by Antoine Ricard, 1877

Meditation for the Second Day of the Month of the Holy Angels


Prelude. -- Let us disengage ourselves as much as possible from the thoughts and pre-occupations of earth, and let us raise our minds to contemplate this masterpiece from the hands of the Most High.

Meditation. -- The angels are spiritual beings incorruptible in their nature, perfectly detached from matter, and completely exempt from all the miseries which surround us on every side. They are spirits of marvellous brightness. They know the whole of nature, and secrets inaccessible to the greatest intellects which have ever appeared among men, are perfectly understood by them; they know everything without any difficulty, and in a minute, however numerous they may be, and that without any doubt or obscurity. They do not make use of conversation like men, neither do they require like us reasonings, which lead them from a thing more known to one less known. They understand at first sight, and that is why they are called in an eminent degree the intelligent spirits.

Holy Scripture gives them a fiery and dazzling garment, to symbolise their intelligence and radiance. It gives them, in the Apocalypse, a vestment similar to that of the Pontiffs of the old law, to teach us that the holiest mysteries of religion are revealed to them.

Finally, it represents them to us enveloped in clouds, to show us that their radiance is too brilliant to be seen by our intellects; we can only gaze on them veiled, for the sight of man is not powerful enough to look at them face to face. The most learned men, the most marvellous intellects of mankind are but as those of children, compared to these celestial intelligences. Therefore, is there not much here to humble proud hearts and the vainest reasoning? O intellect of man! compare yourself to the sublimity of angelic intellect, and consider if it is still possible to pride yourself and to lean haughtily on the arguments of weak and feeble reason.

Resolution. -- Practise an act of humility in honour of the holy angels.

Aspiration. -- "Lord, I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of the angels." (Psalm cxxxvii. 2.) --page 18.

Invocation to the Holy Guardian Angel

O Holy angel, who behold ever, and adore the face of our eternal Father, since His infinite goodness has confided to you the care of my soul, help it always by His grace, enlighten it in darkness, console it in trouble, warm its coldness, protect it in temptation, and govern it in all the course of its life. Vouchsafe to pray with me, and, because my prayers are so cold and tepid, inflame them with the fire with which you burn, and carry them up to the throne of God to offer them to Him. Grant that by your intercession my soul may be humble in prosperity, and courageous in adversity, enkindled by the fervour of its faith and by the joy of its hope, and that labouring in this exile only to advance towards its heavenly country, it may aspire more and more, by sighs of ardent love for Jesus its Saviour, to adore Him eternally, and enjoy with you, in the company of the holy angels, that ineffable glory which is His, for ever and ever. Amen. -- St. Charles Borromeo

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