Satan's sinsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
What is the complete catholic teaching on satan? I am not sure if what I know is the catholic teaching so please correct me. If I remember correctly, satan was in rebellion and was thrown down from heaven along with his angels. My question is, why would lucifer or satan being once an angel be so stupid as to go against God? What is it that made lucifer choose to rebel thus sin against God? I think this is relevant because as catholics we aspire to reach heaven, but let us just say that we do reach heaven, but is it a guarantee that we would want to stay in heaven? Are we still "tempted" even if we are already in heaven?
Another is, what is the catholic concept of hell? If I remember correctly, those who were bad in life goes to hell and are being tormented. Are the tormentors satan and his angels? If so, why are they the tormentors and not also being tormented when in fact their sin is very grave? They have the knowledge and understanding far better than man but they still chose to rebel thus leave heaven.
I hope you can help me find the answers to these questions thank you and God Bless!
-- janeiro (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 2004
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-- The Bumper! (Bump@bumpitybump.bump), March 18, 2004.
Janeiro, Lucifer was the most beautiful and brightest, the most intelligent of all the angels. In metaphysical terms, beauty and light is synonymous with intelligence and truth. The name “Lucifer” means the “bearer of light”. Lucifer was the brightest of all the angles but, Satan became blinded by his own light. He became the source of his own glory. The answer to your question about why would Satan be so foolish as to reject God is simple. Permitted to use his own free will, he turned away from God as his source of inspiration and light and committed the sin of pride. The Church teaches that pride is the ultimate sin. Pride has also been the ruin of man since the beginning of creation. Satan was so blinded by his own glory, his own light, that he refused to acknowledge God as superior and accept His authority. Eventually, Satan became so proud that he could no longer humble himself before God. Humility is the opposite of pride. It breeds selflessness and love. Pride breeds selfishness and greed and as Satan has taught us, eventually leads to eternal damnation.
This same sin of pride is committed over and over in our society today. People refuse to accept God as their Creator or acknowledge His authority. They become too wrapped up in their own little world and all too soon, they too, become the source of their own glory through false pride. This in turn leads to a lack of obedience to His Church, Her Head, the Pope and Her teachings, in their entirety. Obedience fosters humility, but who needs to obey, who needs to listen to anyone else when you are the source of your own glory? This lack of obedience for God and His Church and all She stands for, has proven to be the ruin of beings if not checked in time as Satan has demonstrated.
The Church’s views on Satan are dealt with briefly in the Catechism:
391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."
392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God." The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".
393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."
394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."
Janeiro, the Church teaches that Hell is a place of punishment and a place of no return, for refusing to acknowledge God and for rejecting His authority - for committing the ultimate sin of pride. Hell is separation from God, from eternal happiness. The Church’s teaching on Hell can be found in the Catechism and can be summed up here:
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 18, 2004.
You asked some good questions, My question is, why would lucifer or satan being once an angel be so stupid as to go against God? What is it that made lucifer choose to rebel thus sin against God? I think this is relevant because as catholics we aspire to reach heaven, but let us just say that we do reach heaven, but is it a guarantee that we would want to stay in heaven? Are we still "tempted" even if we are already in heaven?
I would ask same question of us, if we know that sin separates us from God, why do we still sin? Just goes to show no matter how smart a man, or an angel is, we can still choose ourselves over God. God being the loving God He is, He gives us exactly what we want. If we choose ourselves, then that is all we have in the end and I imagine that to be the torment we suffer in Hell. Ed describes it quite well as the torment of being separated from God.
Some Church fathers theorized that the angels were not privy to the Beatific Vision of God until they had made their choice to serve or rebel. Choosing to rebel they are forever separated from that face to face vision of God and thus suffer eternal torment because of that. The same happens to us after death. However, once we are in the Beatific Vision, that is, nothing separates us from God and we are totally in His presence, we are so filled with His goodness that we will not choose to rebel. I imagine being so happy that you cannot even imagine an alternative that is better than what you are currently experiencing. So you would never even think of rebelling.
I am horrible at describing theological concepts like this, so please forgive me. Someone please correct me if I have misspoken.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 2004.
I would suggest, even after all the years of Catholic teaching I've had, that any or all of you would check out "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine, also the author of "Common Sense". What you find might amaze you. . .
-- tomm payne (Taquind@AOL.com), July 01, 2004.
Tomm, What *are* you talking about?
-- Bill Nelson (email@example.com), July 01, 2004.
The age of reason is an overblown work... sorry, I did read it, and found it laughabely ba. Much if it was written before the advent of Modern archeology and cultural sturies and fails to take int account the cultural climate at the time of variosu Bible writings. Many of the "Attrocities" spoken of by Paine where, in fact, not that attrocious, much was taken out of conext or distorted, and all of his work neglects the simplest answer to the obvious objectiosn he raises.
Paines analtsis of the Bile was poor, even by the standards of his own day, and by Modern standards its juts laughabley bad. It lacks critical thinking and is typical of any Agendised work.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), July 03, 2004.