I love Wednesday nights.
Last Wednesday, my friends John, Channing, Jessica, Melissa, and I piled into one car and went to the weekly Catholic young adults gathering in West Chester.
It was so much fun! The speaker was excellent. The priest talked all about faith and reason and the importance of filling our minds with good thoughts, for they are what will make us good, moral, and eventually holy persons.
He spoke about the fact that we can WILL ourselves to have a happy day, no matter what struggles and challenges come our way. He explained that when we exercise free will and take upon ourselves responsibilities, this is what frees us to enjoy our lives. He explained that our freedom is based upon our intelligence and how we think. The more we are can exercise control over that which we think about, the more we are free as persons. This is an exercise of free will...and free choice.
Angels think and know things immediately and cannot change their mind. This is because their learning "process" is not so much a process as it is an instantaneous thing, and this because they are 100% spirit and do not need to feel their way through life and the learning process (as we humans are, who are the only beings at the intersection of spirit of mind and instinct of the body).
This is why, the priest explained, we don't need to pray for the eventual conversion of the Evil One. He is not still pondering things, as we humans always do. His thought and opinion on the matter of anything and all things is already finished. He's made up his mind. He doesn't need further experiences in life to weigh his choices and consider his course of action. He knows things--and makes his choice about them--instantaneously.
And he confirmed that which I have always held in my heart-- that God can will an animal or pet to be in Heaven with us if He so chooses to please us in that fashion. I find this to be very comforting because I know how much God loves me, and I love to ponder that nothing is outside of the realm of possibility for Him. But the real question is not whether pets will be in Heaven but rather, Would we even care to see Fido if we are enjoying the beatific vision of God Himself in all of His glory?
And we talked at length about how matter has no free will.
Animals can do things but if you look at the type of free will they have, they really only have the ability to respond to instinct. They can only respond to feeling. They cannot respond to reason and intellect and morality.
We have the ability to forgive. No where in evolution history does it make sense to forgive.
I also learned a very reasonable answer as to why the battle between good and evil is never-ending while at the same time already won.
In earthly battles, the battle ends when one person's body is damaged so much that the spirit leaves it. But when you are made up only of a spiritual substance (as angels are) then there is no ending. The fight continues. And the angels and demons are fighting over US.
I also learned that St. Michael the Archangel is a much smaller angel than the Angel of Light & Music, which I believe is Satan himself. As you go up the chain of command of angels, they get more simple (and not the other way around).
So these are just little snippets of what I learned last week! Thank you for letting me share!