Keep speculation in bounds, Angels: Day 048

Keep speculation in boundsThere are many things we can try to know about angels, says St. Augustine, but we can never know for sure. It can be good to speculate, but we have to admit it frankly when we just don’t know the answer.How is life arranged there in that blessed heavenly fellowship? What differ- ences are there in rank among the angels? They’re all called by the generic name “angels,” as we read in the letter to the Hebrews: “But to what angel has he ever said,‘Sit at my righ … [Read more...]

CBB Review: Seasons in My Garden

Review by Michele Craig “Ah roses. Glorious roses, lovely roses: in flower form they are the ultimate image of love. But whose love? Human love? Perhaps so, for they are no doubt beautiful, fragrant, and truly lovely. Glorious roses have hundreds and hundreds of petals, dense and rich and velvety, so tightly entwined with one another that it’s impossible to find the center of the bloom. Could this be why they are the symbol of human love? For they so beautifully represent the human heart! And wh … [Read more...]

We can’t understand all the mysteries of Heaven, Angels: Day 047

We can't understand all the mysteries of HeavenOn his way to martyrdom, St. Ignatius writes to the Trallians that he could tell them more about Heaven’s mysteries—but  he’s afraid to burden them with too many things they couldn’t understand.Don’t you think I could write to you about things that are even more mysterious? But I’m afraid to do so. I don’t want to injure you, who are still only babes. Please excuse me here: I’m afraid that you would not be able to understand their weighty mea … [Read more...]

Spiritual bodies, Angels: Day 046

Spiritual bodiesSt. Augustine speculates that angels have a kind of spiritual body that adapts itself  to various forms. But he’s always  careful to distinguish what he himself believes from what everyone is required to believe.Do angels have bodies adapted to their duties and their swift motions from place to place, or are they only spirits?If we say that they have bodies, we are met by the passage, “Who makest thy angels spirits” (Ps. 104:4). But if we say that they have no bodies, … [Read more...]

Angels as counselors, Angels: Day 045

Angels as counselorsIn the hierarchy of  angels, says  St. Gregory the Great, the lower receive from the higher the knowledge they need to transmit to us. Angels are our counselors, because they want us to be with them in the kingdom of Heaven.From things that have no sense, we can learn how to understand beings with sense and intelligence.Now, the air makes the earth fertile, and the quality of the heaven governs the air. Likewise, human beings are placed over animals, and angels ov … [Read more...]

Angels bring us the vision of God, Angels: Day 044

Angels bring us the vision of GodThe speculative philosopher Dionysius  the Areopagite says  that the heavenly beings deserve their title of  “angel” (which means “messenger”) because they bring us the light of God, which they experience at first hand.The holy orders of the heavenly beings share in the supremely divine participation in a higher degree than things that merely exist, or that lead an irrational life, or that are rational like ourselves. By imitating God, they shape themselve … [Read more...]