Don’t drown out the angel choir; Angels: Day 354

St. John Chrysostom  looks around him in church, and all he sees are people talking about business and money. You’ve made the church no better than a barn, he says. Be quiet, and listen, and you’ll hear the choirs of angels. We say that Christ has done great things, having made angels out of human beings; then, when we are called on to give account, and asked to show a proof from this congregation, our mouths are stopped. I’m afraid that,… Read more

Remember that you sing in the angelic choir; Angels: Day 353

In the time of St. John Chrysostom, popular entertainment had become notoriously immoral,  depending on sex and violence for most  of  its effect. (Fortunately, that was all 1,600 years ago.) Chrysostom  challenges his flock to put an end to the sin on the stage, but by not giving them any business. Then let’s pull down the stage, they say. I wish it were that simple—or, rather, if you were willing, as far as I’m concerned, it would be pulled down… Read more

Imagine the beauty of countless angels; Angels: Day 352

Try  to imagine the most wonderful spectacle you’ve ever seen, says  St. John Chrysostom. Now think how much more beautiful it will be when you see the saints and angels in Heaven. If we go out into a field and see the soldiers’ tents with their curtains, and the spears, and the helmets, and the bosses of the bucklers gleaming, then we are filled with wonder. But if we also happen to see the king himself running through the field, or… Read more

The angels sing praises by the power of the Holy Spirit; Angels: Day 351

The heavenly life of praise and joy the angels live is possible only through the Holy Spirit, says St. Basil. Only with the help of the Spirit can the angels sing their hymns of praise—and the same is true for us. How can angels sing “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14) without being empowered by the Spirit? “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit,” and “no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever… Read more

Even angels will be condemned for unbelief; Angels: Day 350

How  important is it to have a right understanding of  the Incarnation? So important, says St. Ignatius of Antioch, that even the angels in Heaven would be condemned if they did not believe that Christ’s body and blood were real. Some ignorantly deny the Lord, or rather have been denied by him, be- cause they are the advocates of death rather than of the truth. These people have not been persuaded by the prophets, or by the Law of Moses, or… Read more

Evil angels await the last judgement; Angels: Day 349

The devil and his angels, says St. Augustine, have been cast out of Heaven, but they inhabit the lower celestial regions. The important thing about this passage is not St. Augustine’s speculative cosmography, but the theological point that the demons are still awaiting their eternal judgment. But because evil angels also were not formed evil by God, but were made evil by sinning, Peter in his epistle says: “For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast… Read more

The angels hold the keys to Satan’s prison; Angels: Day 348

Revelation says that Satan will be let loose for a little while—but  even then, says St. Gregory the Great, it is only under the power of  the good angels, who serve God’s will by unchaining him. “Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and… Read more

Some outsiders are on our side; Angels: Day 347

There are evil people inside the Church, says St. Augustine, because the devil planted weeds among the wheat, as Christ says in his parable. But if the devil has his followers inside the Church, we must remember that Christ has followers outside the Church. But yet “through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it” (Wis. 2:24)—not because they are created by God, but because they go astray of themselves, as Cyprian says… Read more

The Rosary – Still Significant Today

One of the oldest prayers in the Catholic Church is the rosary. It is a centuries-old devotion that has seen its popularity ebb and flow as time has passed. Most Catholics own one; some even collect them. Still, others might wear them. However, do we truly have a clear understanding of the power and benefits of the rosary? Gretchen Rowe has compiled a book that shines a spotlight on the rosary and makes it clear why this is THE weapon… Read more

The saints judge with the angels; Angels: Day 346

The saints, says St. Augustine, will judge with Christ and the angels—and in fact will be as good as angels. “Heaven” is the word we use for all the people from around the world who have been made perfect in Christ. Many will judge with the Lord, but others will be judged—not all equally, however, but according to their deserts. He will come with all his angels, and all the nations will be gathered before him. And among the angels will… Read more