Does God love Satan?

God is love. We’re taught from a young age that God loves us all, even sinners. But does God love Satan, who by his rejection of God became the author of sin?

Gerardo called from San Diego to ask a question about something his 15-year-old learned in high school religion class. “The teacher told him, ‘God loves everyone and he loves Satan as much as he loves Mary.’ … So my question to you: is that true?”

It’s a startling question. Msgr. Stuart Swetland, host of Go Ask Your FatherTM, gave an eloquent explanation of God’s love.

“God loves Satan or Satan would not exist. If God quit loving any person, they would cease to be. God holds all creation in being and his ongoing creative and recreative love is essential for our existence. So if God quit loving you, or your son, or me or anyone else who is listening, we would cease to exist. God continues to love us,” replied Msgr. Swetland.

“The only thing with your statement as your son related to you from your son’s teacher that I sort of cringed a little at, is to say God loves Satan as much as he loves Mary. Now you’re trying to quantify love and I have a real problem with doing that because I think it misses what love is. And so I wouldn’t use that language myself. I would say, ‘God loves Satan and God loves Mary,’” said Msgr. Swetland.

God’s love is so infinite and mysterious that we can’t comprehend the expanse of it. As Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay often says, if you were the only person who ever existed, Jesus would still have died on the cross just for you. It’s an incomprehensible love. But it’s up to each of us to choose whether we will accept and reciprocate God’s love.

“What it means to love is to want, will, and work for the true good of the person. And in God’s case, God wants what’s best for every one of us,” said Msgr. Swetland. “Now, each of us are free and we can reject God’s offer of relationship; we can reject all the graces God’s given us, and that’s what Satan has done in a definitive way. … He’s determined himself for all eternity in rebellion to God with his Non serviam, ‘I will not serve.’ But God continues to love him even though he doesn’t return God’s love.”

“But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

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