Are angels required to make sacrifices?


#1

… if so, what is it they sacrifice?

... if not, why not?

#2

Ask Saint Thomas Aquinas, a.k.a. The Angelic Doctor:

Summa Theologica: Treatise on Angels


#3

It would appear not:

Whether there is an irascible and a concupiscible appetite in the angels?

Aquinas says:

“The intellective appetite is not divided into irascible and concupiscible; only the sensitive appetite is so divided… since there exists in the angels only an intellective appetite, their appetite is not distinguished into irascible and concupiscible, but remains undivided; and it is called the will.”


#4

Or maybe you were thinking of sacrifice in terms of worship. Consider this:

Whether an angel by natural love loves God more than he loves himself?

“All the moral precepts of the law come of the law of nature. But the precept of loving God more than self is a moral precept of the law. Therefore, it is of the law of nature. Consequently from natural love the angel loves God more than himself.”


#5

My personal opinion is NO, because angels are in the presence of God and they need nothing more. God’s will is their will, they are in perfect harmony with Love and Truth. Our fallen human nature which clouds our intellect and will needs sacrifice to humbly instill and deepen our dependency on God, making His will our will.


#6

[quote=Scullinius]It would appear not:

Aquinas says:

“The intellective appetite is not divided into irascible and concupiscible; only the sensitive appetite is so divided… since there exists in the angels only an intellective appetite, their appetite is not distinguished into irascible and concupiscible, but remains undivided; and it is called the will.”
[/quote]

Good answer but getting close!. Yes, I am familiar with St. Thomas’s work. In fact it was because I could not find any reference to sacrifice in it that I asked. Or perhaps I missed it altogeather.

I think your quote refers to the angels nature wouldn’t it? Specifically sacrifice would entail the giving up of something precious or cherished. I first thought “love” but then that love is God’s anyway, and sacrifice would be a “proof” of that love.

Then I thought of the initial grace of existance and how angels had to prove that love by charity to God. But then charity is not necessarily sacrifice, or a giving up either, but an expression.

So yes, I agree but not for the reason you give. We have to keep looking of course. Perhaps scripture can help us.

Back to the drawing board.

A pint of stout to anyone who can come up with an angelic sacrifice. :smiley:

Andy


#7

[quote=jaralenio]My personal opinion is NO, because angels are in the presence of God and they need nothing more. God’s will is their will, they are in perfect harmony with Love and Truth. Our fallen human nature which clouds our intellect and will needs sacrifice to humbly instill and deepen our dependency on God, making His will our will.
[/quote]

Excellent answer.! I wonder if one day God will find it necessary
to test the angels once again. Sacrifice would not be part of that testing as the angels have nothing to part with, or perhaps nothing that we know of.

Thanks, however the cold stout is still waiting for the person who can come up with an angelic sacrifice!!!

Andy


#8

Angels had to sacrifice their pride of place as superior beings, in order to accept Jesus–a human being–as their God.

Angels by nature are far superior to humans, yet God the Son did not take upon himself an angelic nature. He took a human nature.

Those who accepted this no longer have to sacrifice anything, for they are with God in Heaven. Those who rejected it–could not tolerate it as an affront to their pride–are now the demons.


#9

[quote=JimG]Angels had to sacrifice their pride of place as superior beings, in order to accept Jesus–a human being–as their God.
[/quote]

I don’t think that would have been a problem, since in the Trinity Jesus always existed. On the first microsecond of awareness at creation I think they would have fallen to their knees(?) in adoration of him, as the Godhead shines through him. Anything he decided would have been OK by them I think.

Excellent proof of our importance!!!

Yes, I could never understand why the testing had to end.

Thanks for the post.

Andy.


#10

[quote=AndyF] Excellent proof of our importance!!!

[/quote]

Or, perhaps, proof of our sinfulness, resulting in the need for a saviour.

Angels had no need of a saviour, since their decision, once made, could not be unmade.


#11

[quote=AndyF]… if so, what is it they sacrifice?

... if not, why not?

[/quote]

Angels are also members of the mystical Body of the Lord (i.e. the Church). They form part of the elect (1 Timothy 5:21), as do the saints from the Old Covenant (Matthew 8:11 and Luke 13:28). The angels are even designated as saints in Scripture (i.e. Greek hagios meaning holy, consecrated, set apart for God when used of creatures and objects; Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26, Acts 10:22, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Jude 1:14, and Revelation 14:10). Their position is higher than man’s (Psalm 8:4-5; Hebrews 2:5-7; 2 Peter 2:11).

When we are participating in the mass, there is something that goes on in heaven as well as on earth. Although Christ was sacrificed once for all time on earth (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18), after His Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, He continues to retain His body that was slain and pierced through the sacrifice (Psalm 22:16; Isaiah 53:4-12; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37; 20:20, 27; Revelation 1:7) although now glorified (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:43-53; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2). In heaven, the Lord is present as an eternal Victim and Lamb (John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32-35; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6, 8-9, 12; 7:14, 12:11; 13:8). As such He presents Himself and intercedes before the Father as an Advocate and High Priest forever (Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 5:7-10; 7:1-3, 25; 8:1-2; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1) for the faithful.

Through the sacrament of the Eucharist, we participate and tap into the heavenly intercession of Christ which results from the sacrifice of the Cross from which all graces flow. On earth, the Lord becomes present via the sacrament of communion (1 Corinthians 10:16-21; 11:23-27), and those that participate share in His life (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; John 6:35-59). Although we have multiple masses on earth in everyplace and at all times (Malachi 1:11), we are all joining in on the one and only eternal intercession of Jesus before His Father. This is part of the heavenly Liturgy. John the Apostle describes in the book of Revelation that there are other liturgical acts carried out by both angels and elders in heaven (4:1-11). These are the two sides of the one coin.

Another liturgical act he describes is the offering up of prayers through angels. Angels actually receive prayers into their hands and then offer them to God on the altar in heaven (Revelation 8:2-4). Scripture reveals that they also answer prayers (Daniel 9:20-23; 10:12-13; Acts 12:1-19). The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of their intercessory and ministerial functions (Revelation 8:2-4) which coincides with the offering done by the saints (Revelation 5:6-14 and James 5:15). The Scriptures make reference to the angels’ presence during worship and the mass at church (1 Corinthians 11; Ephesians 3:10; Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 1:20; 21:9-14). Their presence in the heavenly liturgy is also demonstrated by Paul. He mentions that images of the cherubim of glory, as well as the Ark of the Covenant, were present in the Holy of Holies in the earthly sanctuary in relation to the offerings of the High Priests (Hebrews 9:1-5). Elsewhere Paul confirms that this earthly temple was a replica of what is in heaven (Hebrews 8:5; 9:23; 10:1). Angels in fact, participate as ministers, on the other side of the veil according to Scripture (Psalm 103:20-21; 104:4; Hebrews 1:7, 14).

Although angels are aware of what transpires on earth as it happens (2 Samuel 14:20; Luke 12:8-9; 15:10; 16:22; 1 Corinthians 4:9), they are not omniscient (Matthew 24:36). They also are in awe of God’s mysteries as they unfold in and through the Church (Ephesians 3:7-10; 1 Peter 1:10-12). Although angels do not offer sacrifices for themselves as their destiny is now fixed (Hebrews 2:14-16; Jude 6), they participate in the heavenly Liturgy by offering up prayers and they enter the earthly realm to minister to the Church.


#12

Mathetes007:

Thanks for the excellent summary!

That clarifies things quite nicely. Prayers could indeed be a sacrifice, as it calls for expenditure of personal time and effort.

Well, it looks like you and Jim get to win the prize.!

Andy


#13

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