Confession: Stronger than Exorcism
We must insist on the need for frequent confession - in spite of all the difficulties existing today to the frequent reception of this sacrament - since both theologians and exorcists reaffirm its great efficacy.
The exorcist of the Archdiocese of Venice, Fr. Pellegrino Ernetti, of the Order of Saint Benedict, said: “The sacrament of the Confession, we know, is the second best 'safety belt', right after Baptism… Experience teaches us that it is most difficult for Satan to penetrate a soul that washes itself frequently with the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. This Blood becomes a veritable armor against which Satan may force, but never succeeds in opening, not even the smallest breach. The assiduous and constant frequency to this sacrament is a necessity, for both those who perform the exorcism and those who need the exorcism. I am convinced, after my long experience that the priest ought to wash his soul in the Blood of Jesus daily, if he wants to fight against the demon, side by side with Jesus, and be victorious. It is this, truly, the sacrament that Satan fears… Christ defeated Satan with His Own Blood. And the Apocalypse tells us explicitly: 'These are the ones that have conquered Satan by the Blood of the Lamb'."
Fr. Gabriele Amorth, exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, is equally forceful: "I have written many times that one causes much more furor to the demon with Confession - that is expelling the demon from the soul - than with exorcism, that expels him from the body… Confession is much stronger than exorcism."
A sovereign contempt for the demon
The Saints and spiritual authors also encourage a sovereign contempt for the demon.
Let us hear to what Saint Therese says:
"It is very often that these damned spirits come to torment me; but they inspire very little fear in me, because I know them well and they cannot even stir without God's permission… This should be well known by all: every time we show our contempt for the demons, they lose their strength and the soul acquires more predominance upon them… To see themselves despised by weaker beings is, in fact, a severe humiliation for these arrogant beings. Well, as we said before, humbly supported by God, we have the right and the obligation of showing our contempt: if God is with us, who will be against us? They can bark, but they cannot bite, unless in the cases that - by imprudence, or pride - we place ourselves in their power".
Evidently, we must not confuse this contempt for the demon with the vain pretension that we, by ourselves, have any power over the fallen Angels.
By our nature, we have no power whatsoever over them; on the contrary, by their superior nature, they are far more powerful than us. Therefore, the foundation of this healthy contempt for the infernal enemies must not be based on a rash disregard of danger. Rather, it must be supported by the most perfect humility and true confidence in the Creator and in the Most Holy Virgin. If these cares are taken, it is befitting to do what the great Saint Therese indicates with such propriety.
Above all, we should make every effort to live a life of serious and sincere piety, without superstition or sentimentality. This will certainly maintain the demon at a distance, as much as that is possible.
(By Luis Solimeo, from his book Angels and Demons)