In Part I of this series, we discussed the curse - what it is and how it is typically imposed upon people. In this article, we will look at what to do if we suspect that we are the recipient of a curse.
In his book, Interview with an Exorcist, Father Jose Antonio Fortea gives the following advice to those who believe they are suffering from a curse:
1. Pray the Rosary 2. Read the Bible 3. Speak with God every day 4. Attend Mass frequently, even daily 5. Place a blessed crucifix and an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the house 6. Make the sign of the cross with holy water daily
"If the evil a person is suffering is from a demon, it will go away as a result of these devotions. If nothing changes, however, then the evil the person is suffering is not caused by a curse. Also, if a priest is an exorcist and suspects a curse, he can pray a prayer of deliverance and this will remedy the situation."
However, we must be careful not to think every misfortune or upset stomach is the result of a curse.
"During our time on earth, God allows us to experience both good and evil because this life is a period of trial, of purification," Father reminds us. If we truly want to be protected, we need to be a person of prayer who lives in God's grace. "The more one prays and lives a spiritual life, the more one is protected," Father Fortea writes.
We are also wise to remember that the Bible never tells us to fear the devil but to resist him in the certainty that he will flee from us (James 4:7) and to remain watchful by remaining firm in our faith (1 Pet 5:9).
"We have been given the grace of Christ, who defeated Satan with his Cross," writes the late exorcist of Rome, Father Gabrielle Amorth. "We have the intercession of Mary, who has been an enemy of Satan since the beginning of humanity; we have the help of the angels and the saints. Most of all, at baptism we have been sealed with the Holy Trinity. If we live in communion with God, it is Satan and all of hell who tremble at our presence - unless we ourselves open the door to him."
His advice echoes that given by Pope Paul IV in 1972 during a General Audience. (This is a powerful address that is worth reading in its entirety.)
"Grace is the decisive defense. Innocence takes on the aspect of strength. Everyone recalls how often the apostolic method of teaching used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable (Rom 13: 12; Eph. 6: 11, 14-17; 1 Thess 5:8). The Christian must be a militant; he must be vigilant and strong (Pt 5:8); and he must at times make use of special ascetical practices to escape from certain diabolical attacks. Jesus teaches us this by pointing to 'prayer and fasting' as the remedy (Mk 9:29). And the Apostle suggests the main line we should follow: 'Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21; Mt 13:29)'."
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