Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Combat the Devil When Addicted to Porn

An endlessly fascinating book is “Possessed by Satan” by Fr. Adolf Rodewyk, S.J. In it, he recounts the details of several exorcisms. During one such ritual, the demon, which possessed a 19th Century German woman, launched into a tirade focused on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through the mouth of the possessed, the demon said: “The rosary is the most outstanding of prayers. Even a single Ave Maria reaches this epitome of purity, this epitome of torment; if a person says, ‘Hail Mary, Full of Grace,’ she is pleased, this great woman, and we [devils] are filled with fear.” As someone who suffered for many years from the effects of diabolical temptation, I can testify that this is completely true. When I newly returned to the Church, I was inexplicably drawn to the Rosary; I had no idea why. Yet, after a childhood spent in “Catholic” education, I didn’t know anything about it. Growing up, seeing Madonna (the singer) having one swinging between her bosoms, was about the extent of my knowledge. I thought it was simply a charm or talisman; a religious piece of jewelry. In that vein, one day, while I was moping around the house, lonely and somewhat missing the old days, I wore one around my neck as a form of protection when I stupidly agreed to attend a Castro Street party. To my bemusement, although I had forgotten it was there, it didn’t work. Later, I figured out that the Rosary was a form of prayer. After I bought a little book on “How to Pray the Rosary,” I completely fumbled through it. Once I got the basics down, it started to mean something to me; especially the Joyful Mysteries which featured my favorite Saint: St. Joseph.
In Fr. Rodewyk’s book, concerning the same exorcism, the demon continued: “We also suggest to them [the afflicted:] ‘The Rosary is useless, it has become a habit, said by rote, it is the mumblings of old women; it is not essential and should be replaced with another prayer.’ Yet, the rosary is much feared in hell…” Strangely, those were almost the same words I once heard from a young and well-intentioned priest that would occasionally step-in during my childhood “Catechism” classes. He said that “old women” who dutifully sit in the church all day and pray their Rosary are not the best Catholics; he concluded: those that question Catholicism are far superior. For myself, this set an image in my mind: that Catholicism had little to do with Christ, or His teachings, but relied on our perceptions; on our own life experience and how that molded who we are and what we choose to believe. For, the Church, and God, was something out there, nebulous in space, while I was very much separate: wrestling with my own doubts. This was dangerous: as Christ never felt as solid and tangible like those little beads in my hand; He was completely philosophical; I thought I could crush Him with one thought of skepticism. Later, reading Scripture, prayers, and the Rosary, made Christ tangible. He was someone real. As I further combated demonic influences upon my life, this was an essential step. Because, as the attacks from the demons were quite real, now, I knew that Our Lord was just as existent. When I went to Confession, I felt His presence, when I received Holy Communion, He became fleshy, and when I called out to Him in fear: He was present. The demons disappeared; with the help and intercession of a kindly and brave priest; the Lord Saved me. But, I first had to call on Him, and Believe.    



  1. Quite an excellent point about how allowing the sacred to drift into intangible ideas works ruin with faith and how the sacramentals ad Sacraments) revive faith because of that tangible reach of Grace.

  2. That's a fairly rare book. One not easy to come across without looking for it.