No, not the sin of despair. A prior sin of rebellion. Lagrange notes that Thomas teaches that the sin of the angels consisted in their perverse desire to imitate God. Perverse. So, a perverse imitation.
Whereas God is Infinite, Uncreated, and Pure Act, being moved by none and capable of his end by his own power, the angels, having been invited by him to an end exceeding their power, fell into two camps. One camp gladly submitted to the deifying hand of God, and thus were glorified. The other camp wanted to attain what they could, as God is what he is. They wanted to be solely from themselves, as God has no Cause.
This insight informs Lagrange’s reading of Modernist rebels, who make dogma a mere measure for action, who measure dogma by practice, who translate dogma solely into a principle of practical reason. Why do they do this, Lagrange asks? Because God’s end is too high. One cannot reach it without his supernatural assistance. But can’t we just live our lives? Do good within our measure? Why disturb us with such a high calling? In short, the rebels do not want us to reach so high.
Ah. We have here a reason for the social sin of the last times. The Catechism of JPII suggests that the end times will witness the sin of “humanism” or of an “earthly messianism.” A worship of man. A cult of man. Man-centrism. Not God-centrism. How is this in imitation of the Demons? Because they wanted only to reach that which was in their natural power. So, too, the humanists of today, those who focus spiritual energy on earthly goals, are in imitation of the Pride of Satan. Seeming humble, they are actual self-worshipers.
O God, reach into our lowliness, convert us to your Truth. Evangelize us with your Goodness. Invite us to your True Church on Earth, that in her, we may receive worthily the Substance of the True Lamb.