My novel The Defilers touches on demon possession. Do I believe it happens today? You betcha.
Last week the exorcism of Latoya Ammons and her children was in the headlines and it got me musing about the demonic. An old puzzle in my own mind surfaced–the question of whether demonic possession is extremely rare or extremely common.
To illustrate my speculation I’ll tell you about a man I knew long ago I’ll call Gabriel. I met Gabe when I was working in London. He was slim, fit and good looking. He had impeccable manners and a delightfully charming manner about him. He was, in every sense, a man of the world. Gabriel had started his own software company which had become incredibly successful in a very short time. I saw him in the workplace. His personality was magnetic–especially to the ladies. Rumor had it that he had bedded most of them at one time or another. I’m thinking Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate(by the way–a movie with unseemly levels of sex and violence–not for the young or the squeamish)
When Gabriel heard that I was training to be a priest his usually smiling and charming face clouded over. Another demeanor took over–only for a very brief instant. When this happened I felt a sudden chill and disgust. Then he was smiling again and saying something anodyne like, “How very interesting! I hope that works out for you….”
Some time later I was having dinner with some friends who also knew Gabriel. James was a lapsed Catholic–his wife Sally was a devout Evangelical Christian. As Sally was cooking dinner James and I sat at the table having a glass of wine. James said, “So what do you think of Gabe?”
“Do you want to know what I really think?”
“Sure” said James with a big smile.
“I think he’s demon possessed.”
Hmmmmm. Should we have an Ordinariate exorcism rite in sacral English? Does one already exist?