My favorite few days of each earthly year—
the first one of the year,
my birthday and
the first day of Spring.
Three breaths of renewal—
till yet a fourth,
with a breaking through,
a new breath—
The first one eternal!
by s.a.bort / 13 April 2019
My favorite few days of each earthly year—
the first one of the year,
my birthday and
the first day of Spring.
Three breaths of renewal—
till yet a fourth,
with a breaking through,
a new breath—
The first one eternal!
by s.a.bort / 13 April 2019
1 Peter 5:8, Adolf Hitler, angels, Archangel, armor of God, Catholic Church, Christ, demons, devil, dragon, Ephesians 6:11 12 16, eternal life, evil, evil spirits, faith, fallen angels, father of lies, Flip Wilson, free will, Gabriele Amorth, God, God's people, grace, hell, Hostage To The Devil, Jesus, John 8:44, Josef Stalin, judgment, low Mass, Malachi Martin, Micha'el, Our Catholic Prayers, Pope John Paul II, Pope Leo XIII, power, prayer, principalities, Revelation 12:7-9, sacraments, Saint Michael, Saint Michael Prayer, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Satan, souls, temptation, Vatican II
Our Catholic Prayers
“As a special patron and protector of the Church, St. Michael has been assigned to fight against Satan; to protect faithful souls from him;… to champion God’s people ….”
Can a prayer be inspired by a battle? Pope Leo XIII (pictured [below])
wrote the Saint Michael prayer, printed below, in 1884, after supposedly seeing a frightening vision: evil spirits, trying to fulfill Satan’s boast to destroy our Lord’s Church within a century, were engaging in fierce attacks against it.
Although the Pontiff also saw St. Michael casting Satan (also known as the devil) and his demons back into Hell in his vision, he was so horrified by what he had seen he felt compelled to help defend our faith in this struggle.
In the Saint Michael prayer he throws down the gauntlet to “the father of lies” as Jesus calls the devil in John’s Gospel (8:44), by enlisting the help of a very special Archangel:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend [President Trump] in battle.
Be [his] protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Divine Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
St. Michael makes a great general in this fight between Christ and Satan for our souls! After all, we read in Revelation (12:7-9) that “there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon … and that great dragon … who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world … was cast unto the earth, and his angels [the demons] were thrown down with him.”
St. Michael’s very name (in Hebrew, Micha’el meaning “Who is like to God?”) denotes the war cry uttered in that battle. Note that when we talk about Satan or the devil here we are also referring to his “army” of fallen angels, the evil spirits referred to in the Saint Michael prayer.
As a special patron and protector of the Church, St. Michael has been assigned to fight against Satan; to protect faithful souls from him, especially at their death; to champion God’s people; and, further along this line, to escort them to their judgment.
Pope Leo XIII saw to it that the Saint Michael prayer was recited after every low Mass throughout the world. (The low Mass, discontinued in 1970 after Vatican II, was said by a priest alone, with no music.) This prayer is not said at Mass today, but in 1994 Pope John Paul II urged the faithful keep to reciting it.
Although we tend to downplay the notion of the devil as being too quaint or outmoded today, he does indeed exist and not just as a symbol of evil, or as character in a fairytale to frighten us.
We obviously can’t excuse all our sins and failures by saying, as the comedian Flip Wilson did in a line he made famous, “The devil made me do it!” After all, God allows us to be tempted but gives us the grace and the free will to choose Him and not the devil.
Still, we shouldn’t assume the devil is just some cartoon figure. Priests such as Father Malachi Martin and Father Gabriele Amorth have written extensively of their struggles with demons during exorcisms.
One of Satan’s greatest assets is his camouflage, the belief that he doesn’t exist, as Father Martin once noted in his acclaimed book Hostage to the Devil. Father Martin felt strongly that disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leaves us unable to resist them.
On the subject of resistance, keep in mind that we can and should say the Saint Michael prayer at church or just on our own during the day for spiritual protection for ourselves and for others as well!
Satan was unable to destroy the Catholic Church in the 20th century, but certainly our faith withstood terrible onslaughts just from Hitler and Stalin alone. We are still engaged in that war that has gone for all of human history, in one form or another, between God and the devil.
Each of us has had our own battles against the dark side trying to turn us away from eternal life with our Creator. Satan’s idea for our eternal life is one spent with him in hatred and misery and he’s after as many souls as he can get!
As St. Peter once noted “be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “The evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls” mentioned in the Saint Michael prayer have surely been busy, but in asking for help we can fight back against them every day.
Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part of what St. Paul called the “armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians. The Saint Michael
prayer can help us indeed “stand against the deceits of the devil” (Eph 6:11) by “taking the shield of faith” (Eph 6:16). Remember, God permits us to be tempted by the devil but gives us the grace to resist him through prayer in our daily lives.
Let us not be afraid to ask for St. Michael’s help in this prayer and others like it. We need to remember that each time we pray we work to defeat our real enemies, not each other, but rather the devil and his evil spirits.
As St. Paul put it, we fight “not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness” (Eph 6:12). With God’s help in prayer they can all be overcome.
angels, appetites, being, children, constraint, corruptibility, creation, damnation, Damon, death, demons, desire, despair, eternal life, existence, free will, generations, happiness, holy wars, immaculate, knowledge, learning, legends, Lilith, nature, Pandara, parents, perfection, personal fulfillment, pride, rebellion, scientific instruments, sentience, sophistication, soul, tales, Terra, understanding, virtue, wisdom
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 57-61.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to my brother, Michael, who believes that he has circumvented me on his new worlds:
No doubt you heard my laughter when I read your letter. Do not be complacent. Damon and Lilith will make their appearances on Pandara in due course, if not to this generation there, then to their sons and daughters. For though this generation may tell their children of what they know, and of what they have seen, and what they have learned, it is in the nature of men to say, “Our parents love legends and tales and strangenesses, but we have not seen the Archangel Michael with our own eyes, nor have wondered at his countenance. Our parents tell us that it was the will of God that he appeared only to our forefathers, but not to us, and that is most peculiar, indeed, for are we not more sophisticated than our fathers, and our daughters more knowledgeable than their mothers? Do we not dwell in cities, whereas they dwelt in the fields and the forests? Have we not learning and understanding, greater than our forebears? Do we not have magnificent temples of wisdom, and do we not stream through the heavens like birds and through the waters like fish, and is there aught we do not know of this world of ours, or are there wonders as yet undiscovered? Are we, then, not wise and therefore more worthy to gaze upon this Archangel Michael, and would we not apprehend his words with more clarity and more subtlety? Why this coyness, that he hides from us–if he exists at all? It is folly. There is no such an archangel, and therefore what our parents have told us has no verity.”
You have heard thoughts like these on innumerable planets, among the worldly children of men who believe they have conquered all things and are capable of comprehending everything. That is my opportunity. For though the generations of Pandara may not yet have fallen, pride in their accomplishments will spur that fall, and pride in their own will will assure their destruction. I will not only send them Damon and Lilith, and say to them, “Do not deny your natural appetites, for all appetite is good, for is it not your nature?” but I will say, “Your parents were simple and mere children in their souls, and had no real will of their own for they were enamored of a fantasy. Have you not failed to discern the reality of Michael in your scientific instruments, and have you found God, of whom your parents speak, in the watches of the night or in your affairs? If there is an angel at all, it is in your capacities, and if there is a God, you are that god, and you must deify yourselves for naught exists in those gigantic universes you catch in your mirrors but your own being. You are the center, the heart, of all mindless creation, and only you have sentience. If you doubt me, show me the proof to the contrary.”
That is an argument few men have ever disputed, for the proofs of your existence, and the Existence of Our Father, lie not in the grosser matter but in the towers of the soul. But they will know that I exist! For I will give them delights and conceits and arrogances, and the ecstasy of defying the laws of their fathers, which were the Laws God gave to them. Nothing so exalts a man as rebellion, as we have remarked before, and nothing increases his vanity so much as coming to a wrong conclusion, which he believes is correct. Assure a man that he is wise and knows all things, and that only he exists, and there is no end to his exultant rapture. Even when the men of Pandara become so suddenly aware of the fact that in some strange way death and disease and age and loss have come among them–when once they were absent–they will say, “But this is the inevitable course of nature, and was to be expected! There is a time for living and a time for dying, and always it was so, though we have not known it before.” You will understand that men have explanations for everything, and the more absurd the more they are accepted. When they discover that the incorruptible has put on corruptibility, the immaculate has become stained, the eternal has become mortal, they will nod their heads solemnly and say, “It is natural–we just had not lived long enough, but time is inexorable. Let us, then, devote our lives to the search for happiness and for personal fulfillment, and not dream as our forebears dreamt, but be courageous men who live that we may die and strive while we can.”
They will see my face in their own and will adore me, for am I not the reverie of men, even those not yet fallen?
Why do men prefer to believe there is no God? Is there a fatal flaw even in the unfallen, as it was in me and my angels? You will say that there is, indeed, that “flaw” and you will repeat that it is free will. Nonetheless, men prefer to believe there is no God. God restrains and all chaff at virtue and constraint and the necessity to obey and love. . . . Once God is removed from the belief of men, then they can truly live as they believe the gods live: Enjoying existence, relieved of duty and responsibility, delighting in each hour, acquiring their miserable riches as they will, disobeying even good laws, exulting in violence and bloodshed, exercising power over their fellows–and always for their fellows’ own good, you will observe–and committing all vileness in the serene conviction that there is no good and no evil, but only a man’s desire and a man’s needs. Above all, there is no accounting, for the One who accounts does not exist. So man, they will conclude, is truly free to “live according to his innate nature.” All their wars will be holy, all their excesses but an exaggeration of good, all their errors correctable through new laws which they will profusely pass, and all their hatreds righteous. But still there is the inborn, the endowed, craving for perfection, and they will say that man is perfectable.
So they will strive for perfection, which is beyond their earning, and they will seek for merit among the applause of men like themselves, rather than in the smiles of God. They will chase up the mountains of their lives for perfectability, and always there will be the descent on the torrid opposite side, but again they will climb with their banners and their slogans, and always they will fall. They cannot resist the desire for true perfection with which God sadly endowed them–and He cannot withdraw His gift, but they will distort it and in seeking they will never find.
Despair will sit at their right hand and death will dine with them, and decay and grief will be their bed, and sorrow their song, and all that which their darkened souls desired with a hunger that comes from God will never be their own.
And they will descend to me, and will ask again that disgusting question, “If you exist, then God must exist also?” And I will reply as ever, “It does not follow. I am the god you made, and you are mine.”
Will the Sacrifice on Terra save these men also? You continually refuse to answer that question, but my curiosity grows with the refusal. In the meantime my hells fatten with the hosts of the damned–who willed their own damnation.
I do not know why I hover so often over Terra, where the immortal Crime was committed–and to what purpose? I watch my legions of demons at work, and I smile at their industry. They hope by pleasing me that I will grant them death and oblivion. You will see that they have much more faith in me than they ever had in God.
Terra is doomed. I watch the progress to annihilation with the only pleasure of which I am capable. Then the memory of the Sacrifice will be obliterated, and there will be no remembrance at all in men, not even of the myth which they declare it is. I will be vindicated, even before His Eyes. He will be forced to admit that I was right and He was wrong. In His second death on Terra the first will be lost, and all men will be mine, even to the farthest planet.
There will be the peace of nothingness, thereafter, and is that not to be desired?
Your brother, Lucifer
NOTE: The full text of Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil is 198 pages and can be found relatively easy through Amazon.com, a library or through abebooks.com. I will continue to abridge and serialize the remaining chapters as I find the time.
Adam, adultery, Alexander, angels, archangels, beauty, becoming, charity, contemplation, damned, Damon, death, democracy, demons, desire, Dialogues With the Devil, dreams, ennui, equality, eternal life, Eve, evil, existence, faith, flesh, forbidden tree, free will, freedom, God, goodness, happiness, Heaven, Helen of Troy, hell, injustice, intellectuals, Judas, Julius Caesar, knowledge, labor, life, Lilith, Lucifer, lust, mankind, Michael the Archangel, nature, Pandara, Pericles, perversion, philosophers, philosophy, pleasure, poetry, power, reality, saints, sameness, satiety, seduction, self-denial, sensuality, sin, sophistication, soul, spirit, suffering, Taylor Caldwell, Terra, triviality, Truth, variety, worship
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 34-45.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to my brother, Michael . . .
. . . There is a strange similarity between Heaven and hell: . . . Each morning my damned say, “This is another day!” But they discover that it is the same as the day before. In Heaven, there is no time. Surely that is a greater weariness. My damned do not attain, for there is nothing to attain. Your holy souls do not attain, for total attainment is not possible. The soul strains, whether in Heaven or hell. If there is a singular difference I have yet to discern it. . . . But if even archangels are not to know its supreme secrets, wherein lies the satisfaction? To know that one can never know all appears to me, at times, to be hell, itself. At least my damned know all there is to know of hell, and my nature. There are no hidden corners, and if there are no fresh delights there are no fresh mysteries and no terrors, however sublime. This condition has always seemed the most desirable among men — and have I not given it to them?
There is an answer for every question in hell. My demons are solicitous. No soul asks without a reply. If the reply is mundane and possesses no novelty — did not man wish that for himself during the time of his mortal life? Nothing affrights these miserable wretches more than a hint that a strangeness is about to appear, yet they bewail — after a space — the sameness of hell. On all their worlds they struggle for the very condition they find in my hells — no disturbing variety, no uncertainty, no danger, no test of courage, no challenge, and no enigmas. They considered this the most marvelous of existences. Once assured of it in hell, however, they are agonized. I have always said that human souls were pusillanimous [lacking courage] and blind, and contradictory.
Certainly, in hell, there is no free will, for the damned relinquished it on their worlds. This torment has been denied them by me. Therefore, they cannot will to climb to Heaven by self-denial, by contemplation, by worship, by dedication, by acts of faith and charity. These attributes shriveled in them during their lives, or were rejected scornfully by them in moods of risible sophistications. They can desire to possess them now, but I would keep them safe and warm, as Our Father never kept them so! So, they can will nothing. They can only accept the pleasures — and the pains — I bestow on them.
In Heaven, however, free will is fully released. The ability to reject, to deny, remains with archangels, angels and the souls of the saved. The gift of repudiation is still with them and the possibility of disobedience. Is that not most frightful? What insecurity! What danger! My damned remain with me in eternal slavery because in life they desired only safety, and lacked the fire of adventure, though, God knows, they protested enough on their worlds! But what did they protest? Inequality, which is the variety of God. Instability, which is the light of the universes. Uneasiness of mind, which is the soul of philosophy. Apparent injustices, which are the goad of the spirit. Vulnerability to life and other men, which is a charge to become invulnerable through faith in God. The presence of suffering or misfortune — but these are a call for the soul to put on armor and serenity. They demanded of their rulers that they remain in constant cocoons, silky and guarded by earthly authority. They did not ask for wings to soar into the sunlight, and the ominous threats of full existence. They rejected freedom for hell. Certainly, they cried for freedom on their worlds, but it was freedom only to live happily without the freedom to be divinely unhappy.
I have satisfied all these lusts of men. Strange, is it not, that my hells, though the ultimate success of the dreams of men, are filled with weeping? And strange, is it not, that they still do not believe in the existence of God? But then, they never did; they believed only in me. They cannot will to believe in God. They see absolute reality about them now, which was their will in life. I will not pretend that I do not understand them, for was it not I who promised them all without work and without striving?
But lately I asked of a newly descended soul which had much acclaim on Terra: “What was your greatest desire on your world, you who were applauded by rulers and admired by your fellowmen?
He replied, “Justice for all,” and put on a very righteous expression.
That was admirable, for who does not admire justice, even I? But I probed him. He declared that in his earthly view all men deserved what all other men possessed, whether worthy or not. “They are men, so they are equal, and being born they have a right to the fruits of the world, no matter the condition of their birth or the content of their minds, or their capacities.” I conducted him through the pleasures of my hell, and he was delighted that no soul was lesser in riches than another, and that every soul had access to my banquets and my palaces, no soul was distinguishable from another, none possessed what another did not possess. Every desire was immediately gratified, he discovered. He smiled about him joyfully. He said, “Here, justice is attained!”
Then he saw that no face was joyful, however mean or lofty its features. He remarked, wonderingly, on the listlessness of my damned, and how they strolled emptily through thoroughfares filled with music and through streets wherein there was not a single humble habitation. He heard the cries of pleasure over my laden tables, and then heard them silenced, for there was no need now for food and where there is no need there is no desire and no enjoyment. He saw that the poorest on earth were clothed in magnificence and jewels, yet they wept the loudest. He was no fool. He said, “Satiety.” [Satisfied to excess.] True, I answered him, but satiety can live only in the presence of total equality. He pondered on this while I led him to the seat of thousands of philosophers, and he sat down among them. But, as there is no challenge in hell, and no mystery, there can be no philosophy. That night he came to me on his knees and begged for death. I struck him with my foot, and said, “O man, this was the hell you made, and this was the desire of your heart, so eat, drink, and be merry.”
He attempted to hang himself, in the manner of Judas, and I laughed at his futility. I meditated that above all futility is the climate of hell.
He said to me, in tears, “Then, if you are, then God exists.”
“That does not follow,” I replied to him. “But, did you not deny Him on Terra? Did you not speak of supra-man, and man-becoming, and the ultimate glorification of man on earth, without God?”
“I did not see God among men,” he said, wringing his hands.
“You did not look,” I said. “You were too dull in your human arrogance and too enamored of humanity. You never denounced your fellows for their lusts and their cruelties. You told them they were only ‘victims.’ You refused to look upon their nature, for you denied the infinite variety and capacities of nature. To you, one man was as good as any other man, and equally endowed, for the foolish reason that he had been born. You saw no saints, and no sinners. It was only a matter of environment, though the proof was all about you that environment is a mere shading or tint on the soul, and is not destiny. You denied that men have gifts of the spirit, often above those of other men. In truth, you denigrated those gifts of striving and wonder. You denied free will. Everything evil that happened to a man was only the result of his fellowmen’s lack of justice. You denied the reality of good and evil, the ability to make a choice. In short you denied life, itself.”
“Then God in truth does exist?” he asked, after a moment’s miserable thought.
“That you will never know,” I said. “But rejoice! All your dreams are fulfilled here. Delight yourself. Behold, there are beautiful female demons here, and banquets and sports and pleasures and soft beds and lovely scenes and all whom you had wished, in life, you had known. Converse with them.”
“There is no desire in me,” he said. “I want nothing.”
“You are surely in hell,” I replied, and I left him weeping.
God pursues them even in hell. Or, does He, my beloved Michael? Grief is the gift of God. But He will not have my damned! For they have no will to rise to Him. . . .
But let us speak of your new worlds, which you mentioned in your last letter.
Pandara, among the dozen about the enormous and fiery blue sun, interests me. Our Father struck six women and six men from the jeweled dust, and gave them the Sacrament of marriage. I must congratulate God, for these creatures are fairer than many others. Their flesh resembles rosy alabaster, and their hair is bright and sparkling, and their eyes are green and full of light. They will have eternal youth if they do not fall. They frolic and work in the warm and turquoise radiance, where there are no seasons because Pandara moves upright in her long slow orbit about her parent sun. There will be no fierceness of storm or calamities of nature — unless these creatures fall. There will be joyous labor and eager participation in life, and life without end in the forests full of red and purple and golden flowers, and about the lucent rivers and the mother-of-pearl lakes. There will be cities of song and learning. There will be adventure and delight. I have seen the red peaks of mountains, and the dawns like benedictions and the sunsets like Heaven, itself. There is no disease here, no hunger, no sorrow, no pain, no death. There is knowledge of God, and God moves among them, and they feel His presence and His love.
Alas, God has also endowed them with free will.
That is my opportunity.
The women and the men are as young as life. I can bring them age and evil and disease and death and violence and hatred and lusts. Six women, and six men. What shall I do?
Shall I introduce a seventh man, my Damon, who seduced so many on other worlds, and on miserable Terra, where he seduced Eve and Helen of Troy and millions of other women? He is a beautiful angel, full of gaiety and subtlety and delectabilities. His conversations are absorbing and delicious. His inventions of the flesh are luscious and charming; his concupiscences [sexual desires] are sweeter than any fruit. Few women have ever rejected him. His very touch, his smile, is beguiling, and he is all that is male. How can any woman resist him?
If introduced on Pandara the women will reflect that he is far more beautiful than their husbands, and that he does not toil in the fields and that his discourses are wondrous and mysterious, and that he hints of joys they have never experienced before. Sad, is it not, that even Our Father stands at bay before a woman? Who can know the intricacies of a female heart, and its secret imaginings? Damon knows these intricacies, and winds them about his fingers like silver or darksome threads. He can persuade almost any woman into adultery.
It needs but Damon to destroy Pandara.
Or, perhaps, I will send Lilith, my favorite female demon, to the men of Pandara, that beautiful planet. She seduced Adam and Pericles and Alexander and Julius Caesar and so many rulers on Terra now. Who is so lovely as Lilith? Once she graced the Courts of Heaven and all looked on her beauty with awe. She has a thousand astounding forms, and each one more gorgeous than another. She is never oppressive, never demanding. She is yielding and soft and attentive. She follows; she never leads. When she speaks her voice is like celestial music. Each attitude resembles a stature of sublime glory. She says to men, “How wondrous you are, how unique, how intellectual, how far above me in understanding!” She is femininity itself, easily conquered, easily overcome by flattery, easily induced to surrender. She has only to beckon and men rush to her with cries of lust and desire.
Damon or Lilith?
Strange to remark, men are less susceptible to determined seduction than women. Damon can offer women mysteries and endless amusement, and what woman can spurn mystery or amusement? They love the secret dark places, the moon, the whispered hotness, the promise of uniqueness and adoration. Women do not crave power; they are not objective. Truth to them is relative. Is this evil or good? Women in their minds can create a confusion, and this, on so many worlds, they have bequeathed to their sons. A woman can resolve all things in her mind and make so many splendid compromises. If the women of Pandara look upon Damon there will be rivalries for his smiles and attention, the lonely male they will yearn to take to their breasts when their husbands are absent. There is a certain doggedness in husbands which women find full of ennui.
On the other hand, there is Lilith, who is always ambiguous and never captured. Men seek after the uncaptured, the unattainable, which, alas, is the climate of Heaven. Lilith is always pursued but never caught. What man can resist Lilith, who never argues, never complains, is always complaisant and always fresh and dainty? Her conversation never demands that a man ponder, or question. Men, I have discovered, detest women who pose challenges of the mind and the soul. They are engrossed in the flesh to the deepest extent, therefore they are simple, however their pretensions to intellect. They dislike women who ask “Why?” They turn from women with serious faces and furrowed brows. They wish only to play, to gratify themselves in moments of leisure. They find their wives always at hand, and women’s conversation is usually concerned with children and the dull affairs of daily living. The women say, “How are the crops, or the cattle? How is our present treasure?”
But Lilith says, “Let us frolic and rejoice in the sun and weave garlands of roses and drink wine and laugh and discover comedies. Above all, let us embrace each other.” This is the exact opposite of the conversation of wives, and so is irresistible.
Too, women are sedulous [persevering] in the seeking of God, which is the other side of their nature. Men can endure just so much of God, and just so much discussion of Him. After that, they seek love and physical activity or their little philosophies. Or sleep. Men love slumber, though women resist it. Man reasons, woman conjectures. Therefore, man wearies first. He is always yawning in the very midst of feminine discourse.
Considering this, I believe Damon will be the most potent in Pandara, as he was in the majority of worlds. Women do not fall lightly. Eve gave much thought before she ate of the Forbidden Tree. (Adam was merely vaguely aware of it, and, as it was forbidden, he usually ignored it. Men are slaves to law.) Damon adores the struggle in the female spirit, for while seductible it thinks of God. Lilith often complains that men are so easily the victims of their flesh, so there is no serious enticement, no arduous pursuit. In concupiscence, men never think of God at all.
I shall send Damon, the beautiful, the most alluring of male demons.
(If I seem contradictory concerning the nature of humanity . . . Michael, it does not follow that I am inconsistent. I have written that men are less susceptible than women to seduction, but that is on the score of sensibility. A woman cannot be seduced by raw sensuality; her mind and spirit must be engaged also, and she must be convinced that in some fashion the purity of love is involved. She must feel the wings of her soul expand, so that all is well lost for love, itself. It takes on itself, in her mind, the aspect of the eternal, the immutable. So, women are an excitement to Damon. But the purely female, like Lilith, cannot be resisted by men, who see nothing eternal in marital love, nothing sanctified, however the words they repeated by rote. A woman is just an encounter to a man. She can be successfully resisted only if she is intelligent and only if she asks questions, and only if she demands that the situation be permanent. Woman must be seduced through her most delicate emotions. Man alone can be seduced if no spiritual emotions are present at all. Damon was forced to converse with Eve to the point of exhaustion before she ate of the fruit which was forbidden. Had Lilith approached Adam, the deliciousness of the fruit would have needed only to be described. . . .
Yes, my choice will be Damon. He will be elegant to the women of Pandara. He will not openly seduce. He will treat them as equals, yet not so equal that it diminishes his masculine power. He will declare that their souls and their minds entrance him, that above all women they are the most ravishing. He will talk poetry with them hour after hour; he will never be bored, as husbands are bored. He will indicate the beauties on their world, and will strike attitudes, but not effeminate ones. He will tenderly entwine flowers in their bright hair. He will kiss their hands, and show his muscles at the same time. If they leap with enjoyment, he will leap higher. He will pursue, and offer them ardent embraces. He will discuss their natural problems with them, with manly indulgence. If they become pettish, in the way of women, he will seize them in his strong arms and quiet their mouths with his own. At the last, as if tired of play, he will lift them up and run with them to some silent glade and forcibly take them, ignoring their hypocritical cries and their beating hands. Above all, he will pretend that they, themselves, seduced him with their beauty and reduced him to distraction. What woman can believe that she is without allurement, either of the body or the mind?
I am sad for you, Michael, my brother. Pandara is already lost. I am sending Damon tonight to the women of your beautiful planet. I will reserve Lilith for later, when the race is fallen. She will convince men that lust is more delightful than reason, and feminine charms more to be desired than sanctity, or duty. The flesh, she will say, has its imperative, but where is the imperative of the soul — if it exists at all? The flesh is tangible and lovely. Who would forego it for the transports of the spirit? The man who would do that, she will inform her victims, is no man at all and is not potent.
In short, he is a eunuch. What man does not believe that with a perceptive woman he will be forever virile, despite age or change? Lilith will introduce man to perversions and to atrocities. She will guide him into cruelties which women can never imagine. She will cloud his mind. She will darken his soul against God, while he basks in her arms.
I anticipate Pandara and her sister worlds, for they are now inhabited with a new race, fairer and more intelligent than Terra, among others. Terra, in particular, has always had a certain and sickening mediocrity of intellectual climate, now stimulated by those who designate themselves as “intellectuals.” Terra dutifully conforms to what her race calls non-conformity. Rare has been the man in her history who was truly individual, and those men were either murdered for their purity of soul or, in despair at the race, became its glorious assassins. In general, the history of Terra has been stupid if frightful, predictable if dreadful. The souls of Terra which descend to me give even hell disagreeable moments, for they are ciphers. Yet, on the other hand, they form a special torment to those souls from other worlds who are more intellectually endowed, and it is very amusing. The men from other worlds have even, in hell, attempted to lift up the intelligence of the men of Terra, to no avail, but to much comedy for my demons. There have been desperate but fruitless classes in the sciences and the arts for the men of Terra, and they have always failed, and there have been cries, “These souls are not truly human! They are impermeable! True, but I always discourage such outcries with the formula of “democracy.” This ritualistic word silences the souls of other worlds, if it tortures them, for was it not their own invention?
My dear brother. In the golden twilight of Pandara I visited your magnificent planet. There I discovered you in a great purple garden, conversing with Our Father, and your voice was full of laughter and gaiety and innocent abandon, for you were rejoicing in the beauty of where you found yourself and were exchanging jests with Him. . . . I did not see Our Father, but He saw me. I felt His majestic presence, and I covered my face with my wings. But still, I knew His penetrating eyes and how can I bear them, so full of reproach and sorrow? It is not my fault. He does not understand, and, alas, it is possible that He never will. He did not speak to me, but He spoke to you, and I heard your voices and your mirth. The green dolphins of the seas appeared to be amusing you.
I have had another thought: When Pandara has fallen I will send one of my favorite demons to her, whose name is Triviality. You know him well. You have seen him in his activity on thousands of planets, and he is more deadly than Damon and Lilith combined. . . .
. . .
Your brother, Lucifer
angels, archangels, beauty, becoming, children, City of God, conformity, creation, damned, death, desire, Dialogues With the Devil, dignity, discontent, ennui, eternal life, evil, existence, flesh, free will, God, good news, goodness, happiness, Heaven, hell, individual, knowledge, labor, life, Lucifer, mankind, Michael the Archangel, pleasure, prayer, Son of God, soul, spirit, stasis, Taylor Caldwell, Terra
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 29-33.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to my brother, Lucifer, who weeps at his triumphs:
. . .
You have written that you are more merciful than Our Father, for you would have denied man immortal life. You would also have denied him Heaven. You would have denied him the one thing which makes him higher than the other animals on all the other worlds besides Terra: free will. Better it is for a man even to be damned than to be without that awesome gift! At least he had his choice. That alone gives him dignity, whether in Heaven or in hell, and in spite of all your efforts, my poor brother, you cannot deprive the damned of dignity. They share your immortal existence, and for that you cannot forgive them. They have their garment of eternal life.
Even a damned soul who grieves for what he lost is more than a body which expires with the breath. . . .
I look upon the constant striving in Heaven with pleasure and affection. There is a perpetual coming and going of angels and the souls of the saved with news of new planets and universes and the wonders upon them. There is endless laughter and excitement and exchange of opinion and conjecture. Was it not the Christ who said that human ear has not heard and human eye has not seen the marvels which God has prepared for those who love Him?
Do I need to recall to you the aspect of Heaven? Eternal noon, but not an unchanging noon. No vista remains the same. No vision of the eye is static. The only constant is love between angel and man and God and angel and God and man. All else changes, and always there is anticipation and work. Work is not an affliction, as human hearts believe it is. When God “condemned” man to work He bestowed the next holiest gift after free will. Labor is prayer and achievement, and the uncertainty of the achievement. Beauty is always in the process of becoming, but is never fully attained. Joy is in the next turning, but the next turning promises greater joy. Love is never completely satisfied in Heaven, except for the surety of the Love of God. It strains forever, and happily, after greater fulfillments.
If a soul is weary after its sojourn on any of the worlds, it may rest in green shadows and peace until its weariness is spent. Then it must engage in the work of God, which is never completed. It so engages with eagerness and with a pleasure that is never satisfied. Does a soul desire to create marvelous sunsets or dawns on any world? It is given into its hands, for the greater glory of God. The soul paints the skies with the calm and stately morning or the pensive quietude of evening. It colors the flowers of the field and gives the grain its gold. If it is concerned with wonders that baffled it in life, then it pursues the answer to the wonders and it becomes luminous with satisfaction when the answer is finally perceived. But still other wonders beckon it on, and tantalize it.
Was a soul without the love of men on the worlds and did it languish for that love? It is poured into its immortal hands in Heaven and is appeased. Did it hope on the earths that it would see the faces of the lost beloved? It so sees and knows that never again can there be parting or ennui with love, itself. Did it long for children to embrace, when children were denied? Its arms are rich with children in Heaven. Was it homeless before its ascent? It can create for itself the home of its lost dreams, whether humble or a palace. Did it desire to serve God to the utmost while in flesh, yet could not fulfill that desire? The fulfilment is its own, ranging the endless universes and inspiring the sorrowful and lifting up the hearts of the sad and soothing the pain of the innocent, and bringing good news to those who dwell in darkness. It can whisper in the winds and bring knowledge in the twilights and hope in the dawns. Each soul that it helps save and bring safely to God is an occasion for triumph, and its fellows triumph with it.
All of which a man innocently dreamed in flesh is his at home, whether simple or magnificent. Best of all he grows in accomplishment. Always, there is the divine discontent, and never the security of hell. Always, angels and men must strive in Heaven. There is not one congregation, for in congregations there is conformity and the soul cannot exist in sameness. Each soul is an individual, and resembles no other, and serves as no other. It serves its own need, and God is its need, and though it attains God it never fully envelops or knows Him. There is its most splendid dissatisfaction, its happiness. For what is completely possessed is a weariness. Victory is nothing when victory is entirely attained. You have seen the misery of conquerors on all the worlds, when there was nothing else to conquer. But none conquers in heaven save God, and who knows if He fully conquers?
Above all, in Heaven, there is no exhaustion, no tiredness of spirit, no repletion. There is eternal youth, and endless speculation. You have said that love is passive. If it is, then it is not love at all, but only selfish desire or a momentary engrossment. It is peaceful, and that is true, but it is not the peace of death. It is surety, but still it is not the surety of the grave. It must eternally be sought and eternally found, with new aspects and new delights. The music of Heaven is the voices of those who have seen a new face in love and marvel that they had not seen it before.
The City of God is not like unto your city, O Lucifer, for there is no gross pleasure in it, no obscene appetites. All that was beautiful and beguiling and enchanting on the worlds is greatly magnified in heaven, and always changing, offering new enticements. It is never the same, while it is always the same. You will scornfully say again that that is a paradox, but there is infinite delight in paradoxes. Only Absolutes are rigid, and rigidity is the true death of the spirit. But one Absolute reigns in Heaven and the planets, and that is the Absolute of God’s love. All else moves with the soul and is part of it. One veil is lifted but to reveal another veil of an even more enthralling color. Pursuit of the unattainable is the climate of Heaven.
There is no end of knowledge in Heaven, no end of learning. The soul pursues new knowledge and learns forever. It does not stand like a marble image confronting changelessness. Its face is eternally lit with the fires and the colors of new universes and new aspirations and new adventures. It clamors to know. Yet, it can never know completely, and that is its reward. God is like an earthly father who constantly places new riddles before his children, and smiles as they eagerly guess its secrets and learn its answers. There are always new books to read, new wonders to excite the imagination, new vistas to explore.
When you were in Heaven you declared that this finally wearied you, for, you said, Heaven was like a ball of silk which was never fully unwound and there was no hope of the unwinding. In short, you wished to make Heaven a hell, where there is absolute fulfillment, and there is nothing more to be attained. A state of stasis is surely hell, as you have discovered to your sorrow. You wished to sleep, you said, and you rested on your great white wings of light, but you did not sleep. You wished to peer and understand that which is not understandable, even by archangels. You desired the ultimate. Alas, Lucifer, you have attained it. Your city resounds with success. Why, then, are you not content?
Today new worlds in time were born about one of my largest stars in my Galaxy. You will, without doubt, visit them and attempt to corrupt their people. I pray that you will fail, not only for the sake of God but for your own sake.
Your brother, Michael
creation, damned, death, democracy, demons, Dialogues With the Devil, ennui, envy, equality, eternal life, evil, flesh, free will, freedom, God, goodness, grace, happiness, Heaven, hell, innocence, liberty, lies, life, Lucifer, lust, mankind, Michael the Archangel, perversion, piety, pleasure, repentance, seduction, sin, soul, spirit, Taylor Caldwell, temptation, Terra, Truth, uniformity, variety, virtue
For details on the burger and the trip to the hospital that it caused one customer: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/patron-has-heart-attack-at-restaurant-named-heart-attack-grill/
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 23-28.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to my brother, Michael, who is very tender and brave but, alas, most naive:
. . . If my entry into heaven must be accompanied by the souls of men, then I prefer my hells. At least there I torment my insulters and the insulters of Our Father, and that is an exuberant delight, one, I fear, you will never know.
Delight! Most assuredly! It is a joy which I cannot explain in words you would understand. Sufficient it is to say that I play with those souls as they played with their victims, and with the same mercilessness, only a thousand times enhanced. When they beseech me for pity I listen with ecstasy to their cries. Beasts, animals! To think that they, too, possess immortal life! They grovel before me and clutch my garments and I spurn them with my foot. Sometimes I admit a few of their wisest to my dark tabernacle and converse with them for the pleasure of listening to their stupidity, their arrant foolishness. Often I summon the great among them and urge them to speak of their fame on Terra, and it is an enormous amusement. They say to me, “I did not believe in you, nor in God, yet you manifestly are,” and they marvel. I conjure their lies before them and I say, “There was I, in that apparition, when you planned this — or that — and you heard my voice and took rapture in it. Why did you hearken to me, beast of beasts?” They answer, falling before my face, “I believed in nothing but myself and my own grandeur and my own will.” But they believed in me.
They repent. But it is too late. They came to me, not through august sins which at least possess a measure of grandeur and imagination, but through sins so mean and contemptible that they are below the comprehension of the lowest of creatures on Terra. The serpent in the forest is not as poisonous as man, the rabid bat is not as mad and loathsome, the toothed shark is not so foul a scavenger, For none of these can lie. That is the prerogative of man only. Man always takes on the aspect of the serpent, the bat and the shark, and their habits. He is more dreadful than these, for he lacks their innocence and he knows what he does and he does it with enthusiasm and passion, It is through his lies that man comes to me, his lies of the flesh and the spirit, for untruth is a perversion and man is a pervert. He is the incarnation of the lie which is myself, and all the evil that he does is his corruption of truth.
. . .
My demons look upon the bountiful harvests of the souls of men who swarm through my fiery portals each hour, and they look with revulsion, for never, even among demons, was ever a spirit so malicious, so embued with hatred for his fellows, as the spirit of man. In his life on Terra he prates of love and esteems it with his tongue as the greatest of virtues. Yet never was a creature so loveless in his heart even when announcing love to the heavens. He crowds before the altars he has raised to God, and the lie nestles in his flesh, and the repudiation and disbelief, and even when he cries “Hosannah!” he chuckles in secret at his own perfidy. He loves that perfidy. He believes it gives him intellectual stature. He looks upon the crucified Lord and it needs no whisper from me to make him speak in his spirit and deny. He has many arguments, and they amuse him.
Not all men, you would say. Michael, Michael! That miserable little stream which flows to heaven is hardly a trickle compared with the great river that pours down to me!
You have not seen their appalled faces when they encounter me, who greet them thus: “Welcome to your spiritual home, you who have denied all things!” Still, it is very strange. Though they did not believe in Our Father, they truly believed in me, though they did not know it. You serve only that in which you believe, with knowledge or without knowledge. They would have been amazed to encounter you, Michael, and would have marveled. But they do not marvel at me. They recognize me at once. They have seen my face countless times, and they know all my lineaments. Nor is hell unfamiliar to them. They created a mirage of it on Terra, and they know every alley, every darksome passage, every icy lake, every mountain of fire, every gloomy shadow, every city of death, every pool of corruption. For while I established my hells, it was man who lifted up the walls and established the noisome places and lit the fires and froze the waters. It is, therefore, no mystery that he recognizes every path and sits down in his chosen spot to weep and repent. He built the house in which he dwells. At least, that is a species of freedom, for man did not build heaven. For in participation there is liberty, and complete liberty reigns in hell. Have I not said it through the ages! You have called my creatures slaves but slaves do not build to their design, and men build the designs of the infernos. It is by God’s Grace when man reaches heaven, and not by his merits, and so perhaps not even his will. But men will to dwell with me, and where there is will there is freedom. Has not Our Father declared that, Himself? He is the Paradox of paradoxes.
There are no contradictions in hell. There are no wonders, for everything in hell is familiar to the souls of men. There is the complete security which men have always craved on Terra, but which Our Father lovingly denies them, for God is the Creator of infinite and opposing variety, delicious contrast, innocent comicalities, awesome inequalities, enchanting absurdities, paradoxes, fearsome challenges, exciting uncertainties. This, I admit, stimulates color and splendor and merriment and marvelings and stern beauties and liveliness and trembling anticipations. But in hell there is nothing to anticipate; there is no variety, there is no insecurity. There are pain and boredom, and boredom is the most monstrous of punishments. Beside it, pain is a relief, so, despite the rumors of the ignorant on Terra, there is little pain in my hells except for futile regret. There is no future, yet there is time. Endless time, and endless sameness.
The pious in Terra speak only of the agonies of hell, and they exist for they are pleasure. Have they seen my glorious cities, bewitching, extravagant? They are filled with the delights of Terra, but immeasurably enhanced. Millions, newly arrived, look upon them with eagerness and smiles, and rush to inhabit them. The lavish city in which I live is a city that lived in the hot imaginations of men, filled with every satisfaction of their vile hearts, every concupiscent lust of their flesh, every dream of their envious hearts. There are glittering houses heaped with gleaming treasures, and ballrooms and arenas and theaters and stadia, and shops to make any merchant weep with greed, and towering castles of every perversion and streets of magnitude filled with music, and tables everywhere crowded with saucy viands and bottomless vessels of wine, and demons to be slavish lackeys. There are vistas of heroic mountains like alabaster, and sparkling forests vibrating with song and valleys lush as velvet and rivers like gilt. Here souls of the damned are free to come and go, to sport, to converse, to play, to partake of all my captivations. They are free to argue their childish controversies, to engage in the pursuits that enthralled them on Terra, to discuss strange things with the inhabitants of worlds of which they never dreamed, to invent new theories and excited hypotheses, to “seduce” beautiful female demons. There is not an alluring vice that is denied them, not a passion which is not immediately gratified. Ah, I tell you, Michael, they often mistake hell for heaven at first!
But pleasure never changes in hell, never diminishes, can never aspire to greater diversions such as exalted meditation and reflection; never knows an end. Nothing is withheld; there is no struggle; there are no heart-burnings, no room for ambition and achievement. All is equal; all is accessible to every soul. There is no applause, for no soul exceeds another in stature. No face is different from any other face, nothing is unique or creative or deserving of acclaim. No soul is worthy, for all are worthless. Each is clad in the robes of doom — unchanging uniformity. Where one soul cannot excel another in any fashion ennui results and a mysterious terror, for God created all souls to strive and excel and thus be free and develop priceless individuality. But, it is my democracy.
At last, in despair and desperate boredom, my doomed pray for the less attractive portions of my sovereignty, where there is pain, and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Grief, at the final hour, becomes more desirable than pleasure, for it has endless ramifications. At the last I can engage these damned in my service — the seduction of souls yet living on Terra. At least there is some excitement in this! Envy and hatred and resentment are enlisted in my employ, for who of the damned can rejoice to see a soul escape him? What rejoicings there are in hell when more of the corrupted fall into the pit! If the Heavenly Hosts are joyous when a soul is saved, how much more are the damned joyous when a soul falls! Do not ask me why. Did I create man? His perverted mind often makes me recoil with disgust. You would say I perverted him. No, I only tempt.
With what glee my damned introduce the newly doomed to my hells! They look upon their dismayed faces and hug themselves with rapture. They peer for tears, and drink them avidly. They take the newly doomed by the hand and shout with happiness at the recoiling when horrors are confronted. This is the only satisfaction in hell, and it is a satisfaction most deeply encouraged.
Eventually, they all crave death and extinction. I am more compassionate than Our Father. I would often give them true death. But Our Father cursed them with eternal life, and so who is, in truth, the most merciless? God cannot withdraw from His own Law, therefore He cannot rescue my damned. When He gave immortality to man, did He know to what He had condemned him? Alas, alas, there are times when I would grant them death. Is your question then not answered? I am no Paradox, as is Our Father. Had I created man — God forbid! I should not have given him the free will to be damned if he desired. I should have made him obedient and docile, a gay little creature who could not know the difference between good and evil and therefore could have had no life but one brief day in the sun. I should have made him truly mortal, like a mayfly who takes pleasure in the noon and at sunset folds his wings and drifts into dust.
You once told me that hell is hell because no love can dwell there, and love is impossible. That is true. But love is passive and hatred is active, and man is always active like an insect which can never be still. Therefore, Michael, I shall win at last, for man is invariably enthusiastic and zealous, and languishes only when there is nothing to hate.
Your brother, Lucifer
angels, animalistic, animals, apostles, compassion, creation, death, Dialogues With the Devil, eternal life, evil, God, good news, goodness, Heaven, hell, intelligence, Isaias, Israel, Jesus, Jews, Joel, knowledge, Lucifer, mankind, Mary, Messias, Mother of Jesus, poetry, prophecy, prophets, Redeemer, redemption, religion, salvation, sin, Son of God, Taylor Caldwell, Terra, the prophet, virtue
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 12-17.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
GREETINGS to my brother, Michael, Archangel of the Conformists who ask no troubling questions:
. . .
For another time without count you have asked me to have some pity on Terra, that miserable speck of congealed slime that lumbers heavily about a wretched dwarf yellow star in a forgotten boundary of your own Galaxy. There have been moments when I have considered if Our Father had not deliberately tormented me by choosing that depraved little morsel for the scene of His universal Redemption. From among the inconceivable bounty of His billions of worlds He chose the most loathsome and insignificant, the dullest and most lightless, the most stupid and degenerate. Is there a meaning in that? Who knows His Mind? You, too, have asked that question. I, therefore, am not alone. You, however, accept meekly. But I am not meek and so there can never be any acceptance in me, but only incredulity and affront. Endless other worlds have sinned and fallen, under my tutelage and suggestion, beautiful vast worlds of blinding color and enormous vistas and splendid cities, and with men who could at least claim to have a wink of intelligence. But He did not choose one of them. He chose the most vulgar, the most animalistic, the muddiest, the dirtiest, the most inarticulate, the least endowed with poetry and comprehension, without mercy and faith and learning. It is not worthy even to be called a latrine or a gutter, this murderer of prophets and heroes, this murderer of God, Himself. This delighter in filth, in sins most abominable and unspeakable, this arrogant little squeak in the song of creation! I have felt some pity for other worlds which have fallen, for they had some splendor and some glory. But for Terra I have only revulsion. Half desert, half storm, half-polluted seas, half-eroded mountains, it is a fit habitation of the creature which reared itself on its hind legs and dared to call itself a man!
. . .
You will say, as you have said before, that it was Our Father’s will, and that His Son was born for that very purpose of the one creature unstained by the contemptible sins of her fellowman. It was a Consummation [an act of completing], you have told me, that He designed from the beginning of time. . . .
Would other worlds have consummated that supreme crime, other worlds fallen and now vanished? I think not. They, evil though they were, would have revolted . . . even if they had considered the Christ only a man as they were men. They were not forever intent on the murder of the innocent, for the destruction of the harmless, despite their tedious wars. The manifestly pure and good never aroused their hatred, as the men of Terra are endlessly aroused. Even if the good angered them they recognized its virtue, and though they often exiled it, out of expediency and because it was troublous and interfered with the enjoyment of life, they did not torture and condemn it to death in a most infamous way. They even gave it an amused honor, though they did not wish to embrace it. They had tolerance, so they were truly men, suffering what was incomprehensible and annoying. . . . Does Our Father realize that in truth the creatures of Terra are not absolute men, and was it His desire that He raise them to manhood? If so, He has dolorously failed. Those who are men on Terra can be counted only in the thousands, and it was always so. They conceal themselves with justified terror and prudence from those who presume to call themselves their fellows. They hide in far places, behind walls and in jungles, in the lost sanctuaries and in the deserts. When they emerge with words of love and mercy and compassion they are greeted with derision, or with the inevitable murder. Have they not learned? Will they never learn? The man who comes with the bread of pity and the bread of life in his hands is doomed, forever and a day, on Terra, to hatred and assassination.
Our Father, through the ages of Terra, inspired priests of all religions with the secret and mystical knowledge that He would send His Son to man to open again the gates of eternal life . . . There was not a religion through the ages which did not dimly proclaim the coming of the Redeemer. The priests of Babylonia, of Egypt, of Greece, of Rome, of Persia, of wearisome other nations also, proclaimed this living Promise. . . . The prophets repeatedly announced the coming of God unto man, in his flesh. Do I need to recall to you the words of the prophet, Isaias: “Unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. The Government is upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.” His Mother was prophesied: “Who is she that looks forth as the bright morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” . . . God did not withhold His secret, nor come in stealth without prophecy. Yet, when He came He was murdered.
It has been endlessly amusing to me to listen to men since the day of that most infamous murder. . . . Liars, liars! The men of Judea, who had witnessed through the ages the mercy of God, said to Jesus, “Had the prophets been born to us we should not have killed them!” But all men kill their prophets . . .
Had not God been born to the Jews His Name would still be unknown among the children of men, for It would have been obliterated. But the Jews had cherished and remembered the prophecies of the Messias, and when He came among them thousands of them indeed did cry, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” It was not an accident that He Chose His Apostles from among the Jews, for only they were devoted to the prophecy, and recognized Him. . . . I often conjecture: Had not Israel been oppressed by Rome, and in terror of her, would the Christ have been yielded . . . by the priests of Judea to the Romans? Had Israel been free, would she not have joyously lifted up her Lord and proclaimed Him to the nations? But then the prophecies of Isaias would not have been fulfilled. It is a great mystery and I despised it from the beginning. The ways of God are indeed inscrutable, and a weariness.
It was the Jews who spread the “good news” to the children of men, that the Messias had been born and had died for the salvation of men, according to the prophecies. It was the Jews, who for three hundred years, cried forth the words of deliverance from evil — from me. They took His Name to the Greeks and the Romans and the Persians and the Egyptians — and died in their own blood for the message. They died joyfully — for nothing. For I followed them everywhere, and raised up haters and cynics among the listeners, and skeptics among the wise and urbane — as I raise them to this day. I whispered, “Nonsense!” to the multitudes, and they laughed at the Jews and struck them down, as they had struck them down in Egypt and Persia and Syria and Babylonia. . . . And in Terra today, where the whisper and laughter and merriment announce, “God is dead!” It is my ultimate success.
You have asked me always, “Why do you do this thing?” I do not do it out of hatred for Our Father, Whom I love. I do it to prove to Him that He was wrong from the beginning, and that He must erase, forever, the memory of Him from among the cattle who dare to call themselves men. Shall a beast share in the feast of the Holy of Holies? It is a profanation. The tramples of hoofs in the Temple must cease! The ass and the wild owl and the serpent must know the Temple no more. I shall not rest until this is accomplished. I shall not rest until Terra is dead, and dies in her own fire and blood, for she has blasphemed God too long.
I have given Terra the formula for her death, as I have given similar formulae to the men of other worlds. you will not rejoice with me that this abattoir [slaughterhouse] of God and prophets and heroes will soon be caught up in the whirlwind of flame as prophesied by the prophet, Joel. But then, you do not share with me my abhorrence of mankind, wherever it has manifested itself throughout the universes. The suns and the worlds were created for angels, and not animals who stink of manure and sweat and vice and bowels and bladders and disease and all vileness.
It is again my vow that I shall not cease until this insult against God has been purged by universal death, and until the province of the galaxies belongs to angels only. If God will not do it I shall.
Your brother, Lucifer
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
animals, Arcturus, death, Dialogues With the Devil, eternal life, evil, existence, free will, God, goodness, Heaven, hell, intellect, Lucifer, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mankind, maturity, Melina, myth, nature, patron saint of scientists, reality, scientists, senses, Taylor Caldwell, temptation, Truth, virtue, war, wickedness, wisdom
[Caldwell, Taylor. Dialogues With The Devil. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967. pp 1-5.] Please see Taylor Caldwell’s Dialogues With The Devil (1967) #1 of 22 for an introduction to this serialization.
SALUTATIONS to the Lord God of Hosts, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and worlds and suns, . . . the Perpetrator of men — and my Father.
I wish to assure you, my Father, that it has given me no unsurpassed pleasure that Melina, one of the sons of Arcturus, has now become a wasteland, devoid of the curse of human life, and moves about his parent sun in glorious silence, except for the winds which blow from pole to pole. Nothing sentient survives. The seas move in and out unseen by human or animal eye. I regret the innocent animals, but am I guilty of the men of Melina? No, it was Your Majesty who created them, despite my warnings — as I warned You from the beginning of time.
This morning, . . . I meditated on the blessed silences where men are not. . . . I knew that within these waters lived no fish or serpent any longer, no sinless fin, no wild and uncorrupted eye. That was my sadness, my only sadness. Did I destroy Melina, and leave her mighty white cities uninhabited, her tangle of vast roads pale only with dust? . . . I am guiltless of this. I do not force men; I suggest and tempt. It is their will that they obey me, that they offer me their deepest adoration and most passionate allegiance, and that they turn, always, from You. I do not exploit their wickedness; they choose it for themselves. I merely give them the opportunity to pursue evil to its ultimate. The horizons of Melina are now without meaning, for Death has no meaning, as You, my Father, and I know only too well. You have said it often, in all Your worlds, in the tongues of all creation — but men do not believe You. They believe only me.
. . . What has virtue to offer in comparison, though virtue is eternal life? Does virtue possess the drama, the violence, the color, the frantic vehemence, the terrible euphoria, the laughter and noise and ecstasies of evil, and yes, the enormous capacity for destruction? Verily, it does not. It is a weariness to man, as You have regretfully observed ten thousand times ten thousand millennia over and over. The desire for wickedness and death is far greater in the breasts of mankind than the desire for innocence and life.
Eight billion souls from Melina now occupy my domain, and I loathe them, . . . To You, my Father, there rose only six thousand souls who had resisted me. A poor harvest! You are the Sower, but I am inevitably the Reaper, and so shall it be throughout eternity. You are the Vineyard, but it is I who harvest and press the grapes and drink the wine. You are the Tree, but I garner the fruit. You are the Meadow, but the grain fills my granaries. Do you consider that I rejoice in this? I do, only to the extent that I can prove that Your Majesty was wrong from the beginning. It is no joy to me to wound You, Who have so many wounds, and Who shall receive so many countless more. . . . If I had tears to shed I would shed them for my Father, Who loved me, Who called me His son and His Star of the Morning. It was You Who mourned me and exclaimed, “How have you fallen!” But I have not fallen lower than man. That would be impossible.
I have been called the patron saint of scientists. Yet, . . . I merely conducted a dialogue with them, as a teacher, a suggester. It was theirs to recoil, to reject with terror and loathing. It was in their hands to destroy the formulae, in horror. But alas, they hated their brothers with so much infernal passion! It is true that I am the father of wars, the songster of hatred, but again, it is in the power of men to reject, for do they not possess free will, that frightful gift you bestowed on men and angels so long ago? But though I am the father of wars, I do not precipitate them. There is no need for my own energies to be involved in this matter of fraternal detestation, nor do I need to stimulate it. It is in the nature of man to hate his brother; he needs little encouragement.
. . . They did not think: “How will this benefit my race?” They only thought: “How can this be used to eliminate my enemies?” For man, as Your Majesty knows, cannot live unless he creates his own enemies. He finds existence dull beyond imagining if he has no foes. His pursuit from birth is not goodness and mercy and love. It is only destruction. It is his nature.
. . . Still, I am guiltless. They could, until the final awful moment, have withdrawn from their decision. I used no force. They were no slaves. They were free. They chose to die. Certainly, it was not their plan to vaporize themselves together with their “foes.” But evil is madness and has no pity, and therefore it is confusion thrice compounded. Evil men possess no wits. They are easily led to believe what they wish to believe, and the men . . . believed that they would suffer no consequences from the murder of their brothers, and that the cities and the treasures of their fellows would survive.
. . . their children and their children’s children cried — as they cry always — “It is only a myth! It did not occur! . . . It is only a vision of what is Not Possible, for there is only reality, and man is reality, and what is seen and felt and smelled and tasted and heard with our senses is the only objectivity, and only truth. We are too Advanced for myths; we have achieved maturity and wisdom and intellect. Begone with Myths! They are the lumber of dead yesterdays, the rubble of a primitive people, the legends of our racial childhood. There is only Today, and we are that Day. There is but one God, and His Name is Mankind, and science is His prophet.”
Shall You raise up another race?
Your son, Lucifer