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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Garrigou-Lagrange on Obsession Two

In dealing with obsessed persons, the director should be prudent and kind; he should not believe too readily in a true obsession; he should remind the penitent, first of all, how temptation must be resisted, pointing out that it is an occasion to acquire great merits by a salutary, firm, at times heroic reaction, and by the practice of humility. He should remind the penitent that the principal remedies are humble, trusting prayer, recourse to the Immaculate Virgin, to St. Michael, to the guardian angel, the trusting use of the sacraments and sacramentals, scorn of the devil, who may indeed bark, but who can bite only those who draw near him. The director should also remind his penitent that, if in the violence of temptation disorders are produced without any consent, there is no sin in them. In case of doubt, he will judge that there is no serious sin when the person concerned is habitually well disposed. If he sees that the obsession is part of the passive purification of the senses or of the spirit, he will give appropriate counsels, which we recalled earlier in the course of this study. (9)
Lastly, if diabolical obsession is morally certain or very probable, the priest may employ privately the exorcisms prescribed by the Roman Ritual or shortened forms. To avoid agitating the penitent or overexciting him, it is best, as a rule, not to inform him before­hand that one is going to pronounce over him the words of private exorcism; it is sufficient to tell him that one is going to recite over him a prayer approved by the Church.