Witchcraft and other occult practices

witchofendor

The Witch of Endor (1st Samuel 28:7)

All witches believe in the power of charms and spells – indeed witchcraft is largely about exercising this power. What are we to think of this claim to spiritual power through charms, spells, and curses? From my experience and from consulting people from this and other countries, I have not the slightest doubt that spells and curses do have power, can really affect people, including people who do not know that they have been the object of spells and curses. I am even more certain however that Jesus can protect his followers from any and every spell and curse, even though they may sometimes have to pass through a difficult time.

Last year I spoke with an English Catholic doctor who had been working in the Pacific islands. Quite a number of times people who had been cursed would be brought to the hospital. There was nothing wrong with them physically, but they simply and rapidly faded away and died. He said to me how frustrating it was. He would tell them with vigour that there was no medical reason for them to die – but they did die! A missionary from Nigeria told me of a similar case, in which a healthy young man at the university after being cursed by a witch simply declined and died within two weeks. A member of our monastic community who comes from Ghana assures me that witch doctors’ curses and spells in that country can have real power to harm, including harming people who do not know that they have been cursed. (A Dutch medical anthropologist working in Ghana confirmed this.) A Catholic doctor in this country consulted me about the case of a woman here who had been cursed by another woman at work – and the health of the first woman collapsed and remained collapsed in a way which was medically inexplicable.

A Catholic man from the third world came to us one evening seeking help. He had been a university lecturer and indeed a government minister in his country. His wife, from whom he has separated, was very deeply involved in witchcraft and she had got him cursed by ‘experts’. His life was now in a state of total disarray and he could not concentrate to read a book or write letters – and there were other very difficult problems. In the name of Jesus we prayed against all curses and demonic attacks. He was immediately much better, and after a few more sessions he was able to work normally again. He then got a responsible job in an organisation helping the third world.

In nearly all third world countries the people living there seem to believe in the power of curses and spells. Indeed, their lives may become an existence of fear and misery, unless they have a truly living faith in Jesus. Increasingly also in our own country and the rest of the first world, people are coming up against the power of the occult and witchcraft. How sad it is to find Catholics, including some priests, who do not believe in the existence of demons and who therefore are not able fully to help so many needy people.

Doubtless quite a proportion of the people who come for this sort of help are just imagining things. But there are certainly many others who are not just imagining. On a number of occasions I have thought it was all imagination and psychological sickness, only to find out later that I was wrong. (A lonely widow from the third world came to us for help on account of the voices she was hearing. We prayed. the voices continued and I thought she was simply suffering from schizophrenia. However a very gifted and experienced Anglican exorcist prayed with her, delivered her from one or more evil spirits, and the voices ceased.)

Read more

book-fall

Excerpted from:

I Saw Satan Fall – The Ways of Spiritual Warfare by Benedict Heron OSB

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1 Comment

  1. It has been said that the greatest trick that Satan has pulled upon humanity is convincing them that he does not exist. It strikes me that the second greatest ruse has been to convince men that he (Satan) is far more powerful than he actually is.


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