Browse by Topic: Exorcism

Br. Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P.'s picture

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Filed under: 

This past weekend, I preached at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Concord, CA. I hope you enjoy.

During the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, the Catechumens undergo the scrutinies. These are times in the catechumens’ lives where the Church asks them why they want to enter the Catholic Church, testing their resolve.

At the end of each scrutiny, the Catechumens go through an exorcism to purify their intentions. The scrutinies are moments in which catechumens’ souls are exorcised in order to prepare them for the Easter Vigil.

Exorcism.

We don’t talk about the Devil anymore. We generally think that the Devil can be explained through a bad childhood or a bad situation.

Yet the Devil exists.

Lucifer spends his time keeping us from Christ. Lucifer tells us that we cannot pray more, that going to Mass once a week is enough, or that we don’t need Confession. Lucifer tells us to think that praying 5 minutes before Mass is sufficient for spiritual growth. He tells us that what we do behind closed doors has no ramifications in family life or in the public sphere.

This is the work of the Devil.

The work of the Devil is to keep us from God. Lucifer paints a picture of the God of Wrath and Destruction, as though God were sitting atop Mount Tamalpais, waiting to strike us down.

This is not God.

Moses reminds the Isrealites that God has made them “dearer than any other nation”. The prophet Hosea talks about God as the Seducer of Hearts. Tradition has interpreted the Song of Songs as God wooing the soul into a loving and passionate relationship.

This is God our Father.

The Prodigal Son is useful here. Like the father in that story, God the Father has let all of us go in order to allow us to understand what God the Father has to offer us. We might go to Church every Sunday. We might give a lukewarm Confession to Father so-and-so. But we live a life where God is uninvolved, compartmentalized on Sunday, whereas our real life is everything except Mass and prayer.

But as the story of the Prodigal Son shows us, the moment we turn back to Him, God the Father chases us like a little puppy. The Majestic, Glorious, All-Knowing, All-Powerful King, the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, losing all of His dignity in order to grab our attention. God the Father waits impatiently for our attention, and does not want to let us go.

When the catechumens are scutinized, they will be given grace from the Father to live in compassion and love.

This is the work of God our Father.

This grace is offered to us also. The Prodigal Son teaches that God yearns for our attention. Let us give the Father our attention. As Lent continues, let us offer the Father fervent prayer and thanksgiving. As we go to Reconciliation, let us resolve to turn our hearts to the Father with zeal and passion. As we receive the Eucharist, let us be like God the Son, who always had the Father in the forefront of his mind. As we live our lives, let us offer everything to God our Father.

Categories: