We’re part stone, part angel; Angels: Day 005

We're part stone, part angelA human being, says  St. Gregory the Great, is in a way a representation of  the whole universe. We have something in common with everything God created, from rocks to angels.Everything that exists falls into one of these classes:It exists, but does not live. It exists and lives, but does not feel. It exists and lives and feels, but does not understand or choose. It exists and lives and feels and understands and chooses.Stones exist, but they do … [Read more...]

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The three kinds of intelligence, Angels: Day 004

The three kinds of intelligenceSt. Gregory of Nyssa remembers the opinions of his sister, St. Macrina, whomhe always calls “the Teacher,” on a famous passage in Philippians. She inter- prets St. Paul as referring to the three kinds of  intelligent beings, all of  which will eventually praise Christ.Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth (Phi … [Read more...]

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We exist because God knows us, Angels: Day 003

We exist because God knows usGod has angel messengers, says St. Augustine, but they do not bring him information he does not already know. Instead, they learn the truth about their own lives from God. All of us—humans and angels—exist only because God knows us.Doubtless God has messengers, namely the angels—but not to bring him news of things he does not know about, since there is nothing he does not know. But their good lies in looking into the truth about their own works.This is wha … [Read more...]

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All things have being through God, Angels: Day 002

All things have being through GodSt. Augustine presents a hierarchy of living beings, from plants through angels, and shows us how all those things, no matter how noble or complex, can only have their being through God. In doing so he incidentally gives us a good description of how angels compare with other living beings.Whatever we’re thinking of—whether it’s the whole world, its shape, qualities, and orderly movement, and all the objects in it; or whether it’s all life, either the kind … [Read more...]

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We’re not the only intelligent life, Angels: Day 001

We're not the only intelligent lifeWe tend to place humanity rather proudly at the top of all creation. The Fathers had a more modest and more realistic view. Yes, man is intelligent, but we’re not the only intelligence. There are beings above us as well as beings below us. Only God is unique.The Son, therefore, is the only and true God, for this also is assigned to the Son as his sole right.It cannot accurately be said of any created being that he is alone. How can anyone or any … [Read more...]

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From Mary to the Angels a new journey awaits

One year ago we embarked on a journey through Paul Thigpen's book A Year with Mary: Daily Meditations on the Mother of God. Two years ago we worked our way through Mike Aquilina’s book A Year with the Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living.  I was able to do this through the generous support of my friends, Mike Aquilina, Paul Thigpen and publisher Saint Benedict Press. I hope you have gotten as much out of these past 730 days as I have. If at anytime you wish to go back and look at the … [Read more...]

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