Why does the evil one manifest ?

June 2, 2021


I know the devil hates us and wants to see us damed in hell forever. He wants us to live in mortal sin. We can unknowngly invite demonic activity into our lives (obession, oppression, vexation, and in physical objects infestation) when we commit moral sin. Manifestations may appear if we are in mortal sin [of course there can be manifestations when we are in grace, see St. Padre Pio]. But won't such manifestation drive 90% or more people to turn to God? It would seem better for the devil to just hide and let us lie, cheat, look at pornography, intoxicate ourself and not say a word. What does the devil gain by terrifying us via manifestation? If the devil's goal is sin, it would be smarter to lead people to deny his existence, rather than manifest (and drive people to Christ, Our Blessed Mother, and St. Michael). Right? 


Diabolical manifestation occurs when one’s will is in conflict with the demons, when your will is aligned with the demon there will be no diabolic manifestation.  In other words, if you are diabolically afflicted and you are praying, reading the bible or being prayed over by a Priest or lay people, these practices torment and trigger the demon. 


This is my fault in that my question wasn't written well.  I should not have used the word "manifest." Manifestation, as I learned from you and Father Ripperger, is when the energumen exhibits preternatural changes (i.e, shape-shifting) or is physically violent or verbally abusive.  Rather than manifest, I wanted to ask: why the Devil appears in his true, ugly, hideous, repulsive, terrifying form at times (not in the context of an energuman)?  Because my logic is that he would trap more of us by just letting us sin and temping us with worldly pleasures.  Those that appear attractive. But when the Devil appears in his true hideous, disgusting form he frighten us, thus and drives 95 % of us toward Christ.  Wouldn't it be smarter for the Devil to hide his hideous form? Why does the Devil shown his hideous true form (i.e., when he has appeared and tried to frighten saints like St. Padre Pio and St.  John Vianney)?  Does God force the Devil to show the Devil's true hideous nature at times ( knowing that the power of the Devil is not infinite and the Devil only acts with the permission of God, see CCC paragraph #395 ).  Your expert opinion Jesse?


To understand the enemy, we must first understand that, like every serpent, he slithers and hides. He is not obvious, and he wears many disguises. He is not easy to identify. Indeed, he is so subtle in his camouflage and subterfuge that we are usually blind to his real identity, and he remains invisible.  The devil usually disguises himself as an angel of light (cf. 2 Cor 11:4).  You are correct, demons DO NOT like to manifest because than they are exposed and the person and Priest can now start the process of healing and liberation. Fr Antonio Fortea explains how demons operate. Read the following:

“There are two principal types of demons that cause two distinct types of possession – the clausi and the aperti. A clausus demon causes the possessed to close his eyes (with them rolled back) when entering into a trance. An apertus demon causes the possessed to keep his eyes open while in a trance, giving looks of anger and rage, and speaking a great deal. The aperti are loquacious and violent, and the possessed person often needs to be held down during the exorcism; the clausi will speak after sometime of prayer, always without opening their eyes, but others are completely mute.”[i]

“The abditi (latin for hidden or secret) demons are those that hide in the interior of the possessed person without showing themselves in anyway. The person notices a change in his life and feels strange things that make him suspect there is an external force that has entered him. He can even experience preternatural phenomena. But when the Priest prays the demon resists and gives no sign of being present…In some cases, abditi demons have been able to resist two hours of exorcism without giving the least sign of their presence. After much insistence, though, the demon cannot resist any longer and shows himself in all his rage and with all the signs that often appear in possession. [ii]The abditi demons…are not…a distinct type of demon; they are simply demons who hide themselves within the person. Once they have been forced to reveal themselves, they will act like the clausi or aperti demons.”[iii]

[i] Fortea José Antonio. Interview with an Exorcist: an Insiders Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance. Ascension Press, 2006.

[ii] Ibid, 77

[iii] Ibid, 88