By LANCE PATRICK C. ENAD*
November 15, 2018
Coming home from the seminary for a short break allotted for the Solemnity of all Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, I was surprised to see a very popular series in Netflix – the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The advertisements were everywhere and I found the trailer rather charming.
Like most movies nowadays, it came advocating for transgenderism, it was somehow sexualized, it appeared to normalize sinful behaviors like adultery, it somehow made courtship without heading towards marriage a normal thing, and most of the filth you find in films nowadays. Setting that aside, as though this moral decline is an inevitable reality we have to face -as though-, the series overall was charming. There are however, some concerns that must be noted because of its clear relationship with the diabolic.
No doubt, the series was influenced by Satanism –this is quite clear in the blasphemous lines, in the scenes when almighty God is mocked, in the scenes where Holy Mother Church is mocked. Nevertheless, I feel that these things I will mention are things serious Catholics –all should be- should know.
1. Demons are lauded when their names are mentioned. Outside the context of exorcism, one should be cautious with mentioning demonic names. It would be interesting here to note that most horror movies mentioning demonic names are actually real demonic names. According several notable exorcists (Fr. Chad Ripperger being one of them), demons are exalted whenever their names are mentioned.
One of the exorcists of the diocese I’m from would even go as far as never using the names of the demons even if revealed when exorcising since he still believes it gives them some sort of honor even in the context of exorcism. In the series, there was a liberal and almost natural mentioning of demonic names –“for the love of Lucifer,” “praised be Satan,” etc. This somehow inclines me to think that this series’ involvement with the diabolic and satanism is not merely for the purposes of making this series but may even run deeper -to an alarming level.
2. Demons are afraid of the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Despite the countless casual mentioning of demonic names in the series, never was there a mention of the name Jesus Christ or the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are statements who clearly allude to the God of the Bible –“the false God”-, or to Holy Mother Church –“the false Church”- but they would never dare to mention the Holy name of Jesus. This made me consider many things concerning the series and the diabolic.
For one who comes from the Archdiocese of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Cebu), I am particularly happy. It is an honor to be under his banner. This also brought to mind some particular benefits of the devotion to the Holy name of Jesus. It was said that a recitation of the Jesus Prayer is already enough to burn demons –Blessed be His Holy Name!
3. Nudity. There are considerably sexualized scenes in the series portraying immoral sexual behavior or plain nudity. This brought to mind a talk given by Ven. Fulton Sheen concerning the Diabolic. In it, he mentioned that one of the signs of the diabolic is the love of nudity. It is particularly interesting that he mentioned that a friend of his who was a hospital chaplain witnessed some mentally ill and possibly possessed people stripping themselves when he comes with the Blessed Sacrament. He also recounted the story of our Lord expelling demons from a man in the Gerasene territory. This should make us consider that perhaps we are truly dealing with the diabolic here.
4. Absence of Love. The relationship between the followers of the “Church of Night” and the “Dark Lord” is by no means a relationship of love- it is slavery. It always seemed to be more of a business deal rather than a covenant of love. It is only in our Lord Jesus Christ that we can have a relationship of love –a love affair- with God – a loving (Agape/ Caritas) relationship with Love himself- Jesus Christ. This brings to mind very powerful words of Reinhald Schneider, addressed to the Father, mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in his book ‘Jesus of Nazareth’: “Evil lives in a thousand forms; it occupies the pinnacles of power… it bubbles up from the abyss. Love has only one form –your Son.”
In light of all this, what ought we to do? Perhaps we could begin by reverent mentioning, by means of ejaculatory prayers, the Holy name of Jesus as we go about our occupations. One prayer I would recommend would be the Jesus prayer although the name of Jesus is itself a prayer already.
We could also begin to form a habit, a virtue that compels us to make acts of reparation whenever our Blessed Lord is offended or when the Devil is lauded. We should remove from us all occasions of sin especially sins of the flesh –which according to Our Lady of Fatima is the most successful means the devil uses to bring souls to hell, to remove us from the love of God and to enslave us.
I don’t believe I am in the position to tell Catholics not to watch the series. What I will say is that there are some serious things –diabolic- involved here. This should be enough to warn us to be cautious with anything related to the devil and this should hopefully encourage us to deepen our love for our beloved Jesus.
*Lance Patrick Enad y Caballero is a seminarian in San Carlos Seminary College, Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines. Instaurare omnia in Christo! firstname.lastname@example.org