The Glory bestowed by the Creator on the creature; and the Glory derived from the creature to the Creator. 3


In virtue of our twofold consubstantiality, and of our moral identity with Him by our existence and life in the One mystical Body, His superiority over the angelic hierarchies extends also to us, the members of that His Body—to us, who are one with Him, and whose life is hid with Christ in God —to us, who have put on Christ, and are found in Him. Hence, said He, the glory that Thou hast given Me I have given them.' In this sense, then^ by our incorporation into Christ, we men are higher than the angels.

But there was another reason, taken from the nature of his being, which qualified and adapted man for a position of superiority in the worship of his Maker. It was this: ' Man is,' says Plato,. a microcosm of creation.' In the unity of his own individuality subsist the two opposite poles of being, the material and the spiritual. In man energise all the forms of life, organic and spiritual—the vegetative, the sensitive, and the intellective. Man, therefore, was fitted by the nature of his being to become the high-priest of creation.

But this was not to be till the fulness of time had come. For four thousand years the angels held their place of superiority, and man acknowledged the validity of their title and the justice of their claim. That same Abraham of whom we have spoken, as soon as he saw the three angels approaching him as he sat in his tent-door in the heat of the day, ran to meet them, and adored down to the ground. The parents of Samson, when they understood that he whom they saw ascending heavenwards in the flames of the altar was an angel of the Lord, fell flat on the ground. Daniel also, that man of desires, a prophet of God, and one familiar with visions and supernatural manifestations, when he saw Gabriel, fell on his face trembling.

But in the moment of the Immaculate Conception, the angels had a Human Queen; and on the day of the Annunciation, Gabriel— 'Fortitudo Dei' the Strength of God'—a Prince among the angels —the angel who stands in the presence of God'—acknowledged her royalty, abased himself before her, and realised himself as nothing in her presence.