Why evil?

I have a question about the origin of evil. If God was all that ever existed and God is all good, then where did the choice to be evil come from? How did Satan choose to be evil if he did not even know about the choice, since he was at one time good. Did God create evil as well as good? This is causing me to seriously question my faith. I want to believe in God and I want it all to be true, but i can’t figure out this question. Sincerely, Conrad

Dear Conrad,

Evil is the absence of good. God gave the angels (including Satan) and human beings the ability to love. But love is always a choice or it isn’t love. Love cannot be programmed. In order to choose to love, one (whether he be a human or an angel) must have the option of choosing to not love. Choosing to not love is choosing evil. Satan freely made the latter choice.

What we know about God’s love is quite limited compared to the reality. His love is without limit. We get an idea of its magnitude when we consider that He was willing to take on the limitations of being human and then allowed Himself to suffer and die as He did on Good Friday. Such love is impossible for us to fully take in. But it is enough for us to spend a life time appreciating and responding to (giving thanks).

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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