Fr Tikhon told us about Fr Adrian, one of the rare exorcists in the Church then. Exorcism in the Church is not a cavalier matter any priest can carry out – it must be blessed by the priest’s confessor or superior. And even then, it is not often done, as one’s own spiritual delusions and dangers must be confronted by one’s own prayers, as the prayers of others, including priests, are not the “magic pill” to heal all things. One must reconcile with God with faith and humility, so that the evil one cannot attack this person further. Humility is our best defense against the evil one and his tricks.
There was once when Fr Adrian was carrying out an exorcism, and a group of high ranking communist officials visited unexpectedly. One of the officials, a lady, was suddenly hissing away, just like one who is possessed by evil. She sought out Fr Adrian later, and asked why she was so. Fr Adrian told her that it was a mystery and the only answer lies with the evil one. The lady official confessed all her sins, took communion, and visited the monastery more and more. Eventually, she was healed, also because she believed truly in God and allowed her humility and prayers to take hold of her life, rather than other things which may distract her. She was living a new life that centered on God.
There was an unknown priest who once exorcised without the blessing of his elder, and even though it seemed that he managed to exorcise a girl from her possession, he became the target of the evil one. The evil one then appeared as his doppelganger, and frightened the weak priest. He ran to his confessor, who promptly chided him for an exorcism without authority or blessing, for such an act was spiritually dangerous. The elder prayed for the frightened priest, but warned him that ahead of him was more danger. Weeks went by seemingly without incident, and when the priest’s guard was down, he opened the doors to some gangsters who beat him up really badly.
The blatant evil we confront in the world today, whether in a global scenario, or one closer to our own tiny ecosystems, seems easy to identify, and to discern. Even then, such evil has lured many away to its camp, drowning in passions and delusions, and far away from the Truth of God. Do not think of such obvious evil lightly, for it can do great harm to our struggles towards God, if we are not careful, and we are too proud to be repentant, or too lazy to pray unto God.
But there is also evil we cannot see easily, in the unseen world. The evil one and his dark minions are lurking in unseen corners, surrounding us all the time, waiting for any chance to strike at us, when we are weak because we have no humility, no repentance, and no prayer to shield us. The Holy Apostle Paul said in his epistles, to defend ourselves against the dark unseen forces, with righteousness, truth, peace, faith, and prayers unto God. (Ephesians 6:10-20). We are to be sober, to be watchful of our every breath and every step, for the evil one lurks and waits for our every misstep (1 Peter 5:8).
In all things, remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who braved us on that even if the evil one tries to be a thief of life, our Lord came for us to gift us with life abundantly (St John 10:10).
Let us pray His Holy Name often, for in Him all Light destroys any darkness:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.