Jesus departed from Jerusalem, and went to the desert beyond Jordan: and his disciples that were seated round him said to Jesus: 'O master, tell us how Satan fell through pride, for we have understood that he fell through disobedience, and because he always tempteth man to do evil.'
Jesus answered: 'God having created a mass of earth, and having left it for twenty-five thousand years without doing aught else; Satan, who was as it were priest and head of the angels, by the great understanding that he possessed, knew that God of that mass of earth was to take one hundred and forty and four thousand signed with the mark
of prophecy, and the messenger of God, the soul of which messenger he had created sixty thousand years before aught else. Therefore, being indignant, he instigated the angels, saying: "Look ye, one day God shall will that this earth be revered by us. Wherefore consider that we are spirit, and therefore it is not fitting so to do."
'Many therefore forsook God. Whereupon said God, one day when all the angels were assembled: "Let each one that holds me for his lord straightway do reverence to this earth."
'They that loved God bowed themselves, but Satan, with them that were of his mind, said: "O Lord, we are spirit, and therefore it is not just that we should do reverence to this clay." Having said this, Satan became horrid and of fearsome look, and his followers became hideous; because for their rebellion God took away from them the beauty
wherewith he had endued them in creating them. Whereat the holy angels, when, lifting their heads, they saw how terrible a monster Satan had become, and his followers cast down their face to earth in fear.
'Then said Satan: "O Lord, thou hast unjustly made me hideous but I am content thereat. because I desire to annul all that thou shalt do. And the other devils said: "Call him not Lord, O Lucifer, for thou art Lord."
'Then said God to the followers of Satan: "Repent ye and recognize me as God, your creator."
'They answered: "We repent of having done thee any reverence, for that thou art not just; but Satan is just and innocent, and he is our Lord."
'Then said God: "Depart from me, O ye cursed, for I have no mercy on you."
'And in his departing Satan spat upon that mass of earth, and that spittle the angel Gabriel lifted up with some earth, so that therefore now man has the navel in his belly.'
The disciples stood in great amazement at the rebellion of the angels.
Then said Jesus: 'Verily I say unto you, that he who maketh not prayer is more wicked than Satan, and shall suffer greater torments. Because Satan had, before his fall, no example of fearing, nor did God so much as send him any prophet to invite him to repentance: but man-now that all the prophets are come except the messenger of God who
shall come after me, because so God willeth, and that I may prepare his way-and man, I say, albeit he have infinite examples of the justice of God, liveth carelessly without any fear, as though there were no God. Even as of such spake the prophet David: "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Therefore are they corrupt and become abominable, without one of them doing good."
'Make prayer unceasingly, O my disciples, in order that ye may receive. For he who seeketh findeth, and he who knocketh to him it is opened, and he who asketh receiveth. And in your prayer do not look to much speaking, for God looketh on the heart; as he said through Solomon: "O my servant, give me thine heart. ' Verily I say unto you, as God liveth, the hypocrites make much prayer in every part of the city in order to be seen and
held for saints by the multitude: but their heart is full of wickedness, and therefore they do
not mean that which they ask. It is needful that thou mean thy prayer if thou wilt that God
receive it. Now tell me: who would go to speak to the Roman governor or to Herod, except he first have made up his mind to whom he is going, and what he is going to do? Assuredly none. And if man doeth so in order to speak with man, what ought man to do in order to speak with God, and ask of him mercy for his sins, while thanking him for all
that he hath given him?
'Verily I say unto you, that very few make true prayer, and therefore Satan hath power over them, because God willeth not those who honour him with their lips: who in the temple ask [with] their lips for mercy, and their heart crieth out for justice. Even as he saith to Isaiah the prophet, saying: "Take away this people that is irksome to me, because with their lips they honour me, but their heart is far from me." Verily I say unto you, that he that goeth to make prayer without consideration mocketh God.
'Now who would go to speak to Herod with his back towards him, and before him speak well of Pilate the governor, whom he hateth to the death? Assuredly none. Yet no less doth the man who goeth to make prayer and prepareth not himself. He turneth his back to God and his face to Satan, and speaketh well of him. For in his heart is the love of iniquity, whereof he huetpeiath not repented.
If one having injured thee, should with his lips say to thee, Forgive me and with his hands should strike thee a blow how wouldest thou forgive him? Even so shall God have mercy on those who with their lips say: "Lord, have mercy on us, and with their heart love iniquity and think on fresh sins.'