+JMJ+ Someone said to me recently that angels can be bad and that demons can be good. Now I don’t know what his religion is or where he heard such a thing, but that’s not what I’ve found as a teaching in any religion in all my years of study. And it’s certainly not what I learned as a young Methodist or in my twenty-five years plus as a Catholic. (I’ll link a video from the Thomistic Institute at the end of this post.)
Generally when we speak of angels we mean the ones who are faithful to the Lord, and when we speak of demons we mean the fallen angels who rebelled against the Lord and were thrown out of heaven. One thing to remember about angels is that they can no longer change after they have made a decision. They are not composite beings. We are made of matter and spirit, they are spirits. After they were tested and given a choice of who to follow, Lucifer or God, they chose and that was that. The good angels chose God and the demons chose Lucifer over God. The good angels accepted that they were meant to serve God and those made in His image (us) and the demons rebelled against this.
Now my friend said that the demons rebelled against the notion of serving us humans because they loved God. But I said it was more a matter of pride than love. That pride is a telling point about angels and demons and about humans, too. Angels, the good ones, the ones we usually just call angels, are humble and faithful and go where the Lord sends them and do what He sends them to do. Demons, however, are filled with pride and would rather be served than serve. They would rather be worshiped than worship.
Remember what Satan says to Jesus in the desert. He wants Jesus, of all people, to worship him. Imagine! Now that is pride talking. If he thought Jesus would worship him, then I guess sin darkened his intellect. (But don’t underestimate the demons, either. Even their darkened intellects are higher than anything we can even conceive.)
So, no, I reject the idea that love was the reason Lucifer rebelled, and that love was the reason so many angels joined him. My friend then asked why, if God created them all good, did any of them rebel? All I could offer was the reminder that they, like us, have free will. Unlike us, once they commit their will, once they decide on a course of action, they don’t change their minds. They are not wishy washy. Bottom line: the ones we call angels chose good and God, the ones we call demons chose Lucifer (Satan) and evil.
For more about the angels, see posts in the Weekly Series On the Soul. Specifically, part 3, part 12, part 13, part 14, and part 31. Also in the post Saint Joseph and His World, I mention a Mike Aquilina interview where he talks about St. Joseph and his angels.
I’ll leave you with this video from the Thomistic Institute, Angels and Demons (Aquinas 101). Thomistic Institute YouTube channel.
Thanks for visiting and reading. I hope something here was helpful to you. Until next time, may you stay holy and virtuous, and pick up your cross, calling on your guardian angel to help you to become the saint you were always meant to be. Think of it, a SAINT! God bless you and may His Peace be always with you. +JMJ+
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Image: The Fall of the Rebel Angels, by Sebastiano Ricci, via the Google Art Project and Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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