Spiritual Retreat by Father William Casey CPM
Spiritual Retreat by Father William Casey CPM
Q: Dear Fr. Fortea, what does a demon think about?
A: 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 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.
When I lived in Protestant-land I was warned of Catholic-land. There were untold demons there and the Devil himself dwelt in their midst. So I went out and traveled to the far exotic land of the Catholic and found to my surprise something very much different than that which I had expected.
I found the evil spirits there alright but not in the way I was told. They feared the Catholic Church and trembled before Her. But hordes of them gathered around Her and attacked and vexed them day in and day out. The holier they were the more they increased their anger against them. They were fuming and bitter and full of Hells fury and wrath.
It was then that I decided that the Catholic Church must be the True Church of Christ, or why else would they attack Her with such vehemence? If an ally, then why are the faithful so vexed? Yes, the demons were there. Where else would they be? Their greatest prize was to snatch a soul from the hands of Christ. How could that be, if it is Satan’s church. Why did the Church have exorcists and sacraments to fight off the assault of evil? After all, I thought they were supposed to be friends and in league with one another.
As I looked back at Protestant-land from my new Catholic-land home, I only saw a few dragons there: ones that darkened the mind and the eyes and those that sharpened the tongues against the Catholics and one another. These Protestants were not vexed at all it seemed: and the few evil spirits they had took life easy; simply staying busy making men blind and muddling their minds, speaking lies as if they had first hand knowledge of what was true – though they had mastered the lie. Their measly little foes were demons of deception, trickery and disunity that populated both Secular-land and Protestant-land alike and there was not very much labor involved in their work. It was all too simple, pitting one against another. There was, of sorts, a truce in Protestant-land and Secular-land as well.
How different the landscape from Catholic-land. On arriving the scales fell from my eyes and my heart filled with joy from an influx of loving grace. I was fed with Christ and He came to live in my poor soul as my strength. The Catholic prayers were not as I expected them to be; for I had been sure that the Catholics wished to destroy Protestant-land. Instead their prayer was to give them God’s mercy and to help them unite once again with those who fight evil under the banner of Christ the King. They were not my foes as I expected but instead other poor souls misguided and misled. Their eyes were closed shut and their minds set against us by evil whisperer’s that spoke to them in the quiet of their souls each night. Their voices were raised aloud to defame us but much to their chagrin, there was hardly ever a soul who could be turned toward their side. After all, the Catholics had tasted what the True Church feeds them and the drink that gives them great courage. And the Catholics did not fear the scandals and the evil around them; they only feared that the evil might go elsewhere to vex another less prepared; for their absence would mean only one thing – that they may have been drawn into sin by evil’s constant prodding and no longer considered their primary target. It is considered good to belong to the Prize that the evil one despises and relentlessly attacks.
They are like two foreign lands: Protestantism and Catholicism but we wish them well and would like to unite our lands with theirs again someday. Then Protestants might take up their armor and weapons and fight the evil together with their Catholic brothers and sisters. The victory would be so much sweeter if we were to gain the release of the Protestant from the grip of the deception, disunion and deceit of the dragons. Evil would be enraged and together we might even gain a greater crown than the one we might win separately. Or is this just my version of a fairy tale or perhaps a dream from which I’ll soon awake? At least I devised a happy ending; for what it means, I do not know. And the moral of this story I shall leave to your own preponderance.