Monday, November 11, 2019

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): The Angels

Arabic original here.

The Angels

The word 'angel' means 'messenger'. He is a messenger for the sake of service: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).

The Angel Gabriel was sent to bring good tidings to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26) and the angel also brought the Apostle Peter out of prison. Then, Peter said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people" (Acts 12:11).

Many fathers state that God created the angels out of nothing before creating the sensible world and man: "For by Him [i.e., Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). 

Their task at every moment is contemplating, praising and glorifying the Creator. They are nourished from God's light. From it they receive the power to serve. The angels stand in prayer before God. Therefore in prayer we imitate the angels before God and through prayer the heart is purified.

A pure heart is what benefits others, much more than various works. A pure heart is what benefits the other's heart.

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). The goal is to see God.

Prayer is the last remedy for a lost and turbulent world. There is much commotion in the world, there is much straying. The importance of the angelic spirits is that they bind together the earthly world and the heavenly world.

"Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and goodwill among men." Man alone, in Christ, remains higher than the angels. "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor" (Hebrews 2:6-7).

Nevertheless, humility remains the foundation and essence of all the good things and abundant virtues among the angels, among whom are Michael (Who is Like God) and Gabriel (God's Might), who are archangels.

Saint John of Damascus says, "In truth, relative to God, every being and every thing is coarse and material."

As for Saint Macarius of Egypt, he says that the angelic spirits possess a subtle body. Our fallen nature prevents us from seeing the angels, while Saint Macarius says that it is possible for every pure Christian, through contemplation or profound sense to communicate with the angels. As for the pure, it is possible for them to see them face to face.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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