Extract 1: One day Father Candido ( the author's teacher ) asked a (possessed) thirteen-year-old girl, "Two enemies, who hated each other all their lives, hated each other to death, and both ended up in hell. What is the relationship that they will share now, since they will be with each other for all eternity?" And this was the answer: "How stupid you are! Down there everyone lives folded within himself and torn apart by his regrets. There is no relationship with anyone; everyone finds himself in the most profound solitude and desperately weeps for the evil that he has committed. It is like a cemetery."
Extract 2: At the end of the most difficult exorcisms, when I am confronted with total demonic possession, I pray the christological hymn of the Letter of Paul to the Philippians (2:6-1 I). When I speak the words "so that all beings in the heavens, on earth, and in the underworld should bend the knee at the name of Jesus", I kneel, everyone present kneels, and always the one possessed by the demons is also compelled to kneel. It is a moving and powerful moment. I always feel that all the legions of the angels are surrounding us, kneeling at the name of Jesus.
The above two extracts give a sense of Fr. Amorth's book. He comes across as a saintly man who, unlike many other priests, has no fear of evil, and sees exorcism as part of his ministry, just as hearing confession, saying masses, etc. He points out that today the Protestant churches, particularly the Pentecostals, have taken the lead in casting out evil spirits ( demons ) - the Catholic hierarchy & theologians tending to deny their existence .
My only wish is for more of the above anecdotes - actual encounters with evil forces, instead of the very extensive background on the current "state of play" in the Church, coverage of spells, curses, witchcraft etc. Fr. Amorth states that his own faith has been immesurably deepened by these living encounters, despite his initial sense of inadequacy, and I feel that they are indeed the most inspiring parts of his book.
Perhaps he will write a follow-up, to include more of this "divine combat".