What Angels Do in Heaven

THERE is no way to list all the functions that people have in the heavens or to describe them in detail, though it is possible to say something on the subject in general terms; they are innumerable and vary depending on the roles of the communities as well. In fact, each community plays a unique role, since the communities differ depending on their virtues (see above, Section 41) and therefore on their function. This is because virtues for everyone in the heavens are virtues in act, which are functions. Everyone there does something specifically useful, for the Lord’s kingdom is a kingdom of uses.

There are many services in the heavens just as there are on earth, since there are ecclesiastical, civic, and domestic affairs there. The existence of the ecclesiastical ones follows from what was presented above about divine worship in Sections 221–227, the existence of civic ones from what was presented about forms of government in heaven in Sections 213–220, while the existence of domestic ones follows from the material on angels’ homes and houses (Sections 183–190) and on marriages in heaven (Sections 366–386). We can therefore see that the roles and services in any given heavenly community are multiple.

Everything in the heavens is arranged according to the divine design, which is managed everywhere by the oversight of angels, with the wiser ones tending to matters of the common good or use and the less wise to smaller details, and so on. These matters are ranked just as uses are ranked in the divine design. This also means that importance is attributed to each role in keeping with the importance of its use. Angels, however, do not claim any importance for themselves but ascribe it all to the use; and since the use is the good that it serves and everything good comes from the Lord, they ascribe it all to the Lord. This means that if people think about respect for themselves first and for their use secondarily instead of for the use first and for themselves secondarily, they cannot hold any office in heaven because they are looking away from the Lord, putting themselves first and their use second. To say “use” is to mean the Lord as well, since as just noted use is something good, and good comes from the Lord.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 387-389

Notes:

Section 41: Published 5/7/2017

Sections 221-227: Published 12/17/2016-12/18/2016

Sections 213-220: Published 3/23/2018-3/25/2018

Sections 183-190: Published 4/26/2018-4/28/2018

Sections 366-386: Published 12/15/2017-12/22/2017

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