We are not alone on this journey because Christ has given us the Church. The Church exists for the good of the human person. It is the vehicle that allows us to stay connected with God and to be protected from the evil one as we make our journey to the tree of life.
One of my favorite definitions of the Church is that it is the guardian to the tree of life. Ever since Adam and Eve were banished from paradise, the human person has been on a journey to arrive at the tree of life and be united with God for all eternity in heaven. In the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we read, “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (3:23–24). In the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, we are told, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (22:14). What these passages teach us is that all of us are on a journey, with the ultimate destination being the tree of life and union with God.
With the Church
We are not alone on this journey because Christ has given us the Church. The Church exists for the good of the human person. It is the vehicle that allows us to stay connected with God and to be protected from the evil one as we make our journey to the tree of life. The Church is the Bride of Christ that tells us that our true dignity is found with God, and apart from God the human person becomes distorted.
The devil does everything in his power to destroy the Church, because he knows that if the Church is eliminated then we will get lost and stray from the path that God has laid out for us. Through his ordinary and extraordinary activity, the devil wants to trip us up, to lose our way, believing that if we get spiritually lost we will not arrive at the tree of life and like him, and the other fallen angels, we will be damned for all eternity.
A special weapon used by the Church in its battle against Satan and his angels is the ministry of exorcism. As an exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, I see this ministry firsthand. But I also see that our culture is becoming more and more preoccupied with the occult, and there is a greater need for us to understand the purpose and importance of exorcism. For this reason, I wrote Exorcism: The Battle Against Satan and His Demons.
The purpose in writing this book is to present the Catholic Church’s perspective on the reality and influence of the devil and his angels and what should be the Christian response. It is my prayer that all those who read this book will deepen their own commitment to the Lord, especially those who may have distanced themselves from their Christian roots. Its purpose is not to focus on what the devil is trying to do to us, but rather to focus on the love that God has for each and every person created in his image and likeness. People are always fascinated by the devil. What is needed is a greater fascination with God!
In this ministry, I submit myself to God so he may use me to help people, who are up against the forces of evil, to experience the immense and unconditional love that God has for each and every person. Oftentimes people who are plagued by evil feel a certain unworthiness. Exorcism allows people to know the truth that anyone who wants to be found can never be lost to God.
Author: Fr. Vincent Lampert