How the devil uses the memory and emotions from St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. I quote a bit but a good article to consider as we head into Advent. Denial and shrugging this spiritual truth off is exactly what the evil one wants us to do.
Ways of Demonic Temptations
The demonic temptation generally affects the psychosomatic powers; viz., the imagination, memory, and sensory appetite, which are important for using and controlling our emotions. By tempting these powers, demons disturb the sensory appetite and indirectly affect the intellect and will. The experiences of Teresa and John of the Cross verify this doctrine which is commonly accepted in spiritual theology. John says that the greatest demonic deception is through the memory, and that it can last a long time, especially in souls that are engrossed in the dark night of the senses at the threshold of the night of the spirit. mermaid prom party outfits in black
In addition to ordinary temptations of imagination and memory, souls in advanced states of perfection are the object of another kind of temptation. The devil knows that a temptation causing the downfall of an advanced soul cannot usually be an open temptation, which is easily rejected, but a deception (viz., evil) under the appearance of good. Thus Teresa writes:
But the devil comes with his artful wiles, and, under the color of doing good, sets about undermining it in trivial ways, and working it in practices which, so he gives it to understand, are not wrong; little by little he darkens its understanding and weakens its will, and causes its self love to increase in one way or another he begins to withdraw it from the love of God and persuade to indulge its own wishes. (Interior Castle 120)
John of the Cross also writes of these experiences, observing that the devil causes the greatest harm and makes the soul lose abundant riches by alluring it with a little bait out of the simple waters of the spirit. Teresa had similar experiences, finding that this sort of temptation usually occurs with contemplative souls who find themselves in the "fifth mansion;" the mansion characterized by the contemplative prayer of union with God.
The Devil Counterfeits God
To deceive contemplative souls, the devil also counterfeits God. Obvious temptations are disguised as false apparitions of saints, or in beautiful or apparently holy words. John says:
The devil often purveys objects to the senses, affording to the sense of sight images of saints and most beautiful lights . . . And to the sense of smell, fragrant odors; and he puts sweetness in one's mouth, and delight in the sense of touch. He does all of this so that by enticing persons through these sensory objects he may induce them into many evils. (Ascent, 133)
Teresa experienced such temptations on several occasions when the devil attempted to present himself to her as the Lord by making a false likeness of Him. But she noticed that the soul becomes troubled, despondent, restless, and is unable to pray. The same is true concerning interior locutions, also difficult for the soul to judge. In these cases, John of the Cross advises that accurate discernment depends on the holiness of the spiritual director: "A person, in consequence, will have to be very spiritual to recognize this" (Ascent)