Dear Fr. Fortea, can a demon perform a good act?

We need to remember that demons are not engaged in doing evil 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, they just think. Doing this is not evil at all; it is merely an act of their nature. Nevertheless, demons cannot perform a supernaturally moral act (for example, an act of charity, supernatural repentance, or sincere glorification of God) because such an act requires supernatural grace.

A demon will glorify God only if it is forced to. It may regret having gone away from God, but without any true repentance or sincere pleas for forgiveness. As such, a demon can do many other natural acts with its intelligence and will. But a demon will never have the least amount of compassion or love toward anyone. This is impossible as a result of its rebellion against God, who is Love itself. A demon’s heart only hates; it revels in the suffering of others. By their own free choice, the demons will feel an acute absence of the life-giving presence of God’s love for all eternity.

can demons do goodTo 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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Art for this post on “Can Demons Do Good?”: 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.

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