Don’t get so wrapped up in the actual title, it simply means someone of great status in that particular area.
For example, St Michael is often called the Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ and Prince of the Heavenly Host; Jesus is often referred to as the Prince of Peace and the Blessed Mother is known as the Queen of Peace (among their many titles).
Satan has many names, he is called the prince of darkness, the father of lies, the prince of this world, and so on…
Lucifer was the prince of the angels till he opted for usurping the Crown:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]3 And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth:
7 And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: 8 And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child:
17 And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 18 And he stood upon the sand of the sea.
Seems to me, Satan got what he wanted, he may have been cast out of heaven, but look at where God sent them…down to earth…with us! God apparently still allows him to work all kind of mischief in our lives, to wound the nations so to speak.
If you or I had an enemy that wanted to take over our lives and destroy us, it would be foolish to send them to the exact place where our children are living and continually allow them to try to ruin their lives, this just does not make any sense. When it comes to punishment, typically you send the offender to a place where they cannot do the things they wish to do, take the opportunity and access away from them, NOT lock the fox in the hen house!?
God could have just turned satan and demons to dust right on the spot, or he could have sent them IMMEDIATELY to hell, and not allowed them any interaction with us. IMO, it is very curious why they were cast down with us
…I think that there are two things that we must consider when we attempt to discern this particular issue: 1) Satan is a spiritual being Created by God (possible from the same essence of God), God could have an issue with destroying a spiritual being, specially if it is part of His essence, and 2) Creation was done completely: evil is allowed to fester till the appointed time (Judgment), and evil could also be the means by which man’s freewill is honed:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]43 ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. 44 But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; 45 in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. 46 For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors*l] do as much, do they not? 47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? 48 You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I can understand God not wanting to totally destroy satan, but bible tells us our God is a jealous one, we can see this jealousy in almost every book, and yet the being that literally tried to overthrow heaven and Gods throne, (also taking 1/3 of Gods angels with him) is cast down to earth AMONG US, and is continually ‘allowed’ to do all kinds of things…???
The last part, evil could be the means of mans free will, I think is the answer here, but that would mean, ‘the fall’ was necessary for us to have free will, thus satan is just doing what God created him for, he is ‘that other choice’ the alternative to God.
If you go to lunch at a cafeteria, and there is ONLY ONE plate of food available, thats not really a choice, as theres only one thing available, in order for there to be a choice (the essence of free will), there absolutely MUST BE at least 2 things to choose from (evil-good), if one choice is taken away or not available to begin with, then no choice can be made.
…yet, there’s always been a choice… not necessarily: Good vs. evil; but God vs. self.
It is here where both the angels (including Lucifer) and man failed: they both chose themselves over God.
God gave more than one Command to Adam that required the exercise of his freewill:
be God’s Stewart (man fails this miserably)
be fruitful and multiply (man engages this according to his own desire)
do not eat from this one particular thing (do not make yourself the Judge of Good and evil–man is constantly redefining “good” and “evil” so that he can slider his way against God’s Command)
I do not consider evil being necessary for man to prove his willingness to submit his freewill to God… but I do think that it is helpful to determine what is held/found in our hearts and minds:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected… 35 …so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare’.
(St. Luke 2:34-35)
19 On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. 20 And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; 21 but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God;’ (St. John 3:19-21)
I think whether Satan is involved or not, we are still able to choose between self or God. Satan may try to encourage you to abandon God but at the end of the day, the choice is ours, regardless of whether we were tempted, cajoled, tricked, lied to, bribed etc. If the reward is great, I’d suppose the test would be rather substantial and not an easy pass. If it is easy, probably heaven won’t be a big deal because low passing marks typically means substandard quality.
Was the Fall necessary? If no exams were set, how do we know we’d passed? We failed. A simple task and we couldn’t do it. It was just a stupid fruit and we need to disobey just to see whether the grass is greener at the other side.
Fr Hardon once noted, The prince of this world is the devil. When Christ speaks of this world, He means the world of sin. He means the world for which, as He mysteriously declared, “I pray not for the world.”