Angels could set us free; Angels: Day 198

Though angels have often come to aid God’s faithful people, says St. Gregory the Great, they could not redeem us from sin. Only God himself  could accomplish that.It (wisdom) cannot be gotten for gold” ( Job 28:15).What does “gold” mean here but the holy angels? They are called “gold” because they persist in the original innocence in which they were created. They shine with the beauty of righteousness, and they are stained with no impurity of sins—not in the very least.But none of the … [Read more...]

No angel was worthy; Angels: Day 197

In Revelation, an angel holds a scroll and asks, “Who  is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” St. Victorinus says that the scroll is the Old Testa- ment, and to open it is to overcome death—something  no angel could do. Only Christ could accomplish it.“And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1). This book sig- nifies the Old Testament, which has been given into the hands of our Lord J … [Read more...]

Redeemed from the devil and his angels; Angels: Day 196

In St. Augustine’s time, the Roman Empire was crumbling, and barbarian attacks were the worst fear of every civilized family. (Later, St. Augustine himself would die as the Vandals were destroying his own city.) But Christ, he says, redeemed us from a far worse danger than barbarian captivity.Brethren, if the ancient prophets, our fathers, sighed after the Jerusalem above even before the Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh, before he rose from the dead, think how much we ought to long for t … [Read more...]

Angels glory in the Cross; Angels: Day 195

The cross was the most shameful method of execution the ancient world could think of. But angels glory in the Cross of Christ, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem, because it was the instrument of our salvation.We can never get tired of hearing about our crowned Lord—and least of all in this most holy Golgotha. For while others only hear, we can see and touch as well.Let no one be tired! Take your armor against your adversaries in the cause of the Cross itself. Set up the faith of the Cross as a … [Read more...]

The Cross brings us together with the angels; Angels: Day 194

Our sin is what keeps us from being fit citizens of Heaven. But the Cross overcomes that, says St. John Chrysostom. Because of the Cross, we are now part of the same community with the angels.The Cross destroyed the hostility of God toward humanity. It brought about the reconciliation; it made earth Heaven, associated human beings with angels, pulled down the fortress of death, destroyed the power of sin, saved the world from error, brought back the truth, destroyed temples, overturned … [Read more...]

Who is the vinedresser?; Angels: Day 193

In the parable of  the fig tree, the vinedresser begs the owner not to cut down the tree until it has one more chance. Is that vinedresser the angel who guarded Is- rael throughout the Old Testament? Or is it the Son interceding with the Father? St. Cyril of Alexandria thinks either interpretation is reasonable.But the vinedresser begged him, saying, “Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can c … [Read more...]