Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Q113 A8: Whether there can be strife or discord among the angels?

Yes. One angel can be said to resist another because the Divine judgments in regard to various kingdoms and various men are executed by the angels.

Unus Angelus alteri resistere dicitur quia divina iudicia circa diversa regna et diversos homines, per Angelos exercentur.

Now in their actions, the angels are ruled by the Divine decree. But it happens at times in various kingdoms or various men there are contrary merits or demerits, so that one of them is subject to or placed over another. As to what is the ordering of Divine wisdom on such matters, the angels cannot know it unless God reveal it to them: and so they need to consult Divine wisdom thereupon.

In suis autem actionibus Angeli secundum divinam sententiam regulantur. Contingit autem quandoque quod in diversis regnis, vel in diversis hominibus, contraria merita vel demerita inveniuntur, ut unus alteri subdatur aut praesit. Quid autem super hoc ordo divinae sapientiae habeat, cognoscere non possunt nisi Deo revelante, unde necesse habent super his sapientiam Dei consulere.

Wherefore inasmuch as they consult the Divine will concerning various contrary and opposing merits, they are said to resist one another: not that their wills are in opposition, since they are all of one mind as to the fulfillment of the Divine decree; but that the things about which they seek knowledge are in opposition.

Sic igitur inquantum de contrariis meritis et sibi repugnantibus, divinam consulunt voluntatem, resistere sibi invicem dicuntur, non quia sint eorum contrariae voluntates, cum in hoc omnes concordent, quod Dei sententia impleatur; sed quia ea de quibus consulunt, sunt repugnantia.

The raising of this question is occasioned by this passage of Daniel:

Ista quaestio movetur occasione horum verborum Danielis:

It is written (Daniel 10:13): "The prince of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me one and twenty days."

Dicitur Dan. X, ex persona Gabrielis, "princeps regni Persarum restitit mihi viginti et uno diebus."

Jerome explains it by saying that the prince of the kingdom of the Persians is the angel who opposed the setting free of the people of Israel, for whom Daniel was praying, his prayers being offered to God by Gabriel. And this resistance of his may have been caused by some prince of the demons having led the Jewish captives in Persia into sin; which sin was an impediment to the efficacy of the prayer which Daniel put up for that same people.

Quae quidem Hieronymus exponit, dicens principem regni Persarum esse Angelum qui se opposuit liberationi populi Israelitici, pro quo Daniel orabat, Gabriele preces eius Deo praesentante. Haec autem resistentia potuit fieri, quia princeps aliquis Daemonum Iudaeos in Persidem ductos ad peccatum induxerat, per quod impedimentum praestabatur orationi Danielis, pro eodem populo deprecantis.

But according to Gregory (Moral. xvii), the prince of the kingdom of Persia was a good angel appointed to the guardianship of that kingdom.

Sed secundum Gregorium, XVII Moral., princeps regni Persarum bonus Angelus fuit, custodiae regni illius deputatus.

Therefore one good angel resists the others; and thus there is strife among them.

Ergo unus bonus Angelus resistit alii, et sic inter eos est pugna.