Newsletter n. 3/23 – Satan, the Hideous
Lucifer, the Beautiful, chose to become Satan, the Hideous. The short text by Valtorta (Q45-50 pp. 132-133) is divided into three parts. (1) Who was Lucifer. (2) The way he freely chose to become Satan. (3) The consequences for him and for those who follow him. In fact it is a very condensed treatise on demonology, which should be reflected upon for a long time. The second part is certainly the most important, because since we are dealing with a creature endowed with a spirit, we too can freely imitate him in his behavior.
How did it happen that he became a temptation and an irremediable fall of himself?
The first necessary premise is technically called “cosmogonic”: there is no divine duality; no clash between demiurges; no double creation; no incomprehensible fall; no alien myths; nothing that fits into multidimensionality. Valtorta’s vision is distinctly Catholic: God-Trinity revealed, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word and savior, man is in the image and likeness of God and the apex of creation, and by the free will of the One creator the Spirit and inanimate matter coexist harmoniously.
The second premise is about all rational (spiritual) creatures: they must be confirmed in Grace, or in the refusal of Grace. This happens only after having freely and openly affirmed to accept – or not – one’s being creatures obviously radically dependent on the Creator. It is what is popularly called “proof”. “In the being of all that is created all the good and evil forces are present, and they agitate until one of the two parties wins to give good or evil, as in the atmosphere are all the gaseous elements: because they are necessary”. The “good and evil forces” can be reduced to two: say yes or no to the Creator. Even in Lucifer, the most beautiful of the angels, there were these “good and evil forces”. As if to say that both tendencies towards good and towards evil were present: love towards oneself to the point of contempt for God, love towards God to the point of contempt for oneself. In other words: decide towards Love or towards pride. Everything was latent, before (but be careful: temporality is for us, made of matter and spirit, and it is impossible to express ourselves otherwise, but here events take place before our time existed). A similar thing was also in the first two men.
The Beginning: “Seeing himself in God, seeing himself in himself, seeing himself in his companions, because God enveloped him in his light and reveled in the splendor of his archangel, and because the angels venerated him as the most perfect mirror of God, he admired himself”. This last word is the decisive one: “he admired Himself”. His gaze went from God to himself. Vanity – love for himself against love for the Creator and for other creatures – drove him to choose pride: “I am beautiful, I am the most beautiful, no one is as beautiful as me, I am as beautiful as God”.
The continuation: “Lucifer attracted pride to himself. He cultivated it, extended it. He made it his weapon and seduction. He wanted more than he didn’t have. He wanted everything, he who was already so much”. The cultivated vanity became pride and he wanted, demanded himself equal to God. Pride blinded him to such an extent that he no longer recognized himself as a creature, but as equal to the Creator. This is the cause of all evil.
The summit: “He thought: ‘I know the secret of God. I know the words. I know the design. I can do whatever He wants. As I presided over the first creative operations, I can proceed. I am’”. His light was now off and darkness had arrived inside him, because he wanted it. The last two words, “I Am”, are his blasphemy. And it was willed, demanded, total, absolute, radical, complete, irremediable and therefore non-remissable. His very existence was fixed against God.
The consequences on himself: “He is the ‘Contrary’. That which is the opposite to God. That which is the opposite of God. And every action of him is the antithesis of the actions of God. And every study of him is to make men be contrary to God. That is what Satan is. He is ‘turning against Me’ in action”. Thinking himself Creator he became a total lie and a lie in every situation and thought. Pride became as great as the light of love possessed by him was luminous. To understand: “Basically, lust is a vice of the lower part which in some has such voracious appetites, satisfied in moments of brutalization that stupefy. But pride is a vice of the superior part, consumed with acute and lucid intelligence, premeditated, lasting. It damages the part that most resembles God. It tramples on the God-given gem”. He chose the darkness of eternal pride involving all of himself and by himself abolishing all compassion and all love. Vanity, accepted radically, became pride without limits of pretensions. Incomprehensible to us: he welcomes and wants darkness, without any light, and this becomes his whole being. Nor can it cease to be. Both because, being a pure spirit, his determinations are both free and eternal, fixed forever; and because God the creator does not take away from anyone the gifts given, and for this reason he does not take away from him the absolute good that has been done to him with existence and life. But he will have to live separated from all love and love relationships, because he wants it this way now, and this living is called hell. Yet he remained an angel, with the strength and determination of an angelic nature. He had lost the additionally received qualities in his created being, but not the nature. This remained and remains as it was. Angelic nature, but not Divine and therefore without the omnipotence that belongs only to God.
The consequences for others: “He seduced the least attentive among his companions. He distracted them from contemplating God as supreme Beauty. Knowing the future wonders of God, he wanted to be him in God’s place”. He was the most beautiful, the most intelligent, therefore the most admired and followed. Mysteriously so many other angels incredibly preferred him to the Almighty Creator. They also joined him in separation from God. They believed it possible for personal gain and they did it. Freely and singularly they have chosen to join Lucifer-Satan in rejecting their creatureliness. Certainly fallen angels, but angels with all the strength of their nature. Now they are dark with the “Darkness”; alone with the “Lonly”. Forever.
“He saw himself, with troubled thought, leader of future men, adored as the supreme power. […] And every study of him is to lead men to be against God”. And men – starting from the two ancestors – have followed him; they wanted to follow him. They imitated him, and so death and pain entered the life of every man. It could even already seem like the end of all human history. But here the presence of the weak matter prevented the eternal drama, as instead it was for the angels who followed him. Death and pain, the consequence of separation from the Author of life, have become redemption through Incarnate Love. In this way the seduction of Satan, even if accepted by some, is not accepted in absolute terms, and for this reason his plan failed. Mary Most Holy, new Eve, ecstasy of God, perfect human creature who freely accepts his creaturehood in a totalitarian way, thus becomes an indispensable channel for the Creator for the Incarnation, Redemption and Sanctification of all men who want it.
Is all this just a problem of the angels? No, for two reasons which I will only mention. The functionality of the material creation also depended on them, so their fall also affects the creation in some way. What’s more, they set the example: their drama could also have happened to other rational creatures, and in fact it is what happened to the first men. Furthermore, this can also attract us today: if we are not firm in faith, hope and love, we can sadly imitate them.
God won in the freedom of every spiritual being: angels and men. For the former, in all those who have refused to imitate Lucifer-Satan; in men, through the Incarnate Word and Mary Most Holy, which allowed the incarnation. Satan is the eternal loser, and emblem of every defeat.