|Prayer for Deliverance from Father Gabriele Amorth's book, An Exorcist Tells His Story and Michael H. Brown's|
book, Prayer of the Warrior.
It was a grace-filled day that proved to be time well spent with Brown's four well-delivered, intriguing talks: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; Spiritual Warfare and Family Healing; The Current Prophetic Pulse; and Reclaiming North America's Christianity.
I attended these talks with great anticipation having known about them for many years—Brown gives many retreat talks throughout the year mostly in the United States and some in Canada—and being fully aware of how qualitative and beneficial they would be. This was no doubt a shared feeling by many in attendance that day, especially by those who knew of Michael H. Brown from his web site Spirit Daily.com, where since 2000, he has published numerous articles and provided many books on: the truth, knowledge, and understanding of the Catholic faith journey; current, real, and relevant news; information on the events and signs of our times; and resources on spiritual warfare, healing, and the afterlife.
In typical fashion at the Marian Day Retreats, each talk was preceded a by a group recitation of the Rosary, except for the last talk which was preceded by the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Brown added to those prayers with his own selection that implored God's mercy, blessings, healing, and the deliverance and protection from the Evil One.
I found Brown's talk on Spiritual Warfare and Family Healing particularly interesting and it certainly put the spiritual battle, that we are all in, into perspective. Much of what he talked about that day was "familiar territory," as I have been reading about spiritual warfare for almost twenty years.
That is not to say that there wasn't something new to discover or learn anew. Brown certainly did not disappoint in this regard as his talk included: deliverance and healing prayers; his own personal experiences with the demonic; how to recognize the presence of the Evil One and his demons; the importance of casting out evil spirits from our lives; warnings on how the demonic can enter into our lives; the importance of faith, the Holy Mass, the recitation of the Rosary, and fasting for the cleansing and protection from all evil spirits; and the use of sacramentals (water, oil, and salt) to effectively protect ourselves and our our homes, cars, places of work, and other locations from the Evil One and his demons.
Spiritual Warfare and Family Healing
Brown began this talk with a set of deliverance and healing prayers: Prayer Against Malefice, Anima Christi, Prayer Against Every Evil, Prayer For Inner Healing, and a Prayer for Deliverance.
These prayers were recited in that order which coincidentally happen to be the exact prayers provided in Father Gabriele Amorth's book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, a book that I purchased almost two decades ago from SpiritDaily.com, and blogged about in a post entitled, The Expulsion of The Devils From Arezzo: The Spiritual Battle.
|Giotto di Bondone's fresco, The Expulsion|
of the Devils From Arezzo, the front cover
image of Fr. Gabriele Amorth's book, An
Exorcist Tells His Story.
Brown explained that by specifically recognizing the many ways in which the Evil One can influence us, it renders the Evil One ineffective and ensures that he doesn't expand his power by operating in the dark, which is exactly what he likes to do.
At the same time, Brown warned that it is also important to avoid the extremes of obsession and ignorance. Here is what he had to say about it:
And so we need to recognize where evil is, not to become paranoid, not to go in the extreme of seeing him constantly, becoming obsessed with him, but the other extreme is being ignorant. We have to find a balance that the Blessed Mother will help us gain during the Rosary and that we gain also during the Liturgy, during the Mass, especially when that chalice with the wine is raised, the Precious Blood that brakes the hold of the Evil One. When that chalice is raised, elevated during Mass, that's the time we can break things that may be holding us in bondage. That is the time when we can cast out darkness because often we cannot make the break through, we cannot get our prayers answered, we can't be cleansed until we cast out inner darkness, until we cast out darkness that may have attached to us through curses of other people...We can't get where we want to go because first we have to cast out these things that are holding us back, and we have to make sure we are not giving the devil a foothold by being obsessed, or oppressed, or depressed...or regressed, because what is the eventuality of all this? All this obsession, all this oppression can lead to possession.Another benefit of casting out darkness from our lives is the healing of our physical maladies. Brown made an important point with respect to the source of our sufferings: God sends us physical suffering for the purpose of sanctification of ourselves or others, but a lot of sufferings may also be caused by the Evil One. So what we want to do is command it out. Here is how Brown put it:
We cast out darkness from our lives and often not only does this help purify our spirits, but when the spirit around us and in us is purified, a lot of times we are healed of physical malady. Yes, a lot of physical illnesses are given to us by God as sufferings for sanctification for ourselves or others. Yes a lot of that is sent by the Lord, but also a lot of it is caused by the Evil One. Jesus said he is a killer from the beginning and so we want to command it out because a lot times darkness in the robe, in the spirit, translates into physical illnesses.Drawing from the life of Jesus, Brown reinforced how demons can cause us physical illness, referring to when Jesus healed people, he first cast out demons, which points to the reality that the demonic can be the source of major illnesses.
Further highlighting the connection of illnesses to the demonic, Brown asked a series of questions for the audience to ponder, "If he [Jesus] did it, if he was showing us that, why are we not doing it? Why are we not following him? Why are we not doing what he said to do, which is to lay hands on people and cast out demons in his name, only in his name? Until we do we will not be the full Church we want to be, we will not be the clean spirits we want to be."
Brown singled out another important aspect of the Prayer for Deliverance; that is, the specific mention of the Evil One, which is located in the first few lines of the prayer (see the first photo). It actually compliments old translations of the Lord's prayer which specifically stated, "Evil One," as opposed to the generic "evil." The relevance of which points to what Brown had mentioned earlier in the talk, the need for specificity. Here is what Brown had to say about that, "...When we are specific, when we specifically cite Satan as a personal, destructive, dark force, we gain power over that."
Elaborating on the "gaining of power," Brown mentioned a few examples of prayer that are effective when we specifically mention the type of demons that are afflicting us, "Same thing in our lives, if we have depression, 'I command you out spirit of depression or anxiety, I command you out spirit of anxiety in Jesus's name, and in the name of Jesus, I command you to the foot of the Cross to be disposed according to the will of the Father, in Jesus's name and never to return', sealed against its return. Amen. "
Brown reinforced how important it is to cast all types of demons from us, including jealousy which as he went on to further point out is very powerful. He warned that if we are jealous of others, we need to "work" on that. Jealousy is synonymous to a curse; not wanting the best for someone to put it mildly. Like all other darkness in our lives, we need to cast it out.
During the next segment of the talk, Brown emphasized the many different ways that evil spirits can enter into our lives: through our transgressions; the movies and television shows we watch; pictures posters in our homes; heavy metal and other types of music that we listen to; and what we are looking at on the internet.
If you are asking yourself how is this possible, Brown answered that question with the example of what we watch on television or the computer. Here is what he had to say, "Spirits can come right through a computer, no problem! Come right through a television set! All they need is the opening. All they need is to see that you allowed it through your free will and boom, they're there."
Citing the "ghost hunter" shows on television—individuals who have no idea that they are dealing with the demonic—Brown made what was in my view, one of the most salient points of the talk; that is, we need to avoid reading or watching such shows or reading about such things. He also referred to Stephen King novels and the Harry Potter series.
It was interesting that Brown mentioned the Harry Potter series because not only am I completely familiar with the dangers of it from my own readings—that spawned an extensive blog post in October 2013, entitled, The Dangers of Harry Potter: The Occult Controversy—but it was through Spirit Daily that I first read Father Gabriele Amorth's warning about it in 2002; a warning that Brown referred to.
|Fr. Gabriele Amorth's warning about the dangers of Harry Potter from January 3, 2002.|
Image: Spirit Daily.com/Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter
Elaborating on his experiences in dealing with skeptics about the dangers of Harry Potter, Brown mentioned how some simply dismissed it as a children's story, claiming that "It is just a book." But as Brown aptly pointed out, it is much more than "just a book," as the Harry Potter series contain actual witchcraft spells. In response to the claim that it is just a book, Brown asked the audience, "Is it? Then why does it have real spells, actual spells of witchcraft? Do you think it is healthy for young people to be reading actual witchcraft spells?"
More to the point about such novels, Brown stated that, "Things can attach to us when we allow them in, and never mind something like the ouija board. Once they are around, they are really hard to get rid of sometimes, especially if we don't recognize their presence."
Expanding on that point, Brown pointed out that a lot times, we don't recognize the presence of the demonic or earth-bound spirits, even though they may be negatively affecting us consistently. To illustrate this point, Brown provided the example of how when you are having a great day, everything is going well, but all of a sudden, when you enter someone's home, office, or some other location, tensions arise, there may even be a certain flash-point with someone, a spontaneous eruption; often this is due to the presence of the Evil One.
As to what we can do about it, Brown stressed that we should discipline ourselves so that every time we feel that tension we should begin to pray, especially to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her help and to Jesus in a personal way. Here is how Brown explained it:
You know in life when this happens, if we would only discipline ourselves. Discipline is a key to happiness. If we would only discipline ourselves to step back every time we feel that tension, every time we start to succumb to that energy, step back and pray, especially to the Blessed Mother for her help, and of course to Jesus in a personal way. If we would just step back, we would avoid so much strife, we would avoid so much divorce, we would avoid so much pressure and stress and tension in our lives. Just step back, just step back, and nothing, insults don't matter. Somebody insults you, step back, step back. You will be real happy during your life review [see Brown's first talk, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory] in eternity that you did, and you will be happier here on earth.Brown also spoke of earthbound spirits, which are not demonic, but spirits (deceased souls) for one reason or another, that remain on earth. As to why they remain on earth, Brown provided a few examples: souls that are overly attached to a house, to someone, and even to an addiction in which they refuse to go on because they keep on wanting to experiencing that addiction.
Certain earthbound spirits remain because they are doing their Purgatory on earth. Brown cited an example from Saint Pio of Petrelcina (Padre Pio) and the Capuchins, the Franciscan Order that he belonged to. Here is how Brown unfolded this incident:
Padre Pio once encountered the "ghost" of a monk. One night he was praying in a choir, and he looked down and saw this young monk who was cleaning the altar...who made a lot of noise. Padre Pio went down, didn't recognize him. Padre Pio lived there for twenty or thirty months...Padre Pio said, 'Who are you, I haven't seen you hear before?' The young monk turned to him and said, 'I was hear before you came, I died here and the Lord is letting me do my Purgatory here. When I was a noviciate here, I failed to fulfill my duties, clearing the altar'...obeying his superior, and so he was doing his Purgatory.
Brown offered his thoughts for the audience's discernment, that these earthbound spirits, bound here for negative reasons, can be extremely negative and can cause us negativity and illness, similar to the demonic.
Earthbound spirits have been written about from bishops in England as far back as the 1700s, but as Brown pointed out, they are not discussed anymore these days.
|Michael H. Brown during the Marian Day Retreat at Canada Christian College|
Coming back to the subject of the demonic, Brown pointed out that we can identify the presence of an evil spirit when we experience anxiety and confusion, "The evil spirit, one of the first thing he does, very consistently, is cause confusion. So any time we see confusion, all of sudden something doesn't make sense, we need to sit back and ask the Holy Spirit for His help."
We want to be fully protected from the Evil One and his demons, which we have been warned about throughout the history of the Church from mystics to saints to the accounts of near-death experiences. How do we go about doing this? Brown answered this question in a most passionate way:
We want to be fully protected. We want to realize like these saints, and mystics tell us, and other people that have had experiences on the other side. They tell us we are surrounded by spiritual entities, we want to be protected every single day, so the very first thing in the morning...we need to pray the Rosary. We need to pray, if we can get to Mass, get to Mass. It is the most powerful prayer, it is so powerful against the enemy. It is so cleansing, so healing if we put our hearts into it and don't just sit there. With real prayers; we need to feel the prayers; we need to pray sincerely; we need to pray from the heart. We need to talk to Jesus in a very personal way...we need to have faith.Brown added his own warning that the Evil One can do many things, and part of his goal is to take life from us, to remove its spiritual abundance and bring us down to Hell.
This part of the talk can be viewed at my YouTube channel: Spiritual Warfare and Family Healing.
Reinforcing the need to have strong faith in our lives, Brown mentioned how important this is especially when experiencing an assault by the Evil One. To illustrate the point further, Brown provided his own testimonial of an incident with the demonic that was remedied through his faith and the power of the Rosary.
The incident with the demonic (infestation) occurred at a Catholic convent in Chicago; the location where Brown slept one night after having given a talk to a local Catholic church. At the time of Brown's talk, the entire convent was uninhabited due to the fact that the nuns that previously lived there were involved in occult practices. Brown was made aware of this fact and it not only led him to suspect a demonic presence, but it prompted him to inquire about it with one of the sisters who had helped him with his talk. That sister informed Brown that he was sleeping there that night, all by himself.
Brown settled for bed, he heard noises that led him to wonder if mice or rats had taken up residence at the second floor, but as time went on the noises took on a different sound: footsteps of "someone" ascending the staircase.
At first he thought about opening the window, jumping out and finding some other location to sleep at, but it dawned on him that he should practice what he just preached that night at a local Chicago church, "...Never fear the Devil, never fear the Devil because as soon as you fear the Devil, that is showing you have faith in his power, and when you have faith in his power, he is allowed to exercise more. Just like when we have faith in Jesus, Heaven responds."
From that inspiration, Brown took his Rosary and began to recite it faithfully and wholeheartedly; it proved to be exactly what he needed to do, as not only were there no more incidences of demonic infestation, but Brown had a wonderful sleep.
Elaborating a little further, Brown talked about how evil spirits can exist within entire neighbourhoods and cities, and he even provided a few examples of entire locations, that by his estimation, have "dark clouds" over them: Greenich Village, New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
Adding to this, Brown stated that evil spirits are also attracted to places where there is prostitution, tattoo parlours, strip clubs and so forth.
Brown then went on to highlight how blessed salt is an effective sacramental in cleansing and protecting cars, homes, neighbourhoods and entire cities, any area from the demonic. He encouraged the audience to purchase salt and obtain the prayer of blessing, that any priest can recite, which can be found at Spirit Daily: Exorcism Blessing for Sacramentals.
This is entirely consistent with what Fr. Gabriele Amorth states in his book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, at the chapter on Water, Oil, Salt, where he states:
Exorcising salt too is beneficial for expelling demons and for healing soul and body. The specific function of this salt is to protect places from an evil presence or influence. Where there is suspicion of evil infestation, I usually advise people to place exorcised salt across the threshold and in the four corners of the room or rooms that are affected.
...It is certain that sacramentals are most efficacious when they are used in faith; without faith, they are ineffective...(119)At the next segment of the talk, Brown highlighted how powerful and important fasting is against the Evil One and his demons. To further reinforce this point, Brown referred to the following message from Our Lady in Medjugorje on fasting, "The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting. Everyone except the sick, has to fast." (July 21, 1982) Brown asked the audience to think about how powerful that message is, in particular the part about "suspending the laws of nature." Elaborating a little further on fasting, Brown stated that:
When we fast, we are far more powerful against the Evil One. I don't come and do these retreats without several days of fasting because you are too exposed to the Evil One. When we fast, we are beyond his reach because we are indicating that we are not bound to just physical appetite, we are not just bound to the material things of this world, we are not bound to his domain because like Jesus said, 'He is the prince of the power of air, he is the prince of this world.' And while we are in this world, we are always going to have spiritual conflict.Fasting is one of Our Lady's "Little Stones," one of five stones or spiritual weapons that she has given to us in Medjugorje. The reference to fasting as a "stone," stems from the biblical story of David and Goliath. As God gave David stones to hurl at Goliath, Our Lady has done likewise for our spiritual battle against the Goliath of our times, the Evil One.
You can read more about the importance of fasting and Our Lady's message from Medjugorje from my post, Our Lady's Little Stone: Fasting on Bread and Water.
Brown went on to provide two other personal experiences: his brief time with a mafia hitman, researching for a book on the mafia in New Jersey, and the dream he had many years ago while living in New York City of seeing St. Michael and other angels, and how he was shown that the Evil One was after him, literally at his front door.
You can watch Brown explain these experiences and the second half of this blog post at my YouTube channel, Spiritual Warfare and Family Healing Part 2.
For those who want to read more about such experiences and further details about Brown's faith journey, insights, and life, you may want to consider purchasing, Prayer of The Warrior.
Brown's talk concluded with what proved to be a standard fixture throughout all four talks, a couple of jokes that helped lighten up the mood from all the serious details.