thought for first reading of the day Aug 11 “The Seraphim firey one”

On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year,
that is, of King Jehoiachin’s exile,
The word of the LORD came to the priest Ezekiel,
the son of Buzi,
in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.—
There the hand of the LORD came upon me.

As I looked, a stormwind came from the North,
a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness,
from the midst of which (the midst of the fire)
something gleamed like electrum.
Within it were figures resembling four living creatures
that looked like this: their form was human.

Then I heard the sound of their wings,
like the roaring of mighty waters,
like the voice of the Almighty.
When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army.
And when they stood still, they lowered their wings.

Above the firmament over their heads
something like a throne could be seen,
looking like sapphire.
Upon it was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man.
Upward from what resembled his waist I saw what gleamed like electrum;
downward from what resembled his waist I saw what looked like fire;
he was surrounded with splendor.
Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day
was the splendor that surrounded him.
Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Tradition has seen in this vision an image of the seraphim. The seraphim are the highest order of angels. This is how the prophet describe these angels, “Then I heard the sound of their wings, like the roaring of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty. When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army. And when they stood still, they lowered their wings.”

Joan Carroll Cruz in her book, ‘Angels and Devils’ writes, ” The seraphim, strangely enough, are known to have six pairs of wings, as mentioned in scripture. We first learn of this choir and its description in the book of Isaias: ‘In the year that king Ozias died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and elevated: and his train filled the temple. Upon it stood the seraphims: the one had six wings and the other had six wings: with two covered his face, and the two they covered his feet, and the two they flew. and they cried one to another,and said, holy, holy holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is filled with his glory.(Is 6:1-3)'”

Thomas of Celano, a friend and companion of saint Francis, writes, ” Two year before Francis gave his soul back to Heaven, while he was living in the hermitage called Alverna, after the place on which it stood, he saw in the vision of God a man standing above him, like a seraph with six wings, his hands extended and his feet joined together and fixed to a cross. Two of the wings were extended above his head, two were extended as it for flight, and two were wrapped around the whole body. When the blessed servant of the Most High saw these things, he was filled with the greatest wonder…he was filled with happiness and he rejoiced very greatly because of this kind and gracious look with which he was himself regarded by the seraph, whose beauty was beyond estimation.” Thomas of calano is describing how saint Francis received the stigma.

The seraphim are on fire with the love of God. The thought for the day: we can ask the seraphim to fill us with the fire of God’s Love.

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