That night, mom and dad were summoned to the convent where Sister Janet informed them of my bad behavior. I was home while this appointment was going on, shaking in my boots, so I don’t know exactly what was said. But I think mom and dad apologized and told Sister Janet they were doing the best they could with me. “I know you are,” Sister said to them, “but your son has a touch of the devil in him.” Years later, mom also told me how embarrassed she was when my dad responded to Sister Janet by saying something to the effect that he would extract hell out of me . . . but his exact words are lost to history!
I thought of that old story from my past as I reflected on today’s Gospel which tells how Jesus liberated a man who was tormented by demons. That poor man was in fact possessed by evil spirits; the evil one occupied the very center of his personality. As we listened closely to St. Mark’s description of this unfortunate man, we can see how the devil and his legions distorted God’s image in him. There was nothing anyone could do until Jesus appeared. Only he was strong enough to drive those evil spirits out of that man and restore him to health and tranquility.
Such things still happen and the church, following the example of Jesus, prays for people who are in the grip of the devil to be set free and the prayer of the church, called an exorcism, is powerful and effective.
Read more from Archbishop Lori here.