DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Fallen angels — devils and demons — are all under God's control, but He allows them to act in a variety of ways in accord with His manifest Providence.
Saint Padre Pio, the famous Franciscan priest who was often accosted by the diabolic, summed it up in this manner, "The Devil is like a mad dog tied by a chain. Beyond the length of the chain, he cannot catch hold of anyone. And you, therefore, keep your distance. If you get too close, you will be caught."
The saint added, "Remember, the Devil has only one door with which to enter into our soul: our will. There are no secret or hidden doors. No sin is a true sin if we have not willfully consented."
Catholic exorcists are witnessing that fallen angels are more active than ever as more people turn from Christianity and open up spiritual doors to the diabolic by committing sins of pornography, drug abuse, habitual sins and occult practices. These vices weaken the person spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically to the point that diabolic influence can gain control. That's why exorcists like Fr. Vincent Lampert, the official exorcist for the archdiocese of Indianapolis, calls such sins "entry points" to the demonic.
Many place people who act psychologically abnormal into one of two categories — mentally ill or spiritually possessed. Priests, who perform exorcisms, however, say the two are often related. They attest that psychological weaknesses, brought about by certain recurring sins, allow the devil to gain a foothold in a person's soul and gradually take over control.
Father Gary Thomas, the public exorcist for the diocese of San Jose, California, calls such sins "doorways" that permit the devil to enter a person spiritually. In 2005, his bishop sent him to Rome to study the rite of exorcism in response to Pope St. John Paul II's 2004 mandate that all dioceses provide an exorcist for their flock.
While in Rome, Fr. Thomas witnessed over 80 exorcisms. These experiences were used as the guidelines for a book called The Rite and later inspired a movie by the same name. In a talk last year, Fr. Thomas spoke of spiritual doors that allow Satan to access our soul. "Cocaine is a doorway. Hallucinogenic drugs are a doorway. Porn is a doorway; it's a big one and I hear lots of confessions now where people come confessing that stronghold."
These priests witness how the diabolic enters a person by first breaking the victim down physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually by certain sins. Satanic rock music, violent video games, pornography, drug abuse, habitual sins of impurity and occult practices, gradually turn a person's soul over to demonic control.
To break free from the devil's grip, one must give up these sinful practices, make a sincere confession, and in more severe cases, make use of the ministry of exorcism provided by Christ — who Himself performed many exorcisms in the Gospels.
Watch the panel discuss spiritual gateways to the demonic in The Download—Rise of the Diabolical.