In Jesus’ lifetime, some, if not many, Jews believed that Satan was an agent of evil. He tested mankind and caused destruction in the world, and, far from presenting the truth to God as the angels did, he presented lies and accusations against men, even exaggerations about their wickedness. This in spite of his knowledge of God, which sounds stupid yet I would dare say his first act of rebellion was quite beyond stupid.
Satan is a murderer from the beginning because since the time He killed God’s peace in man and in the world He has been hard at work causing men to succumb to the second death and causing families grief, sorrow, distress, pain, and other kinds of suffering, usually through temptation and, less usually, through obsession, possession, etc. His intention is to snuff out the divine life in the soul and the divine reign in the world, so that God’s plans might fail. He simulanteously knows he cannot win and, in light of his pride, doesn’t know he cannot win. It is as if he ignores his knowledge of his own defeat, too stubborn to quit and too proud to admit defeat. He wins souls, he terrorizes them in Hell, but our prayers are powerful and he hates that great gift which God has given us in His Mercy and Wisdom.
Satan is a liar and the father of liars because it is he who led his angelic brethern in rebellion with a false promise and it is he who led mankind in rebellion with a few lying words and it is he who brings lies and deception into the world, confusing souls with his constant chatter, which is unable to be heard by human ears yet heard (though not recognized by most) by the heart; he wishes to suggest many temptations, even with illusions and unwanted thoughts and feelings, and sometimes God even permits him to cause the body to heat up, swell, or become erect, yet likewise gives the soul the graces necessary to pass the test of fidelity like a knight or a wife or a child or a friend. For this reason we must cultivate reflection, because only a reflecting soul can hear God. Satan hates this and would wish the soul would forget about His Goodness.
The devil sometimes mixes lies and truth, too, against mankind, whom is his enemy, and for three reasons:
- To make men believe in lies;
- To make men be confused;
- To make men shun the truth.
He usually attacks the weak, especially those who seek out God in ungodly ways, as Adam and Eve did, and gives them whatever their want to fool them into believing he is good and God is evil and to fool others into believing the person is holy and so follow his evil example and to fool the world, even God’s children, into mass confusion and some instances of heresy, schism, denial of the truth, and rejection of Jesus Christ. Yet all his efforts were known by God from eternity, and He has already planned His counterattack like a great general in a heated battle, bringing out of evil a greater good - such as the medicine of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception out of the denial of Mary’s holiness which had spread like a disease through the Body of Christ.