Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

by Mike Chapman

"Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father. But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” - Matthew 8:21-22

In my studies lately, which include a deep personal study of the entire rite of exorcism line by line, I have been deeply encouraged by reading the words, advice, and practices of several highly experienced exorcists with how they handle clients and people who come to them for help. It is never easy to hear words that shock, that dismay…even sting and hurt. I’m speaking of what we often must inform people as to their situation…what is causing it to continue and how they can get rid of activity in their life that is unwanted...and how sometimes they listen and change, and sometimes they don't.

For the client: the key to coping with words that we hear that cut and burn us, is to understand both the intent of those words and their content. That is the hearer’s (your) responsibility.  As to the speaker’s responsibility (the counselor – us), it is crucial; as we give clients our “findings” and suggest the action steps they must take within the context of after-care of a case, that we speak the truth to them in love. Our mission does not exist in giving them the words they wish to hear, but in telling them what they need to hear. This is not an easy thing to do, but must be done.

Sometimes, the client refuses to listen, and even can lash out at what you have to tell them. This was the case in a situation I once had, where I gave a client some counsel into her situation that she needed to hear. She rejected it and even complained that it “hurt her.” She refused to see the bigger picture, and refused to accept the gift she was given. She sulked off and her situation remains unchanged, as I understand it. She refused to take part in the after-care we offered, and even violated very fundamental rules we gave her to avoid, that encouraged the activity to start up again in her home. That’s a shame, but just goes to point out that all we can do in cases with clients is to give them our best. It is up to them to take the actions and attitudes necessary to succeed. If a person insists on leaving a doorway open, then that is an exercise of their free will. Not even God will violate that, because He created a world for love, and love is only possible if freedom is there to be able to choose it. The other option is also not choose it. 

I’m sure many of you have seen clients who get caught in a psychological spiral where their identity becomes, to a degree, wrapped up in the phenomena of what is happening. They just can’t “see” themselves healthy, clean and clear of the mess that has been part of their lives for so long. It is, sadly, easy to remain a victim, and not seize the responsibility that is ours to move our own lives forward and see the best in what is happening to us. Strong winds and storms are not pleasant, but they cause the trees to grow stronger and put down more solid and stable roots. They also show us that clearly we cannot live life in and of our own strength, but must depend upon a much higher source than ourselves (God) to get by in this world. What leaves me shaking my head is the number of people who absolutely refuse to change their ways, want to live “like hell” and when hell breaks loose they seem dumbfounded as to why this happening to them! Never before in all my years have I seen people so detached from their own reality, narcissistic, hedonistic, who abhor responsibility and any pain or suffering whatsoever. People seem to think there are no consequences to negative lifestyle and behavior, and have no clue as to spiritual cause and effect. We want heaven and to name ourselves Christian, but at the same time we will be damned if we are going to change how we want to live. But, that’s the problem, we just may be damned.

The bottom line is we give our clients our best, but it is not us that get them through. They must help themselves as we come alongside to lead and guide them. Sometimes that includes telling them things they don’t want to hear…warning them of things they must change in their lives and attitudes they need to adopt in order to move forward. Sometimes they accept it, other times they don’t. But in the case where they do not, you as a paranormal investigator and counselor have to move on. You have done your job and your part, now they must do theirs. 

Yes, it may seem like a hard or cruel thing, but it certainly is NOT. You have other clients waiting on you, people who need you to turn to their case...people who are going to listen if only you are there to speak to them, investigate their case, and give them your counsel. You have no time to waste on people who will waste your gift. What is cruel is to waste your time on people who refuse to see, and not get to those who would see if they only had someone to clear their eyes. Christ told you about throwing your pearls to swine, and he also told you the words at the top of this post...sometimes you simply have to move on, and let the dead bury the dead.

Suggested Reading:
An Exorcist: More Stories, by Gabriele Amorth. This book, which I read and studied recently, has immediately zoomed to the top of my list. It is an amazing treatment and explanation of exorcism and its surrounding, peripheral issues. In my opinion it is far better than his first book (below), which is excellent.
An Exorcist Tells His Story, by Gabriele Amorth
Interview with an Exorcist, by Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea
The Roman Ritual: Volume II, in Latin and English

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