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Can the Devil and his followers communicate to people without the intermediary of someone in a bodily form?

I would appreciate a response that quotes Scripture, Tradition and examples of the Saints if at all possible.

If the demons cannot speak directly to people, how can they manifest themselves to mankind?

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    Let's go back to how to use question marks, if we are asking a question. Plus, the mindlessly easy answer to this If the demons cannot speak directly to people, how can they manifest themselves to mankind is "TV and Movies." Where is this question coming from? It seems incomplete. – KorvinStarmast Oct 30 '19 at 3:20
  • Sis.Agnes in Akita, the angel can communicate with her even without bodies. Sis.Agnes sees the angel in human likeness. St.Padre Pio the devil visited and talk to him even punish him without bodies, only appearance of pseudo images.By Divine Providence the angel can take a visible form to communicate to the level of human senses. Bibilical or actual testimony can be use to answer this type of question. Mystics are good resource. – jong ricafort Oct 30 '19 at 5:15
  • Just an idea: read accounts by Catholic exorcists such as this book I'm currently reading, by famous exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth: An Exorcist Tells His Story – GratefulDisciple Mar 29 at 0:11
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Demons can communicate with humans without bodily intermediaries

(My source throughout will be the First Part of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica)

Although spiritual creatures can take on a bodily form, they are able to influence humans and creation without doing so. First consider that the assaults of demons consist primarily in temptation and instigation to sin, and that this can be achieved through evil thoughts or near occasions of sin apart from bodily mediation.

Secondly, consider the fact that demons can work miracles (cf. ST Ia, Q. 110, A. 4; and ST Ia, Q. 114, A. 4). St. Thomas defines the miracles that demons are able to work in a particular sense:

But sometimes miracle may be taken in a wide sense, for whatever exceeds the human power and experience. And thus demons can work miracles, that is, things which rouse man's astonishment, by reason of their being beyond his power and outside his sphere of knowledge. (ST Ia, Q. 114, A. 4, corpus)

So when the demons do anything of their own natural power, these things are called "miracles" not in an absolute sense, but in reference to ourselves. In this way the magicians work miracles through the demons; and these are said to be done by "private contracts"... (ST Ia, Q. 110, A. 4, ad 2)

Such a miracle could obviously include a communication with man apart from the mediation of a bodily form. For example, a demon could tempt man by placing an evil thought into his mind. This is an example of a "miracle" (in the broad sense) that a demon is capable of working, and the demon can do this directly, without the mediation of a bodily form.

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  • Wouldn’t using the subject’s mind confined to the subject’s body by definition be manifesting through a body? I get the impression that the OP is asking if the demon can manifest outside of the subject being communicated to and yet without a body. Say in the form of a “ghost” which I would argue might still be a vision of the mind and not necessarily a bodiless apparition. If however a digital camera could capture the “ghost” then yes that would be proof that the demon manifested/appeared absent of a body. I would also make a distinction between daimon (half angel) and daimonion (full angel) – Autodidact Dec 2 '19 at 14:03
  • For Thomas, if it can be captured by a digital camera then it is corporeal. If a ghost is objectively visible then it is being manifested materially, even if the material is different from a human body. Of course Thomas also admits that spiritual creatures can take on bodily forms, as referenced in the answer. This would include the bodily form of so-called "spiritual matter." – zippy2006 Dec 4 '19 at 3:13
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According to Catholicism, do evil spirits need bodies to manifest themselves to people?

The answer is NO!

A good example is when Satan tempted Jesus Christ in the desert;

Matthew 4:1-11 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

We can see from above gospel narration that Satan did not indwelt any human bodies to manifest and communicate himself to Jesus Christ the Son of Man.

A lot of examples can be found in the Mystics of the Church wherein demons manifest themselves in their horrible form to some victim souls. A good one is St. Gemma Galgani. See this link;

MYSTICS OF THE CHURCH

THIS WEBSITE IS DEVOTED TO THE EXTRAORDINARY MYSTICS AND VISIONARIES OF THE CHURCH, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE LESSER KNOWN, SUCH AS ST GEMMA GALGANI, BLESSED ALEXANDRINA DA COSTA, SR CONSOLATA BETRONE, THERESE NEUMANN, REV. PERE LAMY, GABRIELLE BOSSIS, JOSEFA MENENDEZ, MARTHE ROBIN, SERVANT OF GOD LOUISE LATEAU, BLESSED ANNA MARIA TAIGI, SISTER MARY OF THE HOLY TRINITY, SISTER MARIA ANTONIA AND OTHERS. THE AUTHOR ENDEAVORS ALWAYS TO BE IN COMMUNION WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND ITS TEACHINGS.

The only mysterious question is, in the Garden of Eden why would Satan opted to indwelt the serpent if he can manifest himself even without a body?

The answer is, Satan had opted to hide from the serpent because appearing as a fallen angel will find himself inferior to Adam & Eve who were both cloth with the Light of God.

Satan if he opted to appear in his angelic state as cast out, will only have a "false light".

"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2Corinthian11:14)

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    Thank you again for the downvote!!!!!..without explanation. the usual suspect strikes again! Whoever you are be man enough to explain your downvote! – jong ricafort Oct 30 '19 at 18:06
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    There is no indication in the 4th chapter of Matthew that Satan did not appear to Jesus in a bodily form. – zippy2006 Oct 30 '19 at 18:13
  • @jongricafort The question is tagged [catholicism], and you're quoting a Protestant bible translation. – Geremia Oct 30 '19 at 18:21
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    @zippy2006 Satan definitely wont appear to Jesus possessing a human body, why? lt would be the first instance Jesus would cast out a demon. Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in his angelic form, satan would do the same with Jesus. – jong ricafort Oct 30 '19 at 20:24
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    @jongricafort A basic Catholic principle you're missing is that spiritual beings can assume bodies. A common interpretation of Matthew 4 is that Satan appeared in a bodily form, not that Satan spoke to Jesus through a person he was possessing. Those are two very different things, and the text by no means tells us that Satan didn't appear in a bodily form. Indeed it seems intuitive to assume that he did just that. – zippy2006 Oct 31 '19 at 18:09

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