[ by Charles Cameron — I mean, are they or aren’t they? — really? — what do you believe? ]
St Michael, of the archangelic rank or choir
It’s just a thought I entertain from time to time. Because if they are, if angels are real — as bookloads by the dozens, popularly read, attest — why then they may know something, and they may surely accomplish something.
Thomas Aquinas asks and answers the Question, Whether an angel is altogether incorporeal?. Along the way, he quotes St John Damascene:
an angel is an ever movable intellectual substance.
Angels are forms of intelligence — is the Intelligence Community listening?
When the boy’s eyes were opened, as per the prayer of Elisha (2 Kings 6:17), he saw:
and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha
and the Lord speaking to Muhammad (Qur’an 8:9):
I shall reinforce you with a thousand angels riding behind you.
Angels are perhaps force-multipliers. Is DOD interested?
Angels may be beings of music and dance — gandharvas, apsarases — is theirs a language our intelligence recognizes?
But I digress. Intelligence has a long history with the invisibles. Abbot Trithemius may be called first among cryptologists. Elizabeth I’s John Dee would have been at home to Bletchley Park (though Walsingham might have tossed out his amanuensis, Edward Kelley). Talmudic scholrs would do well to teach at Quantico, Jesuits at Fort Meade. Their remit, from Ephesians 6.12:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
An aside: in his Himalayan attempt to fathom angels, Aquinas makes an instructive statement:
Now the medium compared to one extreme appears to be the other extreme, as what is tepid compared to heat seems to be cold
Left and right, how often do we get caught in that trap in these divisive times?