Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist


Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
By: Msgr. Charles Pope From his website–>Archdiocese of Washington DC

St Marys Trid Mass smaller

It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sunday’s but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (towards the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. The priest is directed to bow low, his forearms on the altar table the host between his fingers.

As directed I said the venerable words of Consecration in a low but distinct voice, Hoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me a disturbance of some sort, a shaking or rustling in the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. What was that? It did not really sound human, more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear, along with a plaintive moan that did not seem human. I elevated the host and wondered, “What was that?” Then silence. I could not turn to look easily for that is awkward for the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass. But still I thought, What was that?

But it was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again, bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice: Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this, you do it in my memory).

Then, I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out: “Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open, then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic, and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

Repentance – But just as James used those words to rebuke the weak faith of his flock I too had to repent. Why was a demon-troubled man more aware of the true presence and astonished by it than me? He was moved in the negative sense to run. Why was I not more moved in a positive and comparable way? What of the other believers in the pews? I don’t doubt that any of us believed intellectually in the true presence. But there is something very different and far more wonderful in being moved to the depth of your soul! It is so easy for us to be sleepy in the presence of the Divine, forgetful of the miraculous and awesome Presence available to us.

But let the record show that one day, almost 15 years ago, it was made quite plain to me that I held in my hands the Lord of Glory, the King of heaven and earth, the just Judge, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. Is the Lord truly present in the Eucharist? You’d better believe it, even demons believe that!

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2 Responses

  1. Let’s see that reaction at a protestant service!

    I converted this last Easter to the Catholic Church. In addition to the intellectual path that I took to the Catholic Church (I’m a language-junkie, and I can read Ancient Greek and Latin — Hence I can read the NT and Church Fathers in their original languages.) there was one big issue that made me convert to the Catholic Church:

    I ask myself a hypothetical question.

    If, God Forbid, you had a problem with a demon in your house, or worse, with one of your family members — I’m talking about loud bumps all night long keeping you awake, disembodied voices, plates flying off the shelves like frisbees towards your head, or having to realize that one of your closest family members is not so much insane, but has crossed the line into Pure Evil…

    Which Church are you going to call upon for help?

    (The question almost answers itself…)

    Even Hollywood, it being up to its eyeballs in sin, knows that there is only one Church that you’re going to call upon to deal with the demonic. “The Exorcist” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” The Rite” etc. etc. All of those films feature only one Church in them, and no others.

    One isn’t going to call upon a Calvinist minister, nor a Lutheran pastor, nor even, God help us, a Female Episcopalian Archbishop when one is dealing with the demonic. Those denomination aren’t the Church founded by Jesus.

    I’ll trust the Church founded by Jesus Christ and his successors Sts. Peter, Paul, and the rest over John Calvin, Martin Luther, or even… Henry VIII…

    When one is dealing with the demonic, then one either calls upon the Church founded by Jesus Christ for help immediately, or one will call upon the Church of Jesus Christ for help eventually. But sooner or later, one will call upon it for help.

    For me, if the Church was real enough for Hollywood, and more importantly, if it was real enough for the demonic, then it was sure real enough for me.

  2. Be careful. (Sending this comment in love) :)……..

    Rev 16:14: “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles”

    2 Thess 2:9: “the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders”

    False miracles will mislead many (Matthew 7:21-23, 24:24, Mark 13:22, 2 Thess 2:8-12, Rev 13:13,14, 16:14,19:20)

    Matthew 24:24: “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible’ ”

    Rev 13:14: “this beast “performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men,” and with these signs, “he deceived the inhabitants of the earth”

    God says…..

    Matthew 24:23: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it” (Inner room is also known as an inner chamber/container of some kind)

    Hebrews 10:10-14: “….By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified”

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