Friday, June 11, 2010

Demons have personalities

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International has published a new book on exorcism entitled Exorcism and the Church Militant. Here is a brief passage from the book relating to something I did not know-- that demons have personalities.

Demons have personalities just as any human being has a personality. They are, after all, persons, except that they do not have bodies. We can know demonic personalities, and we can engage them in a battle precisely because they are personal beings, not impersonal forces of evil. This always becomes clear in situations where the demon uses the voice of the possessed individual to speak to the exorcist. The voice is the same as that of the human victim, but the personality behind the voice is different.

Each demon's personality is related somehow, mysteriously, to his function. A demon of anger will speak, well, angrily. Demons of pride will insult and mockingly laugh at the exorcist and blaspheme the things of God. I once heard a demon of bigotry shout out obscene remarks about minorities and other races; a demon of retaliation once yelled at me vainly, "You'll pay for this!" A demon of profanity used strings of curse words; and most curious of all, a demon of greed once asked me, "What's your price" (i.e., to stop the exorcism)?

It is important to discern the personalities of the stronger demons carefully in an exorcism. Their particular concerns, their relationship with the victim, their phobias and hatreds will give the priest a good sense of what their "function" is and how then to attack them most effectively. . . .