Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Angels in their place

29 September [Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, archangels]

Jn 1:47-51 
And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.(51)
“NT tends to put angels in their place?”
Early Christianity inherited Jewish beliefs about angels, but the interest is much diminished.  The angel of the Annunciation has a permanent place in Christian spirituality, but the New Testament tends if anything to put angels in their place.  So in Heb. 1, angels are inferior to the Son; in 1 Cor 13:1 the eloquence of angels takes second place to love; and in 1 Pet 1:12 the angels are seen as envying the Christian. 

The Quote tends to demythologizing.
The celebration of the Liturgy reads from a very different hymn sheet.
The New Testament, on a Google count, has the word “angels” occur more than in Old Testament:
”Angels in Old Testament”, about 1,630,000 results (0.24 seconds)
“Angels in New Testament”, 2,020,000 results (0.20 seconds).
“Angels” in King James Version: 185 occurrences.
In New Testament
G32   ́αγγελος    angelos        ag
Total KJV Occurrences: 185
angel, 96
Mat_1:20, Mat_1:24, Mat_2:13, Mat_2:19, Mat_28:2, Mat_28:5, Luk_1:11, Luk_1:13, Luk_1:18-19 (2), Luk_1:26, Luk_1:28, Luk_1:30, Luk_1:34-35 (2), Luk_1:38, Luk_2:9-10 (2), Luk_2:13, Luk_2:21, Luk_22:43, Joh_5:4, Joh_12:29, Act_5:19, Act_6:15, Act_7:30, Act_7:35, Act_7:38, Act_8:26, Act_10:3, Act_10:7, Act_10:22, Act_11:13, Act_12:7-11 (5), Act_12:23, Act_23:8-9 (2), Act_27:23, 2Co_11:14, Gal_1:8, Gal_4:14, Rev_2:1 (2), Rev_2:8, Rev_2:12, Rev_2:18, Rev_3:1, Rev_3:7, Rev_3:14, Rev_8:2-3 (3), Rev_8:5, Rev_8:7-8 (2), Rev_8:10, Rev_8:12-13 (2), Rev_9:1, Rev_9:11, Rev_9:13-14 (2), Rev_10:1, Rev_10:5, Rev_10:7-9 (3), Rev_11:1, Rev_11:15, Rev_14:6, Rev_14:8-9 (2), Rev_14:15, Rev_14:17-19 (3), Rev_16:3-5 (3), Rev_16:8, Rev_16:10, Rev_16:12, Rev_16:17, Rev_17:7, Rev_18:1, Rev_18:21, Rev_19:17, Rev_20:1, Rev_21:17, Rev_22:6, Rev_22:8, Rev_22:16
angels, 80
Mat_4:6, Mat_4:11, Mat_13:39, Mat_13:41, Mat_13:49, Mat_16:27, Mat_18:10, Mat_24:30-31 (2), Mat_24:36, Mat_25:31, Mat_25:41, Mat_26:53, Mar_1:13, Mar_8:38, Mar_12:25, Mar_13:27, Mar_13:32, Luk_2:15, Luk_4:10, Luk_9:26, Luk_15:8-10 (3), Luk_24:22-23 (2), Joh_1:51, Joh_20:12, Act_7:53, Rom_8:38, 1Co_4:9, 1Co_6:3, 1Co_11:10, 1Co_13:1, Gal_3:19, Col_2:18, 2Th_1:7, 1Ti_3:16, 1Ti_5:21, Heb_1:4-7 (5), Heb_1:13, Heb_2:2, Heb_2:5, Heb_2:7, Heb_2:9, Heb_2:16, Heb_12:22, Heb_13:2, 1Pe_1:12, 1Pe_3:22, 2Pe_2:4, 2Pe_2:11, Jud_1:6, Rev_1:20, Rev_3:5, Rev_5:11, Rev_7:1-2 (2), Rev_7:11, Rev_8:2, Rev_8:6, Rev_9:13-15 (3), Rev_12:7 (2), Rev_14:9-10 (2), Rev_15:1, Rev_15:6-8 (3), Rev_17:1 (2), Rev_21:9, Rev_21:12
messenger, 4
Mat_11:10, Mar_1:2, Luk_7:27, 2Co_12:7
messengers, 3
Luk_7:24, Luk_9:52, Jam_2:25
angel’s, 2
Rev_8:4, Rev_10:10
A list of passages from the New Testament with the word angel or in Greek, aggelos. 169 Occurrences, 

The Liturgy

The Liturgy embodies every Biblical angelic sense.
It is extended to the writings of the Fathers.
St. Bernard is eloquent on the choirs of angels.
With the recent Beatification of John Henry Newman in mind, it is joyful to reproduce this reading.
+ + +
Gospel                  From the gospel according to John (1:47-51)

Third Reading       From a sermon by John Henry  (Parochial and Plain Sermons, volume 4, pages 200-204. 207-209)

There are two worlds, "the visible and the invisible," as the Creed speaks, - the world we see, and the world we do not see; and the world which we do not see as really exists as the world we do see. It really exists, though we see it not. The world that we see we know to exist, because we see it. All that meets our eyes forms one world. It is an immense world; it reaches to the stars. It is everywhere; and it seems to leave no room for any other world.

And yet in spite of this universal world which we see, there is another world, quite as far-spreading, quite as close to us, and more wonderful; another world all around us, though we see it not, and more wonderful than the world we see. For, first of all, he is there who is above all beings, who has created all, before whom they all are as nothing, and with whom nothing can be compared. Almighty God, we know, exists more really and absolutely than any of those fellow-men whose existence is conveyed to us through the senses; yet we see him not, hear him not, we do but "feel after him," yet without finding him.

Angels also are inhabitants of the world invisible. They are said to be "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." No Christian is so humble but he has angels to attend on him, if he lives by faith and love. Though they are so great, so glorious, so pure, so wonderful, that the very sight of them (if we were allowed to see them) would strike us to the earth, as it did the prophet Daniel, holy and righteous as he was; yet they are our "fellow-servants" and our fellow-workers, and they carefully watch over and defend even the humblest of us, if we be Christ's.

The world of spirits then, though unseen, is present; present, not future, not distant. It is not above the sky, it is not beyond the grave; it is now and here; the kingdom of God is among us. We look, says St. Paul, not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Such is the hidden kingdom of God; and; as it is now hidden, so in due season it shall be revealed. Men think that they are lords of the world, and may do as they will. They think this earth their property, and its movements in their power; whereas it has other lords besides them, and is the scene of a higher conflict than they are capable of conceiving. It contains Christ's little ones whom they despise, and his angels whom they disbelieve; and these at length shall take possession of it and be manifested. At the appointed time there will be a manifestation of the sons of God, and the hidden saints shall shine out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. When the angels appeared to the shepherds it was a sudden appearance, Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.

How wonderful a sight! The night had before that seemed just like any other night; as the evening on which Jacob saw the vision seemed like any other evening. They were keeping watch over their sheep; they were watching the night as it passed. They had no idea of such a thing when the angel appeared. Such are the power and virtue hidden in things which are seen, and at God's will they are manifested. They were manifested for a moment to Jacob, for a moment to Elisha's servant, for a moment to the shepherds. They will be manifested for ever when Christ comes at the Last Day in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Then this world will fade away and the other world will shine forth.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Michael Gabriel and Raphael

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Nivard - - ->
To: donald - - ->
Sent: Tue, 28 September, 2010 20:10:09
Subject: St Michael

St Michael and All angels

The angels show forth God’s greatness and perfection. Each symbolises some attribute or other of that infinite Being. In some we see his power, in others his love. In others we see his strength and in others his healing power. Each is a reproduction of some beauty of the divine Original. Each adores him and glorifies him in the perfection it portrays. It is God, whom we honour in the angels. They are like mirrors reflecting the perfections of their infinite Creator. They share in the life of God. Victorious in trial, they enjoy the beatific vision. “Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven.”

Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Honouring the Archangels
Fatrher Tanquery S.S.

The angels show forth God's greatness and perfection. "Each symbolizes individually some attribute or other of that infinite Being. In some we see his power, in others his love, in others his strength. Each is a reproduction of some beauty of the divine Original; each adores him and glorifies him in the perfection it portrays." It is God, then, whom we honour in the angels. They are like mirrors reflecting the perfections of their infinite Creator. Raised to the supernatural order, they share in the life of God; and victorious in trial, they enjoy the beatific vision: “Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
If we consider their relations with Jesus Christ, it may not appear absolutely certain that they hold their grace from him; but this much does appear with certainty, that in heaven they unite themselves with him, the Mediator of all religion, in order to adore, praise, and glorify the majesty of the Most High. It is their bliss to add in this wise a greater worth to their worship: Through whom the angels praise, the dominations adore and the powers hold in awe your majesty." Hence, when we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ to adore God we join at the same time with the angels and saints in a heavenly harmony which renders the praise of the Godhead still more perfect We can well make our own the words of Father Olier: "May all the angelic host, the mighty powers that move the spheres of heaven, forever pour forth in Jesus Christ whatever be wanting to our song of praise. May they forever thank you, Lord, for all those gifts both of nature and of grace which from the goodness of your hand we all receive."
Father Adolphe Tanquerey (+ 1932) was a Sulpician priest and theologian who was born in France. His work The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetic and Mystical Theology is considered a classic.   (1930. Copyright  1995. Trinity Communications, The Catholic Resource).

A classic guide to the spiritual life., 11 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Spiritual Life (Paperback)
Originally published in 1923 as a textbook for use in seminaries this book has been out of print for many years. For the past 20 years I have used a copy I bought second-hand and it is the book I refer to more than any other. It is clearly laid out - every paragraph is numbered for easy reference - and is full of practical, sensible advice. Tanquerey spells out every step of the spiritual path, its defining features, its rewards and pitfalls and what to do when you stumble into the mud or take a wrong turning. If written today it would probably be described as a comprehensive self help manual for anyone serious about the spiritual life.
Cons: the formal, academic style of a master writing for students; it is a big book, if you are looking for a ten minute guide to the spiritual life this isn't it.
Pros: the most comprehensive and logical guide to the spiritual life available anywhere.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Paradox Solitude

Thank you, William,
for your kind Email.
I am glad you found the illustrated "monastic solitude" appropriate.

Disaster on the same Post.
"Sorry, the page you were looking for in the Blog 'Dom Donald's Blog does not exist."
You have this copy in your Email, and fortunately it may be possible to PASTE IT BACK INTO A NEW POST
I am omitting the Scriptural refs for the moment
Hopefully ....

This has happened  before due to some attempted corrections.

----- Forwarded Message ----From: William J - - -To: Fr Donald - - -Sent: Mon, 27 September, 2010 19:31:41Subject: Re: [Blog] Monastic Solitude illustrated

Dear Father Donald,
How beautifully the cloister images illustrate the concept of - and actualize for me - 'monastic solitude'.
Today I took the photo-files and had prints made beside me .....
Thank you most especially.
.... in Our Lord,
----- Original Message -----
From: Fr Donald
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 6:07 AM
Subject: [Dom Donald's Blog] Solitude Paradox

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: father patrick - - ->
Sent: Thu, 23 September, 2010 20:39:51
Subject: Our Lady of Walsingham Feast Day

September 23, 2010
Greetings and Peace:
I know that tomorrow is the Feast of Our lady of Walsingham.
I feel it will be a wonderful day of thanksgiving at the Shrine and throughout your country.
We thank God for the Blessings of the Visit of Pope Benedict XV1.
We pray for all pilgrims who gather in person and in spirit with Our Lady of Walsingham.
You and your intentions will be in our celebration of Holy Mass on that special day.
Sincerely in the Lord

Father Patrick

Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham
Our Lady of Walsingham is England's national Marian shrine. 
According to legend, Our Lady appeared in Walsingham to the Saxon noblewoman Richeldis de Faverches, in 1061   
In three visions, Richeldis was taken by Mary to be shown the house in Nazareth where Gabriel had announced the news of the birth of Jesus. Mary then asked her to build an exact replica of that house in Walsingham.

Later, Geoffrey de Faverches, left instructions for the building of a Priory by the Holy House. The Priory passed into the care of Augustinian Canons somewhere between 1146 and 1174.

Throughout the centuries, Walsingham became one of the most popular shrines in England. Many pilgrims returned from their visit healed in body and spirit. Walsingham received visits from King Henry III, Edward II, Edward III, Henry IV, Edward IV, Henry VII and Henry VIII, who finally brought about its destruction in 1538.

In 1897, the first official Catholic pilgrimage after the Reformation took place at the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel, which is now the centre of the Roman Catholic National Shrine.

In the 1920s the Anglican shrine began growing in the remains of the original Priory and now has its own church, housing a copy of the original statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and a replica of the Holy House. There is also now a Russian Orthodox chapel in Walsingham. The village is home to many retreat centres and pilgrim hostels and once again attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.

For more information and pictures visit:

Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time

Mass Readings
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9:18-22.

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'" Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Messiah of God." He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said,"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised." 

Paradox - Solitude.
In the Mass Gospel Reading, it so happened that I was reading the New American Bible version. One could think something of a paradox;
Jesus in solitude and disciples with him.
Only (NAB)  has this translation among a dozen versions, including the R. Knox Bible
There is this other favourite to check,;the Knox Bible
(NAB) Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him,
(NJB) Now it happened that he was praying alone, and his disciples
In monastic vocabulary the word “solitude”, monos, solus, can carry a very special meaning.
As Jesus is alone with the disciples in Lk. 9.18 Mk. 4.10 he is not in ‘solitude’. On His ‘temptation in the desert’ Jesus was not ‘with disciples.’
Monastic solitude has to be that of ‘disciples being with Jesus’.


Posted By Fr Donald to Dom Donald's Blog on 9/27/2010 06:07:00 AM

Lazarus and Abraham

Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
                           Lazarus and Abraham                

Mass Intro:
Gospel today has the classic story.
Jesus is the creative story teller, as in the Parable of the Dives and Lazarus
It is the strong message of the Rich Man ignoring the poor man, he not only deprives the poor of what he needs – it goes so far to deny his very humanity, his personal dignity.
It is a good Preach on the Moral.
The more positive headline should be Lazarus and Abraham.
In the early Office, John Chrysostom, one of the Fathers, spoke beautifully of Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham.
Jesus reveals His familiarity with Abraham and the Scriptures --- the Jews and Jesus lived with the Scriptures and that is the living contemplation in our own reading and prayer with the Bible.
We feel the experience of Jesus, and keep close to the presence and personality in his talk.
In this Mass we open our hearts to that life of love.  
..       ..

From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom
(Horn. 2, 5 sur Lazare: Bareille 2, 582-583)
Our Lord said we would be judged by how we have treated the poor. The rich man who failed the test learns the reason for this when he sees the poor man he failed to help with Abraham, who made a practice of welcoming every traveller into his home.

  • It is worthwhile inquiring why the rich man saw Lazarus in Abraham’s arms, and not in the company of some other righteous person. The reason that Abraham was hospitable, and so the sight of Lazarus with Abraham meant to reproach the rich man for his own inhospitality. Abraham used to pursue even passers- by and drag them into his home, whereas the rich man disregarded someone lying in his own doorway. Although he had within his grasp so great a treasure, such an opportunity to win salvation, he ignored the poor man day after day. He could have helped him but he failed to do so. The patriarch was not like that but just the opposite. He would sit in his doorway and catch all who passed by. And just as a fisherman casting a net into the sea hauls up fish, yes, but also quite often gold and pearls, s Abraham whilst catching people in his net finished by catching angels, though strangely enough without knowing it.
  • Even Paul marvels at this and gives the advice: Remember to welcome strangers into your homes, for some by so doing have entertained angels without knowing it. And he did well to say without knowing it, for if Abraham had welcomed his guests with such kindness because he knew who they were he would have done nothing remarkable. He is praiseworthy only because, without knowing who the passers-by were and taking them to be simply human wayfarers, he yet invited them in with so much good will.
  • And this is true of you also. If you show much eagerness in welcoming some famous and distinguished person you do nothing remarkable; often the high rank of a guest compels even a reluctant host to show every sign of courtesy. But we do something truly great and admirable when we give a most courteous welcome to all, even the outcasts of society or people of humble condition. Hence Christ himself praised those who so acted, declaring: Whatever you did for one of these very poor people you did to me. He also said: It is not your Father's will that one of these little ones should perish. Indeed, throughout the gospel Christ speaks a great deal about the little people and those of the humblest condition.
  • And so Abraham also, knowing this, did not ask who travellers were or where they came from, as we do today, but simply welcomed them all. Anyone wishing to show kindness should not inquire into other people's lives but has only to alleviate their poverty and supply their needs, as Christ commanded when he said: Imitate your Father in heaven, who makes his sun rise on good and bad alike, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (c.347-407) was born at Antioch and studied under Diodore of Tarsus, the leader of the Antiochene school of theology. After a period of great austerity as a hermit, he returned to Antioch where he was ordained deacon in 381 and priest in 386. From 386 to 397 it was his duty to preach in the principal church of the city, and his best homilies, which earned him the title "Chrysostomos" or "the golden-mouthed", were preached at this time. In 397 Chrysostom became patriarch of Constantinople, where his efforts to reform the court, clergy, and people led to his exile in 404 and finally to his death from the hardships imposed on him. Chrysostom stressed the divinity of Christ against the Arians and his full humanity against the Apollinarians, but he had no speculative bent. He was above all a pastor of souls, and was one of the most attractive personalities of the early Church.