Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 9, 2009
Exorcist says Jesus more powerful than devil
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO - Msgr. John Esseff, retired exorcist of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., shared his experiences with demonic spirits in a talk to students at Bowling Green State University, but his main message for them was the power of Jesus within them.
"Your power through him and with him and in him is enormous," he told the 400 students Oct. 22.
He told the students that movies like The Exorcist have led many people, including Catholics, to fear the devil and to think he can "come and zap them."
But he believes the opposite is true. "The devil is afraid of you - if you would just awaken to who you are."
Each baptized person is united to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, he explained. Esseff read passages from the Gospels in which Jesus exorcized demons and then sent his disciples to do the same.
Esseff said Jesus defeated Satan through his death and resurrection and then sent the power of the Holy Spirit to his apostles at Pentecost.
"When God looks down, he sees Jesus in you," he said. "You have that power as baptized, confirmed Christians. And so when he (Satan) sees you, he hates what you would discover about that power that is within you."
Esseff suggested that each audience member had been tempted that day because temptation is the ordinary activity of the devil.
"Your soul is a battlefield because there is also someone who hates you," he said. "That one is the devil. The devil knows who you are and what you have."
But just as each person was tempted, Esseff said another spirit also was at work.
"In your life today, this very day, has been the Holy Spirit," he said. "God is in you. God the Holy Spirit is operative in you. God the Holy Spirit wants to bring into your heart - love. God wants to bring you peace."
Esseff also told students of the power of angels and encouraged devotion to their guardian angels.
"His (the angel's) job is to protect you all through this world. And when you close your eyes, he wants to deliver you to God."
Earlier in the evening, Esseff also invited students to invoke angels to fill the area and make a perimeter around the talk that night to protect it.
Before the event, he said he sees three indications of Satan's presence in the world: money, lies and war.
"I think one of the greatest things he has done is have people forget he exists," he said.
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