29 September 2009

St. Michael and All Angels

[From the Liturgy appointed for this day]

Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

Everlasting God, You have ordained and constituted the service of angels and men in a wonderful order. Mercifully grant that, as Your holy angels always serve and worship You in heaven, so by Your appointment they may also help and defend us here on earth; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord...

He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Alleluia! They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony , for they loved not their lives even unto death. Alleluia!

It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through Him Your majesty is praised by all the holy angels and celebrated with one accord by the heavens and all the powers therein. The cherubim and seraphim sing Your praise, and with them we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying: Holy, holy, holy...


Maria said...

In today's treasury there's a text of J. Gerhard where he wrote: “Why is it that the angels readily serve the believers though they are much nobler and higher than we? (1) Because they are confirmed in the good and therefore gladly and fully obey God’s will. God’s will and order is that they serve us (Heb. 1:14).”

I've often wondered how we know that the good angels are confirmed and are therefore not able to fall into sin?

William Weedon said...

Because St. Paul refers to them as "elect" angels (1 Tim 5:21).

Maria said...

I hope it's o.k. to ask some more question about this:
Believers are also elect. But we are certainly able to fall into sin. Why is this not possible for elect angels?

William Weedon said...


No problem. The election of the angels and the division between them has already taken place; there are those who persisted in their the holiness in which they were created were confirmed in their bliss and those who fell with Satan confirmed in their choice of damnation.

Pieper writes: "The good angels are those who, when the rest fell, remained good and were by the gracious action of God so confirmed in the good that they can no longer sin and fall away. Let others declare this non posse peccare to be a "fiction": our faith is greatly strengthened by it. For God would not have appointed the angels to minister to us, the heirs of salvation, if the angels were not perfectly safe ministers and protectors." He also adds: "What we know from Scripture is 1) that the good angels were not elected because of the merits of Christ, since they never became sinners and 2) that the evil angels were not rejected because of an absolute decree, but solely because of their apostasy (2 Peter 2:4)."

The good angels, then, are elected, chosen by God, and thus confirmed in the goodness in which they were created. How OUR life will be after the day of resurrection, THEIR life is already now. "Not able to sin!" Come, Lord Jesus!