The orders of angels teach one another, Angels: Day 035

The orders of angels teach one anotherThe hierarchy of Heaven, like the hierarchy on Earth, keeps to a definite order of teaching, according to Dionysius  the Areopagite. The higher levels teach the subordinate levels. Like some other Fathers, our writer imagines the beginning of Isaiah 63 as a description of the scene in Heaven when Christ ascended.Theologians show that the superior orders of heavenly beings teach the subordinate orders the knowledge of becoming like God. The highest o … [Read more...]

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The hierarchy imitates God, Angels: Day 034

The hierarchy imitates GodDionysius  the Areopagite explains that each member of  a hierarchy—among the angels or in the Church—finds  his own perfection in his own particular role in the greater organization.Each of those who have been called into the hierarchy finds perfection in imitating God in his own way—and, what is more divine than all, in becoming a fellow-worker with God, as the Scriptures say, and in showing the divine energy in himself manifested as far as possible.One of … [Read more...]

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Why a heirarchy?, Angels: Day 033

Why a heirarchy?Dionysius  the Areopagite uses neo-Platonist language to explain the purpose of hierarchy. The hierarchy in Heaven, and its mirror in the Church, both exist to make our lives into images of the life of God, and to reflect the divinity of God to others.The purpose of hierarchy is to bring all its members together, as far as at- tainable, with God, making him the Leader of all religious science and operation, by looking unflinchingly on his divine beauty, and copying it as f … [Read more...]

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The hierarchy in your mind, Angels: Day 037

The hierarchy in your mindDionysius the Areopagite tells us that hierarchy is not just a way of organizing either individual angels or humans. There is a similar hierarchy in every mind. Your own mind is organized in such a way as to lead you toward participation in the perfection of God.It would be appropriate to add here that each mind, either heavenly or human, has within itself its own special first, and middle, and last ranks, and pow- ers, which work separately in our own minds, … [Read more...]

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There is an order in heaven, Angels: Day 032

There is an order in heavenArguing against the heretic Jovianus, St. Jerome explains that there are ranks even of  angels; we shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, to hear that there will be ranks among the saints.Christ tells us that in Heaven there are many different mansions, prepared for many different virtues, and they will be awarded, not to persons, but to persons’ works.But if there are not many mansions, then how does the Old Testament teach, like the New, that the chief priest … [Read more...]

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Angels are kept alive by God, Angels: Day 031

Angels are kept alive by GodA particularly poetic passage from Dionysius  the Areopagite tells us that the angels, and all other living beings, are alive only because they share in the self- existing Life of God. When we say that angels are immortal, we don’t mean that they are immortal by nature; we mean that God keeps them alive forever.Now let us sing the eternal life, from which comes the self-existing Life, and every life; and from which, to every single thing that shares in life, is … [Read more...]

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