To continue with the theme, the angels, created in their natural state, even if they for whatever reason decided to cast their gaze on the human world, would look at it with utter indifference.

They had no need of the humans in any capacity. I think they could look past even God the Son, being connected with the Father directly through their essence as intellectual substances and the immense powers of contemplation of their minds.

We might say they — all angels, Lucifer included — were created in their own celestial Garden of Eden, in the state of considerable natural happiness.

That was not part of the plan. So, the Holy Spirit gave the angels the constructive grace of charity for human beings. But charity came with a requirement for the angels to serve, to abase themselves in a sense before humans. And some angels refused to serve.

Now to begin with, charity does not impose an obligation. It is a free movement of the will, and working on behalf of a dearly beloved is like working for oneself. It is not a sacrifice; it is not “altruism.” All angels were expected to, and the good angels do now, joyfully help upon coming to love. What was there to rebel against? Extra work?

Moreover, the demons did not avoid exertion, anyway. They are hard at work trying to destroy mankind. Why choose destructive work over creative work, if work must be done one way or another?

So it couldn’t have been just an issue of “labor,” only of serving something lower in dignity. But if all loved humans, what did it matter that they were lower?

Here’s the story then. God gives an angel in his natural state some grace. The angel ponders: shall I accept it and love humans? What’s the downside? Well, I have to serve humans. If he is bad, he thinks: “No way am I serving these guys. No, I’m not accepting the grace.” But choosing to stay indifferent to the human world and in his natural state and fail to love humans does not entail becoming an enemy of mankind.

But then God said: “Hey, I’m incorporating every creature into a single spirit through charity. No one is excepted. You can’t refuse the grace.” The bad angel is so crazy with pride that he gets mad and says, essentially, “F— you, God.” I still do not see how any punishment to that angel would turn him into an enemy of humans. God’s natural response would seem to be (1) never to have made angels so psychologically perverse, or (2) cast out the rebels into some sort of prison. Why sic them onto humans?

Well, the wicked angel is still at this point in the presence of God. So, he says, “You know, what, Holy Spirit? Those ‘humans’ I’m supposed to bow to? I’m going to kill all those motherfuckers. Then there’ll be no one either to serve or to love. How’s that for a response?”

This is still the Father’s angel. He created him. The angel has rights. He can do what he wants. Moreover, God is goodness which is beyond being. He is an ad extra creative force and Himself not part of the creation. So, it’s not His business to “imprison” creatures. But if other angels (and humans) imprison him after perhaps a great battle, then that’s just life. So, God says: “Go and do your thing, you little son of a bitch.”

Note one uncomfortable thing this means: God created the natural Lucifer already messed up in the head, even though this aberration did not manifest itself until the giving of grace. But so what? “The Lord said to him: Who gives one person speech? Who makes another mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Ex 4:11) God creates everything according to His own counsel, and it is a part of faith to trust that it is wise.

St. Thomas taught that the angels’ one action of choosing to obey or disobey sealed their entire fate and immediately confirmed them either in goodness or evil. There is no going back for any of them. Christ did not die for the angels. On the one hand, this would then make withholding glory from them pointless. On the other hand, their service to mankind is not yet finished. I think, therefore, that they are glorified and so are equal to or greater than the human saints in heaven, but serve more through charity than obligation.

Categories: What Is God?


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