Self Help

For most people who are experiencing demonic activity (or are concerned that someone they know might be) there are few simple steps that can be taken to aleviate the problem. As a priest friend of mine recently explained to someone he was counseling: "The Church deals in sacraments. The Devil in Magic. Magic and Sacraments are diametrically opposed one to the other. The first, magic, seeks to own and distribute power through manipulation and selfishness. The latter, Sacraments, are storehouses of freely given grace we have but receive out of selfless, undeserved love.
There are no magic spells that will protect us from demons. No incantations, no rituals, no objects, no prayers, nothing, nothing, nothing.... deliverance is available ONLY if we have faith in God and a firm grounding in the belief that God is good and Satan and Sin are evil. With that in mind, what follows is my advice to you for self-help in demonic situations.


1. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

The first and most important step is a thorough examination of conscience. A solid self-awareness and increasing knowledge of self will help you to understand your own sinful tendencies and the things which keep you bogged down with demonic thoughts instead of the thoughts of God. The easiest way to form one's conscience is to begin by daily reading and mediation on the Word of God and on the teachings of the Church and writings of the Saints. As you learn what "being a Christian" means and looks like, you compare yourself and your actions to those you see and read about in the Words of Scripture and the Encyclicals and other documents (letters, etc) of the Church. Thus, you keep yourself honest about what you have and have not done that is directly out of line with God's will for your life. Repentance is the first step to deliverance, and involves a true sorrow for the sins one has committed.

2. Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. ( James 5:16)

Confession is a powerful tool that proves our repentance and deepens our appropriation of forgiveness and absolution. For Roman Catholics, confession assures our salvation by ensuring absolution at the hands of a priest, one of God's unbroken line of apostolic representatives given spiritually authority on earth.
 Confession is a crucial step after repentance to aid in the deliverance process. Confession removes our spiritual "filth" and any legal holds demonic influences may have on our person.

3.Lay ahold of God's Grace.

“Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification” (taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that while God gives grace to man without outward symbols (or sacraments), He has also chosen to give grace to man through visible symbols. Because God has done this, man is foolish to not make use of this God-provided means of gaining sanctification. Thus, as a Catholic, you should turn to the sacraments as centers of accessible grace. This means you should receive Baptism, if you have not, and Confession, if you have not, and also receive Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. If you are married, you should also ensure you have been married sacramentally, if you are a priest, been given the graces associated with Holy Orders by ensuring your orders were recieved sacramentally, and if you are sick, receive the annointing of the sick.
If you are not a Catholic, note that the first part of the last paragraph says that God gives grace to man without the outward symbols as well. In other words, the sacraments are not the ONLY way of receiving grace. What else can you do? Pray, and ask God for Grace. The Bible says we must only ask, and we shall receive. (Matthew 7:7, John 14:3)

4. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22)

Quite simply, the process of deliverance is to ask for deliverance and to appropriate it/ receive it when it ready to come. If you follow these four steps consistently and earnestly, seeking God with all your heart, mind, body and soul He will not fail to save you. And great shall be the peace of His Children! (Isaiah 54:13)

There are no magic formulas or spells to give you deliverance from demonic forces. You must exercise your will and depend on the wide mercy of God. There are sacramentals which can help, but not if they are used superstitiously or with faith placed in them (idolatry) as opposed to God's redeeming work. Some of the sacramentals I use and recommend are exorcised salt and water, chrism, the Miraculous Medal or St Benedict's Medal, relics of the Saints, the brown scapular or a blessed rosary or crucifix. But none of these things are efficacious in and of themselves, only by the power they are given from God to confer his grace. For many people, these can be stumbling blocks or even deepen the demonic attack. The Cross of Christ, applied to a life, is the ONLY solution and remedy for a demonic attack.

If you or a loved one are involved in a case of possession, you will still need the same things to be delivered. A Roman Catholic Priest who recites the Roman Catholic Exorcism over a possessed person for one or more days will often have success, but usually only if the above four steps are attended to first. Do not despair if you are certain of the possession of yourself or a loved one and cannot find sympathetic clergy or a willing Bishop. Scripture says that the prayers of the RIGHTEOUS MAN avail much. Though you may not find an exorcist or be able to receive a much-needed exorcism, a group of faithful people whose hearts are right with God usually will have as much success in praying for an afflicted person for deliverance as a full blown exorcist.

The business of demonic activity is profoundly dangerous. Do NOT attempt an exorcism without the spiritual authority to do so. Do NOT play with, engage, or otherwise interact with demonic entities. Do NOT underestimate the ability of the Enemy to outwit, tempt, and succeed at throwing you off track. Do NOT dialogue directly with a person manifesting demonically, and do NOT make a display of your occult knowledge or your ability to "get a name" from a demon, or other such ritualistic business. Simply humble yourselves and pray.. this is the ONLY solution to a demonic problem and you will find no other that actually work.

Pope Leo XIII wrote and recommended the use of the Simple Exorcism. Today, it's use is greatly restricted. We may never recite Pope Leo's Exorcism on a person, nor as a test of possession. Further, it may never be said if the impression is given that we (lay people) somehow represent the greater Church. Instead, it should be said with great humility and only in the capacity that we have been given to pray through... lest we forget we are Sons and Daughters of the Church. There are many tests one can do to examine a person and check for symptoms of possession.... I will not go into them online as they can be extremely dangerous. Suffice to say that demons can and DO manifest under specific conditions, and it can be- and often is-- very frightening.

If you feel powerless to help yourself or someone else and aren't sure what to do next or how to proceed, I HIGHLY recommend that you simply pray the Holy Rosary daily, even hour by hour if necessary, for the deliverance of the person whom you wish to help. God answers prayer, and you need not fear the terror of  the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. God has provided your own arrows, warrior. Offer up prayers to the One who can answer, and do not get caught up in fleshly temptations to create grandiose scenarios of deliverance-- for we battle not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities and the rulers of this world and darkness.

One additional note: Catholic Christians believe the teachings of the Bible and the Church with regards to the doctrine of Purgatory. This doctrine states that the soul is not always "immediately" sanctified if they did not take the necessary steps to respond to God's grace while on earth.
 Because of this doctrine, combined with personal experience, it is my belief that not ALL hauntings are the result of a demonic entity, but that some can stem from a situation in which a soul in purgatory is somehow made known to a human person, ALWAYS For a purpose-- the purpose of receiving prayer.
So, with that in mind, understand that the advice I give will help no matter what--- if you believe that the entity you are encountering is a soul in purgatory, then I recommend the above four steps PLUS having a mass said by a priest on the premises or other appropriate prayers said for the release of said person.

That being said, it is my personal experience (and in line with the doctrines and teachings of the Church and Bible) that more often than not, even in a situation which seems to be clearly about a "lost soul," the ACTUAL situation is one of very cleverly disguised demonic proportions. In other words, don't mess around and always assume the worst.

May God  go with you and the angels and Saints protect you. And may you be empowered to halt the enemy and to fend off his attacks in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.