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The Angels and Their Mission: According to the Fathers of the Church Paperback – March, 1987
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From the Inside Flap
From St. Augustine to John Henry Newman, the greatest among the saints and men of God have lived on familiar terms with the angels; and the Church has always accorded them a very large place in her theology.
Recent theologians have dwelt on dry questions about the nature of the angels, but the early Fathers of the Church, with the memory of Jesus fresh in their minds (and of the angels of whom He spoke often) were fascinated with the energetic action of the angels among men and the ways in which the angels have carried out that mission from the instant of Creation through the time of Jesus; and how they will continue their work even unto the end of time.
From the works of these early Fathers of the Church, the late French Cardinal Jean Dani lou has drawn forth threads of knowledge and wisdom which he has here woven into a lucid and bright tapestry that shows us who the ministering angels really are, and how in every instant and in every way they are working for your salvation and mine.
Here you'll find no sentimental cherubs: the Fathers knew that majesty and power cloak actual angels, which is why God gave them the formidable tasks of shepherding not only souls, but entire nations, and the motions of the entire material universe itself.
Open these pages to meet the glorious angels as they were known by the Church's greatest saints and theologians: Origen and Eusebius, and Sts. Basil, Ambrose, Methodius, Gregory of Nyssa, Clement of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom (among others).
Soon you, too, will find yourself on familiar terms with the angels, and they'll begin to play in your life the larger role that God intends them to play. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Danielou was one of the foremost Catholic theologians of the 20th century.
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Top Customer Reviews
Danielou submerges us in the first Christian reflections on God's heavenly hosts, beginning in the pages of Scripture itself and stretching through the fifth century (with a chronological exemption given to our good friend Denys, for obvious reasons), reflection which focuses not on their natures but rather on their salvific mission to man, a topic far more robust and theologically satisfying.
Danielou's chapters on the angelic activity of the Old Covenant and of the pagan nations were most interesting, if only because this activity is the most glossed over by post-patristic treatments. Most helpful is the way familiar biblical passages are interwoven with early patristic commentaries and homilies, which put the same passages in a new light. It is also stunning to see the broad and surprising amount of consensus which the Fathers were able to hold on issues related to angelology, even on matters which are of little interest to theologians today (e.g., guardian angels, the 'angels of the nations,' the role of the angels in the sacramental economy). The book has the added advantage of being short and concise, easily readable in two or three days.
The Angels and Their Mission, published by Sophia Institute Press, is a retitled update the classic work of angelic theology Angels and Their Mission: According to the Fathers of the Church by renowned French theologian Fr. Jean Daniélou S.J.
Between the pages of its simple and inviting cover, Angels is more than a summary of the great "angelology" works of the Church Fathers. This book speaks directly to the role of the Heavenly Host in our corporate and personal salvation presented in a pithy, powerful book that glorifies God by honoring these faithful creatures whose place in Heaven we now surpass (thanks to the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord).
Even before I completed the introduction, I already gained a new respect and appreciation for God's generosity and the creature He appointed to guard and guide me. The only fault angels exhibit, at least the ones who chose God over themselves, is our insistence on tuning them out. They are always at the ready, waiting for us to come to our senses and let them do their job.
Fr. Daniélou covers the various missions of the angels including the communication of God's law, our personal spiritual (and sometimes physical) protection and the guidance of lost sheep (especially those outside of Israel). He also sheds light on their role in the economy of our salvation through their presence an works at pivotal times of our human history by giving us a new prospective of events such as the Nativity and the Ascension.
He shows us how angels were tasked by God convey His laws to us and to guide us back from our error, redirecting us towards Him. Fr. Daniélou also shows how the Church Fathers understood the work of angels to be far more than just messengers and guardians but intimate cooperators with God in the salvation of mankind; though they too were surprised when God took a human nature and later ascended to Heaven making Isaiah 63:1 a jaw-dropping verse.
This an excellent book for any library.
*Sophia Institute Press sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review.
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