Friday, September 2, 2011

A Run-In With the Devil

Earlier this week, I was called to a house for a blessing. The family that asked for the blessing simply told me over the phone "we've had some interesting activity in our house." I agreed to go to the house on Wednesday to do a blessing.

I had read before about priests having weird things happen as the time drew near to deal with something demonic, but had never experienced it myself.

It wasn't like I was sitting around on Wednesday waiting for the blessing, I had a busy day and priests bless houses all the time. However, as the time drew near for me to bless the house, I came down with one of the worst illnesses I've ever had in my life. I don't suffer from migraines, yet I came down with one of the worst migraine headaches, to the point where it hurt to open my eyes. I hadn't had the urge to get sick since I was a child, but that suddenly came over me as well, along with a fever.

I printed a Google map of the residence, but everything was wrong on the map and I couldn't find the house. I had to return to the Church, at this point 10 minutes late. I called the house, and no one answered. I called again, and no one answered. Both times the voice mail said that the message box was full and that I couldn't leave a message.

At this point, I first realized that perhaps I was encountering some resistance. Why wouldn't the family answer their phone? They've been waiting for this house blessing for a long time, surely they were home. Fortunately, the family called my on my cell phone, told me how to get to the house, and I was able to find it.

The family relayed to me some of the stuff that had been happening - the dog behaving as if an intruder were in the house, someone distinctly coming up the steps, someone clearly walking around upstairs, and their 2 year old daughter always afraid of one of the rooms, and sometimes coming in to tell the parents their is someone in the house. One might say that in this era of ghost hunters and so forth on TV that people are looking for stuff like this, but this family was very down to earth, not looking for attention, and VERY matter of fact about what was going on. There was no doubt in my mind that something was going on in the house.

I was able to perform the ritual for the blessing of a home, blessed all of the rooms with holy water, and blessed the family and their dog before departing.

On the way home, amidst the pain, I kind of laughed at the devil - "this is all you can do...harass some little priest? Must be pretty sad for you to know that's as deep as your bag of tricks goes."

I went home, went straight to bed, and almost decided to go downstairs and have Fr. Joe drive me to the hospital. Now I'm not a guy who goes to the hospital, especially for a fever/migraine - I say this to convey that I was in the hurt locker. I finally managed to fall asleep, and what was crazy was that at 2:30 in the morning I woke up absolutely fine, and have felt fine since.

I'm sure the skeptic has an explanation for my illness, the map issue, and I'm sure there is a logical explanation for the answering machine being full, and can probably point to creaky floor boards and a crazy dog as explanations for what was going on in the home - but I don't really care anymore about skeptics. I've realized a skeptic will always be able to be skeptical. I share this story to let those who care to believe that the Devil and his minions are real, but, just as the Church teaches, their sphere of influence is ultimately pretty pathetic.

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!