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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Where are demons located?

November 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Hell & Purgatory, Spiritual Warfare

Dear Fr. Fortea, where are demons located?

Jose ForteaDemons—like the souls of deceased human beings—do not occupy space. This does not mean, though, that they are in some other physical dimension. What does being or not being in a dimension mean for a spirit? They are not anywhere. They exist, but they are not “here” or “there” in a physical sense.

A demon is said to be in a place when it acts in that place. If a demon is tempting someone “here,” one says that it is “here.” If a demon possesses a person’s body, we say it is present within the person. If a demon causes a chair to move, we say that he is in that concrete place. In all these cases, though, the demon is simply acting there.

Heaven, hell, and purgatory exist now only as states of being. At the resurrection at the Last Judgment, the souls of the dead will be reunited with their bodies and will then exist in a concrete place (see CCC 650, 1005). At that point, the blessed will occupy a “physical heaven” (that is, a physical place of everlasting happiness), and the condemned will occupy a “physical hell.” As Revelation 21:1 states, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” After the general judgment, then, the blessed—souls reunited with their resurrected bodies—will dwell in the “new heaven and a new earth” for eternity. Where will condemned humans dwell? We do not know for sure. Some have speculated that the “physical hell” of the damned will exist in the center of this same world.

To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction recommends Fr. Fortea’s excellent book, Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.

 

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About Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea

Father José Antonio Fortea is not only an exorcist, but also a writer, and parish priest. He once thought he would lead what he has termed ordinary life as an attorney in Madrid, much as his father did before him, but sensed instead a vocation to the priesthood in his adolescent years. A theology graduate of Navarre University in Spain, Father Fortea wrote a thesis there on exorcism. He has been a practicing exorcist for several decades.

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  • Salvatore Buttaci

    It is sad and dangerous for so many to deny the existence of Satan and his demons.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RIX2DKIPVUQHFJVW5DRWBUKILU anabel

    Should we be concern about demons?

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      They are concerned with you

      • amsmax

        scary thought…..

  • $19933969

    +
    Are demons able to cause physical sensations in people?  Would a demon of lust, for example, be able to attach itself to a person and project some type of physical sensation, apparently from the “host” to another person?  If someone has sinned repeatedly in the past in a particular area, even though repented of the sin, are they more vulnerable to demonic attack in that same area, i.e., evil attacks where we are the weakest?  What is the difference between  “infestation”, “obsession” and “possession”?  

    • LizEst

      Jan – Here are some definitions from the book “The Rite – The Making of a Modern Exorcist” by Matt Baglio, which has been recommended on this site previously.  This book would, I believe, answer many of your other questions.

      Infestation: “the presence of demonic activity in a location or object, such as a ‘haunted house.”

      Obsession: This “has also been called ‘demonic temptation,’ and it involves an intense and persistent attack on the mind of the victim.”

      Possession: “Also known as ‘involuntary possession…[it's] by far the most spectacular activity of the Devil and also the rarest…[In it] the Devil takes temporary control of a person’s body, speaking and acting through it without the person’s knowledge.  This control, however, doesn’t last indefinitely, but rather occurs only during ‘moments of crisis’ in which the victim enters a trance state.  Generally speaking, after the crisis passes, the victim will not remember what transpired…the soul of the individual is not possessed, just the body…[unless] a person ‘invites’ a possession to take place, such as during a satanic ritual.  ‘In this case…the presence in the soul is completed…”

    • JoFlemings

      I have read Fr. Fortea’s book. As far as I understand, demons cannot generate a sensation in a person that might be associated with a temptation, HOWEVER, they are crazy clever and if you are a project with them they will know your weaknesses. 
      I do not think it is too far off the mark to assume that they will attempt to manipulate your thoughts to the ends that when you experience the physical sensations associated with temptations for you, that you then run headlong into those temptations. When I say they are crazy clever, I mean that I do not think it is too far fetched to assume they know the way the human mind and body work, both in  chemistry and more ethereally- through thought patterns. This is why in the Bible God tells us to put on the helmet of salvation, to take every thought captive, to have the mind of Christ, and to conform our lives to the image of Christ. 
      The Truth will set you free beginning in your mind where every sin has its origin. James tells us that sin comes from disordered desire- disorder is a function of the mind not the body– when we want what we want without regard for God’s will. Now our bodies participate in what we want and if we are not careful, legitimate physical inclinations or needs- like hunger, for example, can be manipulated and perverted to our detriment.
       The perversion goes something like this- I am starving, I have not eaten all morning and now my body legitimately tells me I need protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Last night, I passed a bakery with an amazing coconut cake in the window- my favorite treat! So, now that I am truly in need of food, my mind easily trips back to the memory of the cake. What I really need is some decent nutrition and if I am inclined to overindulge in the wrong things,(which I am!), I am weaker when these ideas present themselves. What I really should eat is a salad with some grilled chicken, and a large glass of water, but what I am thinking about opting for is a huge slab of cake with a cappuccino on the side (double espresso shot to counter the impending sugar coma!) After all, I have had a hard morning I deserve it; I was neglected yesterday by my boyfriend and overlooked by my boss; or I have an intense workout this afternoon and I know the sugar will give me an extra boost on the treadmill and that will make me look pretty doggone athletic… etc. You can see how these things can be pushed and pulled in the mind leading to the complicated mess we consider to be decision-making in the midst of the weakness of need and the overwhelming scenario of options. Demons can have a heyday  just messing with your ordinary needs if you are not fortified to suffer self denial for love of Christ, for a clear understanding of what is best for you, or for a greater good than comfort in the moment.

      I hope this is helpful 

      • $19933969

         +
        Thank you Jo for your thoughtful response.  The person I am writing for is not aware of thoughts occurring prior to the experience of the physical sensations or giving any assent to a temptation of sight or thought.  The  person was also told by an elderly, and some think very holy, Cistercian monk that it is possible for demons to tempt us with physical sensations. I am reading Matt Baglio’s book (at Liz’s suggestion) to see what else I might find out.  Much of the advice I’ve heard on dealing with demons is to IGNORE them.  I love the classic story with Teresa of Avila being woken up by the devil who made a very frightening appearance, to which St. Teresa replied “You again?” and rolled over and went back to sleep.  

        • JoFlemings

          Ah! I think you might be talking of something significantly beyond the average normal stuff I was going on about, and that would be out of my depth and beyond what I remember from Fr. Fortea’s book. (And an elderly holy Cistercian would likely know way more about this than I ever will!) I guess one can always fall back on the usual tactic for fighting the enemy no matter how he attacks though- by prayer, by virtue, by obedience- like you said, not giving in to giving too much attention or focus to its activity. Whatever the case, I think also that if the friends of the afflicted person pray and fast for the person, that will also be really helpful! (Thank you for sharing this and I do apologise if my response was in any way trite or banal.)

          • $19933969

             Jo I didn’t find your reply in any way trite or banal, and I appreciate the time and thought you took to respond.  I agree, too, with you in that prayer, virtue, obedience to lawful authority,  as well as frequenting the sacraments are all time-honored ways to fight the enemy.  Fr. Amorth says a really good confession is better than an exorcism!

    • judeen

        Jan, I have worked in prisons… that has this problem… they(demons or lust)  do attach to people…  and they are tormented… have prayed over people who have had sexuall additions also…  and they do follow one home …. I can tell you where they stand… but they do not know what gender a person is…   when one is right with God they can not touch a person…       they can make the body react … and it takes the whole will to reject it… praising the Lord….  but many people do not know this.. porn ussually starts it… and not knowing any control. over ones self or body… something that was always taught long ago… but nerver is spoken of now….   bad music ,bad  movies and even impure jokes can invite them in…. padre pio was temped by demon of lust… 1 of his books talks about the hard trial he went through…   st. augestine also wrestled with them also  

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  • Robert A Rowland

    Robert – good post but it appears it was cut and pasted in which brought code problems. Feel free to type in.

  • pizztov

    If one need the services of an Exorcist where would they go?

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Dear Friend, the first place to go is to your priest. Then to your diocese. Another route might be to a group in your area that provides the ministry of deliverance. You might contact Heart of the Father Ministries to see if there is a group in your area that they could point you to.

  • Robert A Rowland

    Whom Should You Fear

    When the apocalyptic readings make end times seem near,
    we should examine our conscience to alleviate fear.
    Peace and mercy are ingrained in every righteous soul,
    but their world is an alien place with a base free-will role.

    Humans failed God’s very first test – that should give you a clue.
    Evil entered the scene, and that points a finger at you.
    Life is an intended trial that you alone must pursue.
    Eternal bliss greets those who obey what God wills they do.

    But temptations of the world abound to devour your soul.
    To send your soul to hell is the devil’s abysmal role.
    God always allows you to make a choice for joy or grief.
    That you would accept grief is beyond logical belief.

    You were given an angel to guide you on the right path.
    If you always seek his help, you can avoid Satan’s wrath.
    God’s love and mercy don’t require impossible demands.
    The most important decision in life rests in your hands

    God’s Mother is the  best friend we can have in this life.
    Place total trust in her hands if you want to avoid strife.
    Listen to her, and she will make it perfectly clear.
    If you trust God and do his will, there is no one to fear.

  • BlueMit11

    Howdy.  You said:

    “Heaven, hell, and purgatory exist now only as states of being. At the
    resurrection at the Last Judgment, the souls of the dead will be
    reunited with their bodies and will then exist in a concrete place.”

    There are currently two bodies in heaven — that of Jesus and that of Mary.  They must necessarily exist in a concrete place.  So, depending on what you mean by a “state of being,” you may need to expand that description.
    God Bless!