Thursday, March 27, 2008

Deo Gratias: the Choice to Serve

"Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray." CCC 311
I once heard that God created the angels and gave them one and only one opportunity to choose: love and serve Him for all eternity OR follow their own way and be separated from Him forever. Lucifer and his followers chose the latter, and thus we have Satan and Hell. I researched this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"This 'fall' consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign." CCC 392

"It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. 'There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.'" CCC 393
I believe Milton's Paradise Lost fleshes out this idea, but my much-marked college copy is buried in a box of classics. Nonetheless, the concept challenges me. I realize how very blessed we humans are.

God is so good. He opens up before us abundant opportunities to exercise the free will He so lovingly gave to us. Every moment of every day we can choose whether or not we will serve God or ourselves. Alas - we often choose poorly, motivated by selfishness. But God also provides abundant opportunities to repent - and to choose rightly next time. We have it better than the angels in this regard, don't you think?

And yet we have much to learn from them:
"With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God." CCC 329
Lord, help me to serve You with my whole being!
"In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels." CCC 334
Deo Gratias!

Photo credit: swissrolli

1 comment:

Diane said...

I just want to thank you and David for your oft repeated "choosing to serve." Even though it really should be, it's not always the easiest choice, and God surely does love you for opting for Him!