Like us, says St. Augustine, angels know things in themselves—that is, by experience of them. But they have a much deeper knowledge in the Word of God, which is always present to their souls and gives them a bright and clear knowledge of all things.
The holy angels come to the knowledge of God not by words that they hear, but by the presence in their souls of immutable truth—that is, of the only- begotten Word of God. And they know this Word himself, and the Father, and their Holy Spirit, and that this Trinity is indivisible, and that the three persons of it are one substance, and that there are not three Gods but one God—and they know all this in such a way that they understand it better than we understand ourselves.
In the same way, they know the creature too, not in itself, but by this better way, in the wisdom of God, as if in the art by which it was created; and, conse- quently, they know themselves better in God than in themselves. In Him, there- fore, they have a noonday knowledge; in themselves, a twilight knowledge.
So is it with all other things—the firmament between the water above and below, which was called the heaven; the gathering of the waters beneath, and the laying bare of the dry land, and the production of plants and trees; the creation of sun, moon, and stars; and of the animals out of the waters, fowls, and fish, and monsters of the deep; and of everything that walks or creeps on the earth, and of man himself, who excels all that is on the earth—all these things are known in one way by the angels in the Word of God, in which they see the unchanging causes and reasons for which they were made, and in another way in themselves: in the former, with a clearer knowledge; in the latter, with a knowledge dimmer, and rather of the bare works than of the design. Yet, when these works are referred to the praise and adoration of the Creator Himself, it is as if morning dawned in the minds of those who contemplate them.
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
What things do I know fairly well—my special areas of expertise? How would that knowledge be illuminated if I tried to see it in the light of the Word of God—according to God’s eternal plan?
Holy angels, you see God and all things with unclouded eyes. Help us to see with such clarity; unselfishly, and with a pure desire.
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