Meditation On The Angels

Meditation On The Angels

Meditations on the Holy Angels will inflame each reader with renewed love for the holy angels, especially our own guardian angels, through St. Aloysius’s moving meditations, prayers, and counsel. 

Consider, esteemed reader, how Christ, for the sake of His great love for us, never ceases to  bestow upon us new occasions for obtaining His grace and advancing in virtue. And He does this so that we may come to the ultimate goal which He has prepared for us—namely, everlasting happiness and perpetual peace. For this reason, Christ wills all the mysteries of our redemption to be devoutly celebrated so that the memory of these wonders may be constantly renewed in the minds of the faithful. Thus we recall all that the Lord suffered for the sake of our salvation, all that He did so that we should love and worship Him, and all the deeds of His holy life which He left us as an example to emulate.

But Christ was not content merely with this. For He left us also the wonderful memory of His most holy and blessed mother and of the entire communion of saints. He has created, too, the magnificent celestial hierarchy of the holy angels, those wonderful beings of radiant goodness and power. These serve faithfully as our protectors and patrons. They assiduously help us in all our needs, both spiritual and temporal. Furthermore, they furnish us with a multitude of edifying examples of sanctity, fidelity, humility, and virtue to meditate upon to the glory of God.

Since each one of us and the Church as a whole have received so many benefits from the holy angels, Christ willed that we should celebrate them also in solemn festivities and feasts. And certainly, since these holy angels desire and work so ardently to promote our salvation, it is only fitting that we should show to them our most abundant gratitude!

For this reason, Holy Mother Church observes diligently the feast of the glorious archangel Saint Michael, who is its singular and special protector.1 It also celebrates a feast for all the other angels and archangels, indeed, for the whole celestial hierarchy. For, as the Apostle testifies, all of these angelic beings serve as helping spirits, working for the salvation of the souls of all the elect.

These glorious spiritual beings are constantly ready to go forth as assistants and helpers to humanity, despite the fact that they abide in a state far above our world of time and space. For they behold the glory of God and are inflamed with an ardent desire to serve Him. Knowing that it is God’s will that human beings be saved, for the sake of their love for God, the holy angels are prepared to go forth from the heavenly court and enter this earthly realm to provide assistance to human beings. Indeed, they are even ready to discard the magnificence of their spiritual forms and to assume the humble appearance of a corporeal human body in order to perform their duties more effectively. In such guises, the angels of the Lord sometimes enter into, and act within, our human society.

They do this so that they may help to build us up spiritually, from the wretched worms that we are, so that from the dust of our sin and weakness they may help fashion us into the towering walls of a heavenly Jerusalem and restore the chaotic ruins of our fallen humanity to the splendor of the image of God in which we were created. Indeed, these celestial beings bear a most profound and genuine love for all humankind for the sake of the overwhelming adoration they feel for the God who, through His glorious incarnation, came to partake fully in the condition of our humanity.

Consider also how apt is the Gospel reading used in the liturgy of the holy Church on the feast of the invincible archangel Saint Michael. For it is a passage which deals with the virtue of humility. For, just as the haughty Lucifer was cast down from his throne in paradise to the depths of the inferno for his vain attempts to usurp the divine supremacy of God, so Saint Michael and the whole host of good angels were raised up to the highest honor and glory in the celestial court. Whereas Lucifer was cast down for his pride, Michael and the holy angels were exalted because of their humility in subjecting themselves to their Creator in adoration and obedience, and for their zeal for His glory. This Gospel is used, not only for the feast of Saint Michael, but also for the feast of All Holy Angels. All of these angels, together with the blessed Michael, attained to a crown of glory through the virtue of humility.

Through this, we human beings should understand that it is an ineffable, eternal, and divine decree that no one shall ever arrive at the state of true and perfect glory, which the holy angels now possess, unless they follow the path of true humility. This path is beautifully demonstrated to us by the example of these holy angels, who subjected themselves fully to the will of God in love, obedience, and adoration.

Indeed, Christ our Savior Himself was glorified in His most sacred body through the virtue of holy humility. As the apostle Paul writes, “He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and given him a Name beyond all other names.” It is scarcely to be imagined that any of the faithful shall arrive at this same heavenly glory by any other path except that which was exemplified, taught, and sanctified by our head and master, Christ—namely, the lowly and gentle path of true humility.

This article is taken from a chapter in Meditations on the Holy Angels by St. Aloysius Gonzaga which is available from TAN Books



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