When it comes to unimportant things, I absolutely with no exceptions, ever, all the time, just love, adore to exaggerate!!!!!!! Ooooooo!!!!!!! I should add more exclamation marks!!!!!!!: !!!!!!!
However, when it comes to important things, I like to be unrelentingly accurate. Take this series on tips for exorcism for example. Not much sensationalism here, is there? Just good old common sense with a bit of zeal for the marginalized.
I’m rather protective of the marginalized. I would like to treat them the way I would like to be treated. What Jesus meant by this principle of loving others as yourself has to do with really effective service, not self-service.
For instance, there can be grandiose works costing millions of dollars and untold years of committee work which almost never serve the actual needs of the poor, with whatever City Council members serving their own cleverness and continuous need to be needed. And then there are those whose service is effective, like Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was not interested in serving herself.
The Indian government, infamous for grandiose but empty plans to help the poor, once asked Mother Teresa to teach the government social workers to be as effective as she was. They said that she always got results, everywhere, every time, but their government workers did nothing for anyone, ever. At least they recognized this. She responded that she would be happy to teach them, but under one condition. They asked what this was, and she responded that she would have to teach them about Jesus, since it was Jesus whom she was serving in the poor, and it was His friendship which made this effective. The government couldn’t allow themselves to allow this… The poor you will have with you always.
Now, if I were harassed by Satan, if I were marginalized, if I were really suffering, it would be like being punched in the stomach, only to be kicked in the face when one doubles over in pain, if I were to get to the point of having an exorcism, only to see that the exorcist is over-romanticizing everything. He has all grandiose ways of going about things, grandiose plans of how to proceed, grandiose – and ineffective – because he is serving himself and not those who are suffering right in front of him. This has nothing to do with lack of experience or a great deal of experience. This has to do with over-romaniticizing exorcism for no other reason that serving oneself, serving one’s pride: Ooooooo!!!!!!! I’m grandiosely important!!!!!!! I’m an exorcist!!!!!!! When the Apostles were tempted to take pride in seeing Satan fall before them, they were instructed by our Lord not to rejoice in being exorcists, but in the fact that their names were written in heaven.
If I were harassed by Satan, I would want to have an exorcist who was great friends with Jesus, who looked to Him, had an unfailing respect and lively humble reverence before Him, rejoiced in Him, and knew it was the Lord who was the true and only exorcist. I would want an exorcist who just got down to business, discerning the need for the exorcism and doing it. I would want an exorcist who was not serving his own ego, buy rather an exorcist who was humbly, joyfully serving the Lord Jesus in all simplicity. I would like an exorcist who rejoiced to know that he was nothing more than a living bit of irony in the battle between Mary’s Son and Satan, knowing that he, just because of original sin (whatever of personal sin) had once himself been a child of Satan needing an exorcism at baptism.
How does an exorcist over-romanticize exorcism? By not putting it in perspective with the victory our Lord won on Calvary. By serving his own pride instead of Jesus.
If one has been at fault for this, how does one correct the situation? Going to confession. It’s wonderful how confession is just so very effective at letting us know who we are before the Lord, that is, those whom He forgives and draws to Himself while He is lifted up on the cross. We priests should know something about that, since we recite His words in the first person singular at every Mass, words about His sacrifice when, by the way, all the powers of hell would be loosed on Calvary: Hoc est enim corpus meum… Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei…