Friendship with the Angels
A meditation on the world of the Angels
By Rev. Lawrence Lovasik, S.V.D.
All rights Reserved
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I THE WORLD OF ANGELS
– The nature of angels
The name “angel” is an abbreviation of the Greek “angelos,” meaning “one who is sent or a messenger”. The term is sometimes used in Scripture to describe men who are sent on a special mission, as was St. John the Baptist.
Holy Scripture tells us nothing of the nature of the angels except that they are spirits. They are mentioned as messengers in connection with the missions they carry out in the world. They appear unexpectedly. They disappear without telling us anything about their mode of thought, or their love, or their activities. This must be because such knowledge is not necessary for our salvation.
An angel is a purely spiritual created substance, who exists as an individual person with mind and will, but unlike man, has no bodily parts that can be perceived by the senses. An angel is a spiritual creature naturally superior to man and often commissioned by God for certain duties on earth.
A pure spirit is not confined to space, for a spirit has no parts. An angel is not confined by time or its changes, for time is the measure of bodily movement.
God alone is eternal. Since angels live by acts of intelligence and love, their duration is made up of instants which are quite distant, like flashes of light.
A pure spirit knows itself perfectly and derives its knowledge from the Infinite God. By only a glance angels have knowledge of reality richer than that of ours.
An angel loves, wills and is supremely free and incorruptible.
An Angel is the highest of creatures. Only the secrets belonging to God alone are withheld from his knowledge. What depends on the will of God and man’s free choice is beyond any created wisdom, for God alone is present to that which to us is future.
– Countless numbers of angels
Scripture says that pure spirits exist in countless numbers. “Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! (Rev 5:11)
Jesus himself speaks of armies of angels. “Don’t you know that I could call on my Father for help, and at once he would send me more than twelve armies of angels?” (Mt 26:53)
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the glory of God is the reason for the existence and nature of angels. The perfection they have to reflect is inexhaustible, and hence they must be many in number. Just as they surpass the visible creation in beauty, so must they surpass it in multitude.
In conformity with the generosity of our God, his creatures increase in number as they rise in sublimity and beauty. The multitude of the lesser angels is past counting, for among them are the angel guardians of every man who has existed, exists, or will exist.
St. Thomas teaches that one pure spirit, in its fullness of being, is as distinct from another as one universe from another. Our words and thoughts cannot express the brightness of God’s external glory.
– The test of the angels
When God made the angels, he made each with a will that was supremely free. We know that the price of heaven is love for God. It is by making an act of love for God that a spirit, whether an angel or a human soul, fits itself for heaven. The love must be proved in the only way in which love for God can be proved – by a free and voluntary submission of the created will to God, which we commonly call an “act of obedience” or an “act of loyalty.”
God made the angels with free wills so that they might be capable of making their act of love, their choice of God. Only after they had done so would they see God face to face; only then would they enter into that everlasting union with God which we call “heaven”.
God has not made known to us the nature of the test to which the angels were put. Many theologians think that God gave the angels a preview of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race and commanded that they adore him – Jesus Christ in all his humiliations, a child in the manger, a criminal on a cross. According to this theory, some of the angels rebelled at the prospect that they would have to adore God in the guise of a man. Conscious of their own spiritual magnificence, their beauty and their dignity, they could not bring themselves to the act of submission that adoration of Jesus Christ would demand of them. Under the leadership of one of the most gifted of all the angels, Lucifer (“Lightbearer”), the sin of pride turned many of the angels away from God, and there ran through heaven the awful cry, “We will not serve!”
And thus hell began, because hell is essentially the eternal separation of a spirit from Almighty God. Later on, when the human race would sin in the person of Adam, God would give the human race a second chance. But there was no second chance for the sinning angels. Because of the perfect clarity of their angelic mind and the unhampered freedom of their angelic wills, even the infinite mercy of God could find no excuse for the sin of the angels. They understood (to a degree that Adam never did) what the full consequence of their sin would be. With them there was no “temptation”. By their deliberate and fully aware rejection of God, their wills were fixed against God, fixed forever. There burns in them an everlasting hatred for God and all his works.
It seems more probable that the great majority of the heavenly host remained faithful to God, made their act of submission to God, and are with God in heaven.
II THE EXISTENCE OF ANGELS
- A Doctrine of Faith
revelation established the fact of the existence of a created world of spirits
certainty. The angels were created by God and now live in two states of being: those in heaven, who also minister to the needs of men, and those in hell, who are demons and bent on seducing the human race from its allegiance to God.
The Church teaches the existence of angels. The Holy Spirit guides the Church in all it tells us about the facts concerning our salvation, and the Church teaches us to pray to the angels as guardians of salvation. There are many passages in the Bible which show the angels really exist.
At various times the Church has proclaimed as doctrines of faith the existence of angels, their spiritual nature, the fact that there are good and bad angels, the fall of the evil spirits of their own free will, and the role of the devil in bringing about the fall of man.
The extraordinary magisterium of the Church has taught us officially very little about the angels. This is because neither their existence nor their function as messengers and ministers of God was denied in past time.
The Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215) drew up the following profession of faith: “There is but one true God . . . the one principle of all things, Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and bodily, who, by his almighty power, from the beginning of time has made out of nothing each of these two creatures, spiritual and bodily, that is angelic and belonging to the world.” The Council explicitly defined that all the angels were created good, but that some became evil through their own fault.
Vatican Council II (1963) states: “The Church has always believed that the apostles and Christ’s martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined with us in Christ, and she has always venerated them with special devotion, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels.” (Constitution of the Church, 50)
- Angels in the Old Testament
Sacred Scripture witnesses not only to what the Church formally defined, but to many features about angels that are part of historic Christianity.
The angels appear in their full splendor in the Bible, especially in Daniel and Tobit. In Daniel, certain angels are given names: Gabriel, who foretold to Daniel the coming of Christ as the “anointed Prince”; and Michael, “who mounts guard over your people” (Dn 12:10). Daniel, too, sees the vision of God and God’s angels which John the apostle saw again at Patmos: “A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him” (Dn 7:10).
The Book of Tobit, through eight of its fourteen chapters, is the narrative of the angel Raphael, who delivered Tobias’ wife from demonic obsession, safely led him over a hazardous journey, cured his father Tobit of blindness, and then declared, “Bless God, utter his praise before all the living for all the favors he has given you.” Finally, he identified himself. “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord” (Tb 12:15).
The Old Testament undoubtedly contains many passages in which the angels mentioned may not be personal spirits, but symbols of divine attributes of God’s actions, of his plan and of his judgments, of his help and of his vengeance. The Book of Tobit does not aim at relating real facts, but at arousing an appreciation of God’s infinitely loving Providence, full of tender care for us.
- Angels in the Gospels
Whatever hesitation may be felt about the meaning of many of the passages in the Old Testament about the angels, there are some – in particular, passages in the Gospels – so simple and direct that we are compelled to believe without doubt that the angels exist.
The appearances to Joseph only take place in dreams (Mt 1:20,24), but the angel who speaks to Zechariah, and especially the angel who announces to the Blessed Virgin the Incarnation and seeks her consent, and the angels who appear to the shepherds on Christmas night, are all described with such realism that it seems difficult to deny the existence and character of these heavenly messengers without casting doubt on the truth of the Gospels.
An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar where the incense was burned. When Zechariah saw him, he was alarmed and felt afraid. But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son. You are to name him John.” (Lk 1:11-13)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a girl promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. The girl’s name was Mary . . . The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God.” (Lk1:26-38)
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David’s town your Savior was born – Christ the Lord!” (Lk 2: 8-14)
Again, on those momentous occasions after our Lord’s temptation, Matthew and Mark record that angels ministered to him (Mt 4. 11; Mark 1:13). Luke records that during his agony an angel strengthened him Lk 22:43). This must be taken literally, not merely as a way of saying that divine assistance would only come supernaturally.
Christ himself speaks of the help he might receive from angels, but then during his passion refuses it. “Don’t you know that I could call on my Father for help, and at once he would send me more than twelve armies of angels?” (Mt 26:53) His words are too grave at such solemn moments as these not to be taken literally. No reason would explain why the evangelists should invent this, at times recording the angels’ intervention and sometimes not doing so, especially as they do the morning of the resurrection when angels appear in a number of different ways just as real persons would.
We must take very seriously the words of our Lord, when he speaks about the angels who protect the little ones and always see the face of God. “See that you don’t despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven, I tell you, are always in the presence of my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:10). Our Lord would not speak lightly of the soul of a child. This is perhaps the plainest of God’s declarations about angels.
- Angels in the Acts of the Apostles
No less factual are the events recorded in the Acts, especially the appearance of the two angels to the apostles immediately after the ascension.
They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men, dressed in white, suddenly stood beside them and said, “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11).
The same is clear in the deliverance of the apostles and of Peter by angels.
They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But that night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates, led the apostles out, and said to the, “Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new life” (Acts 5:18-20).
Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel shook Peter by the shoulder, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At once the chains fell off Peter’s hands. Then the angel said, “Put your cloak around you and come with me.” Peter followed him out of the prison, not knowing, however, if what the angel was doing was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. (Acts 12: 6-10).
An angel came in full daytime to Cornelius, whom Cornelius saw, and by whom he was told to seek Peter at Joppa.
The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you. And now send some men to Joppa for a certain man whose full name is Simon Peter” (Acts 10:4,5).
- The angels and St. Paul
St. Paul did far more than merely echo the belief commonly held around him concerning angels. His idea is that of the faith, developed to the fullness of Revelation, recognizing in the writings of Scripture the teaching of the existence of messengers of God intervening with the hidden design of God, agents of a higher world which governs us and draws us to him.
For St. Paul angels have a relationship with the Law of Moses. “The Law was handed down by angels, with a man acting as a go-between” (Gal 3:19).
He asserts as does St. Stephen as a well-known fact the function of the angels in giving the law to Moses. “You are the ones who received God’s law, that was handed down by angels – yet you have not obeyed it!” (Gal:7,53)
St. Paul writes of the relationship of Christ to the world of spiritual creatures, who are inferior to him, and the role of the good and evil spirits in the economy of salvation. Good spirits are God’s ministers to those who receive the inheritance of the saints, while evil spirits are permitted to mislead those who allow themselves to be deceived.
St. Paul distinguishes several classes of angelic spirits – thrones, dominations, principalities, powers archangels and angels. (Eph 1:21; Col 1:16) To these Christian tradition has added the cherubim and seraphim from the Old Testament, and the “common” angels. But the time of St. Ambrose (339-397), the present number of nine “choirs” of angels had become established in Christian piety.
- The angels in the Liturgy
The common faith of the Church, nourished by Scripture, goes far beyond any precise definitions of the Church. Such faith lives in the liturgy: it has a vivid awareness of what it believes when it reflects on the way in which it prays.
The liturgy is the worship offered by Christ himself to his Father by means of his mystical body, and it gradually prepares men for the heavenly City. It is concerned with the order of salvation.
The liturgy is a sharing in the worship which the angels offer to God. We see this particularly in the Sanctus of the Mass, introduced by every Preface as the cry of the angelic choirs, which drew the saints in heaven and on earth to God’s praise.
In the liturgical prayers we are instructed to regard ourselves as engaged in a vast spiritual drama, which is not merely a struggle between conflicting tendencies in us, but is rather a struggle of personal spirits, distinct from one another and distinct from ourselves.
III ANGELIC MINISTRY
- Angels give glory to God
St. Bernard tells us of the three kinds of motive which influence the angels in their ministry. “The angels act for God, for us, and for themselves. For God: they reflect the great mercy with which he encompasses us: our likeness to them arouses their pity. Then for themselves: they eagerly desire to see us fill the places made empty in their ranks. They wait for us with great eagerness.”
Creatures give glory to God in so far as they are what he will them to be. The Psalmist exclaims, “See how the heavens proclaim God’s glory” (Ps 18:2). The numbers of angels sing his glory in a different way from the stars, the immense galaxies, or our souls here on earth, for the angels, like the saints of heaven, see the glory praised by their song.
The principal ministry of the angels is to sing the glory of God. The angels form a festal gathering. “You have come to the joyful gathering of God’s first-born sons, whose names are written in heaven” (Heb 12:23). The cry which Isaiah, St. Luke, the Revelation of St. John and the liturgy of the Church put in clear words is the thrill of well-being beyond expression, which is ever renewed in the angels, because they come back to the source of their existence. It is a thrill of life, because God is their source, and they are in harmony with him through their being; it is a thrill eternally renewed because God is infinitely more than their source and their beatitude.
All the angels participate in the life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – life of their life. Their awareness of God is so sublime that it is rather silence than a song of praise.
Isaiah heard the Seraphim cry to one another: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts; all the earth is full of his glory” (Is 6:3).
St. John writes: “Each one of the four living creatures had six wings, and they were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop singing: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come’” (Rev 4:8).
In the night at Bethlehem the song of the angels could be heard: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2:14)
We join our voices with the angels at Mass. No word of ours can express the reality of the Absolute Being, utterly unfathomable, who gives himself unceasingly to the angels and the saints, to be known in the intimacy of his love.
- Angels give glory to Christ
The worship offered by the angels to God includes worship of Christ. St. John heard the praise offered to the sacrificed Lamb. “Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, and sang in a loud voice; ‘The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!’” (Rev 5:11-12)
Christ is indeed the head of the angels as of all the city of glory or of grace. “Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things. For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities” (Col 1:15-16).
Pure spirits adore Jesus Christ. “He is the first-born Son, who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things. For it was by God’s own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God” (Col 1:18-19).
The natural superiority of the angels to man can be no hindrance to their adoration of the God-Man. “He is supreme over every spiritual ruler and authority” (Col 2:10).
- Angels praise Mary their Queen
Grace triumphs over nature in the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary is given to the angels as Queen – a simple human being is higher than all these marvelous spirits. Her dignity as Mother of God is higher than that of the angels, who are God’s servants.
Mary was considered worthy of co-operating; in the work of our redemption, for upon her consent depended the Incarnation of the Son of God. Therefore she can and really does accomplish more for our salvation through her intercession than the angels. We can imitate the angels in honoring her as their Queen.
IV ANGELS ARE MINISTERS OF MERCY
- Angels join us in worship
The angels are ministers of the infinitely good God. It is his will that they aid us in giving him worship.
Angels preside over the meetings for Christian worship as is evident from the prayers of the Church. The liturgy of the Church on earth is a participation in that performed by the angels in heaven. We should reverently join them in giving praise to God. Their ministry consists in inspiring us with faith and love that we may worthily perform our worship. They prepare us inwardly for the reception of the sacraments, for the Church calls on their aid.
St. Paul mentions the presence of the angels in order to urge Christians to conduct themselves worthily at divine worship. At that time when a veil for women was a sign of their position as virgins or married women, he told them to wear it “on account of the angels” (1 Cor 11:10).
St. John of the Cross says that the angels “do not only carry our prayers to God, but they also bring God’s messages to our souls, feed them, as good fathers, with delightful inspirations and communications from God, and this they do by their spiritual mediation.”
- Angels help us against evil
The angels help us in our warfare against the evil spirits. The New Testament urges us to have faith in God, faith in Christ, and to have recourse to the weapons of God. St. Paul says, “Build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks” (Eph 6:10-11). He assures us that we shall receive God’s help. “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out” (1 Cor 10,13).
God sent his angels to give us the help we need to resist evil. This is their ministry in the work of our salvation, continuing the battle once begun against Lucifer and his rebellious angels. They suggest thoughts contrary to those which the devils suggest, and inspire us to turn to God in prayer. Only in heaven will we know how much they have really helped us in our warfare against evil. “What are the angels, then? They are spirits who serve God and are sent by him to help those who are to receive salvation” (Heb 1:14).
- The angels long for our salvation
Since we share with the angels in the divine life, and since we are like them the creatures of God in Christ Jesus, they long for our salvation that we may join them in glorying God and in enjoying the Beatific Vision.
With Joy the angels accept those God-given missions to minister to our sanctification. The Psalmist says that God has entrusted the just man to their care that they guard him in his way. “God will put his angels in charge of you, to protect you wherever you go” (Ps 91:11).
Victors over demons, they ask but to shield us from the enemies of our souls. We would do well to ask their assistance in order to repel the temptations of the evil one.
Angels also present our prayers to God by joining their own supplications to our requests. It is, therefore, to our advantage to call upon them, especially in the hour of trial, and above all, at the hour of death, that they may defend us from the attacks of our enemies and conduct our souls to heaven.
- We have a guardian angel
Some among the angels are commissioned with the care of individual souls: these are the Guardian Angels. This is the traditional doctrine of the early writers of the Church, based upon scriptural texts and supported by solid reasons. It has been confirmed by the Church, based upon scriptural texts and supported by solid reasons. It has been confirmed by the Church in the institution of a feast in honor of the Guardian Angels.
This doctrine is assumed by our Lord when in connection with children he mentions their “angels” (Mt 18:10). From the earliest days of Christianity this belief was so taken for granted that the faithful gathered at the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, thought it natural that the angel of the imprisoned apostle Peter should come to visit them. “Peter knocked at the outside door, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it. She recognized Peter’s voice and was so happy that she ran back in without opening the door, and announced that Peter was standing outside. ‘You are crazy!’ they told her. But she insisted that it was true. So they answered, “It is his angel’” (Acts 12:13-15).
The Creator does not abandon creatures when he has made them exist’ he sees that they shall have what they need for natural perfection. Christ died for all mankind and merited the means of salvation for all. Angelic assistance is part of God’s universal salvific will.
Man is too unstable if left to himself; under the pressure of his inclinations he is in too great danger of error when he judges what he should do. Hence God provides him with a rule to tell him what is right and, since he is a living being, a rule so loving that it is a personal being.
By means of an angel, God introduces images and tendencies leading man to do what is right. The help of the angel is unfailing. Since the whole created order is subject to Christ, the guardian angel directs toward this King of the universe the person or community committed to him.
Angels also pray to God for men. In the lives of the saints, we see an easy; communication with the angelic world based on simple faith in unseen spirits whose love urges them to pray for individuals and communities before the throne of God.
St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Man while in this state of life, is, as it were, on a road by; which he should journey toward heaven. On this road man is threatened by many dangers both from within and without, and therefore as guardians are appointed for men who have to pass by an unsafe road, so an angel guardian is assigned to each man as long as he is a wayfarer. When, however, he arrives at the end of life he no longer has a guardian angel; but in the kingdom he will have an angel to reign with him.”
St. Bernard says, “Have reverence for the presence of your angel, love for his goodness, confidence in his protection. Wherever you are, honor your angel. Would you dare to do in his presence what you would not do in my present? Do you doubt his presence, because you do not see him?”
While the immediate focus of the help given by the angels is spiritual and supernatural, it includes concern for our bodily and earthly needs insofar as these pertain to salvation and sanctification.
your guardian angel keeps you in touch with heaven, love and venerate him and
pray to him with confidence. Remember
that he has ever been and is still your devoted friend, ever ready to help you
on your way to heaven. In honoring your guardian angel you are honoring God whom
your angel represents on this earth. You are privileged to have so beautiful
and so loyal a creature of God as your friend.
V FRIENDSHIP WITH THE ANGELS
- Friendship in this life
Since God is the Supreme Being and the Absolute Lord of the universe, to him is due worship in the highest degree. It is called adoration. The lesser form of veneration given to the angels and saints is called dulia (which means the respect shown to a master by his servant). The Blessed Virgin is said to be honored with hyperdulia, that is, a higher form of veneration than that given to other creatures among the saints but unlike adoration given only to God.
The veneration we should give the angels depends entirely on the fact that their work is always to dispose us for fuller and more direct union with God.
Friendship with the angels encourages us to practice virtue. The angels especially inspire in us love of God, for as they sing the glory of God, they stir us to worship. Worship here on earth is a sharing in their liturgy in heaven. They also inspire in us love for our neighbor, for they are ministers of God’s mercy and love in our behalf, and they encourage us to devote ourselves to works of kindness and compassion.
St. Bernard says, “That you may have confidence in the angels, constantly keep in company, by means of your thoughts and devout prayers, with those who are always at hand to guard and console you. Let us cause the angels to exult with joy, by showing them that we are not only converted, but that we advance in virtue.”
St. Joan of Arc, who was very devoted to the angels, said, “The angels come very often among Christians without being seen. I have often seen them among Christians.”
Your friendship with the angels does not need visible signs such as some saints experienced. Your friendship should be based on simple fait in God’s angels. If your devotion is sincere, and not dependent on mere emotion, your friendship with the angels will grow, for it will be inspired by love for the living God. Since God is Love, you will want to show your love for him by joining the angels in praising his love.
- Friendship in heaven
Only in heaven will your friendship with the angels reveal itself, and you will see what it has meant to you. Perfect friendship can only mean for the angels the fullest and most intense life. Your friends, the angels, will help you to perform your duties in eternity, the sublime work of worshipping God in union with the angels and saints, for which God created you. In heaven you will be a ”fellow worker” with the angels in praising God for all eternity.
St. John describes this worship in these words: “Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ And the angel added, ‘These are the true words of God.’ I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Don’t do it! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship God!’” (Rev 19:9-10)
In heaven you will see how the angels show forth God’s greatness and perfection. It is God whom you honor 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.
With regard to the angels, it almost seems that God has been content to give us a quick look into the marvels and the magnificence that await us in the world beyond time and space. Like the lines of perspective which in a painting draw attention to the picture’s central theme, so do the rising choirs of pure spirits draw our vision irresistible to the supreme Majesty who is God – to God whose infinite perfection is immeasurably beyond that of even the exalted seraphim.
This is not a world of fantasy; and imagination that we are talking about. It is a world far more real than the planet Mars, more substantial even than the earth we tread. Best of all, it is a world to which we can go without benefit of interplanetary spaceships. It is a world to which you will go if you wish.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. You heavens, bless the Lord. (Dan 3:58)