Mar 30, 2009

The Devil in the Next Office

A friendly blogger writes to me:
I am sending you this email because I need prayer support and I know that you will do so. I am in a situation where a woman I know and work with may be possessed. I am working with a priest to help this poor woman but since I am working with this person and have worked with her, I need prayer support too. Please pray for this entire situation.
I remembered my friend's urgent request this morning at Mass and hope that other readers will add her intention to their prayers too. The situation reminds me of one that I encountered many years ago.

I also believed my co-worker might have been possessed by the devil, and another Catholic lady didn't disagree with me. The reasons were that evil always seemed good to her, and good was evil. Here are just a few of the things this 40-year old divorced professional woman did or told me she did:
  1. Met an unhappy Catholic married man in a bar, and went home with him overnight. When he said he needed to go to Mass the next (Sunday) morning, she didn't want to let him go so she decided to go with him.
  2. Then she decided to join the divorced/singles group at a Catholic parish to meet more men. [No, she wasn't Catholic but she liked men.]
  3. Was very antagonistic to and hateful of her own mother. When her mother had a stroke she took the total $20,000+ savings and spent it all within six weeks. Otherwise, she would have been forced to use it to pay for her mother's nursing home expenses.
  4. Provided no phone for her mother in the nursing home to call her friendds, until I complained that this was terribly wrong.
  5. Believed her teenage son was unfair because he preferred living with his father, even though she plied her son with expensive gifts.
  6. Bought a very expensive car even though she was fearful of bankruptcy [yes, eventually that happened even though as a professional she made a very good salary]. She said the monthly payments for the snazzy new car would be somewhat less than for her slightly older car, even though it would have been paid off much, much sooner.
  7. Caused lots of problems at work, always insinuating that she would file a discrimination lawsuit if she were fired [yes, she was discharged as soon as an overall RIF was necessary].
What advice can be offered for a similar situation? Try to help, and see whether your good advice, prayers, and acts have any effect. If and when it becomes clear that the person always chooses evil over good, then leave the person. Select and work with another who will sincerely listen to God's words of truth and goodness.
If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. (Matthew 10:12-13)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article.

Personally, I believe that there is a rather large sub-set of humanity that will do almost anything in the workplace to insult, humiliate, degrade, and attack (verbally and otherwise) their fellow workers.

Why do so many people act in such ways? Because the workplace itself provides all the motives necessary for many to engage in such behaviors. The potential for greater pay and promotions, the potential for being immune from layoffs; and the potential for acquiring new responsibilities that lead to advancement are all the motivation that is necessary for many people to attack their coworkers.

And since many of the ordinary working-class today have levels of debt never before seen in the history of the world; and since many of them are now desperately trying to keep their homes and feed their families, there is no limit of evilness that many of them will not stoop to, in order to get by.

Personally, I have seen the worst sort of behaviors in the workplace that it is possible for a human being to see. And it is important to keep in mind that such evilness will especially be used against you if you are a Roman Catholic, or on the verge of becoming one. Evil attacks those that are Good. Always.

Having said all this, however, the evil waged in this world by spirits of wickedness must not be confused with acts of actual possession. The Rite of Exorcism is used by highly-trained priests who are taught to distinguish between those that are profoundly immature, those that suffer from one or more psychoses, those that suffer from severely disordered personalities or world-views, and those that are actually being possessed by demons.

Priests who are trained in the Rite of Exorcism are trained to look for certain identifying behaviors and characteristics that mark those who suffer from an actual demonic possession. I won't cite those behaviors or characteristics here. But if someone believes that they or someone else is suffering from an actual possession, I would encourage them to meet with a Roman Catholic priest, and to ask that priest to recommend them to someone in the local diocese who will be able to help them or refer them to another diocese where they may be helped.

- Anonymous