KH writes: “I have a friend who is a non church-going Lutheran. Her kids that are living at home, are ages 18, 20, 21. Over the past few years they had talked of seeing shadows, noises etc. My friend and I just thought it was their imagination. But recently in the past year, her boys have said a door that is hard to close in basement has slammed several times, the 21 year old boy has heard voices, and was afraid of schizophrenia. . . .
“I had told her to say prayers and gave her holy water, and told her to place holy items in each room of her house. My friend did not have a crucifix, so I visited the local Catholic book store, and found St. Benedict crucifix, rosary, holy cards and St Benedict medals they could wear or carry. I had these items blessed by my priest. She read the pamphlets on St Benedict, to one boy and he was very receptive and wanted to read the pamphlet himself. The other boy, who had experienced the most, when he was presented with the medal, immediately put it on his neck chain. He said that a couple of months ago when his mom had sprinkled holy water in his room, the voices and occurrences stopped for a while. But that they had restarted. He said he was wearing headphones to bed to drown them out. My friend hung her new crucifix over his bed and applied holy water around house. It’s only been a few days and he said things have been fine.
“My friend said my gift couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve tried to convince her to try and get them and herself to church with no luck. I’m worried this is only a temporary fix. Any suggestions? The holy cards say Our Father and Hail Mary and I told her the St Michael prayer.”
KH, you are a good friend, and all the readers of this blog will join you in your prayers for this family.
The slamming of doors, hearing of voices, etc. are all signs of a demonic infestation. Someone within the family may be – or has been – involved in occult or New Age practices through which these spirits have gained entrance. The only way to make them stop is for whoever was involved in these activities to renounce them and turn their life over to Jesus Christ.
There is also the possibility that the house itself may have been the scene of demonic rituals or activities that are unknown to the family.
Because these manifestations are so overt, I strongly recommend that the house be blessed by a priest, preferably one who is familiar with occult activity. (Priests will bless houses of people who are not Catholic.) If there is a Catholic charismatic group in your area, you may want to contact them to find out if they know of any charismatic priests who could bless the house.
This blog on house blessings gives additional information on steps that can be taken to clear the home of demonic activity.
However, all the blessings in the world won’t change things unless the people within the home give up all occult practices. They should also destroy anything connected with the occult – all books, pamphlets, DVDs, jewelry, trinkets – anything. Get it out of the house.
Too often unchurched families resort to pagan rituals to cleanse their homes of these infestations (saging, ghost-busters, etc), but your readiness to provide them with authentic Catholic sacramentals has no doubt already steered them away from “hocus pocus” and toward the only Power that can really help them – Jesus Christ.
But the turn to Christ must come from them. They may choose to wait until it gets really bad and the demons begin to urge the children to hurt themselves or others before they make a genuine turn to God for help, so be prepared to persevere in prayer.
Remember, our culture is steeped in secularism and no longer wants to believe in such things as devils and spirits. Many consider themselves too “sophisticated” for those old-fashioned ideas.
Sadly, it’s only when these beings invade their personal space and make their presence known that these unbelievers wise up and realize that unseen powers not only exist, but can be far more potent and dangerous than the seen powers of this world.
In the meantime, let’s all “storm heaven” on behalf of this family that God will give them whatever grace they need to make a sincere turn toward Him and away from the powers of darkness.