Should we love the devil?

My 5-year-old child asked this question and I was unsure how to answer. We are commanded to love our enemies and Satan is the biggest enemy of all. Should we hate him or love him compassionately?

First, let’s understand what love is. It is an action of the will that desires for the other person objective ultimate happiness. Objective ultimate happiness is, simply, God. We are commanded to love our enemies because we are commanded to desire even for our enemies that they come to salvation and go to heaven where they will be forever in God’s presence.

Because of their purely spiritual nature and their superior intelligence, the angels made a definitive choice either for God or against him. Those who chose for God are in heaven with him; those who chose against God cast themselves into hell. The fallen angels cannot repent (just as the angels in heaven cannot now fall). This means that the fallen angels, including Satan, cannot be saved or go to heaven.

If a created being, because of his own deliberate choice, cannot choose God, we do not have to hope for his ultimate salvation. He has already determined to be eternally separated from God. The fallen angels did this. (Humans make their final irrevocable choice at death; that choice may not be apparent to us in this life, so we pray for the repose of the souls even of our enemies.) In short, this means that there is no need to love the devil.

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