|"Quis ut Deus / Vade Retro Satana"|
Medium: Sharpie markers on paper
While designing this drawing, I thought about the great war in heaven mentioned in Revelation.
Essentially, all angels were given a test by God. Satan and like-minded angels failed this test. There is some debate as to why exactly Satan and other angels failed this test....but it is well accepted that they involved pride. Perhaps he rejected Christ's authority and significance...perhaps he rejected the salvation of mankind, perhaps he began to think of himself as a god...I don't know. If anyone out there has a better idea of why, I'd love to hear it. Regardless of the reason behind this rebellion, St. Michael led his angels (those that remained faithful to God) with the battle cry of "Quis ut Deus?" which translates to "Who is like God?" In other words, "Who do you think you are to rebel against God? Who are you to compare yourself to God?"
For the longest time, when reading the Book of Revelation, I imagined angels dressed like Roman soldiers, defeating all sorts of misshapen demons with horns and pointed tails. Based on what I have read over the years, I have begun to come to terms with the notion that angels have no physical form or appearance that we would be able to describe. I have also learned (according to Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea's Interview with an Exorcist), that the great war in heaven was not so much an epic Lord of the Rings-esque battle as it was a battle of words and faith. Based on my understanding (which may or may not have the NIHIL OBSTAT seal of approval) faith, intelligence, reason, and thought were the weapons used in this battle. There were no swords, lances, arrows, or other physical weapons used. I have come to imagine it as a debate of sorts, where one side argued for God and the other argued against Him.
I imagined St. Michael and Satan facing each other at the very start of this great battle/debate. I imagined Satan as he would appear before falling from grace. Everything God creates is beautiful and good, which is why I refrained from drawing Satan as a grotesque gargoyle. Satan may have started off as good, but in rejecting God out of his own free will, he created the ugliness he now bears. I did my best to portray this ugliness with a malicious, proud smile that seeks to challenge Saint Michael. In this drawing, he has not yet fallen per se, but intends to reveal his opposition of God soon. He is about to challenge Saint Michael and do what he can to win over as many angels as possible in order create as much damage as possible in heaven.
Saint Michael loves God completely. He will fight for God and refuse to back down until all rebels are expelled from heaven. He will continue to serve God faithfully regardless of what Satan will say or do to dissuade him. He understands the consequences that Satan's rebellion will have and he understands that rebelling against God will result in an irrevocable exclusion from God's grace. He cannot fathom why Satan would want to destroy the harmony created by God....or why he'd willingly give up God's grace for the sake of pride. His faith is unwavering and he is ready for a fight.