We’ll see what the angels see; Angels: Day 359

angels_augustine_1When  things go wrong in this life, says  St. Augustine, just remember whayou’re preparing for. You’ll see God the way the angels see him.

“And their heritage will abide forever” (Ps. 37:18).

This we hold by faith. Does the Lord too know it by faith? No, the Lord knows those things in such a clear way that we will not be able to speak of it even when we are made equal to the angels. The things that will be clear to us will not be as clear to us as they are now to him who is incapable of change.

But what does Scripture say even about us? “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). So there is surely some blissful vision reserved for us; and if it can be now in some measure con- ceived through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12), yet we still have no way of expressing in language the ravishing beauty of the bliss that God reserves for those who fear him, which he consummates in those who hope in him.

In all the troubles and trials of this life, our hearts are being disciplined for that goal. Do not be surprised that you are disciplined for it with trouble. You are being disciplined for something glorious. Why does the now-strengthened righ- teous man say, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18)? What is this promised glory to be, but to be made equal to the angels and to see God?

How great a benefit anyone gives a blind man if he makes his eyes sound, so that he can see the light of this life! What reward then shall we give to that Physician who restores the health of our inward eyes, to enable them to see the eternal Light—namely, himself ? –St. Augustine, Exposition on Psalm 37, Part 2, 7


Will it help me endure my troubles if I remember the beauty and joy they’re preparing me for?


Fill my mouth with your praise, Lord, and my lips with joy, so that I may sing the praise of your glory forever.

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