This book takes the great wisdom of one of the leading exorcists in the Church, Fr. Chad Ripperger, and packages it into an approachable and intriguing book that conveys, to today’s Catholics, critical insights into the activity of the diabolical and spiritual warfare tactics with which we must be familiar. Fr. Ripperger pulls his teachings from the sacred traditions of our Faith, the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the wisdom of exorcists under whom he was trained, and his own extensive experience in the realm of spiritual warfare, deliverance, and exorcisms.
The purpose of this book is to help enlighten Catholics to the spiritual war in which we all find ourselves. Not only is this battle real, but the Church knows it well, and has provided both wisdom and weapons, teachings and sacramentals, to enable Catholics to fight in this battle into which they have all been drafted, and be victorious.
"The devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking to devour," as St. Peter says. Exorcists like Fr. Ripperger face this devil, and the many demons who fell with him, as a central part of their spiritual ministry. Let him teach you what he knows, and impart to you those things that will aid you most in your spiritual life. Allow yourself to be instructed by a spiritual master that you may learn the manner in which the devil attacks you, the weapons you have at your disposal, and the means to find healing for the wounds you have suffered in your life.
Know your enemy. Know his tactics. Know his motives. Know his nature. Know his origin. Know his goal. Know his language. Know his network. Know his personality. Know his strengths. Know his weaknesses. Once this knowledge is obtained, you can more effectively predict your enemy’s behavior, recognize his traps, use the proper preventative measures, and drive him away when he persists.
After watching several video interviews with Charles D. Fraune, the author of Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know, I decided to pick up the Audible version and give it a try.
I ended up devouring the book beginning to end over the next couple of days. Not something I normally do, as I tend to jump around from book to book reading my way through several at once. But not this time. Fruane’s book had my full attention from the get go.
Fraune is not an exorcist himself and makes no claims as to being one. As such, I’d describe Slaying Shadows as a survey of contemporary exorcism as understood and practiced by The Catholic Church. The author draws on the experiences of several real life exorcists as well as the teachings and history of the church. The book is a fairly quick listen at about 5 hours and a bit. However, it manages to cover a fair amount of ground in that time.
The book consists of 11 Chapters that walk the reader/listener through the various aspects of, as well as, the history of exorcism, each chapter building on the last like a conveyor belt moving the reader towards a fuller understanding of the subject as they move through the book.
What drew me to purchasing this book is that, I am a survivor of some fairly severe childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my family. I have had two priests tell me that they believe I am suffering from Demonic Oppression most likely as a result of my past. As such I was most interested in the sections which explored the generational aspects of Demonic influence and oppression, as well as the information on how trauma and abuse can play a role in making one vulnerable to such attacks.
The chapters which stood out most to me included.
1 - The Motivation and Tactics of Demons 3 - The Stages of Diabolical Influence 8 - Sin and the Influence of Satan 9 - Resisting Diabolical Influence 11 - Consorting with Evil
My biggest critique is that I wished the book covered in more detail the topics related to abuse and the generational aspects of Demonic interference. However, as I stated at the start of my review, this book is more of a survey and as such the depth I hoped for is probably way beyond the scope of this book. Maybe Fraune’s next book will dig into these aspects more fully.
I don’t think you need to be a Catholic to get something out of this book. If you believe in Evil as a real, intelligent and malevolent force moving through the world, than this book is definitely worth spending some time with.
Speaking as a survivor of what can only be described as evil myself, this book helped me connect a lot of dots for the first time. It left me feeling like I had a new level of understanding regarding how what happened to me could have happened.
4 out of 5.
Highly recommended for anyone interested and/or new to the subject.
I was disappointed. Based on all the high ratings I feel like I missed something...
The criticisms... 1. To me the entire book read like a monotone sermon.
2. He repeats himself throughout the book. He says the same thing in different ways. He will say something and say it again later. You get the point...
3. IMHO the book pushes itself beyond the point of reason, stretching and sometimes even twisting what someone says. For example, in one excerpt he implies Bob Dylan made a pact with Satan to gain his fame. He writes...Bob Dylan suspiciously stated in an interview that he was still performing late in life because he is keeping up with his end of the bargain he made 'with the Chief Commander...on this earth and in the world we can't see'.(emphasis added). I did Google search this phrase as requested in the footnotes. While I did find references to Bob talking about the Chief Commander in the world we can't see I found no evidence that he was referring to Satan. In fact Bob Dylan has even met Pope John Paul II. It is also said that the song "Shelter From the Storm" is a song about the Virgin Mary (read the words to the song and decide for yourself). I would contend after my own research that Bob Dylan could just as easily be referring to God as the Chief Commander and I find no proof by the author that this is not also a plausible interpretation. There are others such as John Lennon and Harry Potter where he seems to "accuse" without real evidence.
4. The books focus seemed to be less about exorcism and more about how to protect yourself against the temptations and evils of the demons. While that is not a bad thing (which is why i did not rate this book lower) it was not what I expected. The only thing that is different about this book from hundreds of other books that talk of avoiding the temptations of evil is its title.
The book was not all bad though. I did learn some things and it certainly gave me something to think about. It was also a good reminder that evil is real and is all around us 24x7, and that it is not just some obscure concept. I can't say I would recommend the book but since the majority of ratings are good maybe I am an outlier and you will find it of more value than I did.
Very informative regarding the spiritual warfare we all regularly face. The degrees of demonic influence are discussed, as well as emphasizing the importance of determining whether a person's condition is psychological or spiritual. The importance of various sacramental is discussed as well as lesser known devotions such as the auxilium christianorum. The importance of having a devotion to our Blessed Mother is stressed. The book includes a prayer to concentrate all of our possessions to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
I just finished reading this book and have to say that it is definitely one of my favorites and needed in this time. If you want to learn more about spiritual warfare and how to protect yourself and your family, I highly recommend this book. I will be reading it over and over again. :)
Really enjoyed this book and found the information very interesting and enlightening, however, a number of editorial mistakes caused me to rate it lower than I might have otherwise. Each chapter read as though it had been written without reference to the chapters before it, and as a result there were numerous times that exact phrases were repeated and it was obvious that they were not merely repeated for emphasis.
Overall I would strongly recommend this book to fellow Catholics who wish to improve their “spiritual armour” and need a little extra motivational push in doing so. I doubt one would be likely to avoid frequent confession or praying the rosary daily after reading this book.
This is pretty good in the “watch out for the temptations of the world” sort of way. The author mentions several times, in a variety of different ways, things that lead to temptation, sin and possibly the need for exorcism. However, there are three glaring issues I have with the text:
1. The simultaneous diminishing of other Christian sects/ religious faith groups exorcism/deliverance ministries, and ownership of successful deliverance ministries (“sometimes it works and they got it from us”) Jesus and the Twelve were not Roman Catholic and casted out demons. The turf war was quite out of place and unnecessary here.
2. The hard sell of the demonic presence in the modern age was too much. If the reader has this book, they are already bought into the truth of demonic activity, possession and the like in our modern time. There was no need to twist quotes and imply that Bob Dylan and Beyoncé sold their souls to devil for fame. Or that the Harry Potter books are literal spells to conjure spirits. Or that Yoga poses are literally worshiping pagan deities. I know the devil is real, demonic possession is real. I bought the book, I believe. The need to use these loose examples was overkill.
3. The reliance on Fr. Amorth’s texts. Much of the expert references came from Fr. Amorth’s texts which I have already read. I was hoping to hear more insight from other exorcists. Fr. Thomas was referenced a couple of times, but pales in comparison to Fr. Amorth.
With that said, this is still a great text. Great introduction to the occult and it’s impact of the world.
This book is a detailed look at the demonic from the experience of exorcists. It contains a number of stern warnings, strong suggestions for avoiding the demonic, and a beautiful call to a deepened faith.
An earnest and serious discussion of the phenomenon of demonic possession by an American Catholic concerned that humanity is losing the war against Satan and his hordes.
The author is well placed to write this book, being a practicing Catholic with theological training, having studied and interviewed many of the Church's most prominent exorcists, and having himself experienced apparent brushes with the demonic. And the book gives a good overview of the whole process of how demons engage with humans, in some cases succeeding so far as to possess them and necessitating the services of an exorcist. Catholic exorcists are unanimous that the phenomenon is on the rise and that modern culture, with its weak and decaying connection with Christianity and its acceptance of Satanism and occultism, is a target-rich environment for demons.
For my own part, although I've never been a Catholic (my own spiritual training has been Buddhist), I have come to accept the reality of possession, including demonic possession, since it appears to be so well documented. For me the definitive text is Possession Demonical & Other by the German psychologist T. K. Oesterreich, published in 1921. Oesterreich made a detailed survey of the historical literature, documenting many case histories that appear to show beyond any doubt that possession is and always has been a definite thing. What's astonishing is that Oesterreich himself does not appear to believe in demons or spiritual entities, but treats these amazing sets of symptoms as a psychological syndrome, albeit a strange and striking one.
Charles Fraune does not have any such hesitations. Demonic possession is documented right in the Bible, and a chief aspect of Jesus' own ministry was the exorcism of demons--a power and ministry he also conferred on his disciples. Notwithstanding this fact, exorcism has come into what amounts to disrepute in the Catholic Church, with only a small number of experienced priests practicing it and a Church bureaucracy that has little use for it. With this book Fraune is trying to raise consciousness at the grassroots level, getting Catholics to take this issue seriously and to take the necessary steps to prevent falling into Satan's clutches, which is a lot easier than people think.
For this reader, though, the Catholic focus of the book is a weakness. Like all works written from the standpoint of a particular faith, this one takes it for granted that Catholic dogma is the one and only Truth, and that other faiths are little more than demonic cults. But the Catholic Church is losing adherents, I think, partly because people are uncomfortable with the parochialism of this way of thinking. If demonic possession has occurred at all times and in all places, then presumably the Catholic Church is not the only answer; exorcists have been at work since the beginning of history.
The book becomes increasingly alarmist, warning of the dangers of astrology, yoga, and Harry Potter to open the door to demonic possession. Although I'm Canadian, I grew up aware of the "Communist threat" that was widely feared in the United States in the 1960s; Communists and their sympathizers were thought to be lurking in every organization and under every bed. Paranoia was the order of the day. This book is tinged with a similar paranoia. For although the author repeatedly stresses that demons can molest and possess us only to the degree that God permits, and that God remains in complete control of all their activities, nonetheless we should be afraid--very afraid. And only heartfelt practice of Catholicism--and avoidance of horror movies, New Age ideas, et cetera--can protect us from Satan.
This book is a useful and well-informed look at how demonic possession operates and how it is to be addressed from a Catholic perspective, but its intensely Catholic focus excludes the great majority of humanity and leaves us to our demonic fate.
This book is a must read for converts and is likely to be helpful for cradle Catholics as well. This opportunity to safely learn about the spiritual taught me a lot I didn’t know even after RCIA and over 25 years as a Catholic. My cradle Catholic husband learned, too. There are many who don’t know practices, which have become common and made to appear innocent in American culture, could be opening a door that they did not intend to be opened. This book helps remove that veil and teaches us things to avoid.
It also helped confirm certain practices are superstitious rather than grounded in proper faith. The references and guidance for blessings, prayers, and things we can do to better place and keep ourselves in the care of God, with help from His Heavenly Angels and Saints, will be something I will continue to use. So much in our world is out of our control, but choosing prayer and growing closer to God remains within our domain.
Practical guide to staying alive in God's good grace.
A welcome and very readable guide to the cohorts of the Evil One which never tire nor sleep nor waiver in their diabolical purpose of destroying humanity, and how we as individual Chistians may avoid their notice and malicious intentions. The Holy Catholic Church has battled the Demonic for two thousand years and has a wealth of spiritual tools to fight Satan and his dark legions. Where sin abounds God's grace abounds more so this book is full of practical guidance from renowned exorcists of the Catholic Church on accessing and maintaining God's grace, to depose the Prince of this world from controlling our bodies and our lives that we may live in the super-abundant grace of God.
I could not stop reading this book! I think I learned something on every page. This book has aided in my spiritual growth more than I can say. I am blessed that I was able to purchase this bok as read it. It is one of the best books I have ever read on my 67 years!