Everything can change, but God: “Nothing is changeless (by itself) among its saints, and the heavens are not clean in his presence. Those he had created to serve have not been stable, and he has found impurity and depravity in his angels.” (Job 4:18, 15:15) A friend of Job said this, and it was not taken up by this blameless man. It was the common teaching of all, according to this idea, “God,” says St. Peter, “did not spare sinning angels, but cast them into the infernal darkness, where they are held with iron chains and large ropes, there to be tormented and kept for the rigors of Judgment.” (2 Peter 4,4) And Jesus Christ himself said, speaking of Satan: “He did not remain in truth.” (John 8:44)
“How are you fallen from heaven, O beautiful morning star?” (Isaiah 14:12) “You bear in yourself the seal of resemblance, full of wisdom and perfect beauty; you were all sanctified spirits in the paradise of your God, covered with precious stones,” lights and ornaments of his grace. Like a cherub with wings extended, you shone in the holy mountain of God, in the midst of blazing jewels, perfect in your ways from the moment of your creation, until iniquity was found in you.” How was it found, from where did it come? Did error creep into the middle of so many lights, or depravity and lawlessness among such great graces? Really everything from nothing always applies. You were sanctified, but not holy like God: you were first set in order, but not as God, the same order. One of your beauties was to be endowed with a free will, but not as God, whose will is the rule of a free, unwavering will. Beautiful, unhappy spirit, you were limited by yourself; admirer of your own beauty, which was a trap for you. You said: I am beautiful, I am perfect and dazzling light; and instead of going to the source from where you had this glow, you wanted as you admire yourself. And so you say, “I will ascend to heaven; and I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-15) Like a new God, you wanted to enjoy yourself. Creature so elevated by the grace of your creator, you have assigned another elevation that you might own, and you wanted to “raise yourself a throne above the stars,” to be like God, yourself and other bright minds that you have drawn in imitation of your pride. Now suddenly “you fell,” and we who are in the earth, we see you “in the abyss” beneath us. It is you who wanted it, prideful angel, and we must not look for other causes other than the defect your own will. God needs neither lightning nor the strength of indomitable arms to hurl the rebels to earth; all you have to do is to remove those who leave him, and only deliver to themselves those who seek themselves. Cursed spirit, left to yourself, it does not take more to lose you. Rebellious spirits who followed, God twisted you in torture without removing your sublime intelligence. You were the workers of your misfortune, and as soon as you are loved yourself more than God, you turned into evil.
Instead of your natural sublimity, you had only pride and ostentation: the lights of your minds have turned to finesse and cunning artifices. Man, whom God had put underneath you, became the object of your desire: and devoid of charity that ought to have made your perfection, you are reduced to the low and malicious occupation of our first seducers, and then the executioners of those you have deceived. Unfair ministers of the justice of God, you experience it first: you increase your torments by making them feel your jealous rigors: your tyranny is your glory, and you are only capable of this as black and malicious pleasure, if one can call it such, that gives blind pride and low desire. You are spirits deprived of love, which nourish you nothing more than the venom of jealousy and hatred. And how did you made this great change? You withdrew from God, and he withdrew: this is your great torture and his great and admirable justice. But it nevertheless did more: he thundered and struck: you groan under the blows constantly repeated by his invincible and indefatigable hand. By his sovereign orders, the bodily creature that you were subject to naturally dominates and punishes you. Fire torments you: its smoke, so to speak, chokes you: thick darkness takes you captive in eternal prisons. Cursed spirits, hated by God and hating, how are you fallen so low? You wanted it, you still want it, because you always want to be beautiful, and that in your untamed pride you remain obstinate in your misfortune.
Creature, such as you are, and so perfect as you believe yourself to be, remember that you came out of nothing: that of yourself you are nothing: from the root of this base origin you can always become sinful, and from there soon eternally and infinitely unhappy.
Beautiful and rebellious, take example from the prince of rebellion and pride; and see, and consider, and hear what a single feeling of pride has made him and all his followers.
Let us flee, flee, flee from ourselves: let us return to our nothingness and place in God our support as well as our love. Amen. Amen.