Welcome to class, Fathers! I appreciate your showing up mostly on time. I’m glad to see most of you brought crosses.
Let’s be honest. I know none of you want to be in this class. You’re all here because you tried to do an exorcism and failed. I understand. I’ve been teaching Remedial Exorcism for 20 years, and I’ve seen it all, and I know where you’re coming from. Truth be told, I wasn’t the greatest exorcist myself. If I was, do you think I’d be teaching this class?
It’s not your fault some of you don’t know holy water from coconut water. Popular culture has spread nothing but malarkey and hokum, from Linda Blair’s vomit to Ned Flanders’ exorcism tongs. The schools, both public and parochial, have done a terrible job preparing students for a future in exorcism. By the time you guys are ordained, you’re so far behind the eight ball I’m surprised we even let you do exorcisms anymore.
Let’s start with the basics: you don’t drink the holy water. Let me say that again: don’t drink the holy water. Bring something else to drink—preferably not water—so you don’t get confused. I prefer ginger ale, but there’s no wrong beverage to drink during an exorcism. Except holy water, OK? Unless there’s a demon in your bladder, you’re wasting a precious gift of God.
Also, you can’t just throw any liquid at a demon, even if you blessed it yourself. Yes, blessing things is pretty cool, but this is not a power you should be using willy-nilly. Splashing a cup of hot coffee at a demon-possessed host body will only harm the body and delight the demon. Demons love coffee. As a few of you already know, a demon is a lot less likely to depart after having a Jägerbomb.
Let’s talk about reciting. You need to read from the Bible. The Bible is called the Good Book, which confuses some priests into thinking any good book is good enough. Untrue. The Collected Works of Shakespeare will do nothing to save the soul of a suffering innocent caught in the Satanic clutches of a demon. The newest Don DeLillo may impress the hipsters at the coffee shop, but hellbeasts are different. Your favorite Harry Potter novel is going to be even less helpful. Harry Potter is pro-demon, remember? Jesus, sometimes it’s hard to know which side you guys are on.
Some of you may think I’m obsessed with trivialities, but I’m telling you every detail matters, and every impression counts. You need to instill fear and awe in that demon from the first second you enter the room. That’s never going to happen if you’re chatting with the demon about the latest episode of Breaking Bad or trying to “get digits,” as one of you recently put it. Also, it may not be in the Bible, but I can promise you that texting during an exorcism is a one-way ticket to spending eternity right next to the demon you’re fighting, assuming he every leaves this poor host body, and why should he, when his exorcist is such a rube?
Let’s remember the purpose of an exorcism: to free an innocent, trapped person from the unyielding grasp of a demon. This isn’t about scoring points with your bishop or providing fodder for your blog. If you think you’re going to hell, an exorcism isn’t the time to ask the demon to “put a good word in” with Satan. You shouldn’t be asking the demon if hellhounds are all alike, or if there are helldoodles and hellhuahuas. Don’t ask if JFK or Milton Berle are in hell, or what was really going on in the Lost finale.
Finally, I hope you all appreciate that the church is providing this course. We want you to be the best exorcists you can be, even if your righteousness is dubious and some of your crosses are made out of popsicle sticks. Do you think the devil bothers to provide a Demon 101 class for vile spirits who aren’t up to par?
Let’s hope not. For God’s sake, let’s hope not.