Why do we even follow God’s commands though? I mean, what makes us love the commands? Why do we even listen? Do we follow God’s commands because they are good or for some other reason?
And the same applies to other things -do we love them because they are good or for some other reason, and is this other reason lovable in itself or for some other reason etc.?
In the end, I’m just asking is love something proportioned to how much we think a thing participates in God’s goodness?
And another related question: how can the devil even exist? His existence is curious since he seems to be a thing that participates in God’s being and power but yet he does not participate in God’s goodness, even though power and being are convertible. I think that this question can be best answered by giving the sense in which power and being and good are the same. This is true only of God, but then does this mean that some being is not good per se? I suppose that this is impossible, but why, except that being and good be convertible?
We follow God’s commands because we are convinced in our hearts that what He has revealed to us is the Truth…that He has created us and wants us to be in union with Him and has provided us a Way to be in union with Him. And to be in union with God is to have eternal life, and to know peace and love here on earth.
Things that are higher in being are better than those that are lower, because being is convertible with the good. Likewise, truth and beauty are convertible with the good, so that things that are truer or more beautiful are, therefore, better in goodness. Now, things are lovable in themselves insofar as they are good. Therefore, things are objectively more lovable in so far as they are higher in being, truer, or more beautiful. It follows from this that God, who is the highest being, the Truth Itself, and Beauty Itself, is the most lovable object of all. It also follows from this that things are objectively more lovable according as they resemble God more.
But, while things that are higher in being, or are truer and more beautiful, are objectively more lovable in themselves, they may subjectively be less lovable to us depending on the intellect’s perception. For the will loves an object insofar as it is perceived by the intellect as a good. Unfortunately, on account of the disorder in our human nature wrought by original sin, we sometimes perceive something lower in being to be more lovable than a higher being, because the lower is being presented by the intellect under the aspect of a greater good. In the present life, therefore, where we do not see God face to face, or short of a beatific vision of God’s essence, our intellect sometimes sees a created good as being better than God Himself, and in desiring a good less than God, we commit a sin.
Although devils are in a higher scale of being than us, their nature had been deformed by sin, and is, therefore, hateful in their present condition than before their fall.
But the devils are still higher in being, so it follows that they should be loved.
Let me tentatively suggest only a hypothetical: that I think that there is a difference between loving something as such and loving something not as such. We don’t like devils for the latter reason (cause they are evil, but they are not evil as such), while we like them for the former reason (since as such, they are good).
But then again, is it true that the devils have less of an angelic nature (a damaged nature) than other angels?
Things are good to the extent that they exist, that means, to the extent that they are beings. But because devils are called devils, not simply because they exist, but because of the wicked things they do, it would be incorrect to say that we should be loving devils, for that would imply that we should be loving what they do.
However, you are right in thinking that devils, insofar as they are beings, are good. And you possibly can love devils, if you can love them just for their being and not also for their actions. Actually, this is also how we should love a murderer, or any sinner. For a murderer is, first of all, a human being, a person who has unjustly taken the life of another person. Certainly, we can love the murderer insofar as he is a human being, but not on account of the evil that he is doing or has done.
Now, when a free creature makes the wrong choices, as when a man chooses to do evil, such a choice in a way corrupts its nature, not entitatively (or as a being), but morally, for its acts are no longer proportioned to the end of its nature. That is why a man, who commits a sin, in a way diminishes himself. In a sense, and because his will is capable of free choice, man can become worse than brute animals, whose actions are not free. That is why you don’t tell a monkey to stop acting like a nut, but you can tell a man to stop acting like a monkey, if he acts in a way that does not conform to his dignity as a person.
So, to answer your question, “Is it true that the devils have less of an angelic nature (a damaged nature) than other angels?” my answer is this: Devils, by reason for their fall or sin, have morally diminished themselves (or have morally damaged their nature), and so are regarded to be even less in dignity than human saints.