Fr. Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International recently wrote a thought-provoking piece on exorcisms. The short article, published in Spirit and Life, is well worth your time.
Demonic possession is very real, but it’s also very rare. According to experienced exorcists, most cases of alleged possession turn out to be mental disturbances. When a real case of possession is identified, it calls for specialized ministry by a priest who knows what he’s doing. As Fr. Euteneuer points out, exorcism is serious business and shouldn’t be attempted by just anybody, otherwise disastrous results can ensue.
He relates a number of anecdotes of lay people trying to resolve exorcisms with the do-it-yourself mentality, but they all resulted in great tragedies.
I personally believe that if you get too close to a possessed person without being properly prepared and disposed, you could end up becoming possessed yourself. Remember that a demon is a much more powerful creature than us humans. If you get cocky, you’ll get knocked flat on your butt.
But fear not, because the Church has been given authority to cast out demons. We need not be afraid of them, just be vigilant. They’re no match for Christ. And generally speaking, if you remain in a state of grace, it is extremely unlikely that you would ever be possessed.