We’re surrounded by protection we can’t see; Angels; Day 211

During a tense time in Milan, St. Ambrose reminds his flock of a story from the Old Testament. The king of Syria wanted to attack Israel, and decided to silence the powerful prophet Elisha first. Elisha’s servant feared the army coming against them, but Elisha showed him the angelic hosts arrayed for their protection.Now here’s an example from the Old Testament.Elisha was being pursued by the king of Syria, who sent an army to capture him. He was surrounded on every side. His servant star … [Read more...]

Know your angels; Angels: Day 210

A very early Christian writing, The Shepherd of Hermas, gives us the famous image of the good and bad angels competing for our attention. In a vision, a glorious shepherd explains to the author that you can tell the angels apart by the suggestions they give you.“Hear now,” he said, “about faith. There are two angels with each per-son—one of righteousness, and the other of wickedness.”And I said to him, “How, sir, am I to know the powers of these? For both angels live with me.”“Hea … [Read more...]

A prayer for help from the angels; Angels: Day 209

St. Gildas  the Wise  lived in the time after the legendary King Arthur, when barbarians were destroying his native Britain. Here he prays God to send him help from all the angels.Help, unity of trinity,have pity, trinity of unity;Help me, I pray, thus placedas in the peril of a great sea, So that the plague of this yearwill not draw me with it, nor the vanity of the world. And this very prayer I make to the highpowers of the heavenly warfare,that they will not leave m … [Read more...]

Angels saw Christ in the flesh; Angels: Day 208

Theodoret of Cyrus imagines a dialogue between Orthodoxos, the champion of orthodox Christianity, and Eranistes, whose name we might translate as “Mish- mash,”  because he takes his opinions from all the heresies, and explains that angels cannot see God directly, but when Christ rose they did see him in the flesh.Eranistes: Then the substance of God was not seen by those who beheld those revelations?Orthodoxos: No! Who is mad enough to dare to say so? Eranistes: Yet it is said that they s … [Read more...]

Only the truth can conquer; Angels: Day 207

Angels don’t lie, says St. Ephrem the Syrian. The message they bring from God is true. And the message we read in the Gospel is true. If  it were not, it could not have been established  all over the world.Why did Gabriel not deceive Daniel and say that he was God (Dan. 8:17)? Why did the Seraph not deceive Isaiah and say that he was the Son of God (Isa. 6:6)?Because he was an angel, he did not lie.The Apostle speaks truly and did not deceive us. He asserted and revealed that Christ w … [Read more...]

A glorious subjection; Angels: Day 206

All things are made subject to Christ—but  what kind of subjection is this? Not ignoble slavery, says St. Ambrose, but a glorious service of  the Good. We are subject the way the angels are subject.Are not all things now subject to him? Are not the choirs of the saints made subject? Are not the angels, who ministered to him when on the earth (Matt.4:11)? Are not the Archangels who were sent to Mary to foretell the coming of the Lord? Are not all the heavenly hosts? Are not the Cherubim an … [Read more...]