Hear the music of the endless holiday in Heaven; Angels: Day 307

We hire a band for a wedding or a birthday, St. Augustine says, and everyone who hears it knows that something special is going on. But if  we listen and don’t let the world distract us, we can hear the music of  the angels singing at that endless festival in Heaven. Here, where we have festivals just for the fun of it, we put bands or sing- ers in front of our houses, or any kind of music that tempts us… Read more

Brought near the holy angels; Angels: Day 306

With the Incarnation, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, the Church below is made one with the Church above. Christ has opened Heaven for us, and we have been brought near the angels. And the Evangelist says that the Heavens were opened, as if they had been closed a long time. For Christ said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” ( John 1:51). Since… Read more

Flying Home; Angels: Day 305

St. Augustine says that our real home is the Zion in Heaven, which is the bliss of  the angels. Though  we live here on earth for the present, we can go back home, if we wish, on wings of love. Zion was a particular city. It fell, and among its ruins certain saints lived according to the flesh. But the true Zion, the true Jerusalem (Zion is the same as Jerusalem), is “eternal in the Heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). She is… Read more

The incorruptible riches of the angels; Angels: Day 304

The two greatest commandments, as Jesus taught us, sum up the whole of the Scriptures: love God and love your neighbor. True believers who remember those commandments,  says  St. Augustine, are promised the incorruptible riches of the angels. All is contained in these brief sentences: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” In this love, all our holy fathers, patriarchs, prophets,… Read more

Anticipate the angels’ work; Angels: Day 303

At the end of time, says St. Augustine, the angels will separate the wheat from the chaff. Until then, we’re all mixed up together. But we can anticipate their work by separating ourselves from everything wicked. As long as the chaff is being bruised with the wheat, as long as the bad fish swim together with the good in the nets of the Lord, till the time of separation comes, it is your duty rather to endure the mixture of the bad… Read more

Off the Shelf 023 with Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of the popular website The Religion Teacher, which provides practical resources and effective teaching strategies to religious educators. A respected graduate of the Alliance for Catholic Education program at the University of Notre Dame, Dees earned master’s degrees in education and theology, both from Notre Dame. He has volunteered for and worked in a wide variety of Catholic ministries, including Catholic schools, parish religious education, youth ministry, campus ministry, RCIA, and adult faith formation. Dees is the content… Read more

The holy temple, below and above; Angels: Day 302

We make up the Church below, says St. Augustine, and the angels make up the Church above. But Christ came down to us and took on human form to make us the equals of the angels. “I bow down toward your holy temple” (Ps. 138:2). What holy temple? The temple in which we will dwell, where we will worship. But certainly, God obviously dwells in the angels. Therefore, when our joy is in spiritual things rather than earthly, and it takes… Read more

Imitating the hymns of angels; Angels: Day 301

The historian Socrates Scholasticus relates the traditional story of how responsive singing began in the liturgy. According to the tradition, St. Ignatius had a vision of angels responding to each other in song. We must now however make some allusion to the origin of this custom in the church of responsive singing. Ignatius, third bishop of Antioch in Syria from the Apostle Peter, who also had conversations with the Apostles themselves, saw a vision of angels hymning in alternate chants… Read more

Work like an Angel; Angels: Day 300

If you’re lazy now in doing good works, asks St. Clement of Rome, how will you look the Lord in the eye when he comes to give you your reward? Remember how the countless angels stand around him, always  ready to serve him. The good servant receives the bread of his labor with confidence; the lazy and slothful servant cannot look his employer in the face. We must therefore be prompt in doing good; for all things come from the Lord…. Read more

Join your heart with the angels; Angels: Day 299

Even when you work at earthly things, says St. Augustine, you’re a citizen of Heaven if you have your heart there and not on Earth. Look and see the two kinds of people. One kind works, and the other they work among. One kind weighs their hearts down, the other joins their hearts with angels. The one trusts in the earthly things that are so common in the world, but the other puts their confidence in heavenly things that have been… Read more

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