Angels

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It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God alone. ~ William Blake

Angels are divine messengers or transcendental beings found in many religions. This page is for quotes about or referring to Angels.

See also Michael
Sections for quotes alphabetized by author or work
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · External links

A[edit]

Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm. ~ Joseph Addison
  • So when an angel by divine command
    With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
    Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past,
    Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
    And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
    Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.

B[edit]

The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won't trip over a stone. ~ The Bible
A tear is an intellectual thing,
And a sigh is the Sword of an Angel King. ~ William Blake
I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing:
"Mercy, Pity, and Peace
Are the world's release." ~ William Blake
I don't mind if it's dangerous
I don't mind if it's raining
Take me up to the top of the city
And put me up on the angel's shoulders. ~ Kate Bush
I can see angels standing around you.
They shimmer like mirrors in Summer.
But you don't know it.
And they will carry you o'er the walls.
If you need us, just call. ~ Kate Bush
  • O white-robed Angel, guide my timorous hand to write as on a lofty rock with iron pen the words of truth, that all who pass may read.
  • A tear is an intellectual thing,
    And a sigh is the Sword of an Angel King.
  • It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God alone.
  • The player is a liar when he says : "Angels are happier than men, because they are better." Angels are happier than men and devils, because they are not always prying after good and evil in one another, and eating the tree of knowledge for Satan's gratification.
  • If God will send his angels
    I sure could use them here right now
    Well if God would send his angels
    And I don't have to know how.
    • Bono, "If God Will Send His Angels" on Pop (1997); also used in City of Angels (1998)
  • Angels and Demons can't cross over into our plane. So, instead we get what I call half-breeds. The influence peddlers. They can only whisper in our ears. A single word can give you courage, or turn your favorite pleasure into your worst nightmare. Those with the demon's touch and those part angel, living alongside us. They call it the balance. I call it hypocritical bullshit.
  • As the moths around a taper,
    As the bees around a rose,
    As the gnats around a vapour,
    So the spirits group and close
    Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose.
  • We are not this story's author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty; and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another. Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today: to make our country more just and generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life. This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
  • I don't mind if it's dangerous
    I don't mind if it's raining
    Take me up to the top of the city
    And put me up on the angel's shoulders.
  • Aren't we all the same? In and out of doubt.
    I can see angels standing around you.

    They shimmer like mirrors in Summer.
    But you don't know it.
    And they will carry you o'er the walls.
    If you need us, just call.

C[edit]

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. ~ G. K. Chesterton
If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • But sad as angels for the good man's sin,
    Weep to record, and blush to give it in.
  • What though my winged hours of bliss have been
    Like angel visits, few and far between.
  • What is all this shit about angels? Have you heard this? Three out of four people now, believe in angels. What're you, fucking stupid? Has everybody lost their fucking minds in this country? Angels, shit. You know what I think it is? I think it's a massive collective psychotic chemical flashback of all the drugsall the drugs — smoked, swallowed, snorted, shot, and absorbed rectally by all Americans from 1960 to 1990. Thirty years of adulterated street drugs'll get you some fucking angels, my friend.
  • Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
  • Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
    • G. K. Chesterton, "Orthodoxy" (1908), Chapter VII : The Eternal Revolution; this is sometimes paraphrased "The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly".
  • Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decypher even fragments of their meaning.
  • We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.
    • Luciano De Crescenzo, quoted in Wisdom for the Soul : Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 127
  • If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. He cannot stop at the beast. The most savage of men are not beasts; they are worse, a great deal worse.
  • When one that holds communion with the skies
    Has fill'd his urn where these pure waters rise,
    And once more mingles with us meaner things,
    'Tis e'en as if an angel shook his wings.

D[edit]

  • For he will give his angels a command concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
  • It was the beginning of a day in June; the deep blue sky unsullied by a cloud, and teeming with brilliant light. The streets were, as yet, nearly free from passengers, the houses and shops were closed, and the healthy air of morning fell like breath from angels, on the sleeping town.
  • President Barack Obama loves to quote the lyrical closing lines of Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, calling on "the better angels of our nature" to overcome partisan hatreds and political divisions. Obama cited those words in his own inaugural proclamation and rested his hand on Lincoln's Bible when he took the oath of office. He has come back to those angels again and again ever since. … He used the phrase to eulogize Ted Kennedy, to chide a would-be Quran burner in Florida, and to say goodbye to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Obama, it seems, sees better angels just about everywhere. Even as he traveled in India this week he talked about his efforts to live up to the example of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and, yes, Abraham Lincoln.
    But in light of today's real-world politics, Obama should think a little harder about the context in which Lincoln summoned those better angels on March 4, 1861. Led by South Carolina (now home to Sen. Jim DeMint, seven of 33 states had already seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy at that point. … If, in the end, Lincoln did manage to hold the Union together, it was not because of the better angels of human nature, but because he finally found the killer angels among his generals who could, and did, and at enormous cost, crush the secessionists.
  • Lincoln had an ally then of a kind that Obama could use now. Lincoln's old rival from Illinois, Stephen Douglas, whose party had been split by the fire-eaters and whom Lincoln defeated at the polls, became a wise and vital friend. In the months between the inauguration and Douglas's early death in June 1861, the "little giant," as he was known, spent many long hours talking to Lincoln about how best to preserve the Union — and compromise wasn't part of the picture. … "You do not know the dishonest purposes of those men as I do," he told Lincoln.
    What both of those great politicians understood by then was that there may be better angels in the nature of some people, but there are others who are willing to weaken, even destroy a nation to serve their own self-righteous self-interest, and they will do it in the name of the Constitution. If Obama hasn't learned that yet, perhaps it's time he did.
  • What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories.
  • In merest prudence men should teach
    * * * * * *
    That science ranks as monstrous things
    Two pairs of upper limbs; so wings—
    E'en Angel's wings! — are fictions.
  • Let old Timotheus yield the prize
    Or both divide the crown;
    He rais'd a mortal to the skies
    She drew an angel down.

E[edit]

When God has sent his angel to me, then I know of a surety. ... When God sends his angel to the soul it becomes the one who knows for sure. ~ Meister Eckhart
The soul at its highest is formed like God, but an angel gives a closer idea of Him. That is all an angel is: an idea of God. ~ Meister Eckhart
Knowledge comes through likeness. And so because the soul may know everything, it is never at rest until it comes to the original idea, in which all things are one. And there it comes to rest in God. ~ Meister Eckhart
  • When God has sent his angel to me, then I know of a surety. ... When God sends his angel to the soul it becomes the one who knows for sure. Not for nothing did God give the keys into St. Peter's keeping, for Peter stands for knowledge, and knowledge is the key that unlocks the door, presses forward and breaks in, to discover God as he is.
    • Meister Eckhart, in Sermon 9, as translated in The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church (1999) by Hughes Oliphant Old, Chapter 9 : The German Mystics, p. 448
  • The authorities teach that next to the first emanation, which is the Son coming out of the Father, the angels are most like God. And it may well be true, for the soul at its highest is formed like God, but an angel gives a closer idea of Him. That is all an angel is: an idea of God. For this reason the angel was sent to the soul, so that the soul might be re-formed by it, to be the divine idea by which it was first conceived. Knowledge comes through likeness. And so because the soul may know everything, it is never at rest until it comes to the original idea, in which all things are one. And there it comes to rest in God.
    • Meister Eckhart, in Sermon 9, as translated in The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church (1999) by Hughes Oliphant Old, Chapter 9 : The German Mystics, p. 449
  • The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
  • In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

F[edit]

How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels, with no words for hate and a million words for love! ~ Viktor Frankl
Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe. ~ Eileen Elias Freeman
  • Angels shine from without because their spirits are lit from within by the light of God.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman, in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994), p. 4, ISBN 0446671215
  • Angels can fly lightly because they take God seriously.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman, in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994), p. 5
  • Angels can fly because they carry no burdens.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman, in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman, in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Pay attention to your dreams — God's angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Life is a tapestry: We are the warp; angels, the weft; God, the weaver. Only the Weaver sees the whole design.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Angels fly at light speed, because they are servants of the Light.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • If angels rarely appear, it's because we all too often mistake the medium for the Message.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Insight is better than eyesight when it comes to seeing an angel.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • When babies look beyond you and giggle, maybe they're seeing angels.
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels, with no words for hate and a million words for love!
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)
  • God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time!
    • Eileen Elias Freeman in The Angels' Little Instruction Book : Learning from God's Heavenly Messengers (1994)

G[edit]

  • Non Angli, sed Angeli.
    Not Angles, but Angels.

H[edit]

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace… ~ Leigh Hunt
  • From the east to the west sped the angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light with both their hands.
  • Unbless'd thy hand! — if in this low disguise
    Wander, perhaps, some inmate of the skies.
    • Homer, Odyssey, Book XVII, line 570. Pope's translation
  • Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An Angel writing in a book of gold
    • Leigh Hunt, in "Abou Ben Adhem" (or "Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel"), in The Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt (1846)

I[edit]

J[edit]

K[edit]

L[edit]

If an angel were ever to tell us anything of his philosophy I believe many propositions would sound like 2 times 2 equals 13. ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
But all God's angels come to us disguised:
[...]
All radiant with the glory and the calm
Of having looked upon the front of God. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • If an angel were ever to tell us anything of his philosophy I believe many propositions would sound like 2 times 2 equals 13.
    • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms (1765-1799), Notebook B (1768-1771), B 44. This quote comes from Wikiquote's Lichtenberg Aphorisms section which was begun primarily with translations by R. J. Hollingdale, augmented by other sources, including Selected Writings of Georg C. Lichtenberg (1893) edited by Adolf Wilbrandt.
  • The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
  • If I have freedom in my love,
    And in my soul am free,
    Angels alone that soar above
    Enjoy such liberty.

M[edit]

You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent revelrie
You're in the arms of the Angel; may you find some comfort here. ~ Sarah McLachlan
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep. ~ John Milton
  • In this dim world of clouding cares,
    We rarely know, till 'wildered eyes
    See white wings lessening up the skies,
    The Angels with us unawares.
  • For God will deign
    To visit oft the dwellings of just men
    Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
    Thither will send his winged messengers
    On errants of supernal grace.
  • How sweetly did they float upon the wings
    Of silence through the empty-vaulted night,
    At every fall smoothing the raven down
    Of darkness till it smiled!
  • The helmed Cherubim,
    And sworded Seraphim,
    Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd.
  • Death makes angels of us all
    & gives us wings
    where we had shoulders
    smooth as raven's
    claws
  • Then too when angel voices sung
    The mercy of their God, and strung
    Their harps to hail, with welcome sweet,
    That moment watched for by all eyes.

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ~ Paul of Tarsus
  • Men would be angels, angels would be gods.

Q[edit]

R[edit]

  • A guardian angel o'er his life presiding,
    Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing.
  • Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
    Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
    With angels blest; but even from angelhood
    I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
    When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
    I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
    Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
    Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.
    • Rumi, "I Died as a Mineral", as translated in The Mystics of Islam (1914) edited by Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, p. 125

S[edit]

  • All angel now, and little less than all,
    While still a pilgrim in this world of ours.
    • Walter Scott, Lord of the Isles, referring to Harriet, Duchess of Buccleugh
  • I charge thee, fling away ambition: by that sin fell the angels.
  • How oft do they their silver bowers leave
    To come to succour us that succour want!
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book II, Canto VIII, Stanza 2
  • Around our pillows golden ladders rise,
    And up and down the skies,
    With winged sandals shod,
    The angels come, and go, the Messengers of God!
    Nor, though they fade from us, do they depart—
    It is the childly heart
    We walk as heretofore,
    Adown their shining ranks, but see them nevermore.

T[edit]

Though I have visions of angels frequently, yet I see them only by an intellectual vision ... Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that there is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, that I cannot explain it. ~ Teresa of Ávila
  • I saw an angel close by me, on my left side, in bodily form. This I am not accustomed to see, unless very rarely. Though I have visions of angels frequently, yet I see them only by an intellectual vision, such as I have spoken of before. It was our Lord's will that in this vision I should see the angel in this wise. He was not large, but small of stature, and most beautiful — his face burning, as if he were one of the highest angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call cherubim. Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that there is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, that I cannot explain it.
  • I have no angels left
    Now, Sweet, to pray to:
    Where you have made your shrine
    They are away to.
    They have struck Heaven's tent,
    And gone to cover you:
    Whereso you keep your state
    Heaven is pitched over you.

U[edit]

V[edit]

W[edit]

Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels. ~ Richard Wilbur
  • Could we forbear dispute, and practise love,
    We should agree as angels do above.
  • For all we know
    Of what the Blessèd do above
    Is, that they sing, and that they love.

    . . .
    What know we of the Blest above
    But that they sing, and that they love?

X[edit]

Y[edit]

  • An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave;
    Legions of angels can't confine me there.

Z[edit]

External links[edit]

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