The other night, in Dominican Study Group, we were discussing God's mercy. One of my "cloistered brothers" said that sometimes, when talking with others they'll confess that they feel too unworthy to ever be forgiven. The things that they've done are just too evil to be be forgiven. So he said that he tells them about God's mercy and stresses the point that if Satan, himself, were to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness, that God would forgive him.

This just didn't sit right with me. I recalled that Fr. Aniello once told my prayer group not to waste their time thinking about Satan. He chose to be lost forever.

Fr. Aniello is only an email away. I wrote and he responded: "The biggest difference between human beings and Satan (and his devils) is this: we are still on the way and we are free to say, yes or no; instead the evil spirits made their final choice long ago.

Any human being can repent till he/she lives on this earth. There is no sin that God does not forgive to a human being who repents! God gives us time on this earth so that we can repent...He is very happy when we repent...he makes a feast for a repentant sinner!"

I also wrote to my Chapter's Spiritual Promoter, Fr. Wayne, who responded: "One of the issues is that Satan was never human(mortal). He was an angel who rebelled against God. I think you are thinking where the rich man repents only after he has been judged, too late to help Lazarus, and so too late to change his judgement. Angels don't have mortal lives and therefore can't lose them. It's not clear what the nature of their lives are or how judgement applies to them. It would seem that by analogy, Satan would be in the same boat as the rich man. However, what can we really say with certainty about the lives of angels? Still, I think our "cloistered brother's" basic insight is correct: there is no limit to God's mercy...only the limits we put on receiving it. It would seem unnecessary to correct his hyperbole as long as the point he was trying to make remains the focus, as it should do."

Both responses are food for thought.

Fr. Aniello would say I was wasting my time--thinking about Satan. Since I don't know what to think, I'll take the easiest road.

Forget about Satan. He is a waste.


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