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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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The Fall of Satan & the Bad Angels


Isaiah 14:12 tells us that the morning star (Lucifer) fell from the heavens. Revelation 12:3–9 implies that a third of the angels fell with him.  What does the Church teach as to the reason for why Satan fell? Why does the devil still inflict us?  Why does he punish sinners who also have strayed from God’s path as he has? One would think that he would celebrate with them as fellow comrades against the divine throne.


There is much speculation about the fall of Satan. Certain early Church fathers thought that it was the prospect of the incarnation itself that the devil could not stomach. Awed by his own light and high spiritual nature, he refused to bend the knee to the Christ Child. He literally viewed human beings with disdain, no more than animated sacks of blood or thinking-meat. He refused to adore. Certain reformed theologians speak about the sin of the devils as “tarrying” or reluctance to do God’s will. Angelic beings would ordinarily do whatever they do immediately. Reservation would be viewed as rebellion. Knowing duration but not time, their ultimate choice was eternal and unchangeable. Others speak of intellectual pride. As for why the devils plague human beings, I am tempted to adopt Milton’s solution… everlasting spite. The devil has lost the war. Christ wins. But the devil continues to fight his skirmishes for souls. As for why he would torment souls, remember that he hates us. There is no true friendship or comradery in hell.  The devil has made the choice he has made. But creation was made for God. He has forfeited real happiness. Hell is an abode of frustration and alienation from God. (Even unhappy people in our world often seem to embrace the odd pursuit of making others unhappy.)

One Response

  1. Dear Father Joe
    Can a faithful Catholic offer Mass Intention to a non Catholic? (in all three categories)


    I already answered your question.


    What three categories are you talking about? Mass intentions are either for the LIVING or for the DEAD (most common). One might direct the intention… in thanksgiving, for healing, for the conversion of souls, for peace, for the (eventual) translation from purgatory to heaven, etc. The priest may only know a name and sometimes not even that. If there has been a stipend, then he also prays for the person or persons (living or dead) by keeping in mind “the intention of the giver.” It is understood that this intention must be good. The priest will not pray or offer the Mass so that some evil will befall a person. The sacraments are meant to be sources of blessings, not curses. The fruits that come to the priest are then directed to that intention.

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