More Thoughts on the Demonic

The piece that I just posted — The Demonic — would have been much longer had I not been forced to shorten it for very good reasons. These few follow-up thoughts might be considered “leftovers” from that piece.

First, I would like to recommend the prayers of the Auxilium Christianorum association to our readers. Anyone who believes he is experiencing extraordinary demonic activity might seek help from that organization, which has a number of traditional priests involved in its work.

Second, in considering the devil’s role as deceiver — as “a liar and the father thereof” (John 8:44) — I should like to point out a wonderful literary illustration of this trait of the enemy of our salvation. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, the Satan figure, Morgoth, acts very much as a deceiver. Concerning the deceptions of Morgoth — his name means “enemy,” just as Satan means “adversary” — a very wise character named Melian, has this to say: “He that sees through the eyes of Morgoth, willing or unwilling, sees all things crooked.” The poor man to whom she spoke these words, Húrin, had been terribly deceived.

Next, the Devil is not only interested in stirring us up to violence and impurity — which I believe most believing Catholics are very much aware of — but he also seeks to get us depressed, discouraged, and otherwise down. As Brother Francis put it:

When Satan fails to make us bad,
He is most content to keep us sad;
For a heavy heart cannot contain
Buoyant thoughts from the high domain,
And must perforce gravitate
To matters of a lower state.

A good motivation to pray, including to your guardian angel, when such moods strike you.

Finally, a note about the internal senses, of which there are four, and to which the demons (and good angels) have access. These four internal senses are organic faculties; that is, they are localized in an organ: the brain. We enumerate them as follows: (sense) memory, imagination, the cogitative sense, and the so-called common sense (sensus communis), which is not the same as the “common sense” of common parlance. Those interested in understanding the internal senses better are invited to listen to Brother Francis’ course on Psychology.