At least once every two months, I get requests from people to come bless their homes; not because it's a new home (that happens, too), but because of noises, shadows and movements they can't explain and which disturb them, some more than others.
These past two weeks, I've had two requests for this, a little more than usual.
The first one, around two weeks ago, was at an older house in a very crowded neighborhood. The owners have moved out to a new home and are planning to rent the old one out. But, while they lived there some years ago, some residents had weird feelings of a presence, heard things and saw shadows.
I went and blessed the home. Since no one lives there at the moment, while a renter is being found, I have no idea what, if anything, is going on now.
Today, however, was an interesting experience.
This home is in a very secluded area, with a huge banyan tree (trongkon nunu) about 200 yards from the house. The perimeter of the property is surrounded by exposed limestone rocks. Locals consider both the banyan tree and exposed coral rock areas of spirit habitation.
Two houses are on the property. The owner is trying to rent out the first one, closest to the road. Behind that house is one already rented out for some time. It's in this second house that the residents are reporting some experiences.
The owner met me at a rendezvous point so I could follow him to the two houses, located in a rural area hard to find. We parked, got out and went to the first house, which is presently unoccupied. As the owner was turning the key to open the door, he said his arms felt tingly and I observed he had goose bumps and the hair of his forearm was standing up.
We entered the house, which was vacant of furnishing and there was a certain feeling to the place. I didn't hear, smell or see anything, but I began to feel mildly uneasy. Then again, it could simply be the power of suggestion.
After blessing that house, we went over to the second house. This house was visibly occupied, with many possessions scattered outside. A man and a little boy, about 6 or 7 years old, appeared from behind the garage. The man told me it was his wife who experienced things the most, and that she had gone to the store momentarily.
But he told me that they had never seen anything, but had heard the noise of children playing, and it wasn't their three children or anyone else. "They say they feel things, Father," he said, "but I try to just block it out of my mind." "Usual for a man," I said to myself.
The little boy motioned to his dad to bend down and listen to what he had to say, which he whispered to his dad, cupping his dad's ear.
The dad bent up straight and told the boy, "Tell Father what you said."
The boy said that he saw dark circles on his mother's foot. "Did the circles hurt your mom?" I asked. He said, "No."
Just then, the mother drove into the property. She parked by the garage, only the back half of the vehicle visible to me from my angle.
She didn't exit the car immediately, which had me concerned. Some people get very apprehensive when a priest comes to the home, even if they are the ones who called him over. The husband called to her, "Why are you crying?" "Oh, boy," I said to myself, fearing even more now.
The woman got out of the car and answered, "Because I'm happy."
As soon as I heard that, my fears were relieved and I blurted out, "Because your house is getting blessed!"
She approached me, wiping away her tears, "Yes."
"Come over here," I said to her reassuringly. "Tell me all about it," I said with no taint of anxiety or fear about the whole situation.
She confirmed what the husband said. She saw nothing. But she had strong sensations at times that there was someone in the house. Not just the noise of children playing; but an adult presence. She didn't know enough to say if it was a malignant presence or just dark and mysterious. She did know she was uneasy about it.
She also confirmed that she did have dark circles on her feet awhile back.
I said, "OK, let's begin."
I explained that, if there were demons having a little fun scaring the family, they hate prayers said in the Latin language. This, dear readers, I caution you, is not official Catholic teaching. You are free to put that idea aside. But it is what we have learned from reputable, official exorcists (Fr Maginot in Indiana; Fr Amorth in Rome).
|Fr Gabriel Amorth|
But Latin has become, in time, a sacred language. Precisely because it is not used by anyone anymore, except for a small group of academics, besides the Church, it has acquired a sacred function. Perhaps this is why Satanists also use Latin in their black masses. Satan mimics what is real, not what is false.
So while the demons are bound to take orders in the name of God no matter what language, the experience of these exorcists is that Latin is often the most effective language to use, though not the only one. Whatever may increase my chances of battling the demons, I will use!
After saying the prayers, blessing a house, adding the prayer to St Michael, I begin sprinkling the front door of the house, front side and back. I recite the Pater Noster, Ave Maria and Gloria Patri while sprinkling all the rooms, all the doors and all the windows. When possible, I ask the father of the house to follow me with a lit candle. I also sprinkle the outside of the house, making sure to sprinkle all the doors and windows, and the four corners of the property.
For such a big lot, with two houses on it, I used up my entire bottle of holy water.
The holy water I use is also water that is blessed in Latin, using the old formula wherein salt that is exorcised and blessed is added to the water, which is also exorcised and blessed.
I made sure to bless the banyan tree and the coral rocks. As far as I know, God created both of them and belong to Him.
Finally, I blessed the father, mother and two children. A third son was at grandma's so I told the one boy present, "You're standing in for your brother," and he got a double dose of holy water.
I told the family to pray every day and every night as a family; to keep peace and avoid all bitterness and impurity. I asked them to go to confession frequently and Mass when obligated by God's commandment. To pray before their family altar (which they have). Negativity in our hearts, I told them, can be an open door to the demons. Their "noses" take them to what smells like them.
I reminded them that it is possible that what they are experiencing could be signs from souls in Purgatory who need our prayers. "There are no 'lost souls,'" I told them. "God knows where every single soul is. He judged them and sentenced them." But, I said, God can allow a soul in Purgatory to give people signs that they are in need of Masses and prayer. "The Mass," I told them, "is the greatest prayer, because it was the one said by Jesus, not just with words, but also with His own blood." Padre Pio, I told them, saw many souls from Purgatory, either asking for his prayers or thanking him for his prayers.
Finally, I said demons can sometimes masquerade as human souls. Once again, Padre Pio sometimes saw visions of saints and holy people, only to command them to praise Jesus, at which they vanished, leaving behind the stench of sulphur. In reality, those were demons playing tricks on Padre Pio.
Above all, I told them to fear God, and no one else, not even spirits. "Even the demons tremble in fear before God," I told them.
The mother, especially, seemed so relieved. She asked me, "Is there anything I can give you?" I said, "No." "Anything? Water?" I said, "No, thanks."
"But," I said, "I did notice a large, old, black and white photo in a frame of two older people. Who are they?"
"My grandma and grandpa," she said.
"What family?" I asked. She gave me the names.
I said, "Maybe I could borrow the photo, scan it and return it. I do family histories."
She said I could.
I don't know what to make of these experiences and I don't claim to be able to know. I am no mystic; I have no unusual powers. It could be purely subjective experiences; the wind; natural sounds from sources residents are not aware of. Or, it could be pesky demons trying to scare us; or poor souls in need of our prayers.
What I do know is that these blessings bring comfort.
I always tell them, "If these things bothering you continue, call me again. Sometimes more than one blessing is needed."
So far, in 24 years, no one has called me back. So far. We shall see.