Thursday, March 16, 2006

Devils and Demons and Evil...Oh my!

Lately I've been doing a lot of research on exorcism. It's for a book I'm proposing called the Exorsistah. That's a funny title, isn't it? And Emme Vaughn is a funny character, but let me tell you, demon possession is sooooo not funny.

Tonight I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a movie that stunned me in more ways than one. First of all, I expected it to be stupid, and it wasn't. I didn't think it would have any redemptive qualities, and was surprised that it did indeed. All this, and the research I'm doing, has me feeling a bit unsettled and in a weird place--a Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz lions and tigers and bears Oh my! kind of place.

But God is here. I don't care what kind of awful thing lurks in the darkness, God never goes away.

Psalm 139:7-12

I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night-- but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

I don't know about you, but I take great comfort in this passage. I'm glad that the great God of all is my guide, and light, strength and support. I'm very glad that darkness and light are both alike to him. Nothing in the shadows, is more fearful than God. And God loves me.

I must admit, though, even with the assurances of scripture, this is all a bit scary. And it seems to be something of a shadow time for me right now anyway. We are all, in this Lenten season, beneath the shadow of the cross looming high and terrible before us. In not many days we will all stand on that Hill, on that awful Friday, looking up at his broken body, and saying as the ground shakes beneath us, surely this must be the Son of God. Things are scary in the shadows, even the bad Friday we know that God will make good. So, I look up, see his wounds, and ask this Jesus, willing to die for me, for His protection.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me,
Body of Christ, save me,
Blood of Christ, refresh me,
Water from the side of Christ, wash me,
Passion of Christ, strengthen me,
O good Jesus, hear me,
Within your wounds, hide me,
Let me never be separated from you,
From the powers of darkness, defend me,
In the hour of my death, call me,
And bid me come to You,
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever. Amen.

That just takes the sting out of everything.

I read this story in the compline last night in the Divine Hours. It said:

"The brethren asked Abba Agathon: "Amongst all our different activities, father, which is the virtue that requires the greatest effort? He answered: "Forgive me, but I think there is no labor greater than praying to God. For every time a man whats to pray, his enemies the demons try to prevent him; for they know that nothing obstructs them so much as prayer to God. In everything else that a man undertakes, if he preserveres, he will attain rest, but in order to pray a man must struggle to his last breath."

So, we'll just keep on praying, you and me.

And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.



Alison Strobel Morrow said...

*shudder* I am so impressed you watched that movie. I couldn't even watch the commercials. Honestly. I had to change the channel; even the sound freaked me out. My imagination doesn't need any help; the nightmares I dream are already scary enough.

Angie Poole said...

Praying with you, girl.

We all need an ExorSistah (however you spelled that) on our side, that's for sure.

Of course, now I'm picturing Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost...

Angie Poole said...

"Girl--you in danger!"

Sorry, had an expostfacto thought there.

Patti said...

This is my first time to your blog. I love it. I love your honesty. I will not see that movie-but my husband has. He loves movies like that. He sees them by himself.

s-p said...

I'm with everyone else here... I can't watch ANYTHING "evil". If you are researching "evil" outside of your own heart, I'd suggest "The People of the Lie" by Scott Peck, who wrote "The Road Less Travelled".

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Exorsistah!!! LOL...that movie was a big wow! It didn't scare me though...I hide behind Jesus! :-)

l said...

movies like that intrigue me. i've done deliverances/excorsisms & no two are alike. have had one few like the omen, one like emily rose, but most are quite tame really. freedom from demonic inspired oppression sometimes comes hard, sometimes easy - that it the point. i think the emily rose movie missed that key point in it's conclusion.

Paula said...

Hi Friend. I'm bummed that I've missed your most recent posts. I kinda crawled into my own little world and hid for a while. Did read blogs. Didn't tell even my hubby what was going on in my interior world. That was pretty stupid . . .

Anyway, is there some way I can know when you post 'cause I don't like to miss a single one. I have Heather email me each time. LOL

I love you. Do you know that. I mean down deep, girlfriend!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL Paula really does have me email her... that is after she emailed me pouting that I had posted and she hadn't known about it for days.

Girl, you know that I love the whole idea for this book. It totally rocks.

praying for you! Love you!

Dee said...

I'll pray for you, because I can't watch that movie. And I'm glad you're still working on Exorsistah.

Nicci Jordan Hubert said...

Mair, First, I agree with you about Emily Rose. That movie was very well made -- very scary. Second, I'm SO EXCITED that we are working together on this amazing project!!!! See you in a month! - Nicci