Satan and evil.

Why do we associate everything evil that happens with Satan? As I understand it Satan is a finite being, and even though he may have been the first to sin against God in all creation, that does not necessarily mean that all evil comes from him.

Evil is the absence of God’s will. Whether or not Satan had ever become who he is there would still be the possibility of sin and evil.

So is it misguided to associate or blame all evil on Satan and his direct influence?

I don’t know anyone who does this. :shrug:

I think we can blame evil on the fall of man, and we can attribute some bad things that happen to Satan. BUT we must remember that if God allows something to happen, it is His Will. So we must accept all things that happen to us to be the Will of God; that is, He either ordains or allows things to happen for our own good…for our salvation.

“The devil made me do it” - Flip Wilson

Funny comic routine, but bad theology. If the evil we did was due to satan’s influence, then we would bear little or no personal responsibility for it. And, we know that’s not true. No, God’s will be done, and God’s will on earth is for us to exercise our free will. Sometimes someone else’s free will causes evil to be done to us, but as was pointed out, God does not will the evil, he allows it. And he can allow a greater good to arise from it, but only if we choose to follow the obedient choice Jesus made.

PS. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.

You can find similar sentiments to this from various Catholic theologians. Below is an excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia written by Dominican priest A.C. O’Neill from 1912:*Without the acknowledgment that the present moral state of man is not that in which God created him, that his powers are weakened; that he has a supernatural end to attain, which is impossible of attainment by his own unaided efforts, without grace there being no proportion between the end and the means; that the world, the flesh, and the devil are in reality active agents fighting against him and leading him to serve them instead of God, sin cannot be understood.*In general, I think you will find agreement from theologians that the devil is not the “direct influence,” as you put it, for all evils, even though his temptation led to fallen creation.

It’s because Satan is the root of all evil, although that isn’t to say he gets all the blame for it as people–even people under his influence–still have free wills (keep in mind influence does not mean possession.)

Good question. How much influence does Satan have over our lives? Physical evils I don’t blame on Satan so much, but I do tend to assume that he is actively trying to lure me into sin (well, not Satan himself, but some tempter under his banner - as a habit of speech I equate Satan and his minions). I think this because I’ve heard that when you try to live a holy life, the demons gather around you like flies, and they ignore people who are in mortal sin and are indifferent to their state.

Maybe in the next life we’ll be surprised to see how often we encountered demons. We probably “interact” with them daily without realizing it.

In a sense, we kind of want to draw the demons’ attention, don’t we? If we aren’t on their radar, that means we’re not a threat to their plans… and that’s not a good thing.

And here I thought the Bible said that the love of MONEY “is the root of all evil”.

I recall scripture saying that evil springs from man’s heart that was in James and Jesus said some have evil thoughts

You forgot to capitalize “LOVE OF” and also it says “ALL KINDS” or much evil.

As in regards to angeology Satan was once Lucifer a Seraphim of the highest rank of angels and when he did not want to worship Jesus in his part human natures part God state as was shown to all the angels including Mary’s humble role, Lucifer said he would not obey and was proud. If you notice the fall of man coincided with man’s disobedience to God as well. God said not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Adam did and it basically corrupted our immortality. Now death has begun after Adam was given the apple to eat by Eve. Then man had to be redeemed from death and separation of God’s direct contact with man. Because we were so corrupted and unholy and as God is holy one man could do that and that was is only Son. Jesus came down in flesh born of a Virgin and reconciled his children to the Father. Now you may say there is a contradiction? I say there seems to be so too. Well in the story told by an angeologist which I saw in person God gave the angels a test all of the 9 ranks of angels were given a test to obey God or not. That is ultimately our fate as well. Will we believe that God’s Son died for us and was raised on the third day from death to break the chain of Satan? Yes I do believe and this is the creed we say as Mass. So basically we not only sin, but satan can start the sin and keep it and as evil as he is I am sure he commands all of the fallen angels that were kicked out of heaven the moment they followed lucifer and disobeyed God’s commands to worship His Son. Ultimately God wants to know do you love Him and His Son enough to live in eternal fellowship with him? That is what God is offering it like a gigantic Heavenly family. The world is so steeped in sin this is not revealed only to those who seek after the kingdom of God (which is in your heart all those virtues of godliness). I have done research time after time and am a practicing Catholic and I know God loves me and I have seen his hand upon me and am no special person just loved like everyone else. I hope you know God loves you too and wants you in His kingdom. God bless you :slight_smile:

We all have to contend with the world (our culture), the flesh (concupiscence), and the devil (temptations).

So is it misguided to associate or blame all evil on Satan and his direct influence?

No.

Because in the beginning we are told in Genesis it was at Satan’s suggestion that evil entered the world. His lie gave birth to sin from which grew all evil.

When we are told that it is the world,flesh and devil are the causes of sin, but how often does the devil use the flesh and the world as his tools for evil. He is pure evil. There is nothing to like about him whatsoever. He hates us with a passion and uses us to get even with God. And all he sees in us is the time he will get his hands on us to give us the greatest possible torture out of pure delight. He is the most vicious being that exists and far worse than all the monster men history has to offer. He uses power only to inflict pain and suffering and will stop at nothing. As St. Peter put it, our war is against principalities and powers.

Get a scapular or medal and keep it on you for he hates those.

Just a thought.

Well, back when the first sin was committed, money didn’t excist (and even if it did, Satan committed the first sin and what use would he have for money?) so that can’t be literal.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.