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  #1  
Old Oct 30, '06, 10:39 am
Aureole Aureole is offline
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Question Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

I was browsing about the EWTN Catholic Q&A and came across this question. Now Fr. Levis did the honest thing and admitted he didn't know but I thought it would be interesting for us to wrestle with it a bit.

Personally I would have to take Fr. Levis position but for arguments sake I'll say saints are higher than angels (Angels are saints, but for simplicity we'll just say saints=men and women canonized). This is for a number of reasons:

1) The angels fall in adoration to a man: Jesus. Granted He's the God-man but His "Godhood" doesn't detract from His manhood.
2) Mary, as Queen of Heaven, holds the second highest place in Heaven next only to God.
3) Man receives God in the most Holy Eucharist, angels can not. It is common teaching that one raises their place in Heaven each time they receive the Eucharist.

So there's my "Trinity" of reasons why saints are greater than angels in the hierarchy. Any agreers? More reasons why saints are higher than angels in the hierarchy? Disagreers?

Note: When I use "man/men" I mean human. Just so someone doesn't go on a tangent about this.

Last edited by Aureole; Oct 30, '06 at 10:40 am. Reason: Additions
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  #2  
Old Oct 30, '06, 11:27 am
RCCDefender RCCDefender is offline
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Default Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

I agree that saints (as in the Church Triumphant) would be "higher" than angels because what I have heard is that this is one thing with which Lucifer had a problem. Lucifer considered humans as inferior to himself and was jealous that God made us higher than him (Lucifer).

Anyone else heard this?
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  #3  
Old Oct 30, '06, 11:31 am
CRW CRW is offline
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Default Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aureole View Post
I was browsing about the EWTN Catholic Q&A and came across this question. Now Fr. Levis did the honest thing and admitted he didn't know but I thought it would be interesting for us to wrestle with it a bit.

Personally I would have to take Fr. Levis position but for arguments sake I'll say saints are higher than angels (Angels are saints, but for simplicity we'll just say saints=men and women canonized). This is for a number of reasons:

1) The angels fall in adoration to a man: Jesus. Granted He's the God-man but His "Godhood" doesn't detract from His manhood.
2) Mary, as Queen of Heaven, holds the second highest place in Heaven next only to God.
3) Man receives God in the most Holy Eucharist, angels can not. It is common teaching that one raises their place in Heaven each time they receive the Eucharist.

So there's my "Trinity" of reasons why saints are greater than angels in the hierarchy. Any agreers? More reasons why saints are higher than angels in the hierarchy? Disagreers?

Note: When I use "man/men" I mean human. Just so someone doesn't go on a tangent about this.
I remember Jesus telling two of the Apostles that it is up to the Father to decide, sitting on the right or left. That is good enough for me. God Bless
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  #4  
Old Oct 30, '06, 1:20 pm
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mosher mosher is offline
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Default Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aureole View Post
I was browsing about the EWTN Catholic Q&A and came across this question. Now Fr. Levis did the honest thing and admitted he didn't know but I thought it would be interesting for us to wrestle with it a bit.

Personally I would have to take Fr. Levis position but for arguments sake I'll say saints are higher than angels (Angels are saints, but for simplicity we'll just say saints=men and women canonized). This is for a number of reasons:

1) The angels fall in adoration to a man: Jesus. Granted He's the God-man but His "Godhood" doesn't detract from His manhood.
2) Mary, as Queen of Heaven, holds the second highest place in Heaven next only to God.
3) Man receives God in the most Holy Eucharist, angels can not. It is common teaching that one raises their place in Heaven each time they receive the Eucharist.

So there's my "Trinity" of reasons why saints are greater than angels in the hierarchy. Any agreers? More reasons why saints are higher than angels in the hierarchy? Disagreers?

Note: When I use "man/men" I mean human. Just so someone doesn't go on a tangent about this.
There is a two-part answer.

According to the natural order angels are higher than man. However, in the order of Grace men are higher than angels. This is because as opposed to angels we find that it is in man that God shares His Divine Life. There are many references to this is Scripture such as when it is stated that "We partake in the Divine Nature" and the image of receiving crowns in heaven and "we reign with Him." This is expressed well in the title of Mary as Queen of Angels. This does not just speak about the role of Mary but also the relation of the Saints to the angels.
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Old Oct 30, '06, 1:36 pm
Aureole Aureole is offline
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Smile Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCDefender View Post
I agree that saints (as in the Church Triumphant) would be "higher" than angels because what I have heard is that this is one thing with which Lucifer had a problem. Lucifer considered humans as inferior to himself and was jealous that God made us higher than him (Lucifer).
I've heard this as well. It seems quite reasonable. I've also heard that God revealed the Incarnation to Lucifer and he said that he wouldn't bow to a man.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRW View Post
I remember Jesus telling two of the Apostles that it is up to the Father to decide, sitting on the right or left. That is good enough for me. God Bless
I agree but I'm taking after Samson and attempting to wrestle with it. I'm sure there are other Samsonites here.

Thanks for the response mosher. You managed to much more eloquently express what I wanted to express.
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  #6  
Old Oct 30, '06, 1:45 pm
batteddy batteddy is offline
 
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Default Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

I think certainly Jesus and Mary are higher than any angels, but after that...i think it's a mix. Its not like humans as a whole will be higher than angels in heaven (even if "humanity" abstractly in Jesus Christ has been thus raised)

I think the order will fall rather scattered. It might go:

Jesus
Mary
MIchael
Gabriel
Joseph
John the Baptist
Angel
Angel
Human
Human
Angel
Human

etc...

I have heard it said that each angel will have a human roughly at their level to reign with, and also that humans are in some sense "filling up the places of" the fallen angels...so I think it will be a mix, with no real distinction between humans and angels in that sense, all working to glorify God
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Old Oct 30, '06, 2:07 pm
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mosher mosher is offline
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Default Re: Hierarchy of Angels/Saints

Quote:
Originally Posted by batteddy View Post
I think certainly Jesus and Mary are higher than any angels, but after that...i think it's a mix. Its not like humans as a whole will be higher than angels in heaven (even if "humanity" abstractly in Jesus Christ has been thus raised)

I think the order will fall rather scattered. It might go:

Jesus
Mary
MIchael
Gabriel
Joseph
John the Baptist
Angel
Angel
Human
Human
Angel
Human

etc...

I have heard it said that each angel will have a human roughly at their level to reign with, and also that humans are in some sense "filling up the places of" the fallen angels...so I think it will be a mix, with no real distinction between humans and angels in that sense, all working to glorify God
On the contrary the angels were created for the service of God and the service of man. They are his angelos which means messengers. They do not partake of the Divine Nature as man does. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCC 460
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81
The references are:

78: 2 Peter 1:4
79: St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939.
80: St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.
81:St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4.

In effect we are Divinized. This is not a dignity that the angels can receive as they were not created for that purpose. So, the dignity of a human person in the state of Sanctifying Grace is infinitely greater than the dignity of any angel.

Many of the Early Church Fathers speak about this Divinization and at times I think that we forget our place in the Divine Plan.
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