Remembrance of God

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Shemuel, the angel of the Name, Shem, is not saying: ‘Look at me,’ but ‘Remember God.’  All archangels and angels agree with him, saying, ‘Do not fixate on us, but remember God, for the remembrance of God is holy and hallows all that there is.’  Shemuel’s love of the Holy Name unveils this love to be loving remembrance of God in his Holy Name, awakening saints, like angels, to loving remembrance of God in his Name.  Awareness of God’s presence is wisdom’s loving remembrance of God’s glory.  Angels are only too well aware of our tendency to fall from grace by confusing their iconic function with gross idolatry.  They know that demons are angels who have confused icons with idols.  Their concern is to warn us not to repeat their angelic fall from glory by turning them from translucent icons into opaque idols.  So they tell us never to worship them instead of God, but to worship God with them, as they are doing in heaven.  It is this that unites angels and saints in a mystery of unbroken union.  It is this that weds angels of remembrance in a communion that sustains the remembrance of God on earth as it is sustained by wisdom in heaven.  It is this that conjoins Shemuel, the angel of the Name, with all who awaken to wisdom, embracing glory with all who do not take the Name of God in vain.

The remembrance of God is the joy of angels, as it is the joy of saints, hallowing the Name of glory, so God’s reign of glory comes.  The remembrance of God is God’s timely joy on earth, as it is God’s timeless joy in heaven.  Moreover, what gives God such utter joy, gives joy to angels and to saints as well.  Shemuel’s joy in heaven is wisdom’s joy on earth, hallowing the glory of God’s Name on earth, as God’s Name is hallowed in heaven.  Hallowing in heaven is the healing function of the remembrance of God, remembrance as angels know it, remembrance as saints come to know it on earth.  That is why the remembrance of God is holy.  That is how the remembrance of God is hallowing, making saints holy on earth as it makes angels holy in heaven.  But hallowing is not a burden of imposed sanctity but a liberating joy, a hallowing blessing and delight.  Shemuel’s love of the Name is shared with saints as his joy and his delight, blessing them on earth as it blesses him in heaven.  The communion of saints on earth is, first of all, the joy of a communion of saints in heaven, a communion of saints that angels share with all who hallow God’s Name with joy.

It might seem that falls from the glory of grace are utterly catastrophic and disastrous, but from the perspective of remembrance, they are temporary lapses that have no substance, since God’s remembrance of God through God remains unbroken and the glory of Holy Trinity is forever putting right what falls get wrong.  Since we are created God-centred and God remembers us in light and glory, uniting us to him, our lapses are as nothing beside the glory of grace.  Wisdom is aware of God’s own remembrance of us through God, in God, which is wisdom’s joy and glory’s delight.  This divine remembrance is wise glory always giving all glory to God, yet embracing us in glory too.  It is the God-centred life of angels who abide in God the Holy Trinity.  It is the deified life of saints who remember God in Holy Trinity.  It is glory that deifies all who remember God.  What certainly looks like unmitigating disaster from below, is pierced by glory, with poignant joy, from above.  It is what sustains remembrance in humble trust, reminding saints that grace is not theirs by nature or by right, but theirs by glory’s generous gift, making their joy greater still.  Fallen angels remind angels that the glory of this grace may be lost.  Falls from grace remind saints that the glory of grace may be lost.  Both angels and saints delight in the Gospel that fills them with unutterable gratitude.  Both enjoy grace that fills them both with joy.  The remembrance of God is always a joy and utmost delight, despite all disastrous falls from grace, graciously hallowing saints on earth in the Name, as angel hosts are gloriously hallowed in heaven.