angels, Anonymous cyber-terrorists, archangels, Arcturus, creation, death, Dialogues With the Devil, eternal life, evil, Fallen One, free will, God, Godhead, goodness, Heaven, hell, Lucifer, mankind, Melina, Michael the Archangel, reality, redemption, soul, Taylor Caldwell, Terra
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 6-11.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to Lucifer, the Infernal of infernals, the Fallen One, the Majesty of ten million hells . . . .
Our Father has asked me to reply to your letter, as always He has requested this of me in the past.
. . . you fear that He will hold you in supreme guilt for the death of Melina, fourth from Arcturus, who has lost one of his sons. And again, I must assure you that He holds you, though not entirely blameless, not the ruthless executioner men consider you to be. You are, in truth, only their servant, and this Our Father knows. You are the designer, but it is men who project the design into reality. You are the whisperer, but it is men who shout your words from the rooftops and the mountains, from the valleys to the seas, of many worlds. He knows your endless sorrow, your secret desire that men will resist you, for does not your hope of Heaven depend upon man rejecting you? You are the slave, not the master, of men. You are bound to their desires like a condemned one to the wheel — and you are truly condemned. . . . We who stand with the Father weep for you, and there was none like unto you, my brother, Lucifer, none so magnificent, so glorious in light, so noble of countenance, so endowed with beauty and subtlety. . . . each step that you approach Heaven again is hailed in the shining blue halls of Our Father’s house and is heralded from the blazing battlements. Each step you fall again — through the offices of men — causes a brief darkness to pass over us. . . .
When last we met together on neutral ground, you said to me, “Michael, had not Our Father given you strength you should not have hurled me from the deeps of Heaven.” It is true, and this I acknowledged. But I struck you in the heart with a thunderbolt of sorrow . . . How full of anguish it is for a proud archangel to be dependent on the whims of those he considers to be the most abject and detestable of all the creations! It is as if a king were subject to a beast. Unlike you I know that what Our Father ordains is not to be hated and loathed, no matter how inexplicable. Are we the holders of His secrets? Do we know the future as He knows it? His Laws are our Laws, and it is our joy to be obedient to them. It was only you, and the angels with you, who revolted against the Law, holding yourself wiser than the Godhead, appalled that creatures of clay and earth, of water and wind, should share with you the prerogatives of free will, the gift of eternal life, the ecstasy of gazing on the Face of the Lord Our God and Father . . . But though so many myriads of us were as troubled as yourself, my brother, we knew that Our Father has His reasons, and that we must bow to them, and obey. Are we of His Mind, though we are of His essence? Can we create Life, as He creates it? Can we lift the systems and the universes out of chaos and nothingness, and set them to singing with the harmonies of Heaven? No, these are not in our power. But you refused to acknowledge that Our Father has His reasons. Your arrogance was wounded, your anger aroused. There was always a certain precipitance in your nature from the beginning. But none of us believed that you would transgress beyond the boundary forbidden to archangel, angel and man.
. . . You were jealous of His Majesty, obsessed with jealous love for Him, fearful that in some way His Holiness might be tarnished, His Honor brought to humiliation. You would isolate Him from love — the love of His creatures, however little. You would hold Him only to yourself. There were moments when others of your brothers approached Him, even myself, and your eye sparkled wrathfully, and your hand lay on the hilt of your sword. Your mouth opened to protest, though then you swallowed your rage, and even smiled as if at yourself and your presumption. You would never have revolted had not man been molded from the dust, and if he had not parted his lips and had not said “Lord!” as we say the Word.
Our Father, Who knows all the thoughts of angels and men, and all their deeds, was troubled by you from the beginning. Did He know that you would transgress beyond the boundary that must not be crossed, which is the greatest of sins? We shall never know. Love can destroy as well as evil, and if you were cast from Heaven it was not because of your evil but through your haughty love. We who are your brothers know this too well. . . . When we have encountered each other on the dark way of death, over which I conduct the multitudes of souls which have been saved, I have looked upon your gloomy countenance and your unreadable eyes with regret and sadness. At those times you have moved aside, and have not attempted to hinder me. But these were the souls which had rejected you. . . . each soul that enters into Heaven is a step upward for you; each soul that descends with you plunges you deeper into the pit of your own creation. How you must hate that soul!
You have asked of Our Father if He will create a new race on Melina. He will not give you that answer.
But mourn with Him that you succeeded in your encouragement of the evil that dwelt in the hearts of the men of Melina! The death of that planet was another great death for you. . . .
. . . Consider again Terra, third from a certain star (a dwarf yellow sun, that little guardian of nine infinitesimal worlds, that feeble dim spark in the mighty Galaxy which I rule, a Galaxy of enormous suns, too many even for my own counting, and whose numbers are known only to God). Why, of all the billions of planets in Creation did God choose to be born of Terra, a hesitant, trembling flash of blue, a darkling little spot, an unseen tiny glimmer in a whirlwind of planets, whose name is not known to the children of mighty distant worlds in other universes? You have asked that with wrath and fury, many thousands of times. I have no answer for you. Our Father made Terra’s soil sacred with His Holy Blood, which He shed for that world, and for all its souls. We have never understood, for this He has not done before. He chose the smallest and the weakest, the frailest and meanest, the most insignificant, the most obscure and shrouded . . . the least endowed with the reflected beauty of Heaven. On this barren and ignominious spot He laid down His human life in agony, and it astounded not only you, but your brothers also. You alone questioned, and turned away in disgust, and then your anger was aroused beyond what it had ever been aroused before. You have tempted uncountable worlds to their death in the past, but never were you so affronted before by any world, and never did you vow so pitilessly to destroy it. Its creatures were no match for you, Lucifer, yet you had no pity.
This fledgling world has been redeemed by God. Have other worlds been redeemed also by that awesome Redemption? This is known only to Our Father. . . . But did He not say, “The first shall be last, and the last first”? Terra is, above all worlds, the most humble. Yet, He redeemed it, and perhaps in that Redemption the shadow of evil was lightened on other worlds also, and death driven away.
. . .
Have pity on Terra. So poor a little world for your mighty efforts! . . . Alas, however, pride dwells there, and hatred also, and these draw your attention. He died in His human flesh for her, and we know that this you cannot forgive. Yet, have pity.
Your brother, Michael