By: Tony Capobianco
There is no singular answer as to why God allows demonic possession in certain cases. However, there does seem to be one reason that is the most prevalent. Demonic possession, most commonly seems to be a consequence of free will. Every choice that a human being makes has both physical and spiritual reverberations. Spiritual Warfare is governed by laws and as such the demons are legalists. When people break The Lord’s laws and thereby reject The Lord, it is then that they, through their own free will, open the doors to potential demonic influence. The Catholic Church has always taught that all of mankind (Excluding Adam, Eve, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ) are born with original sin and are thus children of wrath and are in bondage to The Devil. Thanks be to God that in His mercy and love, He has given us a remedy to our sorrowful condition. Through the Sacrament of Baptism The Lord cleanses the Christian of Original Sin and all personal sin. When people are baptized, The Most Blessed Trinity comes to dwell within them. At the moment of baptism the Christian becomes an adopted child of God and a living member of The Mystical Body of Christ within The Holy Catholic Church. Consequently when mortal sin is committed, grace is lost in the soul and once more this unfortunate soul becomes a slave to sin and the Devil. When a baptized person commits a mortal sin, the life of The Most Blessed Trinity departs from that person and they become spiritually dead until they repent and go to The Sacrament of Confession.
This is why exorcists ask the people who come to them particular questions. The exorcist will ask questions regarding involvemnet with drugs, porn, the occult, bad or broken relationships, sexual activity outside of marriage, what their marrital state is, and whether or not they’ve ever been physically or emotionally abused. These questions are meant to identify sould wounds. Demons target the weak, the isolated, and the damaged. Much like a lion in the serengeti, the Devil continuously attempts to identify the vulnerable as he roams around searching for prey to devour. One particularly dangerous occult practice is the use of a ouija board which is a form of necromancy and is forbidden by God. Playing with a ouija board can open a dangerous door to the demonic world while potentially marking the person as prey. Playing with ouija boards, tarot cards, witchcraft and committing other mortal sins, is akin to sending out a demonic invitation.
Sometimes The Lord allows people to suffer the consequences of their evil choices so that they might experience a small taste of Hell. This negative experience can and has awakened many people from their spiritual death and motivated them to repent and enter The One True Faith. Some people that were possessed have become very holy people. Only God can bring good out of evil. In cases such as what has been written above, it is clear that possession may be allowed as 1.) Justice for sins committed by the possessed victim and or 2.) as a mercy to wake people up and to show them that they are on the road to Hell. As the modern world returns to pagan practices and descends into darkness, perhaps the better question would be: why doesn't God permit possession to take place far more often? The answer to this is of course, because God is merciful. Thanks be to God that diabolical possession isn't as common as the flu.
Another possible reason that The Lord allows possession in certain cases could be that the person is a victim soul. Sometimes Heaven offers a person a choice to be afflicted by the demonic as a reparation for the sins of the world so that through their suffering they may obtain mercy for sinners. Another reason is that sometimes The Lord allows the demonic to afflict even the saints as a way to test them by fire and to increase their holiness and future glory in Heaven.
It is of crucial importance to remember that demonic possession is extremely rare and that the Devil can’t do anything unless The Lord allows him too. He is like a vicious lion on a chain. God is in control. The Devil is not God’s equal, he is but a vile creature who’s power is limited. God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.
Further resources to check out are articles and books which tell of Saints such as St. Padre Pio and St. John Vianney who both battled the Devil. Fr. Amorth has several great books on the topic. Finally, I strongly urge listening to the numerous talks given by Fr. Ripperger on spiritual warfare and the theology of demons. Many of Fr. Ripperger's conferences can be found on the Sensus Fidelium YouTube Channel. Please remember to offer a decade of the rosary for each download of Fr. Ripperger’s talks and videos.