Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Friday, July 08, 2005


One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Exorcist." I don't know why, but I like it. I have it on VHS, DVD, and I've read the book. I haven't watched in quite a while, however. The problem is, I began to really enjoy it. The occult and exorcisms began to fascinate and in the words of one priest friend, they began to titillate. Now I am certainly nowhere near the same strain as Oral and Richard Roberts, identifying demonic activity left and right and expelling with a firm hand on someone's forehead, but I do believe in evil, and I do believe in evil forces. Yes, the Episcopal Church does have a rite of exorcism, but I don't know what it is. Chances are, I'll never know. The bishop alone determines who can perform an exorcism and what liturgy to use. Why not put it in the Book of Common Prayer? The Episcopal Church is not secretive about our belief in evil, but the Church knows that if we invite unprepared people to dabble in and fight against manifest evil, than we are inviting more harm than good. Evil is not something to play with. The Church Fathers have all been clear that one must be spiritual fit to engage evil head on. This is the whole issue with things like ouiji boards, fortune tellers, seances, and other things that "titillate" our fascination with evil, the demonic, and the occult; it may start out as an innocent fascination, but it could quickly grow into something more, and that is the danger.
A case in point is a former president of a Lutheran congregation.



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