Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  99 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 99 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

The Profession of Faith

99

392

Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.

269

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.”

270

The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a

liar and the father of lies.”

271

393

It is the

irrevocable

character of their choice, and not a defect

in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgiv-

able. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as

there is no repentance for men after death.”

272

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.

273

“The

reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the

devil.”

274

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. Al-

though 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.”

275

269 Cf.

2 Pet

2:4.

270

Gen

3:5.

271

1 Jn

3:8;

Jn

8:44.

272 St. John Damascene,

De Fide orth.

2, 4: PG 94, 877.

273

Jn

8:44; cf.

Mt

4:1-11.

274

1 Jn

3:8.

275

Rom

8:28.

1850

2482

1033-1037

1022

538-540

550

2846-2849

309

1673

412

2850-2854