XXV. OF THE ACTION OF THE BAD ANGELS OR OF THE DEMONS
Can the devils attack and tempt men?
Why is it possible for the devils to attack and tempt man?
The devils are able to attack and to tempt man by reason of their wickedness, and because God can make use of the very temptation for the good of his chosen ones (CXIV. 1).
Is it proper to the devils alone to tempt man?
In what sense is it said that it is proper to the devils alone to tempt man?
It is proper to the devils to tempt man in this sense, that they alone tempt man always with the object of doing him harm and in the hope that man might be lost (CXIV. 2).
Can the devils perform miracles in order to tempt and to seduce man?
No, the devils are unable to perform true miracles in order to tempt and to seduce man, but they can perform things that have the appearance of miracles.
What is meant by the words: appearance of miracles?
By these words are understood prodigies which exceed manner of acting of the things around us as far as knowledge of them goes, but which, however, do not exceed the natural power of the whole of creatures (CXIV 4).
By what sign above all may one detect these spurious miracles performed by the devils?
Above all one may detect them by this, that they are related to something that is bad, and consequently God cannot be their author as He is of true miracles (XIV. 4, Obj. 3).
Next - The Catechism of the Summa - XXVI. OF THE ACTION OF THE MATERIAL WORLD OR OF THE WHOLE OF THE COSMOS
(This is no longer being shared from the Kindle edition. I'm now sharing from the Jacques Maritain Center, at the University of Notre Dame.)
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