Discover the authority, strength, and wisdom of the Heavenly Host with A Year With the Angels. Join Mike Aquilina in meditation and prayer to explore the virtue, grace, and truth embodied by these celestial beings who stand before the throne of God.

The Wisdom Of Angels

A Year With the Angels invites you to discover the authority, strength, and wisdom of the Heavenly Host, who embody virtue, grace, and truth because they stand before the very throne of God. In this excerpt, join Mike Aquilina in meditation and prayer on the wisdom of the angels. 


Degrees Of knowledge

The knowledge of angels searches in measure; human knowledge roams without measure. Your mercy put inns and milestones in your way, so that the unsettled disputers might come into order. Blessed is he who has measured his wonder with his knowledge so as to reach the inns. Human knowledge is like a feeble twilight compared to the angels’ knowledge; and even the angels’ knowledge is like a little twinkling compared to the Spirit’s knowledge. The Spirit says of the Son, “who shall declare his generation?” (Isa. 53:8). It is pure rashness to run on beyond this boundary when the Spirit came up to it and stopped.

When the angels searched to learn the generation of the Son, they directed their questions to those who were higher than they were; and those great ones learn at the suggestion of the Spirit. As are the ranks of angels, so are the questions of angels. There is none among them that dares to reach beyond what belongs to him. Nature witnesses to this by its own subordination: rank leads to rank, up to that which is the crown. Yet human beings, who are of low rank, trespass over the ranks of angels to search into the First-Born! 
–St. Ephrem the Syrian, Rhythm 5

Each creature, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, has a degree of knowledge proper to it. The different ranks of angels never ask questions beyond what they know to be their ability. Yet some human philosophers think they can vault over all the ranks of angels and figure out the most hidden secrets of God’s own nature!

Consideration

The angels know how far each rank can reach, and do not pretend to reach any further. Am I sometimes tempted to declare my opinions on things I can’t possibly know?

Prayer

Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand your mysteries as far as I am capable; but when I cannot understand, grant me the humility to serve you in my proper place, the way each rank of your angels serves you.

Sharing The knowledge Of The Angels 

From the self-existing Life of God, the contemplated and contemplating powers of the angelic minds have their simple and blessed conceptions; collecting their divine knowledge, not in portions, or from portions, or sensible perceptions, or detailed reasonings, or arguing from something common to these things, but purified from everything that is material and separate, they contemplate the conceptions of divine things intuitively, immaterially and uniformly. They have their intellectual power and energy resplendent with the unmixed and undefiled purity, and see at a glance the divine conceptions indivisibly and immaterially. By the godlike One they are molded, as attainable by reason of the divine wisdom, to the divine and super-wise mind and reason.

And souls have their reasoning power, investigating the truth of things by going through them step by step. Through their divided and manifold variety they fall short of the single minds. But when the many are gathered together towards the One, they are deemed worthy even of conceptions equal to the angels, so far as is proper and attainable to souls.
–Dionysius the Areopagite, The Divine Names, 7.2

Dionysius the Areopagite tells us that the angels see the marvelous unity of God because they get their conceptions directly from God. We are too divided and scatterbrained to see that way under normal circumstances; but when we are gathered together in unity, we can have something of this same experience.

Consideration

When I look for the truth, does it help to remember that Christ promised we would share the knowledge of the angels in the Church—that is, gathered together like the angels above, rather than apart?

Prayer

Father, with the Cherubim and Seraphim let me glorify you without ceasing in your Church, crowned and filled with every aid and blessing, because you are Lord and Father, Creator of all.

This article is taken from a chapter in A Year With the Angels by Mike Aquilina which is available from TAN Books

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