In such a world, without a meaningful past and without a superior purpose, where death unceremoniously cuts short all creative enterprise, all enthusiastic endeavors toward good and happiness, existence itself would be a tragic contradiction. However, using his reasoning power and insight, man can perceive much more depth and mystery in the world than relying just on bodily senses.
He can realize that, besides the physical, he is surrounded by a huge spiritual world. At the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, a materialistic attitude ridiculed the very possibility of different forms of life besides those existing on earth. However, thanks to the speedy progress of science during the last fifty years, modern man has considerably enlarged his scope of understanding.
Now it is well known that the universe which we inhabit, although it be vast, is not unending. The very representation of the world has been greatly spiritualized. Scientists have come to understand that matter is not a hard, indivisible and unchanging substance, but it is rather one of the manifestations of energy. Energy can take other forms totally unlike the familiar atoms and molecules. Therefore, outside the boundaries of the visible world there may exist other worlds totally different from ours.
These discoveries, as well as space flights, have given birth to a whole new movement in contemporary literature as well as in the movie industry which touches upon encounters with beings from other galaxies and worlds. This interest in the alien and unusual, unfortunately, often intertwines with unhealthy fantasy and carries with it a semi-demonic character. Nevertheless, the gravitation toward the enlargement of the conception of the world by contemporary society is evident. Instead of these extravagances, the fantasies of theosophists and spiritists, the Christian faith gives contemporary man a clear and sound doctrine regarding the spiritual world.
The Christian faith teaches that, besides our physical, there is a great angelic world. The angels, like human beings, possess intellect, free will and feelings similar to ours, but they are bodiless spirits. As a matter of fact, our visible world is but a drop in the ocean of God's creation. A ccording to the Holy Scriptures, the angels, human beings, and all nature were created by God. With the words, "In the beginning God created Heaven and earth" Gen. Here, in contrast to earth, a substantial world, this world of spirits is called Heaven. The angels were already present during the creation of the starry skies, which is evidenced by the words of God spoken to Job, "When the stars were created, all My angels sang praises to Me" Job On the creation of the angels, Saint Gregory the Theologian expresses the following thoughts: "Since for the goodness of God it was not sufficient to be occupied only with the contemplation of Himself, but it was needful that good should extend further and further, so that the number of those who have received grace might be as many as possible because this is characteristic of the highest Goodness — therefore, God devised first of all the angelic heavenly powers; and the thought became deed, which was fulfilled by the Word, and perfected by the Spirit … And inasmuch as the first creatures were pleasing to Him, He devised another world, material and visible, the orderly composition of heaven and earth, and that which is between them.
Angel in Greek means messenger. This word denotes mainly their relationship to man. They, as our elder brothers, reveal to us the will of God and assist us in reaching salvation. Man, from the beginning of his state in paradise, knew of the existence of the angels. This fact is reflected in many ancient religions. It is difficult for us to comprehend the life of the angels and the world in which they live because they are so different from us.
It is known that the angels serve God, carry out His will, and glorify Him. Belonging to the spiritual world, they are usually invisible to us. In the well-known book of Tobit Old Testament , the angel who was accompanying Tobit and his son says of himself :"All these days I was visible to you, but I did not eat or drink, and only by your eyes was this imagined " Tobit For in comparison with God all proves to be gross and material.
For only the Divinity is truly immaterial and incorporeal.
Angels surpass man in all spiritual strength. However, even they, as created beings, bear in themselves the seal of limitation. Being fleshless, they are less dependent than men on space and time. However, only God is omnipotent and omniscient.
The Holy Scriptures represent angels either descending from heaven to earth or ascending back to heaven. Angels are created immortal, as is witnessed by the Scriptures, teaching that they cannot die Luke Nevertheless, their immortality is not a property of their nature, nor is it unconditional, but, just as the immortality of our soul, it depends wholly upon God's will and mercy. Angels, as fleshless spirits, are capable of inward self-development to the highest degree.
Their intellect is higher than that of man. By their might and power, as the Apostle Peter explains, they surpass all earthly authorities and governments 2 Peter Nevertheless, even their exalted attributes have their limits. Scriptures indicate that they do not know the depth of the Essence of God, which is known only to the Spirit of God. Likewise, they do not wholly comprehend the mysteries of redemption into which they wish to penetrate 1 Peter Finally, they cannot on their own perform miracles without the will of God.
The world of the angels is represented in the Sacred Scriptures as being extraordinarily vast. When the prophet Daniel saw God the Father in the form of the "Ancient of Days," he also saw that "A thousand thousands ministered to Him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him " Daniel During the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem " a multitude of the heavenly host " extolled His coming to earth Luke Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says the following: "Imagine how numerous is the Roman population; imagine how numerous are other barbarian tribes existing today, and how many of them have died during one hundred years; imagine how many have been buried during a thousand years; imagine all the people, beginning with Adam, to the present day; there is a great multitude of them.
But it is yet small in comparison with the angels, of which there are many more!
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They are the ninety and nine sheep of the parable, but mankind is only one sheep. For according to the extent of universal space, we must reckon the number of its inhabitants. The whole earth inhabited by us is like a point in the midst of heaven and yet contains so great a multitude; what a multitude must the heaven which encircles it contain!
And must not the heaven of heavens contain unimaginable numbers? In view of such a multitude of angels, it is natural to suppose that in the world of angels, just as in the material world, there are various degrees of perfection and, therefore, various stages or hierarchical degrees of the heavenly powers. Thus, the word of God calls some Angels and some Archangels 1 Thess.
The Orthodox Church, guided by the views of the ancient writers of the Church and Church Fathers, divides the world of the angels into nine choirs or ranks, and these nine into three hierarchies, each hierarchy having three ranks. The first hierarchy consists of those spirits who are closest to God, namely, the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. Within the second, the middle hierarchy, are the Authorities, Dominions and Powers. In the third, which is closer to us, are the Angels, Archangels and Principalities. Thus, the existence of the Angels and Archangels is witnessed by almost every page in the Holy Scriptures.
The books of the prophets mention the Cherubim and Seraphim. Cherubim means to be near; hence it means the near ones; Seraphim means fiery , or filled with fire. The names of the other angelic ranks are mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians, saying that Christ is in the heavens "far above any Principality, and Authority, and Power, and Dominion" Ephesians But the future for Notre Dame on television is uncertain.
To understand the artistic wonder that is Notre Dame you have to accept it as a synthesis of medieval faith and modern fantasy. Viollet-le-Duc crowded the real Notre Dame with grinning, devilish gargoyles just as Hugo populated his fictional one with a deaf bell ringer and his tormentors.
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This intermixing of a genuine gothic cathedral with the 19th-century dream of what gothic should be has put Notre Dame at the heart of the modern imagination. For at least years before Viollet-le-Duc saved Notre Dame, medieval cathedrals had been shunned. It is the human plenitude, the sense of hundreds of anonymous masons working in humble collectivism, and thousands of people across time sharing our awe for what they built, that gives Notre Dame its mystique.
A great cathedral is a vast living organism. Unlike a symmetrical classical building a gothic cathedral is not an image of order but living disorder where flying buttresses sprout, mighty columns soar, lofty galleries conceal prayers and plotters.
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Viollet-le-Duc loved the monsters at the edge of medieval Christianity, basing the gargoyles and chimeras that cover his restored stonework on works in French museums. Yet under all its accretions, the heart of Notre Dame is truly medieval. Gothic architecture was born in Paris. To let in sacred light, gothic builders created stained glass windows — and to make space for those, they raised buildings higher than ever before.
If Notre Dame survives it will be because the flying buttresses did their job. Another image shows holes in the stone vaulting — but the interior is still the sculpted space the medieval masons made.
As it seemed Notre Dame was perishing last night, I was heartbroken. And everything else can be replaced. A cathedral can endure the loss of its stained glass and other fineries, as has happened in Britain where all our cathedrals were vandalised in the Reformation and civil war.
Almost a thousand years after its original creation Notre Dame still speaks to us. Like cave paintings, it connects us with some primal aesthetic urge. Now our time faces a challenge. Do we still have in us the love, idealism and skill that enabled Viollet-le-Duc and his workers to recreate a gothic masterpiece?
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Jonathan Jones. Some of the earliest known European composers, working in Paris around to , wrote music for the liturgy each week even as the great cathedral was being built around them. Collectively these composers are known as the Notre Dame School.
Their names are mostly forgotten. Their lasting significance was to write down and develop western musical techniques which had previously only been extemporised.
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Their polyphonic motets written for more than once voice replaced the single line of Gregorian chant, common up to that point. Another globally important strand of musical life for Notre Dame is the historic organ, central to the flowering of French organ music. They, too, were cast out of heaven, becoming fallen angels, also known as demons.
When Satan and his followers made this decision, it was a permanent choice—an eternal choice. The Bible presents no opportunities for these fallen angels to repent and be forgiven. The demons are without hope, for Jesus Christ did not shed His blood at Calvary to redeem the fallen angels Matthew Guardian angels are a very popular subject in our culture. Sometimes people, even non-Christians, say their guardian angels saved them in near-death experiences.