I was explaining to my students that Lucifer was considered by many theologians to be likely of the order of the Seraphim, Given, however, that Seraphim are so far above human beings that according to Aquinas understanding and communication between them and ourselves is impossible, they asked "How can the Devil really see us and tempt us, then? I admit, I’m stumped and struggling to find good resources for this. Thanks!
The devil is able to put bad images in our imagination, and communicate thoughts directly to our intellect (our guardian angel can do the same). That is one way the devil can tempt us. He also has the ability to affect our passions and thereby cause desires in us.
That which is of the higher order can communicate/interact with a lower order, but not in reverse. Think of the analogy of how humans interact with apes or dogs.
In addition, God made man with His Divine spark - the Spirit. So essence of man is of God.
Did you consider that Aquinas might not have been 100% correct, or that the devil might not have been of the Seraphim, or that [complete] understanding and communication might not be required in order to temp us, etc…?
The first place to look for information about Satan, man’s fall, and how we are tempted is the Catechism: scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm#391.
Since we now have a fallen nature, we are prone to sin and open to sin. This makes it easy for the devils (there’s many, not only Satan) to tempt us. Satan himself was a higher order of angel, but the other demons aren’t. Most of us are not tempted by Satan himself, but one of his many demons. Satan himself tempted our primordial parents when they were yet able to walk and talk with God himself. After the fall, man’s fallen nature descended even farther yet until, without God revealing himself to us, either directly or through one his instruments of grace, we can no longer hear him or see him or any of the angels of heaven. I rather think we are also unable to see or hear Satan (as opposed to the lower demons), either except through the influences he puts in our way or that we allow ourselves to fall prey to. Just my few thoughts on the topic.
it’s kind of like the old cartoons where a character had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other…
If they still made cartoons like they used to… kids would understand that easier.
He was one of the Cherubim! In the
reference of him in Ezekiel 28, he
was referred to as a Guardian Cherub!!
St. Paul refers to him as “The Tempter”
1 Thess. 3:5, St. Peter the first earthly
Head of the Church refers to him as
a “Roaring Lion” seeking our Ruin
1Pet. 5:8 and the St. Michael prayer
by Pope Leo XIII talks about him
prowling about the world, the same
as even the devil himself admitted
that he was “roaming to and fro about
the earth” Job 1:7, that was when he
was “serving” before God but as
Jesus Himself said He saw “satan
[fell] like lightning from heaven” Luke
10:18 cf. Rev. 12:8
I have, yes. Thank you for your response.
This is interesting, and I think explains what I’m asking. Thank you, and thank you to everyone for your responses.
I think it has something to do with the fall and that he is no longer close to God. He still has all the abilities inherent with the Seraphim, but he has been corrupted. Like, we each have our unique level of intelligence that God gives us, but sin dulls our wisdom. Because of this corruption and this distance from God, he is now crude enough, brought low enough, that we are in his sights.
That’s all I got, speculative only of course
I think he was in a whole different category all by himself see that he was the most beautiful and the head of all the other Angels.
But Satan fell, just like mankind did, and in doing so, humans lost a great deal compared to what they used to be able to do, so why would Satan be any different, surely he lost many of his powers/ abilities when he fell.
As far as I can tell, God does not grant humans any ‘special privileges or powers’, like he does with Satan and the other fallen angels, so the question is, why would God ‘allow’ an enemy such as satan the ability to continue doing these things to his most beloved creation?
God became man so that man could become god. I’d say a unique and special privilege, not even angels have. In addition, we have priest that can call the Holy Spirit upon to confect so that we can uniquely recieve God the Son in the Sacred Mystery.
Yes, he lost a great deal, no doubt. Just what he lost, besides the Beatific Vision, though I don’t know. I haven’t made a study of that issue. Perhaps others would have some knowledge to pass on.
As far as I can tell, God does not grant humans any ‘special privileges or powers’, like he does with Satan and the other fallen angels,
God doesn’t grant humans special privileges or powers? I’m afraid that’s not true. He conferred the royal priesthood upon us all at our baptism, he gave us his very body and blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist, he granted us a portion of his divine life in the sacraments, he gave us the Magisterium and the gift of infallibility in matters of faith and morals to his Church, and I could go on just in this vein. He also grants us the privilege of knowing him and loving him for himself alone and in others. He put into men’s hands the power to bind and to loose sins, to command mountains to move, to heal hearts, minds and bodies. The list goes on much longer than I can write it here. Suffice to say he’s given us more than we could ever ask or think or deserve.
so the question is, why would God ‘allow’ an enemy such as satan the ability to continue doing these things to his most beloved creation?
God allows it to bring more people to salvation–through making it clear that evil exists so we’d better cling close to God to avoid it. We are fallen creatures, as are the demons, but we have been redeemed, unlike them (another discussion for another thread). Each generation of fallen humanity has to come to trust in God in a world in which Satan won the first battle when he tempted Adam and Eve to sin, but Jesus has won the ultimate battle through his death on the cross. He rules now through his Church, but when he comes at the end of time, Satan and his demons will cast out forever, creation will be restored and remade, and there will be no more evil to plague us ever again. God has his plan and he is carrying it out. We can be a part of it, or we can reject it, it’s entirely up to us.
He does, though, in that He give us grace. If we think of special privileges as being anything that by nature we do not merit, then God has given us incredible privileges and powers. Our ability to one day share in the life of the Trinity in the Beatific Vision in Heaven is incalculably far above our nature. By nature, what is the best I could expect, really? To know that God exists and find some limited but nontrivial joy in that? Pretty much.
I guess this is a very Thomistic question that I can’t find an answer to. The forms that God gives the highest angels are much more simple and universal than the the forms that are given to the lower angels and ourselves to the degree that communication between ourselves and the higher angels is a little bit like communication between ourselves and a fish. That being the case, my question is to what degree are the higher devils able to communicate with us. To what extent does Satan “see” us?
Id be interested to learn about this, when it comes to man, the earth, animals, etc a long list can be made of everything they lost due to the fall, Besides the beatific vision, ID like to know a few of the things Satan or the other fallen angels lost.
And a long list can be made of everything we still have. Look outside your window and see the beauty that still exists. The very balance of nature, of the very universe itself is wondrous. What we still have is remarkable, but we don’t seem to have eyes to see it. If all we see is the miseries of the world, then we are missing out on all that God in his mercy allowed us to keep. Think about those things–on whatever is good, beneficial, blessed, uplifting, etc.
Besides the beatific vision, ID like to know a few of the things Satan or the other fallen angels lost.
You mean to lose God himself isn’t enough? It’d be like losing the air one breathes. God is love and life. To lose him is to exile oneself from both. Satan and the demons still have life but on deprived of love, joy, peace–everything that make life worth having. Isn’t that enough?
You are referring to more of the long term aspects, Im talking more about the immediate, instantly recognizable things mankind, animals, the earth, nature, etc lost due to the fall.
Lets say I die in a state of mortal sin, and I renounce God, just as satan did, In a sense, I would be committing the same sin that led to Satan being kicked out of heaven, Does God still ‘allow’ me to do certain things, have immense power and influence over the physical world, allow me to ‘come and go’ from the earth at will?
Im having a hard time explaining what I really mean here, but I guess the main point is, everything else seemed to suffer greatly due to the fall, while satan and the fallen will eventually suffer (maybe in millions of years), when you look at it in the ‘short term’, they seemed to get exactly what they were after, they were cast down WITH US, and retained their ability to influence us, the earth, animals, etc. So in that regard, satan and the fallen DO experience at least some joy in knowing they are drawing people away from God.
a good example would be this…lets say I express my desire to rob banks and cause all kinds of destruction, so as ‘punishment’, I am sent to a town FILLED with banks and given a job working right in the vault…If the story of the fall is accurate, satan got what he wanted in sense, in the ability to continue drawing people away from God, and with the way of the world right now…he has been pretty successful.