We add our praise to Gabriel’s; Angels: Day 171

St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker  invites us to join our voices to the angel Gabriel’s. When we look at what graces were given to Mary,  we can only say along with Gabriel, “Hail,  O favored one, the Lord is with you!”David and Isaiah and all the prophets foretold the Lord’s becoming man in all their preaching. But you, Holy Virgin—you alone shall receive the mystery unknown by them. Learn, and do not wonder how this can happen to you. For he who made man out of virgin soil, the very same will n … [Read more...]

Undoing Eve’s damage; Angels: Day 170

The Annunciation, says St. Irenaeus, is more than good news. In her obedience to the word from a good angel, Mary undoes the effects of Eve’s disobedience at the persuasion of a wicked angel.Eve was betrothed to a man, and was unhappily deceived.The Virgin Mary was betrothed to a man as well. The truth happily declared to her by the angel shows that the Lord was coming to what belonged to him, and sustaining them by means of that creation which he himself supports. He was reenacting that … [Read more...]

Mary alone saw the glory of the archangel; Angels: Day 169

Mary, the Blessed Virgin, had a privilege no one else in history has ever had, says St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker:  she saw the archangel Gabriel in all his glory.Most of the holy fathers, and the patriarchs, and the prophets desired to see Christ and to be eyewitnesses of him. But they did not reach that goal. In visions, some of them saw him figuratively and dimly. Others had the privilege of hearing the divine voice through the cloud, and were favored with visions of holy angels.But o … [Read more...]

Angels saw the Son when we did; Angels: Day 168

The angels, says St. John Chrysostom,  did not know the mystery of the Son of God until it was revealed to the Church. This,  as St. Paul says, is a great mystery,  and the beginning of our being made like the angels.“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:He was manifested in the flesh,vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels,preached among the nations, believed on in the world,taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16).The Church is the pillar of the world. Consi … [Read more...]

The angels learned the gospel along with us; Angels: Day 167

Introducing the Gospel of John to his flock, St. John Chrysostom tells them they are about to hear what the angels themselves didn’t know until it was revealed to us and them—the  full truth of the Gospel.All Heaven is his stage. His theater is the inhabited world. All the angels are his audience—and all of us who are angels already, or want to become angels. For only such people can hear the harmony truly, and show it in their works. But the rest are like little children who hear but don’t u … [Read more...]

The angels are evangelists too; Angels: Day 166

Origen suggests that, if  we call the Gospel writers evangelists (a Greek word that means “messengers of good news”),  then surely we ought to call the angels evangelists as well, since they were the first who brought the good news.If there are some people who are honored with the ministry of evange- lists, and if Jesus himself brings news of good things and preaches the Gospel to the poor, surely those messengers who were made spirits by God, those who are a flame of fire, ministers of the F … [Read more...]