week I had a rather troubling dream. I fought with the evil spirit all night
long. He kept appearing under the guise of nasty things, all I remember is
mice and cats, and I would grab holy water and throw it on him, but he would
just laugh. Then I remembered (in my dream still) that the holy water had
been blessed according to the new rite, so perhaps it didn’t have the
same exorcisms as the traditional holy water. So I went and found a bottle
and sprinkled it on him, and he burst into flame and disappeared
hissing. . . . When I woke up, I proceeded to sprinkle the
whole place with holy water, just in case the dream wasn’t simply a
I do think it is very possible that the holy water we find in many churches
today, does not include the exorcism that was used by better informed priests
of former times. The devil is not as real as he once was to many, and so
perhaps in consequence the lengthy exorcisms are seen as unnecessary? Have
you ever been present when holy water is blessed in the traditional way?
It is awesome.
es, it’s true that the blessing
of holy water according to the new Book of Blessings lacks an exorcism of
the salt and water. Thus there is a real difference between holy water that is
blessed water and holy water that is exorcised water. Therefore, blessed
water is not as effective against demonic
influence as water blessed and exorcised according to the Rituale
Still, there is more to your comment than this.
I agree that the celebration
of the new order of the Mass is open to
Still, I accept the Novus Ordo Mass as valid. The real issue between
the new Mass and the Tridentine Mass is not about validity; it’s about
reverence, or, more technically, conservatism. As I say
elsewhere on this website, “A
conservative—a true conservative—seeks to conserve respect for
the divine mystery of Christ’s Incarnation and Passion that is behind
every liturgical action of the Catholic Church.” Thus, the Novus Ordo
can be offered conservatively, and there are places—though they
may be hard to find—where it is offered conservatively.
Note carefully, though, that even
a conservative loses his faith if he falls into anger when he encounters evil.
In fact, this is how the demons snare us. If they can make us get angry when they
provoke us—especially through behavior they incite in others—we fall
into sin and the demons win.
So, to protect yourself from
further attack by the devil, think not in terms of
Church matters as being “valid” or “not valid,” because
such thinking only makes you vulnerable to falling into anger; think in terms of
conservatism, and seek always to conserve the divine mystery of Christ’s
Incarnation and Passion in everything you do. Your protection from evil depends not
on what others do or how well or poorly they do it, but on how well you cling
in faith to the Church
Therefore, when you encounter the
flaws and errors of others, instead of getting upset at them, say to yourself,
“Let them do what they want. Eventually, they will have to
answer to God for their behavior. As for me, well,
let me seek purity and do what is right, no matter what others do around me.”
And if you want holy water blessed in the most efficacious manner, then seek it
out quietly, without grumbling.
Remember here what Christ said
when He was accused of casting out demons with demonic powers. “Every
kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided
against itself will stand” (Matthew 12:25). By analogy, then, we can
say that a person divided by beliefs about the efficacy of “Novus
Ordo” versus “Tridentine” is in danger of being laid waste by
his own anger. And that is why you are being attacked
by evil: the angry division in your heart has left a gaping hole for
evil to enter.
Just try telling
someone that he or she is lacking in faith. If anger and bitterness immediately
erupt, it only proves the point that faith is really lacking.
Hence, I interpret your dream
as pointing to your personal spiritual weakness: the devil is trying to provoke
you to pride and anger. He wants you to seethe at the thought of how others are
not as informed as you think you are. Remember, if faith the size of a mustard
seed could pick up a mulberry tree (Luke 17:6) or a mountain (Matthew 17:20 and
21:21; Mark 11:23) and throw it into the sea, then that same faith—untainted
by pride and anger—can send the devil back to
1. See Fr. Chad Ripperger, Introduction to the
Science of Mental Health. Sensus Traditionis Press. Denton, Nebraska. 2007,
p. 548, note 99.
2. You may have to travel quite a distance on
Sundays to find a conservative Mass, but you may not have the time for extensive
travel on weekdays. If you ever have to go to a liberal parish, then, instead
of putting money into the collection, leave a note that says, more or less,
“I will not support this parish financially as long as you [use altar girls;
use Extraordinary Ministers of Communion in un-extraordinary circumstances; alter
the liturgical texts; fail to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament; make the
homily into joking entertainment; etc.].”
This isn’t being
judgmental, it’s a matter of giving a
legitimate warning, and at least you won’t go home fuming in
anger trying to fight
the devil. Then give your monetary support to a parish, monastery, or
religious order that supports holy priests and the preservation of Catholic dogma.