FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS.
ALL Angels, like All Saints, occupy a Festival Day; unlike men, they give no cause for an introductory Vigil. For sin it is which necessitates vigils, death, all else that is sorrowful.
Their perfection hinders not their sympathy with us: the lack of sympathy is on our side, because so also is the imperfection.
For sin is the only essentially grievous thing in the universe. God, Ever Blessed, had never (that we can conceive) known suffering, if He had not borne "our sins in His own Body on the tree."
Wherefore holy Angels, who neither sin nor bear sins, know not sorrow. Even sympathy, one of our noblest sources of sorrow, is not (so far as we can tell) any source of sadness to them.
They love us, yet cease not to rejoice; care for us, yet observe one unbroken jubilee. How unlike must heaven be to earth, and how unlike the sinless to the sinful.
Yet if they be indeed exempt from sorrow, then Christ is so far like us rather than like them, inasmuch as His experience of sorrow surpasses even our own. He Himself seems to challenge heaven and earth in the words of Jeremiah: "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger."
Good is angelic bliss, for it makes celestial spirits so far like God, All-Good in His perpetual bliss.
Good is human sorrow, for it makes mortal men so far like Christ, Who learnt sorrow for their sakes.
All is good which bears the stamp of a Divine likeness.
Wherefore, while life and joy cease not to be good, grief, vigils, death have become likewise good; because Christ in His own Person has known them all.