Both normal and morbid curiosity can prompt our desire to know the mysterious details of unknown secrets. It often depends on the source we seek for such knowledge.
A Case of Conjuring to Reveal Secrets
A highly intelligent man said that he and his wife occasionally conjure up the spirit of their recently deceased son in order to learn unknown secrets. They then inquire into the mysterious details of his apparently unobserved and tragic death.
They have “learned” certain unknown secrets through this process of “divination”. They believe that a clearer picture of the murky circumstances of their son’s mysterious death is finally emerging. They hope this will bring them peace.
Unwittingly, this couple has found it extremely difficult to stop delving more and more into the occult in order to find answers for their loss. It seems as if this process has become addictive for them. There appears to be no end to their seeking further “information” despite the dangerous methods they are employing. These methods invariably tap into “the wickedness and snares of the devil” and the lies employed by this demon and his hosts.
The Church Opposes Divination for Our Own Good
However, divination and spirit conjuration, among other similar practices, derive from the occult. By their very nature, they do not bring peace, only lies and confusion. They are roundly condemned by the Catholic Church. According to the Catechism:
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, Paragraph 2116).
In other words, some element of the truth could be revealed to the husband and wife in the course of such activities (that are also forbidden under the First Commandment). But there will never be any benefit derived when evil forces, who deceive and lie, are involved. Evil forces can only reveal partial truths designed to deceive, not the full truth which comes only from God.
Such methods of divination such as these and others, like Ouija Boards, can open portals or entry-points for evil and demonic infestation, oppression or possession. These portals to “the dark side” are difficult to close or “bind”. The Exception to the difficulty is through the Most Precious Blood and Sacred Name of Jesus
A Case of an Unsought Mystery
In another instance, a husband disclosed the depth of the suffering he and his family endure through “accidents” and other “losses”. He is increasingly anxious and worried about the future.
He has undergone over twelve operations for an accident he suffered. He is in constant pain. He was nearly killed by a sniper in a secluded neighborhood. His wife lost a child in a miscarriage. A son survived pediatric heart failure and several surgeries.
He is puzzled why these mysterious occurrences have even extended to his daughter’s husband, who also is in constant pain. He has sought answers to these unknown secrets from God through prayer, not the occult.
A Case of an Unsought Mystery Alleviated by the Church
Another person began seeing unusual figures. She heard voices singing and talking. The voices told her she was worthless and “a pig”. She ought to go to a “butcher”, she was told. That was all she was worth. One of the voices said they wanted this person’s “meaningless” soul for eternity.
Her family began to think the woman was experiencing a psychotic break with reality. They had heard of some possible history of abuse in her past that might explain these hallucinations.
Her family investigated the alleged singing, the voices and the unusual visual appearances. The husband even went to neighboring houses where it appeared the auditory and visual hallucinations could have originated. He inquired about possible nearby choirs or prayer groups that might fit the description of what his wife was hearing and seeing. He was met with incredulousness and could learn nothing about such occurrences.
All other possible physical, emotional and psychological factors were then considered and addressed. At that point, the family felt they needed to confront the woman whenever she reported such behaviors by telling her they were “not real”.
The husband then considered the strong possibility of spiritual or demonic influence, in combination with psychological or physical developments. He shared with his wife the possibility that her hallucinations might be “lies” of some demonic association.
Over the following two months, six Catholic priests were consulted. Three of the priests were familiar with ministry to the demonically oppressed or infested; the other three priests knew little or nothing about such assistance.
One of the priests familiar with this ministry said to her that the influence and power of demonic forces is often coupled with psychological causes. This mysterious detail greatly reassured her that the wisdom of the Church could offer her healing, solace or both.
The woman received other sound advice from every one of the six priests. This included recommendations that she rely on the Sacraments and on sacramentals:
- pray the rosary every day,
- go frequently to the sacrament of reconciliation,
- receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick,
- listen often to Christian and/or inspirational music (to counter the offensive auditory hallucinations),
- consult with the designated exorcist for the diocese in which she resided,
- pray the Memorare daily or more often, and
- consecrate herself to Jesus through Mary according to the practice of St. Louis de Montfort.
Incredibly, small miracles began occurring. The woman returned to her faith in a more meaningful way than she expected. She experienced the Trinity and the Paschal Mystery deeply in her life. Her love for her husband and concern for his welfare returned for the first time in over twenty years. She learned that God delighted in her, which was an unknown secret to her for years.
Each Case Involves Catholics
All of these individuals are Catholics. They also experience depression, some to a very significant level. They desperately want to know the mysterious details of unknown secrets.
A common theme also seems to be an attraction with death and suicidal behavior. This can be manifested in intentionally taking dangerous levels of legal drugs, or in the prevalence of accidents, which may express a subconscious “death wish”.
The first couple has sought answers in the occult, which could strangle their souls.
The man with manifold sufferings has sought answers in his living relationship with God.
The last person is praying with renewed vigor and hope despite an evil oppression.
Only this last person is receiving consistent counsel and support of the Church. The others could be swallowed up by their confusion.
There seems to be a significant increase in demonic activity in the world. Some of this may be due to the prevalence of clergy sexual abuse, legalized abortion, and physician supported suicide. There is also an increased worldly activity from a “war machine” that supports regional wars through tremendously expensive sales of weapons of destruction, particularly to poor countries.
The Church can offer these individuals and their families greater healing and counsel. This is in spite of the belief on the part of some clergy in considering demonic forces as archaic. This could also be related to the elimination of the minor order of exorcist for men preparing for the priesthood or diaconate, beginning in 1972. In other words, the Church herself is divided on how effectively to minister to those facing the greatest evils of the modern world.
More ministry support from the Church to combat these spiritual forces is greatly needed for those experiencing demonic infestation, oppression, or, on occasion, possession.
The Church has the Blood of Christ and Jesus’ Sacred Name at her command. There is great hope for the future, if we do not wait too long to act with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Only God can provide the mysterious details to unknown secrets. He acts when these details and secrets would do the most good for us, not just when we want answers.
He has a plan. He wants to delight in us and have us reciprocate. We do this by love for Him and our neighbor.
That is the greatest mystery and one of the least shared secrets of all.