The knowledge Satan had about the sins and the condition of the souls of those present was rather embarrassing to them. But in this case there were no disturbing revelations made along that line as there were only nuns and priests present. But even here he made insinuating remarks: "Is it not true that you did so and so in your past life, in your childhood days?" He made reference here to acts which were hardly remembered. The evil spirit, however, would not be quiet and tried to make a scene of things. So the answer was given. "If before God I am not guilty of greater faults in my later years than the sins of my childhood days, then I am not afraid.
Thereupon followed a most astonishing confessior from the devil:
"WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY CONFESSED, I DO NOT KNOW."
What follows from this? Apparently Satan knows only the sins that have not been confessed or repented. What has been submitted to the keys of the confessional seems to be out of his reach. It would seem that the sacrament of penance blots out or obliterates sins from the soul so as not to leave the slightest possibility for Satan to discover them. Through the sacrament of penance everything is, so to say, drowned in the abyss of God's mercy.
The rubrics in the Roman Ritual for exorcism, so wisely and so well established, demand that not only the exorcist, but also all witnesses and all those called upon to aid in subduing the possessed person, should make a thorough general confession, or at least a sincere act of perfect contrition before the process of exorcism begins. Once cleansed from sin they are more at ease in facing Satan and will not be subject to annoying remarks on the part of Satan for the sins committed in the past.
It happened about forty years ago, in a case of possession at Wemding, Germany, that during the process of exorcism the mistake was made of calling in the strongest men of the parish, men of good repute, to subdue a raving young boy. These good men did not realize with whom they had to deal. The horrible beastlike howling and yelping was far less disconcerting than the hair-raising reproofs of the devil for the secret sins and other mistakes of one or the other of these men. He described them in minutest detail. Under such circumstances it is not surprising that few people care to be present at such exorcism, even if they could make themselves useful in many ways. Furthermore, it must be remembered that Satan, the father of lies, often twists small acts into unusually and seemingly grievous ones, making mountains out of molehills, so to speak, and at times purposely distorting them, mixing up truth with falsehood with the intention of creating the greatest disorder and most lasting enmity.
In order to avoid such inconvenient consequences, Father Theophilus, richer by mature experiences, undertakes his exorcism in consecrated or religious houses with only the assistance of priests and nuns. Even then things have happened. Satan shrewdly and sagaciously disclosed hidden things which made certain persons blush for shame; yes, he made them quiver with fear by threatening to expose them still more. All the more fortunate, then, that such experience that will henceforth take place under the seal of secrecy will not be broadcast to the whole world. Thank God for that!
The meanness of the devil and the many odd happenings at Earling became common knowledge among the people in the bordering communities. The pastor of Earling, Father Steiger, had asked his people to unite in prayer and penance, and to make visits to the Blessed Sacrament so that the evil spirit might soon be mastered. Despite common knowledge of the unusual proceedings going on at the convent, not a single person asked out of curiosity to be permitted to witness the scene. Even if any one had asked, permission would not have been granted, except to priests from the neighborhood.
It has been intimated above that out of the voices coming from the possessed woman, four different ones could be very clearly distinguished. They announced themselves as Beelzebub, Judas Iscariot, Jacob, the father of the possessed woman, and Mina, Jacob's concubine.
The possessed woman had a clear memory of when her godless father cursed her and handed her over to the devil. She did not mention any further details about her unfortunate father, but it was learned from other sources that he was one of the worst persecutors of priests and of the Church. In sensual lust and excesses he was a monster of the worst type. He kept his distance from the Church and her sacramental ministration, and used every opportunity to ridicule spiritual things. Occasionally, he attended divine services on solemn feast days, but only to acquire new material from the sermons of the solemn functions to feed his ridicule and so bolster up his criticisms among friends and companions. Hence we can understand how he persisted in ridiculing the priest and his actions when, even in his last moments, a merciful God granted him the grace of receiving the last sacrament of Extreme Unction. As you Live, so you die. And his concubine, Mina, was fully his equal in this respect. Birds of a feather flock together.
What was most surprising was that such a wicked and blasphemous father was blessed with such a virtuous child. Her sincere piety, her pure and innocent disposition, her diligent application, all were very apparent. Even during the period of possession the devil could not disturb her inner basic disposition because the devil has no power over the free will of a human being.
It was evident that, in addition to the above mentioned devils, there were also a great number of other unclean spirits in her. Among these the so-called dumb devils and avenging spirits made themselves especially prominent.Father Steiger's Housekeeper Theresa Wegerer-1944