Quite recently, I have been working with the Dead Theologians Society, a monthly middle and high school program about the saints at SS Peter and Paul Parish. At our last meeting, I was struck by St. Faustina’s vision of Hell. In the vision, she recounts how most of the damned had never even believed in the existence of Hell, yet they were nonetheless there. This vision struck me because it points out a dangerous tendency in our human condition: we tend to take the supernatural with a super laxness. Magic or sorcery is a notable example; many today dismiss actual magic as not real, when in fact there is real and dangerous magic. Charms and healing crystals are another common example; people wear them with the thought that they are harmless superstitions, when in fact they call upon supernatural and unknown powers (CCC 2117). Demons are extremely intelligent beings, and one of their tactics today is subtlety. They can get a pathway to our lives by making us disbelieve them and their many ways of calling upon their power.
To many reading this article, this all might seem a bit too superstitious or like medieval simplicity. Let me assure you, I have met enough exorcists to know that demonic powers are real and quite dangerous. The stories of demonic problems can often start with innocent intent, and then superstitious activity coupled with mortal sin make for a scary time. For the sake of clarity, none of this is to awaken interest in these practices; I write these things to deter you. Please stay away from charms, sorcery, witchcraft or any practice that claims to call upon supernatural forces. Your best defense, as most exorcists have recommended to me, is the sacrament of Confession and the life of grace. Ten exorcisms cannot pretend to have the power of one good Confession, for devils cannot live in a house of light and grace.