What if Mother Mary decided to rebel against God after being glorified in heaven?


#1

I know that my question sound a bit “blasphemous”… But I just wonder, if Satan and the rest of the devils rebelled against God inspite of the glory they enjoyed in heaven, does that also imply that the souls in heaven are still “unstable”? that we’re not really sure if they will keep on loving God for all eternity? Do you think it’s possible that the Blessed Mother herself can still rebel against God? Besides, she still got her free will in heaven does she? And she is still a creature like the rest of us…

Actually, what I really want to understand is why did Satan rebelled? Why did God let this happen? :confused:


#2

That is impossible. No one who sees the beatific vision can commit sin.

Lucifer has never seen the beatific vision.


#3

[quote=kaizen]Actually, what I really want to understand is why did Satan rebelled? Why did God let this happen? :confused:
[/quote]

God let Satan rebel to allow for free will. Satan rebelled for pride. He would rather lower his own dignity through separation from God than to see the likes of man lifted up.


#4

[quote=kaizen]I know that my question sound a bit “blasphemous”… But I just wonder, if Satan and the rest of the devils rebelled against God inspite of the glory they enjoyed in heaven, does that also imply that the souls in heaven are still “unstable”? that we’re not really sure if they will keep on loving God for all eternity? Do you think it’s possible that the Blessed Mother herself can still rebel against God? Besides, she still got her free will in heaven does she? And she is still a creature like the rest of us…
[/quote]

No one in heaven, enjoying the beatific vision, has any possibility of sinning. This does not mean they are not free for freedom is being empowered to do what is good. And those who are most free are those who are so empowered to do what is good that there is no possibility that they would do anything evil – it’s not that they are necessarily physically prevented from doing it, the lack of possibility can lie elsewhere.

Theologians differ as to exactly how it is that the angels and saints in heaven have no possibility of sinning.

In Mary’s case, the general teaching of theologians, is that she had no possibility of sinning from the moment of her sanctification at her creation in the Immaculate Conception. How this is is even less easily understood than how it is that he saints and angels have no possibility; but it is understood that she did not possess the beatific vision at this time but somehow God was able to empower her so much to do good that doing evil was no possibility for her.

There should be an article in the Catholic Encyclopedia which touches upon different explanations theologians make for where the impossibility of sin is grounded in among those in heaven.

As someone already said, Lucifer and the other demons, never had the beatific vision, and thus were never in heaven, in that sense.

Actually, what I really want to understand is why did Satan rebelled? Why did God let this happen? :confused:

St Anselm has an interesting explanation of this – this very specific thing. His works should all be avaliable online. I am not sure however if they are all in the form of an English translation. I am unaware of any other theologian who has offered an explanation for this specific thing as to the why of God’s works in this specific matter.


#5

[quote=Matt16_18]That is impossible. No one who sees the beatific vision can commit sin.

Lucifer has never seen the beatific vision.
[/quote]

wrong, Lucifer and the other fallen angels were in heaven, beholding the face of God and enjoyed the full knowledge and beatific vision that heaven implies, and wilfully sinned, rejecting God and rejecting His presence eternally. The angels had one test for all eternity and their test is over.

Mary and the saints are human, and their tests, like ours, occurred in their earthly life. They “passed” with highest honors, and are now in heaven eternally, no longer subject to temptation and therefore no longer able to sin.


#6

This brings up another age old question, if - as the last post infers - the saints in heaven are no longer subject to temptation, i.e. Lucifer… then who tempted Lucifer when he was an “unfallen” angel? If Lucifer fell because of free will and pride, what preserves anyone else?

Or is it possible that in order to enter into heaven and love the Father always, we must someday - of our complete and unhindered free will - forever surrender our free will back to the Father who gave it to us.

If He required you to give up your free will by once and for all declaring your undying love and loyalty to Him, would you do it? Or, is there something you would never surrender to Him?

Thal59


#7

someone explained it to me this way.
Picture an olympic class figure skater, who is about to perform in the olympics. They are able to execute their moves perfectly, the triple axle, the triple lutz, all of the really technical and difficult movements.
They can, if they really want to, screw up and fall on their behind. They have the free will to choose to flub their performance.
But that idea is absolutely foreign to them as they can perfectly perform their routine, and freely choose to do so.

Heaven is kind of like that. We could sin as we have free will. But the idea of sinning is completely foreign to us as our only desire is for perfection in Christ.

I know the comparison may fall short. But it clicked in my head, so maybe it’ll help you as well.


#8

[quote=asquared]wrong, Lucifer and the other fallen angels were in heaven, beholding the face of God and enjoyed the full knowledge and beatific vision that heaven implies, and wilfully sinned, rejecting God and rejecting His presence eternally. The angels had one test for all eternity and their test is over. . .QUOTE]

OTC, Matt16_18 is quite correct.

Here is what Ott presents in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:

The angels were subjected to a moral testing. (Sent. certa

. as regards the fallen angels, Sent. communis as regards the good.)

They were first in a state of pilgrimage (in status viae), in which tyey, through their free co-operation, with grace were required to merit (in status termini) the Beatific Vision of God. The good angels, who passed the test, entered as a reward therefore into the blessedness of heaven (Mt. 18:10; Tob. 12:15; Heb. 12:22; Apoc. 5:11; 7:11) while the bad angels, who did not pass the test, fell under the ban of eternal damnation (2 Peter 2:4; Jud. 6).
[/quote]


#9

[quote=Dan-Man916]someone explained it to me this way.
Picture an olympic class figure skater, who is about to perform in the olympics. They are able to execute their moves perfectly, the triple axle, the triple lutz, all of the really technical and difficult movements.
They can, if they really want to, screw up and fall on their behind. They have the free will to choose to flub their performance.
But that idea is absolutely foreign to them as they can perfectly perform their routine, and freely choose to do so.

Heaven is kind of like that. We could sin as we have free will. But the idea of sinning is completely foreign to us as our only desire is for perfection in Christ.

I know the comparison may fall short. But it clicked in my head, so maybe it’ll help you as well.
[/quote]

Dan, that’s really not an adequate analogy. Our free will is a gift to help us choose God; some use it as it was meant to be used, some don’t. For those who freely chose God and corresponded to the graces He gave them to persevere to the end and now enjoy the Beatific Vision, their free will, since it has reached its Goal, is set on that Vision with no ability now to choose otherwise (like the good angels whose choice for God is permanent - and like the fallen angels and lost souls whose wills are permanently set against Him).


#10

FC,

I thought that maybe that analogy came from Peter Kreeft. I couldn’t find it, but I remember the specific example was an ice skater.

Well, the analogy might be skewed. However, Dr. Kreeft does talk about sin in heaven here:
catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0510.html


#11

[quote=Dan-Man916]FC,

I thought that maybe that analogy came from Peter Kreeft. I couldn’t find it, but I remember the specific example was an ice skater.

Well, the analogy might be skewed. However, Dr. Kreeft does talk about sin in heaven here:
catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0510.html
[/quote]

Thanks, Dan; it’s an excellent article. :slight_smile:


#12

It’s one of the best…possibly the best that I have ever read!! Thanks for the link, Dan; I was looking for something on these lines just recently, & this is even better than I hoped for!!:thumbsup:


#13

He made a bad judgment to seek his ultimate good in his own nature.

God is supernatural, meaning above our nature, even above the nature of the angels. By our nature, we can not desire God - that requires grace. Likewise, the angels cannot naturally desire the supernatural end God destined them for. But they were given grace to make this decision, and they had to make an act of love and giving of themselves. This act would result in the reward of glory with God. (cf. Summa “TREATISE ON THE ANGELS” catholicprimer.org/summa/FP.html#TOC03)

But there would be no merit in it if it were forced. So God allows free will to reject grace. But rejecting grace is a demerit. But God provides all that is needed, just for the asking. So even God’s help has to be rejected. So if free will chooses to rely on itself in order to glory in itself, then it will naturally reject grace and any reward from God that requires gratitude to God. “I can do it myself”. “I don’t need you”. We see such behavior even in little children at times.

This is also why is stands to reason that the devil was the highest angel by nature. No one, not even the blessed in heaven, fully comprehends God (De fide, Ott p.23). The endowments given to the angels are much greater than ours. If it is easy for us to rejoice in our good fortune in such a way that we want to control it and do what we want with it, how much more so the highest angel, who influences the lower angels?

We must not glory in ourselves or our possessions; we must always be grateful to God from Whom all good things come. Taking pride in it as if it is now all we need is the loss of the fear of God, of recognizing our dependence upon Him, and the cutting off of ourselves from Him - leading us to cling by reflex to ourselves in a deadly “vice” grip, and we fall like a brick.

God’s justice is swift. Let us not reject His goodness, let us not remain in ignorance of our dependence upon Him, and how much we need to worship Him in order to appreciate Him as the source of our life and our love!

Yes, God is a great King, and has created us in our nature without consulting us! He has arrived and conquered our nothingness, giving us a will and thereby “forcing” us to make a decision one way or the other regarding His Mercy: to give Him our service in love and praise and gratitude in dependence upon His Mercy towards our nothingness, or to hate and curse and wretch independently of Him while under His Justice for not doing mercy. For apart from Him is no good.

Christ Jesus, Victor! Christ Jesus, Ruler! Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

hurst


#14

[quote=asquared]wrong, Lucifer and the other fallen angels were in heaven, beholding the face of God and enjoyed the full knowledge and beatific vision that heaven implies, and wilfully sinned, rejecting God and rejecting His presence eternally. The angels had one test for all eternity and their test is over.

[/quote]

As someone else pointed out, the test was before the beatific vision of glory. That is correlated with Ott and Aquinas. So the above statement is false. The fallen angels were not in the supernatural heaven of glory, but a lower one fitting to their nature, even as Adam and Eve were in paradise (which is not the heaven of glory, either).

All were given supernatural grace, but glory is above grace, and grace is above nature.

hurst


#15

Angels are not like us. They see things clearly. Once they make a choice, it is made forever. They do not change their minds. Therefore, there can be no repentance.


#16

Why would one who has been exposed to sin on earth and is now enjoying the perfect Love of God want to disobey God?

Demons did not have the perspective of post sin as we doo.


#17

[quote=Thal59]This brings up another age old question, if - as the last post infers - the saints in heaven are no longer subject to temptation, i.e. Lucifer… then who tempted Lucifer when he was an “unfallen” angel? If Lucifer fell because of free will and pride, what preserves anyone else?

Thal59
[/quote]

angels are a different order of beings than humans, being entirely spritual, their test was of a different order, one time, not a matter of temptation through the senses and in the temporal order, as is the case with humans. Neither their temptations nor their sins are comparable to human sins. The angels in heaven are not in the “same class” as human saints, even though because of ancient language usage, they are also called “saints”. The root of that word simply means “holy”.


#18

Thank you very much… I really appreciate it. So, based on your responses, Satan and the devils didn’t experience the “beatific vision” when they rebelled, and that it is impossible to sin once you entered the beatific vision… But, what exactly is the “beatific vision”? If it’s impossible to sin in that state, does that imply that the souls experiencing it no longer have their “free will”?


#19

[quote=kaizen]… But, what exactly is the “beatific vision”? If it’s impossible to sin in that state, does that imply that the souls experiencing it no longer have their “free will”?
[/quote]

Let’s consider this.

We know that God cannot sin. Yet, He has free will, does He not? So, inability to sin does not imply loss of free will.

But then, if we aren’t able to sin in the beatific vision, but we are able to sin now, then we lose something. What do we lose?

The answer to this is a key to blessedness.

And we do have something of an answer:

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… 6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill… 8 Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.

What we lose is our attachment to earth and all created things. We do this by giving, aka charity. Specifically, by giving of ourselves. And God fills us. And by giving ourselves to God, we lose our sins and gain the righteousness He gives us.

In a word, we lose our evil inclinations that disfigured our free will, and gain God’s Will that ennoble our free will.

1 John 3:2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.

hurst


#20

The human (and angelic) will is made–designed–to be attracted to the good. We are not even attracted to sin unless our will perceives some kind of good to be had therein.

God is perfect and unlimited good. When our will comes into contact directly with God, (the Beatific Vision), it is like iron filings attracted to a strong magnet. In the presence of perfect goodness, our will (and the angelic will) by its very nature, can be attracted in no other direction than to God.

That’s why, in order for us to freely choose God, He could not reveal himself directly to either man or angels before they made a choice for or against him without being in his direct presence.


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