Demon Emetic

gadarene demoniac

We read narratives in the four gospels about five instances when the Lord Jesus cast demons out of people. The gospels also refer to other cases, without narrating them.

Now, I’m no art historian. But in my limited study of illuminated gospel manuscripts, I have noticed an interesting style in drawings of Jesus casting out demons. Many medieval artists show the demons exiting through the mouths of the possessed people.

There’s a drawing of Christ on the hillside, with the Gadarene demoniac, with a demon emerging from the possessed man’s mouth. And pictures of a demon exiting the mouth of the man in the synagogue in Capernaum.

gerasene demoniac bas relief

blue field demoniac

Royal 19 CI f.165v

Forgive me; I don’t mean to get gross. But these pictures suggest vomiting. It’s like Christ’s power acts as an emetic, driving the power of evil out of the system in a violent convulsion. Hurry, get the bucket! Then: relief. A moment of peace and quiet. Followed by the resumption of normal, healthy bodily operations.

The Catechism says that Jesus’ exorcisms anticipate His great victory over the “ruler of the world”—the victory He won on the cross. The coming of God’s Kingdom means the defeat of Satan’s.

A great convulsion of evil, of undeserved suffering—of genuine ugliness; a moment of terrifying grotesqueness—the innocent Lamb, lacerated, bruised, bloodied to the bone, stretched out under the cruel sky. Who could stand to watch it? They cried and hid their eyes.

But then: the peace of Christ. The world made right and whole again. Healthy life resuming—undying life, which nothing can crush.

3 thoughts on “Demon Emetic

  1. Interesting perspective and quite timely for flu season. 🤢
    It occurred to me in looking at the works that perhaps we imagine them being cast out of the person through their mouths because that’s where they frequently make themselves known.

  2. This torturous phenomenon which appears in this article to be something to find humor in, is in fact not limited to ancient times. For those of us present-day Christians who must daily go to war with our own internal satanic demons w/o the benefit of someone qualified to remove them; I can assure you your casual attitude towards this subject is disappointing, especially to those who in the end, lose the battle with these modern day demons.

  3. Did y’all know a Bishop is the designated exorcist of his diocese, that he can appointment priests to fill this office, that since circa 750 AD only these men were allowed to use specific prayers in an exorcism, that there are yet many functions in Deliverance any priest can use, that there are prayers we laity can use, that Demonic oppression is very common, that Holy Church has really fumbled on this offensive task,…? I refer you to the late Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s two books on this singular subject: AN EXORCIST TELLS HIS STORY, and AN EXORCIST MORE STORIES; Ignatius Press, San Francisco. Fr. Amorth was Chief Exorcist of Rome. He was trained by the late Fr. Candido Amantini. Rosary, Mercy Chaplet, and deliverance prayers are morning routine for me, I see by means of this hour of effort Our Lord and Our Lady effect change in me, to be sure, but most awesome, in my wife, children, and grandchildren. I encourage all men to wield this Weapon of Light for the sake of their family. Oppression and Possession by demons is very real and present.

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