Dear Fr. Fortea, what does a demon think about?
Every demon retains the intelligence of its angelic nature. Demons know and inquire with their minds about the material and spiritual worlds, the real and conceptual worlds. As spiritual beings, demons are eminently intellectual; there is no doubt that they are deeply interested in conceptual questions. They know very well that philosophy is the most elevated of the sciences and that theology is built upon philosophy. In spite of this knowledge, every demon hates God.
Though demons find pleasure in knowing, they also suffer as a result of their knowledge–especially when this knowledge leads them to think about God. Demons constantly perceive the order and beauty of the Creator in all created things. Even in apparently neutral things, they see the reflection of the divine attributes.
Demons are not constantly engaged in tempting human beings. Much of the time they spend thinking. They suffer during those moments when they remember God and become conscious of their miserable state, that is, their separation from God. As we have previously noted, the amount of this suffering varies in intensity according to each demon’s degree of moral deformation.
To learn more about demonology and spiritual warfare and their intricacies, Catholic Spiritual Direction highly recommends Fr. José Antonio Fortea’s excellent book Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance. Click on the title to order.
Art for this post on what a demon thinks about: Father José Antonio Fortea provided by Dan Burke from his personal collection, used with permission. Vitrail néogothique dans l’église Saint-Martin de Florac: Saint Michel et le Démon, détail (Neo-gothic stained glass from Saint Martin de Florac Church: Saint Michael and the Demon, detail), photographed by Vassil, 1/06/09 own work, PD-worldwide; detail of Padre José Antonio Fortea 2017, photographed by Elgatoconbotaselgatoconbotas, 5 May 2017 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International, Wikimedia Commons. Cover of “Interview with an Exorcist” used with permission, all rights reserved.