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Do demons experience pleasure?

February 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

Dear Fr. Fortea, do demons experience pleasure? If so, how?

Yes, but only in a spiritual sense. As a pure spirit, a demon can derive pleasure only with his intelligence and will. Gargoyle_13 Wikimedia for post on whether demons experience pleasureIntellectual pleasures might seem less intense or real than the pleasures of the senses, but this is not the case. Pleasures of the intellect can be as sublime and varied as those of the five senses. Think about the enjoyment that reading a good book, playing a game of chess, or attending the symphony brings; such pleasures are eminently “spiritual”–that is, intellectual–even though the senses may be involved.

In spite of the demons’ drifting far from God, their spiritual powers–intellect and will–remain intact. So their ability to experience pleasure remains intact as well. What they cannot do is love someone with a supernatural love. The capacity to love has been annihilated in the psychology of a demon. A demon knows but does not love. The pleasure achieved in doing an evil act is the same as that which a human being feels when he gets revenge on an enemy–it is a pleasure filled with hate.

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 on whether demons experience pleasure: Gargoyle 13, Gargoyles Magdalen College Oxford England, Photographed by Chris Creagh, 27 July 2009 own work, CCA-SA 3.0 Unported; detail of Padre José Antonio Fortea 2017, photographed by Elgatoconbotaselgatoconbotas, 5 May 2017 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International, both 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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  • Grtgrandpa-Tom

    “The Screwtape Letters,” by C.S. Lewis is good reading to understand how the “Father Below” deals with the living. It is a story about how a old wise devil guides his nephew “Wormwood” on how to secure a soul and the damnation of a young man. “…the road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” (A line from the book).

  • $1650412

    This is interesting but very disconcerting. I think that most of us can probably identify with the sense of some sort of relief from whatever ‘pressure’ in having given in to some wicked impulse, but hopefully without much sense of satisfaction– especially compared to the joy or peace in overcoming a temptation, or in offering a sincere gift of self-donating sacrificial love. I can see how it could be a complete living hell to only find any sense of satisfaction in going from one wicked expression of oneself to another; and how that could become an all-consuming propelling force for perpetuating wickedness- God save us! It is comforting to know there is such a refuge in self-sacrifice in love-It makes me think even more profoundly of God, Who is love, as our rock of refuge, our stronghold and sure defense- and to consider the paradox of how it is in the pinned and impaled body of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, that the cleft in the Rock is opened wide for those who seek that refuge in Him.

  • LizEst

    Ah! They hate God, who is love, and they hate us because of God. They hate us also because God has also permitted us to love God and neighbor and allowed that we can put that into action.

    We’re no match for their smarts, but for all their intelligence and evil, what limited creatures the demons have been since they fell! How dumb they are to keep up their games when Christ has already won the victory and the gates of hell will never prevail.

  • Carol V.

    Sounds like a perverse and ultimately unsatisfying sort of pleasure, especially if they have cognitive knowledge of the love of God.  Yuck.

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