The upper millstone is called a donkey millstone in the Gospels. Donkeys are intelligent and only do that which they understand. They go about their business, pleasing man and God, content. Jesus said that it would be better for a man to have a donkey-millstone tied about his neck and be tossed in the sea than for him to scandalize one of the little ones. The most fitting irony about the donkey bit is that sinners don’t in any way understand that which they do. They are not as intelligent as donkeys. Of course, that is the only reason why we can be forgiven of any sin, as our Lord Himself said from the Cross: “Father, forgive them! They don’t even know what they are doing!” However, some are obstinate, and understand enough to want to stay in their sin. Horrible. Please, Lord, give obstinate sinners the grace to know how stupid it is for them to remain sinners, and the grace to repent!
Satan is called the Accusor. He accuses even the saints. And he would have something to say, except about the good angels and Mary Immaculate. However, Satan is cast down because of the forgiveness granted to the saints. Satan’s accusations of the saints would only give glory to God, for the response would intantly be: “Oh yes! Look at my sins! See how merciful and forgiving, how good and kind our Lord is?” Nothing for Satan to run with there in heaven, so he roams about in this world, looking for someone to devour. Those to be devoured are the ones who are not so quick to point to our Lord as merciful and forgiving, so good and so kind. Those to be devoured by Satan think that they are doing pretty well on their own, however otherwise religious they think they are.
Our Lord took on the death we deserve for sin. Satan and the rest of hell were there. Of all people, of all priests, an exorcist should recognize this in a very personal way. An exorcist must be instant in his recognition and praise of the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord in his own life, thanking the Lord continuously for His goodness and kindness. If he does, Satan, the Accusor, will have nothing to say.
There’s a little test one can give oneself to see just how thankful one is to the Lord for all that He has done for us. It is to ask whether you recognize that you yourself could be guilty of any sin whatsoever if the circumstances had been such in your life and if you had been without the grace of God. Think of any and all sins, even the most horrific, and the most degrading of self and others. Play Satan, and accuse yourself with the words “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” If you can instantly accept that you would be this or that sinner, then you won’t be congratulating yourself for your progress in the spiritual life (as if you had something to do with it), but will instead be thanking the Lord for His goodness and kindness. If you baulk and hesitate, saying to yourself, “Oh! Not that type of sinner that just came to mind, not that! I would never do that! I’m better than other men, from the beginning of time, right to the end! No matter the circumstances and whatever about the grace of God, I would never do that!” … then know, in that case, that you have a long way to go, and that you may be in danger during an exorcism. Pride is not a good thing, especially during an exorcism! How dare any of us think that he is without need of redemption just because of the nice circumstances in which he grew up and lived during his life. Congratulating oneself for nice circumstances is the surest possible way to go to straight to hell. It’s a licence to kill. What arrogance! What pride! That’s Satan’s territory. He’s jealous of it. You’ll suffer for it. Time to change your mind if your thinking like that! Thank the Lord, instead, for His goodness and kindness.
Remember the words of Saint Augustine: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas!” (You are a jackass, but you carry Christ). If you are content to be so intelligent to know what you doing during an exorcism, grinding the grain of the harvest of souls like any jackass with his upper millstone, then, after your work, you know that you will rejoice in verdant pastures, thanking the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness, His goodness and kindness. If not, there is a millstone that has another use! Just be the worst sinner ever, in the sense of recognizing the weakness of mankind, and praise the Lord. The saints, by the way, seem to have had a bit of a competition, with one saying, “I’m the worst sinner ever!” while the other one would contend, “No! I’m the worst sinner ever!” And, of course, since the Lord loves us individually as well, we sin against that unique love of the Lord for each of us with any sin, which is, then, the worst sin ever. But the Lord forgives and is merciful, is good and kind. He’s happy to have us be content in verdant pastures.
By the way, one last test. It is the Lord’s: Do we forgive as we are forgiven?