The Existence and Nature of Evil Spirit

Doug McManaman
First published in the Autumn,
2004 Issue of the Journal of the
Canadian Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

Reproduced with Permission

Christians believe that human beings live in the midst of a very subtle war, a preternatural war. A battle rages, and it is nothing like the assault on London in 1940, for example, which was loud and reduced the city to charred ruins. This silent but preternatural war is indeed over inasmuch as victory has been won, the kingdom of darkness has been defeated (Jn 12: 31-32). But battles remain. Specifically, what remains to be accomplished is, to use MacArthur's expression, a mopping up of some remaining resistance -- not a minor skirmish, by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to focus on the existence and nature of the preternatural spirit behind this war, the spirit that Christ came to defeat: "It was to undo all that the devil has done that the Son of God appeared" (1 Jn 3:8).

The existence of the devil is not something that can be demonstrated through unaided reason; for the existence of angels is itself an article of faith. But as we said in our previous article, Angels: Their Existence and Nature, reason can offer a probable argument for the existence of angels by stepping back and glancing at the entire hierarchy of being and taking account of the rather large gap that exists between man and God. God is pure Act of Existing, without any admixture of potentiality, whereas in man we find a two-fold composition of potency and act, one of matter and spirit, the other of essence and existence. One would expect a more gradual simplification of beings, such that just above the level of human nature we should find an existing nature that is spirit only, a nature without any material composition, albeit in potentiality to the act of being. Within this angelic realm, it is just as reasonable to expect a further simplification of their intellectual natures, a more universal intellectual apprehension in the angels as we proceed further up on the hierarchy. And a hierarchy there must be, since angels are immaterial. What distinguishes one angel from another is not located on the side of matter, as it is for us, since angels have no matter, but on the side of form. Thus each angel is formally different than every other angel. At the top of the hierarchy is God, of course, who is entirely simple, without any composition whatsoever.

Since angels are immaterial, they are their own intellects. They are pure intelligences. Thus, they have the power to know and to will. And since their knowing is not intimately tied up in matter as is human intelligence, there isn't the complexity of intelligent activity that characterizes human knowing, with its acts of abstraction from individuating conditions, judgments and discursive reasoning, and a gradual growing in knowledge and wisdom. The intellect of an angel is entirely specified from the beginning, which is why the angelic intellect is exceedingly more brilliant than that of the most brilliant man.

If angels have will (self determination), it follows that they are capable of evil. And so it is not unreasonable to expect that a number of these spirits -- perhaps a minority -- have chosen to oppose God's will and have freely chosen to miss their destiny. In this light, revelation regarding the devil is not contrary to reason.

Angelic Choosing

As angelic intelligence is radically different from human intelligence, that is, much simpler and more complete, so too is angelic choosing simpler and total. Firstly, the evil choice of a fallen spirit is instantaneous and timeless. The human person, on the contrary, compares alternatives, deliberates between them, apprehending that each one contains goods not contained in the others. Decision is the act of cutting off deliberation. Here the will commands the intellect to deliberate no more, and so the self determines itself to a particular alternative, thus establishing a relationship to the human goods that are respected, neglected, or attacked in the alternative. An evil decision is a choice of a deficient alternative, one that involves a willing incompatible with a will towards integral human fulfillment.

But since angels are not temporal (since they are incorporeal), their choices are not measured by time, but by aeviternity, which is a mean between eternity and time. The fallen spirits were not evil in the first instant of their existence.1 Rather, their sin was committed at once after the first instant of their creation. It was in their second act that evil spirits were separated from the good. The interval separating the first and second instants is not a temporal one, but one measured by the indivisible aevum. It is inevitable that we conceive of 'first and second instant' temporally, but the before and after of aeviternity is not horizontal. Perhaps it is better to regard it as vertical, like the stacking of bricks, one on top of the other, each brick representing a choice. An angelic choice is never past in the sense that it is behind him. Rather, the angel dwells forever within his decision, which he wills with his whole being.

Secondly, angelic choosing is entire and complete. For it is by one meritorious act that an angel attains beatitude. Likewise, it is also through one act that the angel forever impedes his own supernatural beatitude. For the mind of an angel is not clouded by ignorance, nor is the will inclined by passion. Furthermore, all the angels were created in a state of grace. Thus, "an angel has nothing in him to retard his action, and with his whole might he is moved to whatsoever he is moved, be it good or bad."2. An angel will not later discover a "reason" to repent of his choice, because there is no "later", and his choice was fully enlightened from the beginning.

That is why the malice of a fallen spirit exceeds anything the human person is capable of imagining, not to mention what he can tolerate. For the specter of human evil, which is not nearly as intense as diabolical malice, is so difficult for man to endure that more often than not he will deny it or attempt to explain it away. Malice is terrifying to human beings; for another's malice is not something that we have any direct control over inasmuch as it is rooted in the will. That is why we often persuade ourselves that the terrifying depravity of another is nothing but mental illness ("he must have been crazy to have done that"), or emotional disturbance of such intensity that it is no longer possible to speak of a self-determining and responsible agent, thus draining such depravity of its terror.3

Diabolical malice towards man is nothing less than complete and total envy. For only envy and pride can exist in a fallen spirit; for these are purely spiritual sins, far more serious than "sins of the flesh", of which they are not capable. It belongs to envy to grieve over the good possessed by another, and so envy involves willing that another be deprived of the good they possess, or will possess, and thus delighting in the misfortunes of another. The envious regard another's good as a hindrance to their own in so far as they covet a singular excellence, which ceases to be singular if possessed by another. Thus, St. Thomas writes: "...after the sin of pride, there followed the evil of envy in the sinning angel, whereby he grieved over man's good, and also over the divine excellence, according as against the devil's will God makes use of man for the divine glory".4 The will of the devil is that the human person be forever deprived of rest and beatitude. It is a willing of total misery upon him. As such, it is a hatred of such intensity that it would leave us profoundly disturbed and scarred were we to taste a portion of it.

Diabolical envy follows upon pride. Traditionally, this pride has been understood as a desire to be 'as God'. Contrary to popular opinion, this desire to be 'as God' is not a yearning for equality with God; by his own natural knowledge, an angel knows that such is impossible. Moreover, each thing naturally desires first and foremost its own perfection, which presupposes a desire to preserve its own nature. Thus it is not possible for an angel to desire to be changed into another nature. Rather, the fallen angel desires a likeness to God in that he wills as the last end of his beatitude something which he could attain by virtue of his own nature,5 turning his will away from supernatural beatitude which is attained by God's grace. In short, the fallen angel wills final beatitude of its own power. It is the doxology that the devil is unwilling to accept: "For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever."

At the first instant, the angels engage in introspection. Here they behold the magnificence of their own angelic natures. From this point, some angels were converted to the praise of the Word, through whom they were brought into being (Jn 1, 1ff), while others, absorbed in themselves, swelled with pride and chose as the last end of their beatitude something which they could attain through their own nature, as opposed to the supernatural quality of divine grace. It was a choice for a kind of independence, not an ontological independence -- which is impossible -- , but an independence from divine grace.6

This decision on the part of an angel of the cherubim rank7 was in the very same instant the cause of the free fall of the rest of the wicked spirits. St. Thomas writes:

Although the demons all sinned in the one instant, yet the sin of one could be the cause of the rest sinning. For the angel needs no delay of time for choice, exhortation, or consent, as man, who requires deliberation in order to choose and consent, and vocal speech in order to exhort; both of which are the work of time. And it is evident that even man begins to speak in the very instant when he takes thought; and in the last instant of speech, another who catches his meaning can assent to what is said; as is especially evident with regard to primary concepts, which everyone accepts directly they are heard. Taking away, then, the time for speech and deliberation which is required in us; in the same instant in which the highest angel expressed his affection by intelligible speech, it was possible for the others to consent thereto.8

We get a glimpse of the nature of this preternatural sin in the story of the fall. Here the serpent attempts, by deception, to draw the protoparents into the very current of his prideful will: "'No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.' The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give" (Gn 3: 5-6). The desire here is to be 'as gods' or 'as God', who is the measure of the good, who depends on no one for his beatitude, and to whom belongs 'all glory and honour'.

The similarities between man's sin and the sin of the angel is that both choices were made while in the state of grace and without concupiscence, but the difference between the angelic rebellion and man's is that original sin was not as total or "of their whole strength" as is the angelic decision. This is not to suggest that man cannot, before his life is complete, make a free decision to reject his destiny. Nor is it to imply that man is not deserving of eternal punishment as a result of one sin. Despite the human person's real ability to freely shatter the impetus of divine grace, his decision is not as total as that of an angel. Thus, divine mercy is not pointless: "I shall put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. She will crush your head, and you will bite at her heel" (Gn 3, 15).

Now there is a relationship between "doing" and "being": we become (being) what we choose (doing). This is true of angels as well as man. In so far as evil is a deficiency, a privation, a kind of non-being, it follows that as the Devil continues to deceive the human person in order to draw him further from his own salvation, the more he loathes himself, for goodness is a property of being, not of non-being, and thus the more he inspires depravity, the less there is in him to love. The irony here is that the angel cannot help but freely choose a course of action that increases his own self loathing, that is, a course of action that renders his own beatitude impossible and increases his misery. This is the essence of a demon's hell.

The Preeminence of Christ in Creation

The entire order of creation is centered on the person of Christ. This means that all things were created in view of Christ. The final cause of a choice is the cause of all other causes involved in the action (material, formal, efficient). The efficient cause acts in view of the final cause (i.e., the need for something that will allow me to comfortably write an essay while sitting), which determines the formal cause (the form of a desk), which in turn determines the material cause (oak wood rather than sponge). The doctrine of the preeminence of Christ means that Christ, who is fully God and fully man, is the final cause of creation, including the realm of the preternatural: "...for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers -- all things were created through him and for him. Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity" (Col 1: 16-17).

We can speculate that it was the knowledge that these magnificent and exceedingly superior angelic natures would have to serve, worship, and adore "flesh", that is, a nature significantly inferior, that they, through their willful and prideful self-absorption, found repugnant. How much of the mystery of the Incarnation did they know about is difficult to determine. Aquinas writes:

All the angels had some knowledge from the very beginning respecting the mystery of God's kingdom, which found its completion in Christ; and most of all from the moment when they were beatified by the vision of the Word, which vision the demons never had. Yet all the angels did not fully and equally apprehend it; hence the demons much less fully understood the mystery of the Incarnation, when Christ was in the world. For, as Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei ix, 21), "It was not manifested to them as it was to the holy angels, who enjoy a participated eternity of the Word; but it was made known by some temporal effects, so as to strike terror into them." For had they fully and certainly known that He was the Son of God and the effect of His passion, they would never have procured the crucifixion of the Lord of glory.9

Whatever their knowledge, it is the Incarnation that is the central mystery that sheds definitive light on creation and, above all, the mystery of man. "Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved, in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins....He has let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning to act upon when the times had run their course to the end: that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth" (Eph 1: 4-7. 9-10).

Our destiny, like that of the angels, is linked to the doxology, for we are destined to a supernatural end. In order to turn to God as the object of supernatural beatitude, the finite creature needs grace to proportion its nature to an end that exceeds its capacity. Thus, "from his fulness we have, all of us, received -- yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ" (Jn 1: 16-17). Carlo Caffarra writes: "The Father's decision to give his only begotten Son to the world -- indeed, more precisely, his decision to join a human nature, a human body and spirit, to the person of the Word -- did not arise consequent to his decision to create man, in a sort of second phase. Rather, man -- every man -- is created with a view to his participation in divine life in the Son made man. The Word made man is first intended and willed by the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth; he is at the center of the whole plan of creation. Man is intended and willed with a view to his insertion into Christ, his elevation and vocation to become a son in the Son, through the gift of the Holy Spirit."10

It is through Christ that the human person achieves the fulness of what it means to be man. Christ is the mystery of man fully disclosed, the measure of human integrity and the source of grace that makes that integrity possible. It is precisely this grace that the spirit of evil aims to deplete in human persons. This attack begins to succeed when a person freely chooses to shatter the impetus of grace in order to settle for an end that can be attained in virtue of his own nature. This is the diabolical element at the root of all Naturalisms, whether Pelagianism, Pantheism, Monism, Hegelianism and its offspring, including the New Age. At the heart of them all lurks a spirit of prideful self-sufficiency.

In joining a human nature, Christ endows matter with new dignity; in him it becomes fully humanized; thus our humanization occurs in him. The parable of the wedding feast (Mt 22: 1ff) is an illustration of the sin of rejecting the invitation to insert ourselves into this union. The king gives a feast for his son's wedding, the joining of the human and divine natures in one hypostasis. Those invited would not come to the feast. But since this rejection may not be entire and deliberate, the king reinvites them with an added impetus: "I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding." This is man's invitation to find the fullness of his life in the"wedding" of the Incarnation of the Word. But the second invitation contains more data for a more informed choice: "But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them." The invited were interested in their own affairs, a beatitude that would come about as a result of their own efforts. This was enough to infuriate the king. The offer of salvation was then re-directed, the covenant thereby becoming an international one (kataholieke). But only those wearing the wedding garment of supernatural charity can participate in this feast.

By refusing to nihilate the impetus of grace and allowing free passage to the influx of divine grace, the shatterable divine activations fructify by themselves into the unshatterable divine activation. As Maritain writes: "This unshatterable divine activation is none other than the decisive fiat, received in us. By Its fiat the transcendent Cause makes that to happen which It wills. By virtue of that unshatterable divine activation, our will, this time, unfailingly exercises its liberty in the line of good, produces the good act (vitally consonant with the rule or the thou shouldst) towards which tended not only all the activations to good received by the will, but also everything that is good in the will's own inner dynamism, as well as in the fundamental aspiration of its nature."11 I am at fault for nihilating grace, but I am not to be commended for cooperating with it. Rather, God, who creates our free-choices -- but who is not the first deficient cause of our evil choices -- is to be thanked, praised, and glorified. There is no glory that is ours that is not first His.12

And it is in him that we were claimed as God's own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things as he decides by his own will, chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came. Now you too, in him, have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation, and have believed it; and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the promise, the pledge of our inheritance which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised. (Eph 1: 11-14)

The preternatural war for the souls of others is directed towards fixing their attention to intramundane affairs without reference to the kingdom of God, to supernatural beatitude and thus the need for grace. It aims at inducing in man a spirit of self-sufficiency. But this world belongs to God. The universe is profoundly religious, because all was created through the Word and for the Word and it reflects this in inexhaustible ways. The "wedding feast" is the very center of creation and thus of human existence, the purpose for which we were created.

Finally, Christ's death is precisely the perfect fulfillment of the requirement of justice that man, through his indifference, failed to render to God. The cross is the perfect act of religion offered to the Father on our behalf. It is our justification because it is the perfect act of justice (religion is the most perfect part of the virtue of justice). It is this justice that those who have "other business" refuse to concern themselves with, and so they remain unjustified, and choose instead the kingdom of darkness; for their choice is congruent with those angels who, "absorbed in themselves, became night".13

Final Thoughts

It is on account of the vast superiority of the angelic nature that man has no chance, on his own strength, to see through much less overcome the very subtle lures that aim to deprive him of eternal happiness and weaken his share in this christological humanness. The malice behind these persistent attempts to ruin man is far more intense than the malice behind the bombing of London, for example. The war being fought is silent and subtle (Rv 12), most of us too spiritually insensitive to be aware of it, much less make any sense out of the battle plan. But there are a number of defenses that the believer must learn to employ if he is to protect himself.

First, humility is a virtue that the devil cannot tolerate. It involves the recognition of our radical limits, and that man's glory lies not in his intelligence, but precisely in his willingness to behold and accept his utter dependency. Childhood is characterized by dependency, for children are dependent upon adults. That is why Christ says to us: "Unless you change and become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18: 3). Original sin was fundamentally a rejection of our status as children.

But the subtle snares of pride are very difficult to detect, and human persons tend to believe that they have found reason to walk proud. This is so ironic that it becomes a matter of humor. For human knowing is limited on all sides, that is, from above, from below, from the front and from behind. We are limited both vertically and horizontally. We are ignorant of what the future will bring, forgetful of what the past has brought, limited in our knowledge of physical nature, and only able to know about God indirectly and negatively, that is, through what He is not. Indeed, brilliance is relative; for history reveals that the brilliant are slow. Adolescents routinely learn in a semester what it took centuries for the most brilliant among us to discover.

And not only are we limited naturally, we are dull of mind as a result of sin. We are almost as spiritually insensitive as brute animals are unintelligent. Like a child that cannot control his impulses, we are at our worst in times of prosperity, but at our best in times of suffering. As we grow in wisdom, we begin to see that there is literally nothing good in us that hasn't been given to us, and that what comes directly and immediately from us are a variety of moral deficiencies.

Closely associated with humility is gratitude, in particular the gratitude that stems from the recognition that God is the First Cause of all that is, including our free choices. Thus, it is really the case that "all glory and honour are His".

It is above all necessary to recognize the need for grace, and thus the need for the sacraments, sacramentals and devotions. Sacraments are channels of grace. In them, matter is made holy, raised to a new level, and the natural significance of various kinds of matter (i.e., water, oil, bread and wine, etc,) are made to signify a specific grace (cleansing from sin, strength, spiritual nourishment, forgiveness, adoption, blessing, etc.). Frequent Confession is especially crucial for consistent growth in the spiritual life, as regular visits to a doctor are necessary for physical health. For sin is a public affair inasmuch as the believer is a member of a body (1 Co 12: 12-30), and so individual sin is never solely a matter between God and the sinner, but is at the same time a matter between the sinner and the entire Church, Christ's Mystical Body.

The human person is material through and through, which is why it is appropriate that sacramentals have a place in the life of the believer. Here, ordinary things are consecrated for the service of faith and the spiritual life; for sacramentals are testimony to the dignity of matter, and they have been given to the Church in accordance with our material nature for strength and protection. We should guard against the condescending posture of the pseudo sophisticate who belittles such devotions and sacramentals. Behind such belittling often lies a lack of due reverence for the dignity of matter, raised as it has been by the Incarnation of the Word.

A person should avoid all forms of the occult, which is basically a means of acquiring "hidden" (occult) knowledge. It stems from a desire for a singular excellence (envy), the possession of esoteric knowledge acquired outside of Christ's Mystical Body. In short, it stems from a desire for power. But the possession of esoteric knowledge is entirely unnecessary; for each person at baptism is given the seven personal gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, fear) and a number of charisms as well, given for the building up of the Body of Christ. All these gifts and charisms are strengthened in Confirmation. To seek guidance and understanding from an occult source that is outside of the Mystical Body is to open oneself to diabolical oppression, which can be the beginning of serious emotional and spiritual difficulties.

One should be careful not to get duped by New Age thinking, which isn't new at all, but is as ancient as Gnosticism, if not older. Any movement based on the suggestion that God is a state of higher consciousness that a person may reach, or that God is the total realization of personal, human potential, is politely atheistic, fundamentally naturalistic, and ultimately based on a lie. For it is a metaphysical impossibility to be in some way divine, or to become divine. The divine nature is its own act of existing, whereas creatures have a received act of being. In other words, for creatures, existence is participated, but God does not participate in being, rather God is He Who IS (Yahweh) (Ex 3: 14). New Age ideas, when they take root in the mind, suggest there is no need of a saviour, thus no need of the Church, nor of the supernatural quality of grace, since it is believed that we are grace. But at the heart of rebellion against God is precisely a rejection of divine grace.


1 "We must therefore reply that, on the contrary, it was impossible for the angel to sin in the first instant by an inordinate act of free-will. For although a thing can begin to act in the first instant of its existence, nevertheless, that operation which begins with the existence comes of the agent from which it drew its nature; just as upward movement in fire comes of its productive cause. Therefore, if there be anything which derives its nature from a defective cause, which can be the cause of a defective action, it can in the first instant of its existence have a defective operation; just as the leg, which is defective from birth, through a defect in the principle of generation, begins at once to limp. But the agent which brought the angels into existence, namely, God, cannot be the cause of sin. Consequently it cannot be said that the devil was wicked in the first instant of his creation." ST, I, q. 63, a.5. [Back]

2 ST, I, q. 63, a.8, ad 3. [Back]

3 Genuine evil is intrinsically mysterious because a free-choice is self-determined. As such it cannot be understood "scientifically" insofar as science is a knowledge of things through their proper causes. There is no cause outside of the choosing subject himself that determines him to make the choice that was made. The choosing subject is himself the cause of his choice. Genuinely free choices present a certain impenetrable darkness to the human mind, and some of us are afraid of the dark, that is, afraid of what we cannot control. It is this ability to make genuinely self-determining choices that is the locus of man's dignity as a mystery, created in the image and likeness of God. This is the focal point of the mystery of man that mirrors the unutterable mystery of God. If human malice is so hard to face that we must find ways to deny it or explain it away, how much more terrifying is the specter of preternatural malice? [Back]

4 ST, I, q. 63, a.2. [Back]

5 ST, I, q. 63, a.3. [Back]

6 ST, I, q. 63, a.3. [Back]

7 "Cherubim is interpreted "fulness of knowledge," while "Seraphim" means "those who are on fire," or "who set on fire." Consequently Cherubim is derived from knowledge; which is compatible with mortal sin; but Seraphim is derived from the heat of charity, which is incompatible with mortal sin. Therefore the first angel who sinned is called, not a Seraph, but a Cherub." ST, I, q. 63, a.7, ad 1. [Back]

8 ST, I, q. 63, a.8, ad 1. [Back]

9 ST, I, q. 64, a.1, ad 4. [Back]

10 Carlo Caffara. Living in Christ: Fundamental Principles of Catholic Moral Teaching (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1987) pp. 47-48. "...there has never existed, there does not now exist, nor will there ever exist a human person not created in view of Christ for participation in his divine Sonship. One must be very careful, then, not to have a concept of man founded on an enormous confusion: that of considering a pure possibility (man in view of Christ) what in fact, out of pure gratuitousness, is the only existent reality, and of considering a reality what in fact, out of that same gratuitousness, has remained in the realm of pure possibility (man not in view of Christ)." Ibid., pp. 48 49 [Back]

11 Jacques Maritain. Existence and the Existent (New York: Double Day, 1956) p. 101. [Back]

12 Free-choice does not mean being the first cause of one's choices. The human person is the secondary cause of his choices; a real self-determining cause, but a secondary cause nevertheless; for it is not possible for a creature to be the first cause of anything, except the first deficient cause of his evil choices. Germain Grisez writes: "To say, Our free choices depend on God for their reality, is not to say, God settles which option we take when we seem to ourselves to be making a free choice. True, if God knows and wills something, it necessarily is in reality as he knows and wills it to be; but it does not follow that choices one thinks one is making freely really are necessary. That would be the case if God knew in advance what one was to choose and caused one to choose it. But since time is part of the created universe, God is not within time; thus, he does not know anything in advance -- or simultaneously or afterwards. Moreover, his creative causality does not cause one to choose option A (which would mean one cannot choose option B). Rather, God creates one or another whole: (1) one's being able to choose option A or option B, and freely choosing A; or (2) one's being able to choose option A or option B, and freely choosing B. So, if God infallibly knows and omnipotently wills that one has the options of doing A and of doing B and that one freely chooses to do A or freely chooses to do B, then one's options and one's free choice are in reality just as God knows them to be. But nothing is necessary in that created state of affairs except that one does have those options and that one freely chooses whichever option one chooses." "Clerical and Consecrated Life and Service", The Way of the Lord Jesus, Vol 4, ch. 1, unpublished manuscript. p. 9) [Back]

13 ST, I, q. 63, a.6, ad 4. [Back]