Friday, March 07, 2008

Thought for the Day

So I read. Angels, I read, belong to nine different orders. Seraphs are the highest; they are aflame with love for God; cherubs, they are second, possess perfect knowledge of him. So love is greater than knowledge; how could I have forgotten? The seraphs are born of a stream of fire issuing from under God's throne. They are, according to Dionysius the Areopagite, "all wings," having, as Isaiah noted, six wings apiece, two of which they fold over their eyes. Moving perpetually toward God, they perpetually praise him, crying Holy Holy, Holy...But, according to some rabbinic writings, they can sing only the first "Holy" before the intensity of their love ignites them and dissolves them again, perpetually, into flames. "Abandon everything," Dionysius told his disciple. "God despises ideas."

-Annie Dillard, from Holy the Firm (Harper Perennial, 1988)


The top image is from Wim Wender's 1987 film, "Wings of Desire."


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