The Seven Angels Before the Throne of God

 They are believed to form a privileged circle most close to Almighty God. Of this favored group the Archangel Raphael expressly stated to Tobias that he himself was one. "I am Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord." [Tob. 12: 15] Beautifully, Father Faber refers to the same fact when he sings of St. Raphael:

He is glorious midst the Angels,
Midst the highest there in Heaven,
Standing almost in the furnace,
Of God's selected Seven!

Again in the Apocalypse we find mention of the seven Angels in these words: "Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was and that is to come, and from the Seven Spirits which are before the Throne." [Apoc. 1: 4] These seven seem to be the highest Princes of the Heavenly court. Although their most important occupation is the contemplation and praise of the Divine Essence, they are also assigned to special duties, for St. Paul expressly states that they are all ministering spirits. The pious Abbe Boudon who has written so well of the Angels, would have us invoke these seven Princes of Paradise that they may obtain for us the grace to avoid the seven deadly sins and that they may enrich us with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

In some of his writings, Father Faber quotes the ancient belief that to these seven privileged Princes is confided the guardianship of the seven Sacraments, which he styles the "vases of the Precious
Blood." What a consoling picture to behold these seven glorious Angels holding aloft these chalices of salvation. "The Sacraments," continues the eminent Oratorian, "while they express a most wonderful part of the Divine Mind, seem also to imply the Precious Blood. According to the economy of redemption, the Sacraments form the system by which the Precious Blood traverses the whole Church, gifts it with unity and informs it with supernatural energy and life . . .They are fountains of happiness to all the earth. Who can tell what songs of human goodness are being sung this hour in the ear of God, because of the joyous inspirations of the Sacraments? Out of Himself there is no beauty like it, unless it be the jubilee of the Angels."

Speaking of the happiness which the Angels enjoy in Heaven and in which the seven holy Spirits participate probably in a higher degree, it is said that "everything in the universe is a source of joy to the holy Angels. In all they recognize the accomplishment of that which God has fore-ordained; they know, that from all, He derives honor and glory and they rejoice in seeing how He is glorified in all. This is the secret of true contentment; it is because we think of ourselves and not of God, that we are troubled and dissatisfied. If only we could take the Angelic view, nothing would disturb us and we, too, should always rejoice."

These seven glorious Princes also exult whenever one of the children of men joins their happy company. They welcome at the threshold of Heaven every soul that enters into its eternal reward. The happiness of all derives a fresh accession from each addition to their choirs and their song of triumph rises louder before the Throne of God. Let us imitate their great-hearted charity and draw from the Sacred Heart, the chalice of the Precious Blood, that love which will make us sincerely share the joy and success of our neighbor.

"Yes, in that Heart Divine
The Angels bright
Find, through eternal years,
Still new delight."

O bright Spirits, behold my soul, cleanse it in the streams of the Blood that has merited for us every grace, every protection, every help, for time and for eternity. By that same Divine Blood, obtain that I may treasure all Its precious drops offered to me in God's graces and in the Sacraments of Holy Church.