Exorcising infused intelligence with the frustration of suppressed wisdom. Torture and interrogation revisited.

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This painting of Saint Michael stomping on Satan hangs in a rather elegant interrogation room in (let’s call it) the security building of Vatican City State. On the one hand, this room is rather unlike those found with ISIS. On the other hand, perhaps the painting is a warning about what is in store for those who do not cooperate. Hey! I’ll cooperate! Really!

The irony is excruciating: extreme intelligence, infused, angelic, coupled with an utter lack of wisdom. This is Satan’s punishment forever.

In an exorcism, the idea is to make Satan admit his utter lack of wisdom in front of the exorcist, who is incomparably Satan’s intellectual inferior. Such an admission is all too much for Satan, at which point he simply leaves, which, of course, is the admission!

It’s rather simple how this works. Satan stomps on someone loved by God not because Satan cares about bothering us, but because Satan hates God; this is Satan’s way to demonstrate his hatred of God to God. Then, hopefully, the person ends up turning to God all the more, which is rather frustrating to Satan: such a person became closer to God because of the occasion provided for this by Satan.

Satan sees this countless times, but continues to do his work of hatred all the same even though the torment of the frustration increases all the more. This is a hatred and darkness we had better not be with for all eternity. Much better to go to heaven. There is no middle way. No compromise. In the end, there is only heaven or hell. Choose life!

By the way, the artwork above is a bit modern, a bit non-scriptural. The flaming fiery sword is held by the cherubim at the end of the Garden of Eden account, not by any archangel like Michael, though, of course, all those who are with God wield this sword. The sword is meant for Adam and the children of Adam, to turn their arrogant grasping for the fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones unto a humble reception of the fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones. To use this “turn-whatever-comes-at-it-into-its-contrary-sword” on Satan is terribly sarcastic, as Satan can only become more frustrated. That, mind you, is good art. The fiery bit is God’s love, and that love is provided to Satan, but it is precisely this love which makes him suffer, as he rejects such love. His frustration is ineffable. Such a sword of ardent love, of truth, cannot be put in any sheath, but is always drawn, always at work with good effect in those who accept it’s purging effects in all humility.

Why bother putting this up? Because today it seems that we think that God won’t do whatever it takes to get us into His love, which includes providing us with His love, which brings with it the purging effects of its ardent flame, which brings with it a torture as intense as being crucified to this world so as to live for Jesus, so that we might carry about His death within us that His resurrection might be manifested. Some think that this is mean and cruel. But it is not. This torture, if you will, does bring with it an interrogation more ferocious than anything ever provided by the ISIS crowd, as ferocious as Jesus asking: “Do you love me, Peter, more than these?”

Yes, Jesus does interrogate, and it seems like the very fires of hell are cast at us inasmuch as we resist such fiery love. Peter was grieved to death, death of himself so as to live for Jesus. Is that not, then, love which is provided by Jesus to Peter? Yes. It is. With all that torture, with all that interrogation, with all that… that… that… fiery love! Not so bad after all! Unlike with Satan, we can receive the fiery love of God with all its truth within us.

3 Comments

Filed under Amoris laetitia, Confession, Exorcism, Genesis 2-4 to 3-24, Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

3 responses to “Exorcising infused intelligence with the frustration of suppressed wisdom. Torture and interrogation revisited.

  1. Monica Harris

    Thank you for helping to bring some Meaning to it all!

  2. Pam

    I sure do agree with this. There is no middle way, no straddling any illusory fence, just no way to slip and slide around and try to get there, while thinking if I turn my head from the powers of darkness they may leave me alone. I am constantly reminded I have to choose and keep choosing! Choose Light and Life, even if sometimes I think it’s killing me in the process.

    Flannery O’Connor wrote: “She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.”

  3. A good read! Thank you for this!

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