A question that comes up from time to time is "Can the Devil just do anything he wants to? Can he attack anyone he wants to and attack them in any way he sees fit?" A scary thought to say the least. It leaves us with images of just wandering into the eye line of a demon and being devoured.
Thankfully it does not work like that at all. It is true that one of the conditions of being alive in a post "Fall" world is being subject to the tyranny of the Devil. We are all subject to the onslaughts of the dominion of darkness. We need to remember, though, that this is a mysterious part of God's great plan for us. It is not merely the result of the Fall but also an opportunity to increase our merit. Should we make it to heaven we will have fought our way there.
Like everything else Demons were created and still answer to their Creator. Just because they were created Angelic and through their pride became Demonic does not mean they achieved autonomy. God limits their power and for that we should be thankful. Padre Pio described the Devil like a dog on a chain. This does not mean we should take their assaults lightly. It only means we need to have recourse to the one who holds the chain and his laws.
The Roman Catechism describes the relationship between the Demonic world and God like this:
"But should any of the faithful, through weakness of mind or ignorance of the truth, feel terrified at the power of the devils, they are to be encouraged, when overtaken by the storm of temptation, to take refuge in this harbour of prayer, for the power and pertinacity of Satan, however great, are not, in his utter hatred of mankind, such as to enable him to tempt or torment as much, or as long, as he pleases; but all his power is governed by the control and permission of God. Of this we have a most conspicuous example in Job, nothing belonging to whom could the devil have touched, had not God said, Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand; whilst, on the other hand, he himself, with his children, and all that he possessed, would have been at once destroyed by the devil, if God had not added, Only put not forth thy hand upon himself. So restricted is the power of devils, that, without the permission of God, they could not enter even into the swine mentioned by the Evangelists."
We are all tempted each day by our spiritual adversaries but we take heart in the fact that God will not allow them to use the full force of their nature against us. For that we can be thankful!
(Like this paragraph the Catechism of the Council of Trent offers many insights into Demonology. This week my Patreon supporters received a document with all Roman Catechism references pertinent to Demonology. If you'd like to learn more about spiritual warfare from the heart of the Church join my Patreon team at www.Patreon.com/DaveVanVickle