. Father Amorth lays out the reasons why cursing is a great evil, as well.
“The loss of a sense of sin that characterizes our era helps Satan to act nearly undisturbed and, inducing man to sin, takes man progressively away from the love of God: ‘Everything is lawful.’ ‘What is wrong there?’ ‘Everyone does it,’” he writes to underline the danger many today don’t see.
Several times there are references to St. John Paul II, St. Padre Pio and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The exorcist tells us why we should invoke our guardian angels and the archangels and, of course, the saints; why we need to guard our hearts and how to do that; why he’s convinced a good confession is much more effective than an exorcism; why we should denounce Satan; and why and how we should use blessed objects in the struggle against the devil. He explains prayers of deliverance, too.
Overall, Father Amorth’s advice is Marian: “I would add that the Rosary, being the prayer most appreciated by Our Lady, is an extremely powerful arm against the devil, and I warmly recommend it to anyone suffering from spiritual evils.”
Joseph Pronechen is a
Register staff writer.