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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Can Demons Unite to Influence Society?

September 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

Father Fortea, can demons unite and concentrate their efforts to influence society?

The greatest power of the demons lies in tempting us to sin. Since they communicate among themselves, demons Can Demons Unite to Influence Societycertainly work together and concentrate their efforts to influence human society. They do this by collectively devising strategies and by putting them into action in a specific place. While they desire to tempt everyone to sin, they know very well that certain individuals have the ability to influence society as a whole because of their wealth, fame, or power. The communications media are a particularly powerful influence on today’s society. As such, the demons especially target these elites.

In politics, demons are never neutral – they always analyze the situation and focus their energies on those political officials and candidates who will (wittingly or unwittingly) favor their goals. Undoubtedly, in the German election of 1932, the demons understood perfectly that their goals would be better served by tempting the German people to vote for a rather unknown, fringe candidate named Adolph Hitler. Does this mean that Hitler’s rise to power can be attributed solely to demonic forces? No, human choice was involved; but demons were undoubtedly involved, too. Similarly, the Church Fathers, in their writings about Christian persecution by the state, often point out that such persecution is rooted in the instigation of demons on rulers and the population as a whole.

We must always remember that the devil is the Father of Lies, and he seeks to make evil appear good and good appear evil. At the heart of much evil is the rejection of human dignity; the demons want us to forget that we have been created in the image and likeness of God.

There is the famous vision of Pope Leo XIII in which he saw the infernal spirits concentrated on Rome. This vision was the origin of the Prayer to St. Michael, which the Holy Father sent to the world’s bishops in 1886 and asked the entire Church to recite. The work of the angels and the prayers of Christians can impede the plans of darkness. This is why prayer and sacrifice are so important; they are a bulwark against the powers of hell in this world and a source of abundant blessings.

Though we must do battle in this invisible struggle with spiritual powers, we should always remember that in the exercise of our free will we are the authors of our own destiny. The demons can only influence us to the extent that we let them. In the end, we do what we choose and are ultimately responsible for these choices. Not even the concerted effort of millions of demons can force us to do something we really don’t want to do.  When tempted, prayer is our greatest weapon, a weapon as powerful as the greatest army or wealth. The demons know the power of prayer and fear it.

 

Editor’s Note:  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.

 

Art:  Andrea di Bonaiuto (14th Century) “Diavoli” Cappellone degli Spagnoli in Santa Maria Novella (Firenze); credit Sailko, http://commons.wikimedia.org

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About Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea

Trained by Vatican exorcist Gabriele Amorth, Father José Antonio Fortea is not only an exorcist, but also a writer, calligrapher 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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  • Becky

    Beautifully put! Thank you Father. Definitely, the evil one is lurking at every corner of our daily lives.

  • patricia

    We seem to be upon an impass of political influence and yes I do think the devil and demons have their hands in this. The spiritual battle is real and often we may not see it it doesn’t mean it is not there. Great post Father very clear to me. Thank You!!! May GOD Always Bless You!!!

  • Maureen

    There was a time when the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel was recited after the completion of mass.

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

      We still do it here at EWTN!

      Sent from my iPad

    • Doreen King

      We do at St Bernard in New Bloomfield, PA. :-)

    • Phil Trimby

      About a year ago, the Spirit compelled me to lead this prayer after our evening Masses. Within three days many daily attendees starting to look to see if I was there to lead it. This was scary to do the first few times, but after so many thanked me for the action including three priests, it has become easy.

    • JoFlemings

      we say it after daily Mass at my Church

    • LizEst

      Praying it at the end of the rosary!

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  • warren gravois

    It is difficult to understand how these external forces can overpower our free will. If we have to compete against demons we are doomed. They are much smarter then we. Is God’s grace greater than the influence of demons? It seems that man’s pride is enough to do evil without the help of demons.

    • LizEst

      On our own, we cannot fight evil. As Jesus tells us, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5d).

      • warren gravois

        I agree, but my point is…we don’t need demons to make us do evil.Would evil exist if there were no demons? I think it would, because I think man’s pride would make him do evil things…even without demons. We definitely need Jesus. When we stand in judgment we can’t blame demons. Adam and Eve blamed the demon and they suffered anyway. Prayer must be practiced daily to become holy and humble.

    • JoFlemings

      I think it is the power of what I am influenced in by what I think I WANT that is really overwhelming in the moment. The enemy massages that in my mind, can maybe fan the flame of my desire, or dull the pangs of my conscience but it is my heart, mind, and will- either strengthened by grace or hindered by sin that direct my destiny. We tread the delicate balance of neither over or underestimating the enemy’s influence- but securing
      our confidence in Jesus Christ.

  • Phil Trimby

    The most powerful deterrent to temptation, for me, is praise. It all started with Rev 4:8b Holy, holy, holy Lord … Demons hate sincere praise to God, and quickly withdraw knowing they lost that skirmish.

  • Erin Pascal

    Thank you for this wonderful post father! We are in the time where demonic forces seem to abound everywhere and many people are tempted to go with it. The most powerful armor that we have against demons is prayer. God is stronger and if we believe in him, trust him, and if we root our beliefs in the love of God, we are strengthened. This will make us be more resistant to the temptation of the evil.

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  • Howard

    “In politics, demons are never neutral – they always analyze the situation and focus their energies on those political officials and candidates who will (wittingly or unwittingly) favor their goals.” Of course, they’re not stupid, and they try to stack the deck so that whichever candidate wins, they can turn the win to their advantage, and even if their favorite candidate loses, they hope to convert the winner.

    That’s something we should be doing. Too often we (myself included) obsess over helping “the lesser evil” into office but do little to work for the conversion of those already in office. Yes, they may be lost causes from a human perspective, but that is true of each and every one of us. With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.

  • Justme

    Finally someone wrote about this, to many people forget that the devil exists.
    If you read Catherine Emmerich, she talks about how a crowd of people became crazy, Jesus said a few words and the demons came out of the crowd and form
    one large demon. One of the four books on the Passion of Christ.

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