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What does a Demon Think About?

November 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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.

demonDemons 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.

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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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  • Thank you Father Fortea for this illuminating Post.  To me, this sentence is most important to us all : 

    “Demons are not constantly engaged in tempting human beings. Much of the time they spend thinking….”

    We have a tendency of shifting the cause of our failures and sinfulness – and every adversities that we encounter in our daily lives – to the power of the Evil One.  Yet, our greatest enemy is our own fallen nature which pulls us away from God and doing His Will.  I call this Enemy “The Mad Woman in the House”.  She is the greatest enemy we have… is through these human weaknesses – our selfishness, self-centredness, self-love, disordered desires and inclinations where  the Evil One finds openings to tempt us.  And this is where we should principally direct our Spiritual War – our own selves and pray for God’s Grace to conquer ourselves through self-awareness and remain vigilant at all times.

  • Rick7De

    ‘Much of the time they spend thinking.’ I suppose ‘time’ is not the same parameter for demons as for us here on earth. Jesus saw the fall of Satan. I suppose this occurred before the creation of the material world, thus outside time as it is since 13.75 billion years.

  • Guest

    We need to put effort and human virtue into every thought and action, so as to build the Holy Spirit and God’s love in all people. We need to seek knowledge so far as it helps us to better know what is right. Some excessive thinking leads us away from knowing the difference.

  • $20540928

    Praying is the answer for humans. It shows humility and also gives God reverences and allows us to worship God, that must frustrate the hell out of them. 

    • LizEst

      Love the pun, “frustrate the hell out of them”! Ha!

  • klgillmore

    I have a burning question after reading today’s blog post:
    Can demons have conversions, re-enlisting them in God’s loving service?

    Louise Gillmore

    • No – their fate is sealed. Their decision to rebel and reject God was immediately ratified.

      •  Is it because they have ‘perfect’ knowledge? If they have ‘perfect’ knowledge, that leaves no room for correction. Thus this is why they can’t return to God’s grace?

        • Tito, as Dan states above, even for us humans, God respects our Free Will to the very end. It is so well explained in Saint Faustina’s Diary – Divine Mercy in My Soul – No.1486. ‘Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul’.

          She writes: “….In the soul arises this reply: ‘For me there is no mercy……’. “Jesus calls to the soul the third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the Mercy of God begins to exert itself and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it Final Grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in its self-chosen disposition for Eternity. This Grace emerges from the Merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but the conversion depends on its own Will. The soul knows that this, for her, is Final Grace……”.

          From this revelation by Jesus to Saint Faustina, it is clear God never sends anyone to Hell. We chose to reject his Final Grace. And at that point all He can say is: “Thy Will Be Done”. It is a thought one should keep in mind at all times and when that moment comes – and it shall come for each and everyone of us – not to despair but throw oneself at the Mercy of God.

          • LizEst

            That’s my plan Mary…to throw myself on the divine mercy of God. Thanks be to Him!

  • RosaVera

    Just like we have entertained angels without knowing i am sure we have entertained demons without knowing, but, only a person that is true in their heart a follower of Christ can without knowing be in the presence of a demon and fight it away… <

  • Adrian Johnson

    I have often thought that because demons know all history, (for instance the truth unsolved crimes, where some lost treasures lie, the details of countless forgotten lives) they can the more easily convince the credulous about the lie of reincarnation.  At a seance, it is easy for them to convey authentic knowledge masquerading as departed souls of loved ones, followed by assurances of an afterlife which denies the truth of the four last things: death, judgement, heaven or hell.  

  • Ines DeLong

    Hi, correct me if I am wrong. I think the demons tempt me to say something wrong to a person. Then they run to that person and tempts the other person to react. In this case the to persons are not people of faith. The goal of these demons is to get to me, because of my love for God and my Prayers. The attacks are constant. Especially, after praying. But, I believe God is Training me for something. why am I so weak in letting them get to me. I that The Holy Spirit  who guided Jesus,be my guide and strength, so that I can accomplish the purpose for why God send me. Pleas pray for me. I need Divine Wisdom. I need to be able to pray without causing pain to others or me.God Bless You

  • Bird

    I understand that demons hate God, but they also suffer from being separated from Him.. Is it possible that a demon could repent, and accept God as we can?

    • LizEst

      No. The angels (including the bad ones, the demons) are spirit and intelligence. At the time the demons made a definitive rejection of God and His will, they had everything necessary to make the right choice, but decided against God.

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