The sin of the angels
How can angels sin? What was their sin?
Letter from Felipe on March 03, 2003
Felipe, High School Graduate, Catholic, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Are demons angels who sinned? How can an angel sin?
Thank you very much.
Response from Orlando Fedeli
Dear Felipe, salve Maria.
God created angels and men in His image, that is, intelligent and able to love freely. God, infinitely good and infinitely happy, created intelligent beings to share in His infinite happiness. The purpose of creation is the extrinsic glory of God.
God did not make angels and men as automatons. He gave them free will, so that in a way they would deserve to obtain this infinite happiness, thanks to Divine Mercy.
If God had created us as automatons, like stones, or animals without freedom, we would not be capable of any merit. Therefore, there would be no way to reward the man. You don't give a prize to a stone, because it hasn't moved from its place. You can only reward or punish those who are free.
Angels are pure spirits, with intellect and will, but finite.
When an angel knows something, either he loves it or hates it, and, having made his decision, he can never go back, like us men. Angels do not repent, because their understanding is complete, not like ours which is deficient, and allows us to go back from a choice.
Just as God put Adam and Eve to a test so that they might deserve the happiness, in the same way, He had given the angels a test. The angels who chose badly in this test, rebelling against God, became evil angels, or demons.
Theologians debate what would have been the test the angels were subjected to. Some raise the hypothesis that when Lucifer, and the angels who followed him, learned that the Son of God would incarnate in a man, Jesus Christ, they refused to worship Him, because being a man, Christ would be inferior to them by his human nature.
However, Christ was also God, infinitely above angels.
Therefore, some theologians raise the hypothesis that the cause of the revolt would have been another. They would have rebelled for not accepting to submit to the Most Holy Mary, who, being purely human, having nothing divine, was superior to the angels in virtue.
So the evil angels refused — like the Protestants — to venerate Mary.
Anyway, Lucifer rebelled because he considered himself to be so perfect that he could do without God. He thus committed a sin of pride and naturalism, wanting to be equal with God. This can also be deduced from the name of the angel who expelled Lucifer from heaven: Michael, which in Hebrew means "Who is like God?". Therefore, Lucifer's sin, like that of the communists, was that of egalitarianism.
Hoping to have answered you, I cordially bid you farewell.
in Corde Jesu, semper,
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