Latoya Ammons is a woman from Indiana who had to have an exorcism for herself and her children. The story is making its way across the news outlets, and unusual for a story like this–the supernatural phenomenon and Latoya and her family’s subsequent deliverance has been treated seriously and objectively. Part of the reason for this is because a hard headed cop named Charles Austin got involved, doubted the paranormal dimension and was soon convinced.
A woman and three children who claimed to be possessed by demons. A 9-year-old boy walking backward up a wall in the presence of a family case manager and hospital nurse.
Gary police Capt. Charles Austin said it was the strangest story he had ever heard.
Austin, a 36-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, said he initially thought Indianapolis resident Latoya Ammons and her family concocted an elaborate tale as a way to make money. But after several visits to their home and interviews with witnesses, Austin said simply, “I am a believer.”
You can read the full story of the haunted house and subsequent possession–then deliverance of Latoya and here children here.
One of the striking things about this story is that those concerned did not call a Protestant pastor to conduct the exorcism. I was once called to a house in my parish that was haunted and when I asked the people why they didn’t call their own pastor of the local megachurch they just laughed and said their pastor couldn’t handle stuff like that and they knew they needed to call a Catholic priest.
Father Andrew Trapp–a young priest in my own diocese of Charleston records here his interview with a former Satanist in France.
The poor guy probably felt like he was being interrogated by the CIA by this point, but knowing that I might never have this opportunity again, I asked Nicolas one final question. I told him that I had also heard that those who were very deep in Satanism could actually tell whether a communion host had been consecrated or not. For example, they will not steal communion bread from Protestant communion meals, nor will they steal unblessed communion bread for desecration at these “Black Masses.” It would not work because some of the Satanists would immediately recognize that it was just ordinary bread. They would be able to tell that Jesus Christ was not sacramentally present there.
I asked Nicolas whether this also was true. He again replied that it is, and he told us that he could do this himself before his conversion from Satanism. A chill went down my spine. If someone were to put ten identical communion hosts in front of him, nine unconsecrated and one consecrated, he would have been able to point directly and immediately to the host that had been consecrated. I asked him in amazement, “But how were you able to know?!?” He looked at me and the words he spoke are forever burned in my memory: “Because of the hate,” he said. “Because of the burning hate I would feel toward that host, apart from all the others.”
Read Fr. Andrew’s whole account of his encounter with the Satanist here.
The same truths are revealed in both stories. First of all, that the Satan and demons are real. Secondly, it is the Catholic priest and the Catholic Eucharist which they despise, blaspheme, mock and fear.
What can we draw from these shocking and dramatic stories? Firstly the remembrance not only that Satan and his minions are real, but also a reminder that most often they hide. Satan is a liar and usually comes disguised as an angel of light. He tempts us not first with horror, blasphemy and violence but with the a twisted form of the beautiful, good and true.
I am convinced that it is no co incidence that Pope Francis talks frequently about the reality of Satan. I am impressed that one of the few times the two popes came together was to dedicate a new statue of St Michael the Archangel–the prince who aids us in battle against Satan. This is because we are entering dark times. The spirit of atheism has moved from the East to the West. Storm clouds are on the horizon for Christ and his church. Satan is strong and he does not sleep.
If you are reading this post–be reminded that Satan’s favorite trick–his favorite lie is to tell you that he does not exist. This lie comes in several forms. The most blatant is to tell you that he and God both do not exist. The second form is to let you believe in God, but to tell you that he doesn’t exist; that such a belief is medieval or superstitious. That is his lie. Do not believe it. The third form of the lie is that he is not a real personal entity, that “the Devil” is simply another name for evil or “the shadow” or “the dark side of the force.”
No. These are lies. The truth is that Satan is real. If you are a Christian he hates you. He wants to destroy you. He wants to devour you.
Finally remember the words from Sacred Scripture: “Brothers be alert and awake for your adversary the devil is like a roaring lion stalking about seeking whom he may devour.”
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