Pursued by the angel of the Lord; Angels: Day 127

A terrifying image from Psalm 35 provokes St. Augustine to meditate on how God punishes. When God sends his angel to pursue the wicked, it’s not out of anger, but simply  the nature of righteousness at work.“Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driv- ing them on! Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!” (Ps. 35:5-6).A horrible way! Everyone is afraid of darkness alone, and everyone avoids a slippery way alone. How will yo … [Read more...]

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The will of God is the cause of everything; Angels: Day 126

St. Augustine argues that the will of God is ultimately the cause of everything that happens in the world. Along the way  he gives us a beautiful picture of Heaven, where the angels are “combined in one will by a kind of spiritual fire of love.”Let us turn our thoughts to that heavenly country above, from which we are pilgrims down here. There the will of God, who makes the angels spirits, and his ministers a burning fire (Ps. 104:4), presides among spirits joined in perfect peace and frien … [Read more...]

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Even magic come’s from God’s will; Angels: Day 125

The magicians of Pharaoh, says St. Augustine, were able to duplicate some of the plagues by magic. But their magic had its limits. Nothing can be done, even by magic, without God’s will.Now, a weak judgment might ask why miracles like these can also be done by magic—for the wise men of Pharaoh also made serpents, and did other similar things.Yet it is still more wonderful that the power of those magicians, though it could make serpents, completely failed when it came to very small flies. … [Read more...]

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Demons are weapons against the devil; Angels: Day 124

Even when the evil angels turn their strength against us, says  St. Augustine, they’re actually  weapons  in our struggle against Satan. If  we don’t despair when we run into trouble, then Satan loses,  and we’re  made stronger by the struggle.You have made me the reproach of the foolish. You have so willed it, that I should live among those, and preach the Truth among those, who love vanity; and I can’t help being laughingstock to them. For “we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels … [Read more...]

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Even the evil angels are God’s instruments; Angels: Day 123

God uses the evil angels as his instruments for correcting us, says St. Augustine. The purpose of these punishments is to bring us back to the right path, so that we won’t be condemned forever at the last judgment.“God is a just judge, strong and patient: is he angry every day?” (Ps. 7:11). What God is judge, but the Lord, who judges the people?He is just; “he will repay every man for what he has done” (Matt. 16:27).He is strong, meaning in endurance; though he is all-powerful, for ou … [Read more...]

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The devil’s power to hurt come’s from God; Angels: Day 122

The devil wills  evil, says St. Augustine, but God’s will is always  done even through the wickedness of the devil. Nevertheless, Satan will be rightfully pun- ished, because his will was, and is, to hurt us.Even the power of those who are hurtful is from God alone. For it is not unrighteous that, when the wicked receive the power of being hurtful, both the patience of the good should be tested and the iniquity of the evil punished. Through power given to the devil Job was tested so that he m … [Read more...]

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