Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(08-05-2011, 02:20 AM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 02:10 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 01:29 AM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 01:09 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-04-2011, 10:34 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(08-04-2011, 10:10 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-04-2011, 09:08 PM)Melkite Wrote: Inpefess, I see two possible holes in your argument off the top of my head.  If it were practically impossible to resist the good once it has been seen, then the original sin would presumably never have taken place. 

No. Efficacious grace does not mean one will never sin. It means that one will persevere to the end such that, in the end, he will choose good.

Quote: The Original sin took place because Adam, who saw the good as perfectly as he was capable, resisted it anyway, and was tempted to resist it by one who saw everything the elect will see,

Adam didn't see the Beatific Vision before he fell.


and presumably more that no man shall ever see, and also resisted the good as well.  If good were inherently irresistable once seen, neither fall should ever have taken place.

See above.

Satan was the highest of angels, how could he not have seen God?

None of the angels have seen God; nor will they ever. They enjoy His presence but they do not behold the Beatific Vision.

They envy man with a holy envy because we have the ability to see God and they cannot.

I really don't know what you are talking about.  St. Michael the Archangel does see God.  Lucifer doesn't enjoy the presence of God.  Please be specific.  Thank you.

Until the angels confirmed their grace, they could not see God; they could but enjoy His presence.

Those angels who have rebelled have never and will never see the Beatific Vision. These angels envy man because of what we can have that they cannot.

None who have seen the Beatific Vision can rebel against God. This is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.

But some angels did rebel against God. This means some angels had not seen the Beatific Vision.

How does this work? Here is a summary of points from the Summa Theologica:

1) Angels were not created in the possession of the Beatific Vision.

2) To possess the Beatific Vision, angels require grace to confirm their glory.

3) The angels were created in the state of grace, but they needed to confirm this grace in order to enjoy the Beatific Vision. If the angels had been created with confirming grace (which is a conceptual contradiction), none of them could have fallen.

4) By using their grace in their first act of selfless charity toward God (serving God by serving man), the angels confirm their grace and merit the Beatific Vision.

5) Upon meriting the Beatific Vision, beatified angels cannot sin. "There is in beatified angels no possible tendency away from God, and therefore no possible sin."

6) But before angels were beatified they could yet sin, and some did so.

7) Lucifer did so not immediately upon creation but immediately after creation.

St. Michael the Archangel didn't always the Beatific Vision, but he did after His choice to confirm the sanctifying grace with which he had been created by choosing to serve God by ministering unto man.

So Lucifer never enjoyed the Beatific Vision, which is why he was able to sin. We, however, cannot sin once we have enjoyed the Beatific Vision, though we retain the power to do so.

Here is the more complete answer from A Tour of the Summa:


1. Although the angels were created in heaven, and with natural happiness or beatitude, they were not created in glory, that is, in the possession of the beatific vision.

2. To possess God in the beatific vision the angels require grace.

3. And, while the angels were created in the state of sanctifying grace, this was not the grace which confirms the angels in glory. Had the angels been created with the confirming grace, none of them could have fallen, and some did fall.

4. Angels were created in grace, and by using this grace in their first act of charity (which is the friendship and love of God) they merited the beatific vision and heavenly beatitude.

5. Instantly upon meriting the beatitude of heaven, the angels possessed it. The angelic nature, being purely spiritual, is not suited for steps and degrees of progress to perfection, as is the case with man.

6. The higher angels, those of more perfect nature and keener intelligence, have greater gifts of grace than other angels; for their more perfect powers turn them more mightily and effectively to God than is the case with angels of lesser capacity.

7. The heavenly beatitude enjoyed by the angels does not destroy their nature or their natural operations; hence the natural knowledge and love of angels remain in them after they are beatified.

8. Beatified angels cannot sin. Their nature finds perfect fulfillment in the vision of God; it is disposed towards God exclusively. There is in beatified angels no possible tendency away from God, and therefore no possible sin.

9. Angels who possess God in beatific vision cannot be increased or advanced in beatitude. A capacity that is perfectly filled up cannot be made more full.


1. A rational creature (that is, a creature with intellect and will) can sin. If it be unable to sin, this is a gift of grace, not a condition of nature. While angels were yet unbeatified they could sin. And some of them did sin.

2. The sinning angels (or demons) are guilty of all sins in so far as they lead man to commit every kind of sin. But in the bad angels themselves there could be no tendency to fleshly sins, but only to such sins as can be committed by a purely spiritual being, and these sins are two only: pride and envy.

3. Lucifer who became Satan, leader of the fallen angels, wished to be as God. This prideful desire was not a wish to be equal to God, for Satan knew by his natural knowledge that equality of creature with creator is utterly impossible. Besides, no creature actually desires to destroy itself, even to become something greater. On this point man sometimes deceives himself by a trick of imagination; he imagines himself to be another and greater being, and yet it is himself that is somehow this other being. But an angel has no sense-faculty of imagination to abuse in this fashion. The angelic intellect, with its clear knowledge, makes such self-deception impossible. Lucifer knew that to be equal with God, he would have to be God, and he knew perfectly that this could not be. What he wanted was to be as God; he wished to be like God in a way not suited to his nature, such as to create things by his own power, or to achieve final beatitude without God's help, or to have command over others in a way proper to God alone.

4. Every nature, that is every essence as operating, tends to some good. An intellectual nature tends to good in general, good under its common aspects, good as such. The fallen angels therefore are not naturally evil.

5. The devil did not sin in the very instant of his creation. When a perfect cause makes a nature, the first operation of that nature must be in line with the perfection of its cause. Hence the devil was not created in wickedness. He, like all the angels, was created in the state of sanctifying grace.

6. But the devil, with his companions, sinned immediately after creation. He rejected the grace in which he was created, and which he was meant to use, as the good angels used it, to merit beatitude. If, however, the angels were not created in grace (as some hold) but had grace available as soon as they were created, then it may be that some interval occurred between the creation and the sin of Lucifer and his companions.

7. Lucifer, chief of the sinning angels, was probably the highest of all the angels. But there are some who think that Lucifer was highest only among the rebel angels.

8. The sin of the highest angel was a bad example which attracted the other rebel angels, and, to this extent, was the cause of their sin.

9. The faithful angels are a greater multitude than the fallen angels. For sin is contrary to the natural order. Now, what is opposed to the natural order occurs less frequently, or in fewer instances, than what accords with the natural order.

I was vague, and for that I apologize. I hope this helps clear up the question.

Thank you, Inpefess, for the beautiful exposition of St. Thomas on Angels.

You're welcome. An honest question deserves an honest answer.

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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by INPEFESS - 08-05-2011, 02:25 AM

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