The Gospel for today's Traditional Latin Mass was taken from Luke chapter 11, whereby Jesus drives out a demon and is accused by some in the crowd as having gotten His power to exorcise from Beelzebub. Jesus explains the foolishness of such thinking, and then concludes with a rather ominous scenario. A demon is driven out, and goes in search of that which he thirsts for and when he cannot find it, he goes back to where he was driven from and brings with him his legions. Finding the place from where he was driven devoid of anything else, he and his legions move in, leaving the place in worse shape than when he originally found it.
Some years ago, I read the Malachi Martin book Hostage to the Devil and aside from the fascinating picture he provided of exorcisms, there were also many practical lessons on why possession takes place at all. Hell is such a deplorable and horrifying place that its inhabitants look for any way they can to get out. One way is by taking bodily possession of a person. This is often why the exorcist will hear such heart-wrenching moaning and wailing as he grows close to driving the demon out. The demon realizes it's going back to Hell where it does not want to be, and it makes every effort it can to stay. The exorcist, of course, does not act on his own authority in anything but always in the name of Jesus Christ, Who has power over everything, including the Father of Lies and Deceit.
If God does not possess our hearts, they are devoid of anything to prevent a demon from taking over. The Evil One, too, thirsts for souls. He thirsts for souls because he wishes to destroy them. Our Savior thirsts for souls so that He can redeem them and save them from the power of evil.
Today, I read a sickening and disgusting letter in the Philadelphia Inquirer from someone who does not believe in God. This person provided a host of explanations an atheist could give their children when they begin to question the existence of God. Of those he quoted, one by Immanuel Kant really struck me.
"He who mas made great moral progress ceases to pray."
This is the antithesis of Luke's Gospel. How horrible that someone would raise their children to believe such drivel. I believe this is exactly the sort of thing Our Lord referred to when He talked of the house swept clean, from which the father of lies was once driven. Why do such men not believe? Is it because they cannot fathom a Being greater than themselves? They share the same attitude as the fallen angel who was cast from Heaven. Pray for such people that their hearts may be able to grasp that which their minds cannot. And let us not think for an instant that we are capable of anything without God's help.