Carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom; Angels: Day 327

In Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31),  we hear that angels carried poor Lazarus to “Abraham’s bosom” when he died. Why Abraham? Because, says St. Asterius of Amasea, of all the Old Testament figures Abraham was the one most intimately associated with Christ.And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.Angels were his bodyguard, looking upon him gently and mildly, and showing him by the way they treated him the atte … [Read more...]

Carried to heaven by angels; Angels: Day 326

A martyr wrote down a dream or vision he had while waiting in prison. In it we see how the very early Christians imagined their deaths: angels carry them to a happy meeting with their departed friends.We had been martyred, and we had gone forth from the flesh, and we were being carried by four angels into the east, though their hands didn’t touch us. We were not floating on our backs looking up, but as if we were ascending a gentle slope.At last, when we were set free, we saw the first bo … [Read more...]

Guided into eternity; Angels: Day 325

Scripture tells us that we have guides to take our souls when we die, says St. John Chrysostom. Whatever our eternal destination, the heavenly beings come with us to make sure we get there.It’s quite certain that souls when they leave the body do not still linger here, but are led away immediately. Here’s how we know: “The poor man died and was carried by the angels” (Luke 16:22).Not only the souls of the just, but also those of sinners are led away. This also is clear from the case of an … [Read more...]

Sailing into port; Angels: Day 324

After a long and stormy voyage, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, the soul finds rest in the safe haven above, carried there by the angels of Heaven.“The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.The rich man also died and was buried” (Luke 16:22).Look at the Savior’s words carefully. The poor man, he says, was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom—but of the rich man there is nothing of the sort, but only that he died and was buried.Those who have hope in God find … [Read more...]

Angelic harp or earthly lyre?; Angels: Day 323

St. Augustine, who was an expert musician, sees a metaphorical meaning in the musical instruments mentioned in the Psalms. When we do what God commands, we’re playing the harp with the angels; when we suffer here below for the sake of our faith, we’re playing the earthly lyre.“I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God” (Ps. 43:4).What does it mean to praise him with the lyre, or with the harp? For he does not always praise with the lyre or harp.These two musical instruments each … [Read more...]

The company of heaven is with us on earth; Angels: Day 322

St.  Basil  shows  us  a  way to  imitate  the  angels  in  the  midst   of   our ordinary work.Pious exercises nourish the soul with divine thoughts. What state can be more blessed than to imitate on earth the choruses of angels? To begin the day with prayer, and honor our Maker with hymns and songs? As the day brightens, to accompany our labor with prayer, and to season our work with hymns as if with salt? Soothing hymns compose the mind to a cheerful and calm state. Quiet, then, as I have … [Read more...]