Satan's Power?


#1

My 14 year old son asked me: If God can do anything with just thought, why did he leave heaven and give power to Lucifer? Where did he go…if it was to create earth and people, why did he have to leave heaven? Why did he have to give Lucifer power over his kingdom? Why didn’t he just think it and the world would be created? Of course, I didn’t know what to say so I looked in the Bible and could not find any source, so what do I tell my son…is it just a fairy tale? Where do I go to find these answers? And of course, now I want to know…what is the origin of that story. Thank you so much.


#2

It might well have seemed that our first parents, in a state of perfection could not have failed to achieve their end, that God in his generosity had given all that was necessary for the fulfillment of his beneficent plan. And, indeed, on God’s part nothing was lacking to assure the happy issue. But among the natural prerogatives of man there is one which, while it is his greatest dignity, was also the source of his downfall; man has free will. The whole of his being, in that state of “original justice,” was in complete subjection to his will - within himself there could be no rebellion; but his will, adhereing indeed to God by grace and charity, had yet lost nothing of its freedom and defectibility. The service that Adam was to render to his maker was in his power to give or to withhold. Through the wiles of Satan and by the suggestion of Eve he withheld it.

continued


#3

i’m not sure i’m able to answer your question(s) since a) i’m not that clever and b) i’m not entirely clear what they are. is your main question, what is the source of satan’s power if not god?

if it is, then your son has asked a question that i also find puzzling.

i was thinking about “the screwtape letters” by c.s. lewis and the way that the devil, or devils, as they are portrayed in the book, have these amazing powers to read people’s minds and suss out the best way to tempt them to sin.

it’s easy to say that the devil is the personification of evil. and i have no problem seeing that evil is alive and well in the world – we all saw the face of evil in the virginia tech massacre last month. but if the devil can insinuate himself into our lives to separate us from god how do we understand his powers to do this?

the source cannot be god because he is absolute good and therefore it’s an impossibility that he would do anything to lead us to commit evil deeds. but if we assume the devil is the source of his own power we run the risk of endorsing a manichean view of the universe, in which god and the devil are equally powerful opponents vying for the souls of humanity. this view is heretical to the teachings of the catholic church.

so i’m at a loss but i’m glad you brought this up. can anyone else help out here?


#4

The angels had been raised by God to a destiny identical with that of mankind; they too, after a period of probation, were to enjoy the vision of God. Called upon to recognize the supremacy of their Creator, many of them, led by Lucifer (Light Bearer), rebelled. For them there could be no repentance; such is the perfection of the angelic nature that their decision between good and evil, though free and unconstrained, is fianl and irrevocable. Cast out forever from God’s sight and condemned to a just and eternal punishment, the rebel angels would spend their existence in endeavoring to drag mankind with them in their fall. To others God would entrust the task of protecting men against their crafty machinations. The great drama was about to begin !


#5

When did God leave heaven?


#6

God leaving heaven is news to me.

The only power God gave to Satan was Satan’s form, that of an angel, and free will, as God was later to give man.

Satan abused his free will, and was cast out of heaven, into “the world”, where he was allowed to continue to exercise his God given free will, which is the source of many problems, one of which was the tempting of man in the Garden of Eden.

Where did he go…if it was to create earth and people, why did he have to leave heaven?

Once again, where did you hear God left heaven?

Why did he have to give Lucifer power over his kingdom?

I haven’t heard this proposition either. God gave Satan power over nothing, other than what havoc he (Satan) could wreak in “the world” as he chose.

Why didn’t he just think it and the world would be created?

That was, pretty much, what happened, actually.

Of course, I didn’t know what to say so I looked in the Bible and could not find any source, so what do I tell my son…is it just a fairy tale? Where do I go to find these answers? And of course, now I want to know…what is the origin of that story. Thank you so much.

I’m getting boring by constantly saying, “Check out the Catechism for answers!”, as well as www.Catholic.com, but that would be my suggestion yet again. :slight_smile:

Best to you, and yours…!

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


closed #7

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