How are demons and the damned -before the resurrection- tormented in hell?

Started by GMC, January 16, 2023, 03:04:30 PM

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Demons have no body, neither do the damned until the resurrection. So, how do they feel pain without a central nervous system?

It seems that the damned men will suffer more punishment than the demons, despite the fact that men sinned to a lesser degree by not having perfect knowledge and having their will damaged by original sin and the weakness of the flesh.


Quote from: GMC on January 16, 2023, 03:04:30 PMDemons have no body, neither do the damned until the resurrection. So, how do they feel pain without a central nervous system?

It seems that the damned men will suffer more punishment than the demons, despite the fact that men sinned to a lesser degree by not having perfect knowledge and having their will damaged by original sin and the weakness of the flesh.

Where did you read they feel pain ? All I've ever read is they face eternal suffering.

Not dismissing your question. Just curious if a Saint, Doctor, pope, etc said it.
"From the moment we awake in the morning, let us pray continually in the words of holy David: Turn away my eyes, that they may not behold vanity"
St Alphonsus

"I will set my face against you, and you shall fall down before your enemies, and shall be made subject to them that hate you, you shall flee when no man pursueth you"
Leviticus 26:17

"Behold, O God our protector : and look upon the face of Thy Christ" (Ps. 79:20) Here is devotion to the face of Jesus Christ as prophesized by David."
Fr. Lawrence Daniel Carney III


The PERCEPTION of pain is immaterial and is an operation of the soul.  Pain on the material realm is just a bit code, open and closed neurons.  That's not "pain" or perception.  So any soul or demon can perceive pain, the material component is not necessary.

The greatest pain will be the emotional feeling of losing God, forever.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"

Michael Wilson

God created Hell to punish the wicked Angels and the reprobate; the pain of Hell is twofold; 1. Of the privation of the vision of God. 2. Of the torment of the fire. How does a material fire affect a spiritual being, such as an Angel or a soul without a body? Its basically a mystery; we have to take God's word on it.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers


Here's my personal theory: We have it wrong when we think that our bodies cause us pain. Actually, it's our souls that feel pain, and it's our bodies that isolate and protect us.

When we get a cut that hurts, what happens? Our body is no longer protecting us, and now we are exposed to the reality of pain. Same with heat. Usually our body is working as hard as it can 24/7 to heat us up when it's cold or cool us down when it's hot. When our body can no longer protect us is when we feel the pain of touching a hot stove or the pain of freezing to death.

Our bodies protest us not just from physical pain but from other kinds of pain as well, such as the pain of being lost. Imagine going off into a dream, perhaps a nightmare, and never being able to return. That's what we would experience every time we fall asleep if our bodies didn't bring us back to our senses. Imagine wandering forever through empty space, like an astronaut whose lifeline has been cut. That's our life without the anchor provided by our bodies.

Our bodies give us our sense of self, and what is more painful than losing one's sense of self? You look into the mirror and see your body and say, "Ahh, I am still me." When we wonder, "Am I dreaming or am I awake? Am I alive or am I dead?" then we pinch ourselves or slap ourselves, and the slight physical pain is overwhelmed by the sense of relief provided by the tangible interaction with our bodies.

Yes, death can be accompanied sometimes by great pain, and yet our souls desperately cling to that body anyway, despite the pain. What does that tell us? Our soul knows that even the worst pain of end-stage cancer, to take one example, is nothing compared to what happens when our souls lose the protective insulation of our bodies.


Our mortal body possesses so many nerves that send signal to our brain to feel the pain among other forms of feelings. Our soul suffers because we have freewill that is wounded that only God can heal. The commonality between angels and humans is we both have freewill. The freewill that God gave to angels is more potent than ours because they can communicate without speaking and can execute actions through the same freewill. The overt acts of humans to perform our thoughts is because we have material constitution since we are both body and soul which is not true to angels who are purely spirits.

Ergo, the pain and suffering of the fallen angels is through freewill. It is the reason they hate the people who think about God. That is the reason a person whose center of life is Jesus is free from the demonic possession. The devil can have access to our thoughts through the same freewill and this is just a side note.

Under the circumstances, the pain that the demons suffer is worse than the humans because their freewill is more powerful than ours. God cannot help them on that because He cannot contradict that gift of freewill that He gave to them.

In my limited understanding, the demons are so envious to the humans because we have Mary who conceived Jesus and so we are redeemed from the original sin. I see this aspect that we are in a better position than the angels because we can be redeemed from sinfulness.


QuoteOur mortal body possesses so many nerves that send signal to our brain to feel the pain among other forms of feelings.

This is a little ambiguous.

Nerves detect a "pain situation" and communicate this state to the brain.  The brain sets a bit code, sometimes called a "flag" based on open and closed positions of neurons.  Basically the brain indicates that a painful situation is present.  It is metaphysically impossible for the brain to perceive pain qua pain.

I'll use an example.  Suppose you have a wood burning stove and you want to be alerted if it gets too hot.  You put a temperature switch on the stove.  This is wired to a battery and lightbulb.  (for those who are electrically inclined, a relay instead of a light bulb would be a better analogy).  The temperature switch makes contact when the temperature reaches a certain high level.

So the temperature switch is like the nerves in your finger that sense a high temperature.  The switch closes and sends an electrical signal to the light bulb (in the better analogy, the relay contact closes).  The high temperature can be considered "painful" to the temperature switch, but obviously there is nothing there to sense pain qua pain.

The brain and nerves operate in similar fashion.  Perception is a faculty of the soul.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"


^^Brutes can feel the pain too. But they do not have the soul of humans that ought to be connected to God. What makes you and me different from the pets is we have soul that must be in heaven thus the necessity to comply with the laws of God. It is the reason the signal to the brain of dogs has no faculty of the soul that humans possess, because brutes are not endowed with freewill by God that is exclusive to the humans and angels.

The brutes have that signal in their respective brain also which are derived and delivered by way of the nerves they possess and so they instinctively act. Humans have their instinct too and that is attributable to that material constitution, but we are unique because like the angels we have freewill and so we discern.

So the bottom line is even if the angels have no body or flesh to physically feel the pain by way of that mechanical and electronic signal that I described, they must feel that pain through the possession of freewill.

Dogs feel the pain but they are incapable of feeling that pain out of sinfulness which that form of suffering of the same living material creation of God can only be felt by the human soul. This is also true in case of the fallen angels or demons sans their flesh who committed the sin of pride among others who should suffer from that unimaginable pain in hell. Freewill is the reason of that.


Regardless of how exactly the pain of sense works, none of us can imagine the pain of loss of losing the infinite God.

I would be pretty bummed out to lose $100. If I somehow lost $1000, I'd never forget it and would probably take a year or so to get over it. $100,000, and we would likely be bankrupt beggars.

The pain of losing something infinite is scary to ponder.
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

Jean Carrier

Quote from: GMC on January 16, 2023, 03:04:30 PMDemons have no body, neither do the damned until the resurrection. So, how do they feel pain without a central nervous system?

It seems that the damned men will suffer more punishment than the demons, despite the fact that men sinned to a lesser degree by not having perfect knowledge and having their will damaged by original sin and the weakness of the flesh.

Quote from: St. ThomasArt. 3: Whether the separated soul can suffer from a bodily fire?

OBJ 1: It would seem that the separated soul cannot suffer from a bodily fire. For Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii): "The things that affect the soul well or ill after its separation from the body, are not corporeal but resemble corporeal things." Therefore the separated soul is not punished with a bodily fire.

OBJ 2: Further, Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xii) says that "the agent is always more excellent than the patient." But it is impossible for any body to be more excellent than the separated soul. Therefore it cannot suffer from a body.

OBJ 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (De Gener. i) and Boethius (De Duab. Natur.) only those things that agree in matter are active and passive in relation to one another. But the soul and corporeal fire do not agree in matter, since there is no matter common to spiritual and corporeal things: wherefore they cannot be changed into one another, as Boethius says (De Duab. Natur.). Therefore the separated soul does not suffer from a bodily fire.

OBJ 4: Further, whatsoever is patient receives something from the agent. Therefore if the soul suffer from the bodily fire, it will receive something therefrom. Now whatsoever is received in a thing is received according to the mode of the recipient. Therefore that which is received in the soul from the fire, is in it not materially but spiritually. Now the forms of things existing spiritually in the soul are its perfections. Therefore though it be granted that the soul suffer from the bodily fire, this will not conduce to its punishment, but rather to its perfection.

OBJ 5: Further, if it be said that the soul is punished merely by seeing the fire, as Gregory would seem to say (Dial. iv, 29). On the contrary, if the soul sees the fire of hell, it cannot see it save by intellectual vision, since it has not the organs by which sensitive or imaginative vision is effected. But it would seem impossible for intellectual vision to be the cause of sorrow, since "there is no sorrow contrary to the pleasure of considering," according to the Philosopher (Topic. i, 13). Therefore the soul is not punished by that vision.

OBJ 6: Further, if it be said that the soul suffers from the corporeal fire, through being held thereby, even as now it is held by the body while living in the body; on the contrary, the soul while living in the body is held by the body in so far as there results one thing from the soul and the body, as from form and matter. But the soul will not be the form of that corporeal fire. Therefore it cannot be held by the fire in the manner aforesaid.

OBJ 7: Further, every bodily agent acts by contact. But a corporeal fire cannot be in contact with the soul, since contact is only between corporeal things whose bounds come together. Therefore the soul suffers not from that fire.

OBJ 8: Further, an organic agent does not act on a remote object, except through acting on the intermediate objects; wherefore it is able to act at a fixed distance in proportion to its power. But souls, or at least the demons to whom this equally applies, are sometimes outside the place of hell, since sometimes they appear to men even in this world: and yet they are not then free from punishment, for just as the glory of the saints is never interrupted, so neither is the punishment of the damned. And yet we do not find that all the intermediate things suffer from the fire of hell: nor again is it credible that any corporeal thing of an elemental nature has such a power that its action can reach to such a distance. Therefore it does not seem that the pains suffered by the souls of the damned are inflicted by a corporeal fire.

On the contrary, The possibility of suffering from a corporeal fire is equally consistent with separated souls and with demons. Now demons suffer therefrom since they are punished by that fire into which the bodies of the damned will be cast after the resurrection, and which must needs be as corporeal fire. This is evident from the words of our Lord (Mt. 25:41), "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil," etc. Therefore separated souls also can suffer from that fire.

Further, punishment should correspond to sin. Now in sinning the soul subjected itself to the body by sinful concupiscence. Therefore it is just that it should be punished by being made subject to a bodily thing by suffering therefrom.

Further, there is greater union between form and matter than between agent and patient. Now the diversity of spiritual and corporeal nature does not hinder the soul from being the form of the body. Therefore neither is it an obstacle to its suffering from a body.

I answer that, Given that the fire of hell is not so called metaphorically, nor an imaginary fire, but a real corporeal fire, we must needs say that the soul will suffer punishment from a corporeal fire, since our Lord said (Mt. 25:41) that this fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, who are incorporeal even as the soul. But how it is that they can thus suffer is explained in many ways.

For some have said that the mere fact that the soul sees the fire makes the soul suffer from the fire: wherefore Gregory (Dial. iv, 29) says: "The soul suffers from the fire by merely seeing it." But this does not seem sufficient, because whatever is seen, from the fact that it is seen, is a perfection of the seer. wherefore it cannot conduce to his punishment, as seen. Sometimes, however, it is of a penal or unpleasant nature accidentally, in so far, to wit, as it is apprehended as something hurtful, and consequently, besides the fact that the soul sees the fire, there must needs be some relation of the soul to the fire, according to which the fire is hurtful to the soul.

Hence others have said that although a corporeal fire cannot burn the soul, the soul nevertheless apprehends it as hurtful to itself, and in consequence of this apprehension is seized with fear and sorrow, in fulfillment of Ps. 13:5, "They have trembled for fear, where there was no fear." Hence Gregory says (Dial. iv, 29) that "the soul burns through seeing itself aflame." But this, again, seems insufficient, because in this case the soul would suffer from the fire, not in reality but only in apprehension: for although a real passion of sorrow or pain may result from a false imagination, as Augustine observes (Gen. ad lit. xii), it cannot be said in relation to that passion that one really suffers from the thing, but from the image of the thing that is present to one's fancy. Moreover, this kind of suffering would be more unlike real suffering than that which results from imaginary vision, since the latter is stated to result from real images of things, which images the soul carries about with it, whereas the former results from false fancies which the erring soul imagines: and furthermore, it is not probable that separated souls or demons, who are endowed with keen intelligence, would think it possible for a corporeal fire to hurt them, if they were nowise distressed thereby.

Hence others say that it is necessary to admit that the soul suffers even really from the corporeal fire: wherefore Gregory says (Dial. iv, 29): "We can gather from the words of the Gospel, that the soul suffers from the fire not only by seeing it, but also by feeling it." They explain the possibility of this as follows. They say that this corporeal fire can be considered in two ways. First, as a corporeal thing, and thus it has not the power to act on the soul. Secondly, as the instrument of the vengeance of Divine justice. For the order of Divine justice demands that the soul which by sinning subjected itself to corporeal things should be subjected to them also in punishment. Now an instrument acts not only in virtue of its own nature, but also in virtue of the principal agent: wherefore it is not unreasonable if that fire, seeing that it acts in virtue of a spiritual agent, should act on the spirit of a man or demon, in the same way as we have explained the sanctification of the soul by the sacraments (TP, Q[62], AA[1],4).

But, again, this does not seem to suffice, since every instrument, in acting on that on which it is used instrumentally, has its own connatural action besides the action whereby it acts in virtue of the principal agent: in fact it is by fulfilling the former that it effects the latter action, even as, in Baptism, it is by laving the body that water sanctifies the soul, and the saw by cutting wood produces the shape of a house.

Hence we must allow the fire to exercise on the soul an action connatural to the fire, in order that it may be the instrument of Divine justice in the punishment of sin: and for this reason we must say that a body cannot naturally act on a spirit, nor in any way be hurtful or distressful to it, except in so far as the latter is in some way united to a body: for thus we observe that "the corruptible body is a load upon the soul" (Wis. 9:15). Now a spirit is united to a body in two ways. In one way as form to matter, so that from their union there results one thing simply: and the spirit that is thus united to a body both quickens the body and is somewhat burdened by the body: but it is not thus that the spirit of man or demon is united to the corporeal fire. In another way as the mover is united to the things moved, or as a thing placed is united to place, even as incorporeal things are in a place. In this way created incorporeal spirits are confined to a place, being in one place in such a way as not to be in another. Now although of its nature a corporeal thing is able to confine an incorporeal spirit to a place, it is not able of its nature to detain an incorporeal spirit in the place to which it is confined, and so to tie it to that place that it be unable to seek another, since a spirit is not by nature in a place so as to be subject to place. But the corporeal fire is enabled as the instrument of the vengeance of Divine justice thus to detain a spirit; and thus it has a penal effect on it, by hindering it from fulfilling its own will, that is by hindering it from acting where it will and as it will.

This way is asserted by Gregory (Dial. iv, 29). For in explaining how the soul can suffer from that fire by feeling it, he expresses himself as follows: "Since Truth declares the rich sinner to be condemned to fire, will any wise man deny that the souls of the wicked are imprisoned in flames?" Julian [*Bishop of Toledo, Prognostic ii, 17] says the same as quoted by the Master (Sent. iv, D, 44): "If the incorporeal spirit of a living man is held by the body, why shall it not be held after death by a corporeal fire?" and Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xxi, 10) that "just as, although the soul is spiritual and the body corporeal, man is so fashioned that the soul is united to the body as giving it life, and on account of this union conceives a great love for its body, so it is chained to the fire, as receiving punishment therefrom, and from this union conceives a loathing."

Accordingly we must unite all the aforesaid modes together, in order to understand perfectly how the soul suffers from a corporeal fire: so as to say that the fire of its nature is able to have an incorporeal spirit united to it as a thing placed is united to a place; that as the instrument of Divine justice it is enabled to detain it enchained as it were, and in this respect this fire is really hurtful to the spirit, and thus the soul seeing the fire as something hurtful to it is tormented by the fire. Hence Gregory (Dial. iv, 29) mentions all these in order, as may be seen from the above quotations.

Reply OBJ 1: Augustine speaks there as one inquiring: wherefore he expresses himself otherwise when deciding the point, as quoted above (De Civ. Dei xxi). Or we may reply that Augustine means to say that the things which are the proximate occasion of the soul's pain or sorrow are spiritual, since it would not be distressed unless it apprehended the fire as hurtful to it: wherefore the fire as apprehended is the proximate cause of its distress, whereas the corporeal fire which exists outside the soul is the remote cause of its distress.

Reply OBJ 2: Although the soul is simply more excellent than the fire, the fire is relatively more excellent than the soul, in so far, to wit, as it is the instrument of Divine justice.

Reply OBJ 3: The Philosopher and Boethius are speaking of the action whereby the patient is changed into the nature of the agent. Such is not the action of the fire on the soul: and consequently the argument is not conclusive.

Reply OBJ 4: By acting on the soul the fire bestows nothing on it but detains it, as stated above. Hence the argument is not to the point.

Reply OBJ 5: In intellectual vision sorrow is not caused by the fact that something is seen, since the thing seen as such can nowise be contrary to the intellect. But in the sensible vision the thing seen, by its very action on the sight so as to be seen, there may be accidentally something corruptive of the sight, in so far as it destroys the harmony of the organ Nevertheless, intellectual vision may cause sorrow, in so far as the thing seen is apprehended as hurtful, not that it hurts through being seen, but in some other way no matter which. It is thus that the soul in seeing the fire is distressed.

Reply OBJ 6: The comparison does not hold in every respect, but it does in some, as explained above.

Reply OBJ 7: Although there is no bodily contact between the soul and body, there is a certain spiritual contact between them (even as the mover of the heaven, being spiritual, touches the heaven, when it moves it, with a spiritual contact) in the same way as a "painful object is said to touch," as stated in De Gener. i. This mode of contact is sufficient for action.

Reply OBJ 8: The souls of the damned are never outside hell, except by Divine permission, either for the instruction or for the trial of the elect. And wherever they are outside hell they nevertheless always see the fire thereof as prepared for their punishment. Wherefore, since this vision is the immediate cause of their distress, as stated above, wherever they are, they suffer from hell-fire. Even so prisoners, though outside the prison, suffer somewhat from the prison, seeing themselves condemned thereto. Hence just as the glory of the elect is not diminished, neither as to the essential, nor as to the accidental reward, if they happen to be outside the empyrean, in fact this somewhat conduces to their glory, so the punishment of the damned is nowise diminished, if by God's permission they happen to be outside hell for a time. A gloss on James 3:6, "inflameth the wheel of our nativity," etc., is in agreement with this, for it is worded thus: "The devil, wherever he is, whether in the air or under the earth, drags with him the torments of his flames." But the objection argues as though the corporeal fire tortured the spirit immediately in the same way as it torments bodies.

Quote from: St. ThomasArt. 5: Whether the fire of hell will be corporeal?

OBJ 1: It would seem that the fire of hell whereby the bodies of the damned will be tormented will not be corporeal. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv): The devil, and "demons, and his men" [*Cf. 2 Thess. 2:3: "And the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."], namely Antichrist, "together with the ungodly and sinners will be cast into everlasting fire, not material fire, such as that which we have, but such as God knoweth." Now everything corporeal is material. Therefore the fire of hell will not be corporeal.

OBJ 2: Further, the souls of the damned when severed from their bodies are cast into hell fire. But Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 32): "In my opinion the place to which the soul is committed after death is spiritual and not corporeal." Therefore, etc.

OBJ 3: Further, corporeal fire in the mode of its action does not follow the mode of guilt in the person who is burned at the stake, rather does it follow the mode of humid and dry: for in the same corporeal fire we see both good and wicked suffer. But the fire of hell, in its mode of torture or action, follows the mode of guilt in the person punished; wherefore Gregory says (Dial. iv, 63): "There is indeed but one hell fire, but it does not torture all sinners equally. For each one will suffer as much pain according as his guilt deserves." Therefore this fire will not be corporeal.

On the contrary, He says (Dial. iv, 29): "I doubt not that the fire of hell is corporeal, since it is certain that bodies are tortured there."

Further, it is written (Wis. 5:21): "The . . . world shall fight . . . against the unwise." But the whole world would not fight against the unwise if they were punished with a spiritual and not a corporeal punishment. Therefore they will be punished with a corporeal fire.

I answer that, There have been many opinions about the fire of hell. For some philosophers, as Avicenna, disbelieving in the resurrection, thought that the soul alone would be punished after death. And as they considered it impossible for the soul, being incorporeal, to be punished with a corporeal fire, they denied that the fire whereby the wicked are punished is corporeal, and pretended that all statements as to souls being punished in future after death by any corporeal means are to be taken metaphorically. For just as the joy and happiness of good souls will not be about any corporeal object, but about something spiritual, namely the attainment of their end, so will the torment of the wicked be merely spiritual, in that they will be grieved at being separated from their end, the desire whereof is in them by nature. Wherefore, just as all descriptions of the soul's delight after death that seem to denote bodily pleasure---for instance, that they are refreshed, that they smile, and so forth---must be taken metaphorically, so also are all such descriptions of the soul's suffering as seem to imply bodily punishment---for instance, that they burn in fire, or suffer from the stench, and so forth. For as spiritual pleasure and pain are unknown to the majority, these things need to be declared under the figure of corporeal pleasures and pains, in order that men may be moved the more to the desire or fear thereof. Since, however, in the punishment of the damned there will be not only pain of loss corresponding to the aversion that was in their sin, but also pain of sense corresponding to the conversion, it follows that it is not enough to hold the above manner of punishment. For this reason Avicenna himself (Met. ix) added another explanation, by saying that the souls of the wicked are punished after death, not by bodies but by images of bodies; just as in a dream it seems to a man that he is suffering various pains on account of such like images being in his imagination. Even Augustine seems to hold this kind of punishment (Gen. ad lit. xii, 32), as is clear from the text. But this would seem an unreasonable statement. For the imagination is a power that makes use of a bodily organ: so that it is impossible for such visions of the imagination to occur in the soul separated from the body, as in the soul of the dreamer. Wherefore Avicenna also that he might avoid this difficulty, said that the soul separated from the body uses as an organ some part of the heavenly body, to which the human body needs to be conformed, in order to be perfected by the rational soul, which is like the movers of the heavenly body---thus following somewhat the opinion of certain philosophers of old, who maintained that souls return to the stars that are their compeers. But this is absolutely absurd according to the Philosopher's teaching, since the soul uses a definite bodily organ, even as art uses definite instruments, so that it cannot pass from one body to another, as Pythagoras is stated (De Anima i, text. 53) to have maintained. As to the statement of Augustine we shall say below how it is to be answered (ad 2). However, whatever we may say of the fire that torments the separated souls, we must admit that the fire which will torment the bodies of the damned after the resurrection is corporeal, since one cannot fittingly apply a punishment to a body unless that punishment itself be bodily. Wherefore Gregory (Dial. iv) proves the fire of hell to be corporeal from the very fact that the wicked will be cast thither after the resurrection. Again Augustine, as quoted in the text of Sentent. iv, D, 44, clearly admits (De Civ. Dei xxi, 10) that the fire by which the bodies are tormented is corporeal. And this is the point at issue for the present. We have said elsewhere (Q[70], A[3]) how the souls of the damned are punished by this corporeal fire.

Reply OBJ 1: Damascene does not absolutely deny that this fire is material, but that it is material as our fire, since it differs from ours in some of its properties. We may also reply that since that fire does not alter bodies as to their matter, but acts on them for their punishment by a kind of spiritual action, it is for this reason that it is stated not to be material, not as regards its substance, but as to its punitive effect on bodies and, still more, on souls.

Reply OBJ 2: The assertion of Augustine may be taken in this way, that the place whither souls are conveyed after death be described as incorporeal, in so far as the soul is there, not corporeally, i.e. as bodies are in a place, but in some other spiritual way, as angels are in a place. Or we may reply that Augustine is expressing an opinion without deciding the point, as he often does in those books.

Reply OBJ 3: That fire will be the instrument of Divine justice inflicting punishment. Now an instrument acts not only by its own power and in its own way, but also by the power of the principal agent, and as directed thereby. Wherefore although fire is not able, of its own power, to torture certain persons more or less, according to the measure of sin, it is able to do so nevertheless in so far as its action is regulated by the ordering of Divine justice: even so the fire of the furnace is regulated by the forethought of the smith, according as the effect of his art requires.

The demons will be able to be tormented by the corporeal fire, don't you worry.
All mankind was in the ark with Noah : all the Church is with me on the rock of Pensicola!
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