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Dear Father Angelo,
Thank you for your wonderful answers and comments to all questions.
I would like to ask you a question again: what did Jesus mean when he cast out demons?
What are the demons of our time in particular? (I understood the deadly sins … or not?)
Is our prayer enough to help one of our relatives or is an active collaboration of the person afflicted by it absolutely necessary?
To what extent can we help a person who declares himself a non-believer to overcome these slaveries? Perhaps in the end the Good Lord will grant us what we ask for even if only so as not to be bothered anymore….? maybe…
I do not ask for physical healing (sooner or later we all lose health), but I ask for the gift of Faith for me and in particular for my children and my whole family … how can I know if I am worthy of it and the Lord do you listen to me?
Thank you Father Angelo, I ask you to pray for us.

Response from the priest

Dear Lorenza,
1. When Jesus cast out demons he made people understand many things.
First of all his divine authority for which the demons were forced to obey and could not offer any resistance.
Secondly, he wanted to admonish us about this personal entity that then turns around to bring us to ruin.
Thirdly, the devil cannot do us anything wrong if we do not open the door to him, so much so that in front of a soul in grace he is afraid and flees.
2. When you ask me “what could be the demons of our time in particular?” it seems that you do not understand the devil as a personal entity, but only as a set of evils that threaten man, and in particular the man of our time.
The demons are always the same.
Rather it would be more correct to ask ourselves what are the evils that allow the devil to strike our life.
In fact, St. Thomas says that the devil, before tempting man, seeks his weak point.
Then the weak points are those listed in the seven deadly sins, the first of which is pride by virtue of which one is unwilling to listen humbly to the Lord’s teaching and prefers to establish for oneself what is good and what is bad.
We forget that the Lord has come to inaugurate a holy way and that it is necessary to travel this way to reach holiness, to paradise.
3. You then ask me if prayer is enough to help one of our family members or if an active collaboration on the part of the person who is afflicted is also absolutely necessary.
Prayer is necessary, yes, but according to the Lord’s teaching alone it is not enough.
In fact, the Lord said: “This kind of demons cannot be cast out in any way, except by prayer and fasting” (Mk 9:29).
But the Latin text of the Vulgate, which is the official one of the Church, says: “except with prayer”.
It is true that the translation of the CEI dropped “and fasting” because
the Vatican and Sinaitic codes do not report it.
However, fasting and penance are necessary because if prayer serves to unite the soul to God, fasting and penance instead serve to subject the flesh to the spirit and make man more willing to receive divine favors.

4. If it is a question of specific activities of the devil such as temptation, obsession and harassment, the collaboration of the person who is afflicted by it is also required, because if one is in sin or on an upcoming occasion it is absolutely necessary to withdraw from it.
In this case it is necessary to persevere in prayer and penance to the point of bothering the Lord, according to the expression you yourself used, borrowing it from the Gospel parable of the importunate widow.
5. If, on the other hand, it is a matter of possession, although the good will of the subject is always an excellent thing, nevertheless to get out of it, it is necessary to receive this benefit from the Lord through the ministry of the Church.
6. You do well to ask for a living faith for yourself and for your children, which is what works through charity. In other words, it is that of one who lives in God’s grace.
Because if we are obedient to the Lord and live in grace we need not fear any raid from our adversary.
Grace is a shield that not only protects us, but puts hell to flight.
St. James in his letter says: “Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil, and he will flee away from you “(Jas 4,7).
I am happy to gladly pray for you, as you ask me.
In the meantime, I wish you all the best and bless you.
Father Angelo

Translated by Germana Casaccia