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Infinite Evil — Does it Exist? An Exorcist Reponds

March 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Evil, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

Father Fortea, does “infinite evil” exist?

No, evil is limited. Evil always exists in a finite being; it does not exist in itself. While an infinite being (i.e., God) can exist, infinite evil cannot because it is merely a lack (or privation) of a good that should be present in a being.

infinite evil
But, one may ask, couldn’t an infinite being deform itself infinitely? Here’s the problem: to degrade itself, this infinite being would have to desire something disordered. Having all the fullness of being in itself, it cannot desire anything outside of itself. As such, the possibility of an infinite lack (i.e., evil) in an infinite being is logically and metaphysically impossible.

 

Thus, temptation is impossible for God. He cannot sin since nothing can attract Him to evil. God cannot desire anything outside of Himself.

 

Editor’s Note: 

To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction 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.

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull is a priest, exorcist, and writer from Spain. He has published many books, some of which have been translated from Spanish into English, and has spoken at various venues in the United States. His most famous title is the Summa Daemoniaca, currently available only in Spanish. His book Exorcistica is a supplemental publication of Summa Daemoniaca.

To see many other posts on spiritual warfare and demonology, please click on the following link to see all our posts in this series: Spiritual Warfare and Demonology Posts (and Their Links) on SpiritualDirection.com

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Art: gargola (monasterio epazoyucan hgo), 3 September 2012, own work, Eduardo alfaro mellado, 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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  • Pastor Diane

    So true and God Bless You Fr. fortea! You take the difficult path, as do I. Evil is not infinite. God could never be tempted by his own creation(s) and their choices via free will. He is the Creator of all. God is order, peace, harmony and love…evil is disorder, unrest, no peace and hate. One day id like to see a world wherein people think, contemplate, meditate, pray over the scripture, sermons, homilies and prayers said at mass and read between the lines…as all of the above offer peace, love, harmony and sanctuary for all…just be hungry enough, fervent enough, to listen, hear and trust. God loves and protects us all….we just have to believe. Thank you so very much for your blessed and inspirational posts! We are strengthened and blessed by your works.

  • MarcAlcan

    If separation from God (hell) is eternal, would that not mean that evil is infinite, meaning eternal?

    If evil is finite, Satan has an end, and hell would have an end, then there is no eternal separation from God. What happens to those in hell then? Do they cease being evil?

    Would appreciate if you show the flaw in this extension.

    • $1650412

      I have thought about this too. Those who choose eternal separation from God are finite in that they are created and therefore have a beginning and significant limitations- boundaries, if you will. God set the boundaries, and He has created eternal souls with full comprehension of the ramifications. I think we are deceived when we assume that evil and hell are somehow a diminishment of God, His perfection and goodness, our eternal happiness in heaven etc. We have to remember to always orient our thinking according to what is good, beautiful, and true, those things that are central about Our Lord- to elevate our understanding above what is temporal. The devil can only perpetrate his misery at man by way of the degradation of the temporal order, and there are limits to his power, influence and lies.
      He cannot really stand much against faith, hope, and love integrated in a soul- he rails againt virtue, and he sets myriad snares, in an effort to disuade, distract and disorient- but the Christian oriented, grounded, and grafted into the Trinity always has the greater power. The mystery is in abandonment to Divine Providence and divine Love. ‘No greater love…’ and ‘whoever sacrifices his life for My sake….’ Satan cannot perceive self forgetful love, he is blind to the purity in the expression of the evangelical counsels- he totally gets pride sensuality and vanity- and can cleverly see where and how to set every possible snare, but his only ‘success’ is completely dependent upon manipulating or obscuring our understanding about God.

      • MarcAlcan

        Thanks Jo. I think that is the clarification I was seeking – that there is no equivalence between eternity (which relates purely to temporal reality) and infinity (which relates to both spatial and temporal aspects of reality). So my error was in conflating the two.

        • $1650412

          I have queried the Lord alot on hell and damnation, because I find it hard to understand God’s sovereignty, and the overcoming power of love when someone we love chooses perdition. It is a mystery, and not really possible for the mind of man to grasp, but the power of love , the perfection of God is able to contain and triumph over even eternal rejection and rebellion against Him. Crazy, right? Actually, I find that the glimpse of grace into this truth is a source of incomparable joy… 🙂

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