Friday, February 7, 2014

The Church Fathers on Angels

"...Might I not write you things more full of mystery? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes (in Christ). Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound (for Christ), and am able to understand heavenly things, the angelic orders, and the different sorts of angels and hosts, the distinctions between powers and dominions, and the diversities between the thrones and authorities, the mightiness of Aeons, and the pre-eminence of the Cherubim and Seraphim, the sublimity of the spirit, the Kingdom of the lord, and above all, the incomparable majesty of the Almighty God–though I am acquainted with these things, yet am I not therefore by any means perfect..."
(Epistle of Ignatius of Antioch to the Trullians, " The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 1, Grand rapids Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1956, p. 68)

"Let us think of the whole host of angels, how they stand by and serve his will, for Scriptures say: "Ten thousand times ten thousand were doing service to him, and they cried out: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth; the whole of creation is full of His glory." Then let us gather together in awareness of our concord, as with one mouth we shout earnestly to him that we may become sharers in his great and glorious promises."
(Saint Clement of Rome, "Epistle to the Corinthians," XXXIV, The Early Christian fathers, ed. and trans. by Henry Bettenson, Geoffrey Cumberledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956, p. 47)

"...angels, whether seen or not, the divine power bestows good things. Such was the mode adopted in the advent of the Lord. And sometimes also the power “breathes” in men’s thoughts and reasonings, and “puts in” their hearts “strength” and a keener perception, and furnishes “prowess” and “boldness of alacrity”..."
(Saint Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata of Miscellanies, in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 1, p 51)

“...for to minister is of things originate as of servants, but to frame and to create is of God alone, and of His proper Word and His Wisdom. Wherefore, in the matter of framing, we shall find none but God’s Word; for ‘all things are made in Wisdom,’ and ‘without the Word was made not one thing.’ But as regards ministrations there are, not one only, but man out of their whole number, whomever the Lord will send. For there are many Archangels, many Thrones, and Authorities, and Dominions, thousands of thousands, and myriads of myriads, standing before Him, ministering and ready to be sent.”
(Saint Athanasius Discourse II Against the Arians, Chapters XVII in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, series II, Vol 1, p 362)

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