For as long as I can remember, growing up as a Catholic Christian, I have always wondered why one-third of the angelic hosts decided to rebel against God. I often wondered how sin came into existence. Further, I even asked myself, if God was perfect, how could he create sinful angels.
My main question thus being, how could imperfection and an imperfect nature spring from something that was utterly perfect, that utter perfection being, of course, God. As I grew up and through fervent prayer and numerous theological studies, I found my answer. That answer being, “Free Will.” We have heard it said often that God did not want robots following him, further he did not want to impede on the will of his creation because in doing so, he would be going against his own very nature.
God wanted to create beings and spirits that wanted to love him, know him and serve him for who he was. Therefore, for such a decree to come into fruition, he had to give his creation the choice to follow the divine command or reject it. Pride, being a spiritual cancer is so pernicious that every mortal being must fight continuously against this vice lest we forsake the narrow path and go the way of the fallen angels.
It is often difficult to understand how a great number of angels, who are pure spirits with far superior intelligence to humans decided to rebel against their own creator, but such an event did happen. I found it hard to understand how these pure spirits, who had no carnal temptations such as avarice, lust or gluttony fell. If anything, it makes us humans realize our total frailty. No matter one’s level of intelligence, or supposed piety, every single one of us are in constant danger of losing our sanctifying grace and falling if we refuse to humble ourselves daily and persevere to the very end in obeying God’s will.
The Fall of the Angels
One of the causes of Lucifer’s fall was Mary. Her perfect virtue, humility, was in direct contrast with his perfect vice, pride. Further, she was a created being who was to ascend higher than his position in the heavenly realms. The incarnation would happen within her womb and this brought about pure rage and envy within the heart of Lucifer.
Your behaviour was exemplary from the day you were created until guilt first appeared in you, (Ezekiel 28:15).
Upon the creation of Lucifer, he did not sin. God, who is perfect, one in substance and trine in person, created his angelic nature and all angelic natures. As a result, the first operation of that nature had to be in line with the perfection of its cause. Lucifer and all the angels were created in a state of sanctifying grace. However, immediately after their creation, Lucifer and all the angels had to accept all the decrees God manifested to them. Some did so wholeheartedly, whilst other angels did so in varying degrees.
These varying degrees of acceptance of God’s will put them at risk of falling, however, the good Lord in his patience permitted them to continue in this state of probation. It must be noted that during this probation period, none of the angels (both good and bad) beheld the beatific vision. This favor would only be granted to the angels that obeyed the divine command.
The decree given to Lucifer that the hypostatic union would not only happen through Christ, the Son, who is the second person of the Trinity, (hypostatic union refers to the perfect union of Christ’s two natures; fully human and fully divine) but that the incarnation of the word into the world would happen through the womb of a virgin woman, and that this woman would enter the world through the immaculate conception became too much for him to bear and the seed of corruption and rebellion became sown deeply and eternally within his heart. Further, it was intimated to the angels that God will assume human nature, far inferior to angelic nature, and that this nature would be elevated above the angelic nature in the humanity of Christ.
Lucifer’s Corrupted Will
As a result, the will of Lucifer became fully and perfectly corrupted. It must be noted that all the angels were given knowledge of the redemptive plan God had for mankind, who was to be made in his image and likeness. God intimated to them that the order of creation of the human race would begin by a man and woman, who would propagate the entire world till the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary and the incarnation of God the Son in her womb. This was all predestined and Christ Jesus (God the Son) would be the remedy for the human race.
The sole purpose of the creation of the entire angelic realm was for the glory of God, to aid in his divine majesty and to know and love him. God gave Lucifer and all the angels the decree to also give honor, glorify, assist and to serve the deified humanity of the eternal word (The Mystical City of God – Volume 1, The Conception). In doing so, they had to not only recognize him as their head; they had to know and to love him completely. They also had to honor and venerate his Mother, Mary, most holy and Queen of Heaven.
One-third of the entire angelic realm failed to do this and they fell, badly. They wanted to be as God, without God. It is believed that numerous angels fell from each of the nine choirs, namely, the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels.
Upon their fall, these Angels became demons. Be not mistaken, demons are obstinate in evil. Because they are pure spirits, their choices are final and unchanging. As a result, they are unrepentant and completely bound to their sin. There was no redemption for them, there is no redemption for them and there never will be redemption for them.
He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven.(Luke 10:18)
Pride, disobedience, envy and disordered self-love rendered Lucifer incapable of rendering Christ as his exemplary and the supreme king and with his cry of “non-serviam”, he convinced a third of the angelic host to follow him in his foolish rebellion. In contrast, Saint Michael the archangel who was a lower ranked angel led the rallying cry “who is like unto God” which means “Michael” in Hebrew. As far as the spiritual battle; the battle of the angels, the fall of Lucifer; that battle is simply unimaginable. We’re talking about the spiritual realm and not the physical realm. The wars in the physical realm can get very gory and gruesome, however, when we are talking about pure spirits, it’s simply something that is unimaginable.
Further, our Lord God proclaimed the following to Lucifer:
This woman whom thou refusest to honor, will crush thy head, and by her shalt thou be vanquished and annihilated (Gen 3,15). And if through thy pride death enters into the world (Wis 2,24), life and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost. (The Mystical City of God – Volume 1, The Conception)
How We Are to Suffer
In conclusion, it must be stressed that it’s not needed to memorize every theological aspect of what was discussed in this article unless you are spiritually called to do so. One must obey God’s law, love your fellow man and pray and do good to those that persecute you. Above all, you should love your Lord God with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your strength. Jesus Christ is in one hundred percent control of every single aspect and iota of the spiritual warfare.
Demons are on an extraordinarily short leash. There exist many liberation prayers aimed to help suffering souls, but we must realize that God wants us to suffer temptations. He allowed Job to suffer the loss of all his possessions, even of his children, according to the divine permission in order to sanctify him. He chastises those whom he loves. Blessed is the man who suffers temptations, for the Lord God gives you graces to be able to conquer them. Saint Paul was given an angel of Satan to buffet him. Saint Paul wanted to get rid of this demon but God did not permit this, telling Paul that his graces were sufficient for him.
In this world, we are tempted by the world, the flesh and the devil. There is not a demon behind every temptation. Often, it is our very own concupiscence that derails us from the narrow path. Therefore let us courageously and cheerfully do all, undertake all, sacrifice all so that we may gain the happiness of heaven. Heaven can never be purchased at too dear of a price.