A Grateful Heart

Ghent altarpiece, Singing Angels in Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Jan and Hubert van Eyck, 1432.

By Msgr Stephen Rossetti at catholicexorcism.org:

Lucifer, the original “light bearer,” was created higher than the other angels, with extraordinary intelligence, brilliance and power. But, for him, it was not enough. He could not accept what God would give to humans. He could not accept that the Incarnate Son would become human and die for them. The light in Lucifer, who is now called Satan, turned to darkness. The praise of God in his heart was replaced by rage.

St. Faustina was granted a vision of the seven tortures of hell. The last was a hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. Out of Satan’s mouth, and the damned souls, come an eternity of rage against God. They blame God for their hellish lot.

On the other hand, the Saved are full of gratitude and thanksgiving. They are forever: “Singing to the Lord … in [their] hearts, giving thanks always and for everything” (Eph 6:19-20). Mystics having had a glimpse of heaven often speak of the heavenly music of countless souls joyfully praising God and giving thanks.

A great sign of the Elect on this earth is a grateful heart. It is no accident that the word for the great sacrament of the Church comes from the Greek, eucharistia, “thanksgiving.”

A critical part of an exorcism is healing any anger and unforgiveness embedded in the hearts of the possessed. I take them through a short forgiveness ritual. “Repeat after me,” I say, “In the holy name of Jesus, I willingly forgive [insert names], and I ask God to bless them.” As the Scriptures say, “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them” (Rm 12:14). Without letting go of inner angers and the cursing of others, I have little hope the possessed, or anyone, will be freed.

In our day, we see waves of rage and violence sweeping over the land. At times, I become discouraged at the direction of our nation. But on Thanksgiving Day, a sea of souls gathered around the Table to give thanks to their Creator. I thought I heard an echo of the song of heaven. And I gave thanks.

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