Be an Amazing Catechist
All the Rage: Fashionable Occult Practices and Furious Consequences
But even if the psychic is faking it, isn't damage still done to their souls?
The way I describe it is it's like lint on your clothes. You go to the psychic, and even if the guy is a fraud he may be under the influence of demons who give him tidbits of information so that you'll believe him. And once you leave there, you never leave alone. Something always comes with you, like lint on your clothing. And until you make an effort to take it off, they'll keep at you.
Is it enough to confess the sin of your occult involvement, repent sincerely, and stay away from it in future, or is more needed?
The sins are forgiven if you confess, but what many priests don't realize is that now you have to evict these things from being around you or working within your mind. First you confess the sin and the grace of absolution fills you again. But with that grace now you have to fight these things off, change your lifestyle. You have to stop thinking with a certain mentality.
Would the person need prayers of deliverance?
If the priest offers it, of course they're going to take it. But depending on their expectations it may not be appropriate. He should ask them, "But did you go to confession, are you trying to fight this off?"
Four times I did some kind of deliverance prayer and prayed over (and with) a person for several days, over the course of a week or two, and they started to say, "I don't feel it any more." But I always give a warning. "Keep yourself holy. Remember what the Lord said. If the demon is cast out but it can't find someone else to enter, he comes back with seven more" (Mt. 12:43-45).
What are some signs to look for, if you've been exposed to these things?
First, how does this suddenly change your relationships? Are you suddenly fighting with your spouse? Are you angry all the time, getting in a lot of arguments? One of the things the devil will have for all eternity is his own rage, and he likes to spill it out on to people who don't suspect it. Ask, "Why is this happening?"
Second, you'll experience disruptions in your sleep. You'll awake in the middle of the night, frightened, seeing things in the bedroom shadows. Sometimes you feel like someone is there in the room with you, but invisible.
That person definitely has to take the steps: First, to go to confession; then start receiving communion after confession. If it still continues and you can't find a way to deal with it, you go to the priest and tell him about it. Most priests would pray over the person, maybe not specifically for freedom from demonic oppression, but for peace of mind, etc.
I use the analogy of lint on your clothing, because it starts when you go to a psychic with your friends, and then things start changing. Weird things are happening and you don't know why, and you think, "But it couldn't be me going to the psychic!"
I've heard of demonic influences clinging to objects, but if someone you love is involved with the occult, is it dangerous to touch them and hug them?
Don't get frightened. The devil wants us to be afraid. When you hug your loved one, in your conscious mind ask the Holy Spirit to be between you like a blanket. Then it's the Holy Spirit wrapping around her and you're insulated. A hug might be one of the things that could actually be helpful to her. Remember, she's not the psychic, she's the victim of the psychic.
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children," and "Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation" available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of www.AmazingCatechists.com.