Theological Virtues Per St Augustine, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Hippo (354-430AD)
The Enchiridion, or Handbook, is addressed to Laurentius, in answer to his questions. One manuscript calls him a deacon, another a notary of the city of Rome. St. Augustine wrote it sometime after the death of Jerome (September 30, 420), for he alludes in Chapter 87 to Jerome of blessed memory. St Jerome is one of four Doctors of the Church in this age, and baptized St Augustine into “the Way, the Truth and the life” About this page:… Source. Translated by J.F. Shaw. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1302.htm>Life.”& editorials and art edited CityofGod.blog.
Faith cont. (chapter 57-60) Angels
Chapter 57. The Condition of the Church in Heaven.
But of that part of the Church which is in heaven what can we say, except that no wicked one is found in it, and that no one has fallen from it, or shall ever fall from it, since the time that God spared not the angels that sinned, as the Apostle Peter writes, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment? (” known in today, as Church Victorious”)
Chapter 58. We Have No Certain Knowledge of the Organization of the Angelic Society.
Now, what the organization is of that supremely happy society in heaven: what the differences of rank are, which explain the fact that while all are called by the general name angels, as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but to which of the angels said God at any time, Sit on my right hand? (this form of expression being evidently designed to embrace all the angels without exception), we yet find that there are some called archangels; and whether the archangels are the same as those called hosts, so that the expression, Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts, is the same as if it had been said, Praise ye Him, all His angels: (Ps148:2-3) praise ye Him, all His archangels; and what are the various significations of those four names under which the apostle seems to embrace the whole heavenly company without exception, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: — let those who are able answer these questions, if they can also prove their answers to be true; but as for me, I confess my ignorance. I am not even certain upon this point: whether the sun, and the moon, and all the stars, do not form part of this same society, though many consider them merely luminous bodies, without either sensation or intelligence.
Chapter 59. The Bodies Assumed by Angels Raise a Very Difficult, and Not Very Useful, Subject of Discussion.
Further, who will tell with what sort of bodies it was that the angels appeared to men, making themselves not only visible, but tangible; and again, how it is that, not through material bodies, but by spiritual power, they present visions not to the bodily eyes, but to the spiritual eyes of the mind, or speak something not into the ear from without, but from within the soul of the man, they themselves being stationed there too, as it is written in the prophet, And the angel that spoke in me said to me (he does not say, that spoke to me, but that spoke in me); or appear to men in sleep, and make communications through dreams, as we read in the Gospel, “Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying? (Mt1:20) For these methods of communication seem to imply that the angels have not tangible bodies, and make it a very difficult question to solve how the patriarchs washed their feet, and how it was that Jacob wrestled with the angel in a way so unmistakably material. To ask questions like these, and to make such guesses as we can at the answers, is a useful exercise for the intellect, if the discussion be kept within proper bounds, and if we avoid the error of supposing ourselves to know what we do not know. For what is the necessity for affirming, or denying, or defining with accuracy on these subjects, and others like them, when we may without blame be entirely ignorant of them?
Chapter 60. It is More Necessary to Be Able to Detect the Wiles of Satan When He Transforms Himself into an Angel of Light.
It is more necessary to use all our powers of discrimination and judgment when satan transforms himself into an angel of light, lest by his wiles he should lead us astray into hurtful courses. For, while he only deceives the bodily senses, and does not pervert the mind from that true and sound judgment which enables a man to lead a life of faith, there is no danger to religion; or if, feigning himself to be good, he does or says the things that befit good angels, and we believe him to be good, the error is not one that is hurtful or dangerous to Christian Faith. But when, through these means, which are alien to his nature, he goes on to lead us into courses of his own, then great watchfulness is necessary to detect, and refuse to follow, him. But how many men are fit to evade all his deadly wiles, unless God restrains and watches over them? The very difficulty of the matter, however, is useful in this respect, that it prevents men from trusting in themselves or in one another, and leads all to place their confidence in God alone. And certainly no pious man can doubt that this is most expedient for us.
cityofGod.blog next up Enchiridion F.H.C. day 9, (Chapters 61-67)