ROME, September 22, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Father Gabriel Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome and author of several books on Satan and exorcism, has published his spiritual testament.
The 90-year-old exorcist imparts wisdom gained from decades doing battle with the diabolical, and notes that many people are either convinced the Devil doesn't exist, or go in the opposite direction of having an unhealthy pre-occupation with him.
The truth, Fr. Amorth says in his latest book interview, is that God is infinitely more beautiful than the devil, and much more attractive.
Satan and his fellow demons do possess people, and Fr. Amorth has dedicated much of his 90 years on earth to helping the possessed become free of their possessors.
However, he makes sure not to make demons into an obsession for him, and gives the following advice for those too fixated on them: "If there is one sure way to remove us from the devil's influence, it is by letting ourselves be attracted by the goodness and beauty that emanate from the good and from our God and Father."
Following St. Therese of Lisieux's example, he knows we will be judged on love. But, because of the Fall, "the deeper reason that prevents communion with God is, again and again, the fear of God; fear that keeps us from feeling loved as a child." This is the angel of darkness's deadly lie, that "God does not love you." This is "the worst of evils" and source of all others: "Not having known the Father." Without the Father's Love, "the law is just a heavy burden."
Father Amorth said to follow Christ's example and abandon yourself completely to the Father, trusting in Him to protect you and keep you safe from Satan. He warns that this does not happen without active participation on our part, however, and it requires constantly watching ourselves daily in order to "transform our state of servant into the rewarding identity of a son."
The famed exorcist also warned against half-heartedness, or lukewarmness, which he says is the most formidable diabolical trap. The remedies, he says, have been known for 2,000 years: "humility, faith, prayer (the Rosary), frequenting the sacraments (Mass, the sacrament of reconciliation), living a Christian life in conformity with the Gospel, doing works of charity and forgiving our enemies."
Father Amorth was ordained a priest in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986 under the direction of Fr. Candido Amantini, the famed former chief exorcist of Rome. In 2013, Fr. Amorth stated he had performed more than 160,000 exorcisms in his lifetime, numbering about eight exorcisms per day. He later made a distinction, saying that number does not mean 160,000 persons, as most suffering from possession require repeated exorcisms.
Father Amorth has spent much of his priesthood advocating for more emphasis on exorcists, seeing that many of the clergy either did not believe in the devil or believed exorcists to be unnecessary.
After a period that saw only a handful of trained exorcists in the world, the Church is now seeing a promising influx of newly trained exorcists, particularly in the United States, which now has an official exorcist in every single diocese.