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Do Demons Experience Time?

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

Do Demons Experience Time?

Dear Father Fortea, do demons experience time like we do?

Yes, in a sense. As pure spirits, angels and demons exist outside of earthly, material time. However, they do experience a type of “spiritual” time–“a before and an after” to their acts of understanding and will. Whenever we speak of “before” and “after,” we are speaking of some sort of time. This time is called aeveternal (from the Latin aevum), a succession of acts of understanding and will in a spiritual being. (St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century speaks about aevum in the Summa Theologica, I, 10, 5.)

Therefore, when we say that the spirits in heaven and hell are in “eternity,” we need to understand this as an unending temporal succession (i.e., the passing of time without end) from a distinct beginning (i.e., the moment of their creation). Strictly speaking, only God is eternal; only He has “no time.” God experiences past, present, and future as eternally present.

demons experience

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 for this post “Do Demons Experience Time?”: 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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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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  • LizEst

    Thank you again, Fr. Fortea. Fascinating concept. One learns something new every day!

  • Thank you, Father for your continued illuminating Posts on this intriguing subject of the spiritual world 

  • stm

    Dear Father,

    We, thank God, each of us have a holy Angel of God -specific and personal – guarding us and (despite our best efforts to ‘abstain’), guiding us towards Our Lord all the days and nights of our earthly life; in some traditions there is a concept of an evil opposite…is there really some personal entity whose sole purpose is the theft of eternal life poured out for us by our Creator, or are they numerous and random as our thoughts?

    P.s. I pray for the help of and thank God for the gift of ‘my’ guardian Angel every day.

  • Howard Richards

    As long as all embodied souls are in a small area (on Earth, that is to say), this is not a problem.  However, at least regarding material time, “before” and “after” do not have unambiguous meanings if the separation in space of the events is large or the difference in time is small.  So, for example, suppose a flare took place (from our perspective) one year ago on a star 10 light years away.  We would see the results of the flare in 9 years.  However, to an observer travelling close to the speed of light with respect to us, the flare might happen farther back in our past, in our present, or even in our future, depending on the observer’s velocity.  Probably this has no real significance, since all spiritually significant material events (the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, etc.) that I can think of in fact happen on Earth (and with no material observers travelling near the speed of light), but it does serve as a warning that we need to be very careful in thinking about time as it relates to spirits.

    • stm

      But we – unlike demons or angels – have been gifted with a body, born in ‘time’, that our Creator wills to be united with our souls, for the Good with merits of our Redeemer, incarnate-in-history-time -Son-of-God – or, within ‘time’ turning away from these immeasurable and undeserved merits = body and soul out of time without our Creator-redeemer-Sanctifier who is timeless,yet gives the grace of time, and the end of time.

      • Howard Richards

        I really cannot tell if there is any meaning in that one run-on sentence. Please rewrite your thoughts. 

        The only way I can think that relativity could have any consequence for theology is if there are other fallen, rational animals like ourselves orbiting other stars.  

        Let’s say a righteous “man” in the Centauri Republic dies at what is (to an observer on Earth) the same day that Christ died on the cross. Let’s say that under these circumstances, the Centauri would go to the Limbo of the Fathers if he died before the Resurrection, but to Heaven if he died afterward.  The first Good Friday and Easter Sunday were physical events, as was the death of this Centauri, but in terms of physics, there is no absolute answer as to which happened first; it would depend on the frame of reference.  

        Now there are a LOT of assumptions in that paragraph.  For one, I doubt there are other rational animals besides man anywhere else in the universe.  If so, they may not have fallen, as in C.S. Lewis’s book OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET.  If they have fallen, are they redeemed by the Passion of Christ?  Oh, and the frame of reference of Alpha Centauri is not so different from that of the sun for it to make a difference in even a day which order these took place — but then, there are galaxies billions of light years away, so if an alien there has the same problem, it’s a problem indeed. 

  • Cccarlosj

    excellent book Summa Daemoniaca, I read it, it’s great… thank you Father

  • Interesting discussion,  this simple straight-forward Post is generating. My response to the Responses thus far is child-like : “Walk by Faith not By Sight”.  But then, it  is easy to understand where I am coming from, being an Intellectual Midget.

    I strive to faithfully obey Mother Church relation to my Catholic Faith and the Divine Truths revealed to Her.  And these She has preserved, protected and proclaimed all these 2,000+ years.  And so shall She do until the End of Time since the Holy Spirit guides Her and Jesus Christ is the “Spiritual Head of His Bride”. It is for this purpose that we Pray the Act of Faith at the beginning of each day the Good Lord grants us on this earth until we begin our Eternal Life at the close of our temporal life.

  • beliveer

    Hello every one .over 8 years i live in the real hell with beast and i do Document it .any how i loss my work in 8 years i loss my fait i loss my family union and ect..any way i am baging a who have inough knowledg to free us from beast .pls help us me and my family wants to live normal

    • LizEst

      Go see a Catholic priest. Tell him everything that has happened. See if he thinks it’s worth talking to an exorcist. Ask him if he would set up an appointment for you.

      Pray. Pray. Pray.

      • beliveer

        hi dear
        i did talk with priest who come3s to are home and blass are home with holy water and he prayd in are home .priest said same think demons experince in our home .demone didnt posses us .thay just affact us buy our happyness our regulerlife .financial  and healte .the black mass walking arond our small apt we saw bad drema affact my kid she is confusd at school same as me and her mother this demon is very smart thay not do any thing pepole can help us thay do diffrent act on us do only thing i have to prove what we deal with just pic and video thay not talk thay not move abjact but thay affact our action front of pepole and hopeles and helpeless priest said your not posses but he said pray we are praying .and we will but i feel we need some who has more power thanks


    any one reads this commends or any help come from this page ?

    • LizEst

      Hi Fred – what help are you looking for? Have you talked to a priest about this yet?

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