The Reality of Evil and the Triumphant Power of Jesus Christ w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff, who has served the Roman Catholic Church as an Exorcist for decades, discusses the reality of evil and the Triumphant power of Jesus Christ.

Gospel MT 8:28-34

(Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time)

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Prayers recommended in this podcast

ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE

St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish
King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. (The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.)

More recent scholarship suggests its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland! St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also known asThe Lorica (the cry of the deer), was popular enough to inspire a hymn based on this text as well.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

[Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. The conclusion follows below.]

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

When St. Paul referred to putting on the “Armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians (6:11) to fight sin and evil inclinations, he could have been thinking of prayers just like this one! We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives, but St. Patrick’s Breastplate can function as divine armor for protection against spiritual adversity.

The Prolouge of the Gospel of John

1In the beginning* was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.a

2He was in the beginning with God.

3* All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing came to be.b

What came to be4through him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race;c

5* the light shines in the darkness,d

and the darkness has not overcome it.

6* A man named John was sent from God.e7He came for testimony,* to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.f8He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.g9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.h

10He was in the world,

and the world came to be through him,

but the world did not know him.

11He came to what was his own,

but his own people* did not accept him.

12i But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,13* j who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

14And the Word became flesh*

and made his dwelling among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory as of the Father’s only Son,

full of grace and truth.k

15* John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said,l ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”16From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,*17because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.m18No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God,* who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.n
Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed Mother Teresa. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Bl. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book by visiting here   Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of Love

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