As noted in a previous post, a short while back I was reading a book about exorcisms written by a real-life official exorcist in the Catholic Church (Interview With An Exorcist by Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea). The book gave a brief rundown of some of the doctrinal points in demonology according to the Catholic Faith. It was all very interesting, but, to me, at least, it seemed tied to the ancient view of the cosmos such that the universe consisted of so many invisible concentric spheres with the stars at the outer most edge and the earth closer to the center. You know, that whole “Music of the Spheres” cosmology. Not particularly up-to-date. And I’m not sure how modern Catholicism resolves the difficulties of the original origin story of demons with our current understanding of the cosmos.
Anyway, the book discussed demons, how to deal with them, and how they came to be. We all (or most Christians, anyway) are aware that they are supposed to be fallen angels. That is, they once held prestigious places of honor in Heaven and then some event served as the catalyst for a revolt led by Lucifer. I found the demonologist’s description of this battle very peculiar. Prior to reading this book (and ignoring my own invented antichrist theology), I always thought that when the angels battled they really went at it. I thought they drew swords, or spears, or whatever, and hurled earth and fire upon each other. Not according to this demonologist. According to him, the angels and demons, being pure spirits without form, were unable to affect each other. What we describe as a battle was really just … an argument.
And that struck me as very strange.
Basically, the demons just took different positions and argued back and forth about the issue at hand (I think it was the destiny of humanity in the hierarchy of heaven or something along those lines—for some reason, God wanted to put them higher than the angels, and Lucifer refused to accept that—which is another thing that was news for me: I always thought we were lower than the angels and always would be). Words flew back and forth, but nobody was injured, or maimed, or killed, or anything like that. When it was over, the rebel angels were thrown down from heaven to the earth, or more specifically, the air where they took up residence and took on the mission of undermining all of God’s plans to the extent possible.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. Because, it is counter to what I always believed. I always thought that demons were these vaguely reptilian-like spirits who were already condemned to hell where they oversaw the torturing of the damned. Apparently, that’s in their future, but it hasn’t happened quite yet … depending on who you talk to. Because Marian prophecies certainly seem to indicate that.