Monday, February 21, 2011

Divine Mercy and Satanic Possession

Yesterday was in a sense, a day of extremes. It began with the Divine Mercy Conference and ended with a movie The Rite, a film about exorcism and possession.

The day began at the Divine Mercy Conference in the RDS, Dublin. Six merry little helpers worked tirelessly recruiting members for The Fraternity of St Genesius. We had a great time. Today I am hoarse, and is it any wonder, I never talked so much in my life. It was great to engage with so many people of faith, and share their stories, and a big "Welcome" to all our new members, who have made the commitment to pray each day for those working in cinema, theatre and the arts. Deo Gratia.

I didn't really know what to expect from the Irish film premiere of the film The Rite. It was after all my first premiere. There was a red carpet, and the usual Irish TV celebs were in attendance. It was a strange mix of people, those looking very glamorous and those in jeans and t-shirts! "Welcome to the Savoy, Drogheda", the opening line of the night got a great laugh. Colin O'Donoghue, Ciaran Hynes and Matt Baglio (author of the book The Rite) were in attendance. We had a few words of welcome from Colin, and then it was down to business.

The film was excellent, and so was Colin. He played the apathetic, unbelieving seminarian as only an Irish man could. Colin was well able to hold his own beside the big screen giant Anthony Hopkins, and he should be very proud of his performance.  The film opened with the following quote, which impressed me.

The battle against the Devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the Devil is still alive and active in the world.”  - Pope John Paul II
Don't worry, I will not spoil the plot. The subject matter of this film is serious, (the devil is real and he can possess you whether you believe in him or not!). I suppose that things really do not get anymore serious than being possessed by the devil! The issue of evil was treated with respect and taken seriously. I had recently spent some time with an exorcist, so I was up to date on my awareness of all things diabolical. Unfortunately we live in an age that does not believe that the devil exists, and thankfully this film challenges that assumption. I would hope that many of those present in the cinema, journeyed with the doubting seminarian Michael Kovak played by O'Donoghue. I don't often pray that people will believe that the devil exists, but maybe I should?

Does a thief or a burglar turn on the lights when he’s robbing your house? No. He prefers you to believe he’s not there. Like the Devil. ~Father Lucas
This film is definitely worth seeing, and I will hopefully get to see it again. The film is less frightening than the trailer suggests. I heard no screams in the cinema, people did jump on occasion, but not me, I had my St Benedict medal in my handbag!


Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


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