Summa Th. I EN Qu.105 a.7
Objection: 1. It would seem that not everything which God does outside the natural order of things, is miraculous. For the creation of the world, and of souls, and the justification of the unrighteous, are done by God outside the natural order; as not being accomplished by the action of any natural cause. Yet these things are not called miracles. Therefore not everything that God does outside the natural order is a miracle.
2. Further, a miracle is "something difficult, which seldom occurs, surpassing the faculty of nature, and going so far beyond our hopes as to compel our astonishment" [*St. Augustine, De utilitate credendi xvi.]. But some things outside the order of nature are not arduous; for they occur in small things, such as the recovery and healing of the sick. Nor are they of rare occurrence, since they happen frequently; as when the sick were placed in the streets, to be healed by the shadow of Peter (Ac 5,15). Nor do they surpass the faculty of nature; as when people are cured of a fever. Nor are they beyond our hopes, since we all hope for the resurrection of the dead, which nevertheless will be outside the course of nature. Therefore not all things are outside the course of natur are miraculous.
3. Further, the word miracle is derived from admiration. Now admiration concerns things manifest to the senses. But sometimes things happen outside the order of nature, which are not manifest to the senses; as when the Apostles were endowed with knowledge without studying or being taught. Therefore not everything that occurs outside the order of nature is miraculous.
On the contrary Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxvi, 3): "Where God does anything against that order of nature which we know and are accustomed to observe, we call it a miracle."
I answer that The word miracle is derived from admiration, which arises when an effect is manifest, whereas its cause is hidden; as when a man sees an eclipse without knowing its cause, as the Philosopher says in the beginning of his Metaphysics. Now the cause of a manifest effect may be known to one, but unknown to others. Wherefore a thing is wonderful to one man, and not at all to others: as an eclipse is to a rustic, but not to an astronomer. Now a miracle is so called as being full of wonder; as having a cause absolutely hidden from all: and this cause is God. Wherefore those things which God does outside those causes which we know, are called miracles.
Reply to Objection: 1. Creation, and the justification of the unrighteous, though done by God alone, are not, properly speaking, miracles, because they are not of a nature to proceed from any other cause; so they do not occur outside the order of nature, since they do not belong to that order.
2. An arduous thing is called a miracle, not on account of the excellence of the thing wherein it is done, but because it surpasses the faculty of nature: likewise a thing is called unusual, not because it does not often happen, but because it is outside the usual natural course of things. Furthermore, a thing is said to be above the faculty of nature, not only by reason of the substance of the thing done, but also on account of the manner and order in which it is done. Again, a miracle is said to go beyond the hope "of nature," not above the hope "of grace," which hope comes from faith, whereby we believe in the future resurrection.
3. The knowledge of the Apostles, although not manifest in itself, yet was made manifest in its effect, from which it was shown to be wonderful.
Objection: 1. It would seem that one miracle is not greater than another. For Augustine says (Epist. ad Volusian. cxxxvii): "In miraculous deeds, the whole measure of the deed is the power of the doer." But by the same power of God all miracles are done. Therefore one miracle is not greater than another.
2. Further, the power of God is infinite. But the infinite exceeds the finite beyond all proportion; and therefore no more reason exists to wonder at one effect thereof than at another. Therefore one miracle is not greater than another.
On the contrary The Lord says, speaking of miraculous works (Jn 14,12): "The works that I do, he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do."
I answer that, Nothing is called a miracle by comparison with the Divine Power; because no action is of any account compared with the power of God, according to Is 40,15: "Behold the Gentiles are as a drop from a bucket, and are counted as the smallest grain of a balance." But a thing is called a miracle by comparison with the power of nature which it surpasses. So the more the power of nature is surpassed, the greater the miracle. Now the power of nature is surpassed in three ways: firstly, in the substance of the deed, for instance, if two bodies occupy the same place, or if the sun goes backwards; or if a human body is glorified: such things nature is absolutely unable to do; and these hold the highest rank among miracles. Secondly, a thing surpasses the power of nature, not in the deed, but in that wherein it is done; as the raising of the dead, and giving sight to the blind, and the like; for nature can give life, but not to the dead; and such hold the second rank in miracles. Thirdly, a thing surpasses nature's power in the measure and order in which it is done; as when a man is cured of a fever suddenly, without treatment or the usual process of nature; or as when the air is suddenly condensed into rain, by Divine power without a natural cause, as occurred at the prayers of Samuel and Elias; and these hold the lowest place in miracles. Moreover, each of these kinds has various degrees, according to the different ways in which the power of nature is surpassed.
From this is clear how to reply to the objections, arguing as they do from the Divine power.
We next consider how one creature moves another. This consideration will be threefold: (1) How the angels move, who are purely spiritual creatures; (2) How bodies move; (3) How man moves, who is composed of a spiritual and a corporeal nature.
Concerning the first point, there are three things to be considered: (1) How an angel acts on an angel; (2) How an angel acts on a corporeal nature; (3) How an angel acts on man.
The first of these raises the question of the enlightenment and speech of the angels; and of their mutual coordination, both of the good and of the bad angels.
Concerning their enlightenment there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether one angel moves the intellect of another by enlightenment?
(2) Whether one angel moves the will of another?
(3) Whether an inferior angel can enlighten a superior angel?
(4) Whether a superior angel enlightens an inferior angel in all that he knows himself?
Objection: 1. It would seem that one angel does not enlighten another. For the angels possess now the same beatitude which we hope to obtain. But one man will not then enlighten another, according to Jr 31,34: "They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother." Therefore neither does an angel enlighten another now.
2. Further, light in the angels is threefold; of nature, of grace, and of glory. But an angel is enlightened in the light of nature by the Creator; in the light of grace by the Justifier; in the light of glory by the Beatifier; all of which comes from God. Therefore one angel does not enlighten another.
3. Further, light is a form in the mind. But the rational mind is "informed by God alone, without created intervention," as Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 51). Therefore one angel does not enlighten the mind of another.
On the contrary Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. viii) that "the angels of the second hierarchy are cleansed, enlightened and perfected by the angels of the first hierarchy."
I answer that One angel enlightens another. To make this clear, we must observe that intellectual light is nothing else than a manifestation of truth, according to Ep 5,13: "All that is made manifest is light." Hence to enlighten means nothing else but to communicate to others the manifestation of the known truth; according to the Apostle (Ep 3,8): "To me the least of all the saints is given this grace . . . to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God." Therefore one angel is said to enlighten another by manifesting the truth which he knows himself. Hence Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii): "Theologians plainly show that the orders of the heavenly beings are taught Divine science by the higher minds."
Now since two things concur in the intellectual operation, as we have said (Question , Article ), namely, the intellectual power, and the likeness of the thing understood; in both of these one angel can notify the known truth to another. First, by strengthening his intellectual power; for just as the power of an imperfect body is strengthened by the neighborhood of a more perfect body ---for instance, the less hot is made hotter by the presence of what is hotter; so the intellectual power of an inferior angel is strengthened by the superior angel turning to him: since in spiritual things, for one thing to turn to another, corresponds to neighborhood in corporeal things. Secondly, one angel manifests the truth to another as regards the likeness of the thing understood. For the superior angel receives the knowledge of truth by a kind of universal conception, to receive which the inferior angel's intellect is not sufficiently powerful, for it is natural to him to receive truth in a more particular manner. Therefore the superior angel distinguishes, in a way, the truth which he conceives universally, so that it can be grasped by the inferior angel; and thus he proposes it to his knowledge. Thus it is with us that the teacher, in order to adapt himself to others, divides into many points the knowledge which he possesses in the universal. This is thus expressed by Dionysius (Coel. Hier. xv): "Every intellectual substance with provident power divides and multiplies the uniform knowledge bestowed on it by one nearer to God, so as to lead its inferiors upwards by analogy."
Reply to Objection: 1. All the angels, both inferior and superior, see the Essence of God immediately, and in this respect one does not teach another. It is of this truth that the prophet speaks; wherefore he adds: "They shall teach no more every man his brother, saying: 'Know the Lord': for all shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest." But all the types of the Divine works, which are known in God as in their cause, God knows in Himself, because He comprehends Himself; but of others who see God, each one knows the more types, the more perfectly he sees God. Hence a superior angel knows more about the types of the Divine works than an inferior angel, and concerning these the former enlightens the latter; and as to this Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that the angels "are enlightened by the types of existing things."
2. An angel does not enlighten another by giving him the light of nature, grace, or glory; but by strengthening his natural light, and by manifesting to him the truth concerning the state of nature, of grace, and of glory, as explained above.
3. The rational mind is formed immediately by God, either as the image from the exemplar, forasmuch as it is made to the image of God alone; or as the subject by the ultimate perfecting form: for the created mind is always considered to be unformed, except it adhere to the first truth; while the other kinds of enlightenment that proceed from man or angel, are, as it were, dispositions to this ultimate form.
Objection: 1. It would seem that one angel can move another angel's will. Because, according to Dionysius quoted above (Article ), as one angel enlightens another, so does he cleanse and perfect another. But cleansing and perfecting seem to belong to the will: for the former seems to point to the stain of sin which appertains to will; while to be perfected is to obtain an end, which is the object of the will. Therefore an angel can move another angel's will.
2. Further, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii): "The names of the angels designate their properties." Now the Seraphim are so called because they "kindle" or "give heat": and this is by love which belongs to the will. Therefore one angel moves another angel's will.
3. Further, the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 11) that the higher appetite moves the lower. But as the intellect of the superior angel is higher, so also is his will. It seems, therefore, that the superior angel can change the will of another angel.
On the contrary To him it belongs to change the will, to whom it belongs to bestow righteousness: for righteousness is the rightness of the will. But God alone bestows righteousness. Therefore one angel cannot change another angel's will.
I answer that As was said above (Question , Article ), the will is changed in two ways; on the part of the object, and on the part of the power. On the part of the object, both the good itself which is the object of the will, moves the will, as the appetible moves the appetite; and he who points out the object, as, for instance, one who proves something to be good. But as we have said above (Question , Article ), other goods in a measure incline the will, yet nothing sufficiently moves the will save the universal good, and that is God. And this good He alone shows, that it may be seen by the blessed, Who, when Moses asked: "Show me Thy glory," answered: "I will show thee all good" (Ex 33,18-19). Therefore an angel does not move the will sufficiently, either as the object or as showing the object. But he inclines the will as something lovable, and as manifesting some created good ordered to God's goodness. And thus he can incline the will to the love of the creature or of God, by way of persuasion.
But on the part of the power the will cannot be moved at all save by God. For the operation of the will is a certain inclination of the willer to the thing willed. And He alone can change this inclination, Who bestowed on the creature the power to will: just as that agent alone can change the natural inclination, which can give the power to which follows that natural inclination. Now God alone gave to the creature the power to will, because He alone is the author of the intellectual nature. Therefore an angel cannot move another angel's will.
Reply to Objection: 1. Cleansing and perfecting are to be understood according to the mode of enlightenment. And since God enlightens by changing the intellect and will, He cleanses by removing defects of intellect and will, and perfects unto the end of the intellect and will. But the enlightenment caused by an angel concerns the intellect, as explained above (Article ); therefore an angel is to be understood as cleansing from the defect of nescience in the intellect; and as perfecting unto the consummate end of the intellect, and this is the knowledge of truth. Thus Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. vi): that "in the heavenly hierarchy the chastening of the inferior essence is an enlightening of things unknown, that leads them to more perfect knowledge." For instance, we might say that corporeal sight is cleansed by the removal of darkness; enlightened by the diffusion of light; and perfected by being brought to the perception of the colored object.
2. One angel can induce another to love God by persuasion as explained above.
3. The Philosopher speaks of the lower sensitive appetite which can be moved by the superior intellectual appetite, because it belongs to the same nature of the soul, and because the inferior appetite is a power in a corporeal organ. But this does not apply to the angels.
Objection: 1. It would seem that an inferior angel can enlighten a superior angel. For the ecclesiastical hierarchy is derived from, and represents the heavenly hierarchy; and hence the heavenly Jerusalem is called "our mother" (Ga 4,26). But in the Church even superiors are enlightened and taught by their inferiors, as the Apostle says (1Co 14,31): "You may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be exhorted." Therefore, likewise in the heavenly hierarchy, the superiors can be enlightened by inferiors.
2. Further, as the order of corporeal substances depends on the will of God, so also does the order of spiritual substances. But, as was said above (Question , Article ), God sometimes acts outside the order of corporeal substances. Therefore He also sometimes acts outside the order of spiritual substances, by enlightening inferior otherwise than through their superiors. Therefore in that way the inferiors enlightened by God can enlighten superiors.
3. Further, one angel enlightens the other to whom he turns, as was above explained (Article ). But since this turning to another is voluntary, the highest angel can turn to the lowest passing over the others. Therefore he can enlighten him immediately; and thus the latter can enlighten his superiors.
On the contrary Dionysius says that "this is the Divine unalterable law, that inferior things are led to God by the superior" (Coel. Hier. iv; Eccl. Hier. v).
I answer that The inferior angels never enlighten the superior, but are always enlightened by them. The reason is, because, as above explained (Question , Article ), one order is under another, as cause is under cause; and hence as cause is ordered to cause, so is order to order. Therefore there is no incongruity if sometimes anything is done outside the order of the inferior cause, to be ordered to the superior cause, as in human affairs the command of the president is passed over from obedience to the prince. So it happens that God works miraculously outside the order of corporeal nature, that men may be ordered to the knowledge of Him. But the passing over of the order that belongs to spiritual substances in no way belongs to the ordering of men to God; since the angelic operations are not made known to us; as are the operations of sensible bodies. Thus the order which belongs to spiritual substances is never passed over by God; so that the inferiors are always moved by the superior, and not conversely.
Reply to Objection: 1. The ecclesiastical hierarchy imitates the heavenly in some degree, but by a perfect likeness. For in the heavenly hierarchy the perfection of the order is in proportion to its nearness to God; so that those who are the nearer to God are the more sublime in grade, and more clear in knowledge; and on that account the superiors are never enlightened by the inferiors, whereas in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, sometimes those who are the nearer to God in sanctity, are in the lowest grade, and are not conspicuous for science; and some also are eminent in one kind of science, and fail in another; and on that account superiors may be taught by inferiors.
2. As above explained, there is no similarity between what God does outside the order of corporeal nature, and that of spiritual nature. Hence the argument does not hold.
3. An angel turns voluntarily to enlighten another angel, but the angel's will is ever regulated by the Divine law which made the order in the angels.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the superior angel does not enlighten the inferior concerning all he himself knows. For Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. xii) that the superior angels have a more universal knowledge; and the inferior a more particular and individual knowledge. But more is contained under a universal knowledge than under a particular knowledge. Therefore not all that the superior angels know, is known by the inferior, through these being enlightened by the former.
2. Further, the Master of the Sentences (ii, D, 11) says that the superior angels had long known the Mystery of the Incarnation, whereas the inferior angels did not know it until it was accomplished. Thus we find that on some of the angels inquiring, as it were, in ignorance: "Who is this King of glory?" other angels, who knew, answered: "The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of glory," as Dionysius expounds (Coel. Hier. vii). But this would not apply if the superior angels enlightened the inferior concerning all they know themselves. Therefore they do not do so.
3. Further, if the superior angels enlighten the inferior about all they know, nothing that the superior angels know would be unknown to the inferior angels. Therefore the superior angels could communicate nothing more to the inferior; which appears open to objection. Therefore the superior angels enlighten the inferior in all things.
On the contrary Gregory [*Peter Lombard, Sent. ii, D, ix; Cf. Gregory, Hom. xxxiv, in Ev.] says: "In that heavenly country, though there are some excellent gifts, yet nothing is held individually." And Dionysius says: "Each heavenly essence communicates to the inferior the gift derived from the superior" (Coel. Hier. xv), as quoted above (Article ).
I answer that, Every creature participates in the Divine goodness, so as to diffuse the good it possesses to others; for it is of the nature of good to communicate itself to others. Hence also corporeal agents give their likeness to others so far as they can. So the more an agent is established in the share of the Divine goodness, so much the more does it strive to transmit its perfections to others as far as possible. Hence the Blessed Peter admonishes those who by grace share in the Divine goodness; saying: "As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another; as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1P 4,10). Much more therefore do the holy angels, who enjoy the plenitude of participation of the Divine goodness, impart the same to those below them.
Nevertheless this gift is not received so excellently by the inferior as by the superior angels; and therefore the superior ever remain in a higher order, and have a more perfect knowledge; as the master understands the same thing better than the pupil who learns from him.
Reply to Objection: 1. The knowledge of the superior angels is said to be more universal as regards the more eminent mode of knowledge.
2. The Master's words are not to be understood as if the inferior angels were entirely ignorant of the Mystery of the Incarnation but that they did not know it as fully as the superior angels; and that they progressed in the knowledge of it afterwards when the Mystery was accomplished.
3. Till the Judgment Day some new things are always being revealed by God to the highest angels, concerning the course of the world, and especially the salvation of the elect. Hence there is always something for the superior angels to make known to the inferior.
We next consider the speech of the angels. Here there are five points of inquiry:
(1) Whether one angel speaks to another?
(2) Whether the inferior speaks to the superior?
(3) Whether an angel speaks to God?
(4) Whether the angelic speech is subject to local distance?
(5) Whether all the speech of one angel to another is known to all?
Objection: 1. It would seem that one angel does not speak to another. For Gregory says (Moral. xviii) that, in the state of the resurrection "each one's body will not hide his mind from his fellows." Much less, therefore, is one angel's mind hidden from another. But speech manifests to another what lies hidden in the mind. Therefore it is not necessary that one angel should speak to another.
2. Further, speech is twofold; interior, whereby one speaks to oneself; and exterior, whereby one speaks to another. But exterior speech takes place by some sensible sign, as by voice, or gesture, or some bodily member, as the tongue, or the fingers, and this cannot apply to the angels. Therefore one angel does not speak to another.
3. Further, the speaker incites the hearer to listen to what he says. But it does not appear that one angel incites another to listen; for this happens among us by some sensible sign. Therefore one angel does not speak to another.
On the contrary The Apostle says (1Co 13,1): "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels."
I answer that The angels speak in a certain way. But, as Gregory says (Moral. ii): "It is fitting that our mind, rising above the properties of bodily speech, should be lifted to the sublime and unknown methods of interior speech."
To understand how one angel speaks to another, we must consider that, as we explained above (Question , Article ), when treating of the actions and powers of the soul, the will moves the intellect to its operation. Now an intelligible object is present to the intellect in three ways; first, habitually, or in the memory, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 6,7); secondly, as actually considered or conceived; thirdly, as related to something else. And it is clear that the intelligible object passes from the first to the second stage by the command of the will, and hence in the definition of habit these words occur, "which anyone uses when he wills." So likewise the intelligible object passes from the second to the third stage by the will; for by the will the concept of the mind is ordered to something else, as, for instance, either to the performing of an action, or to being made known to another. Now when the mind turns itself to the actual consideration of any habitual knowledge, then a person speaks to himself; for the concept of the mind is called "the interior word." And by the fact that the concept of the angelic mind is ordered to be made known to another by the will of the angel himself, the concept of one angel is made known to another; and in this way one angel speaks to another; for to speak to another only means to make known the mental concept to another.
Reply to Objection: 1. Our mental concept is hidden by a twofold obstacle. The first is in the will, which can retain the mental concept within, or can direct it externally. In this way God alone can see the mind of another, according to 1Co 2,11: "What man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him?" The other obstacle whereby the mental concept is excluded from another one's knowledge, comes from the body; and so it happens that even when the will directs the concept of the mind to make itself known, it is not at once make known to another; but some sensible sign must be used. Gregory alludes to this fact when he says (Moral. ii): "To other eyes we seem to stand aloof as it were behind the wall of the body; and when we wish to make ourselves known, we go out as it were by the door of the tongue to show what we really are." But an angel is under no such obstacle, and so he can make his concept known to another at once.
2. External speech, made by the voice, is a necessity for us on account of the obstacle of the body. Hence it does not befit an angel; but only interior speech belongs to him, and this includes not only the interior speech by mental concept, but also its being ordered to another's knowledge by the will. So the tongue of an angel is called metaphorically the angel's power, whereby he manifests his mental concept.
3. There is no need to draw the attention of the good angels, inasmuch as they always see each other in the Word; for as one ever sees the other, so he ever sees what is ordered to himself. But because by their very nature they can speak to each other, and even now the bad angels speak to each other, we must say that the intellect is moved by the intelligible object just as sense is affected by the sensible object. Therefore, as sense is aroused by the sensible object, so the mind of an angel can be aroused to attention by some intelligible power.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the inferior angel does not speak to the superior. For on the text (1Co 13,1), "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels," a gloss remarks that the speech of the angels is an enlightenment whereby the superior enlightens the inferior. But the inferior never enlightens the superior, as was above explained (Question , Article ). Therefore neither do the inferior speak to the superior.
2. Further, as was said above (Question , Article ), to enlighten means merely to acquaint one man of what is known to another; and this is to speak. Therefore to speak and to enlighten are the same; so the same conclusion follows.
3. Further, Gregory says (Moral. ii): "God speaks to the angels by the very fact that He shows to their hearts His hidden and invisible things." But this is to enlighten them. Therefore, whenever God speaks, He enlightens. In the same way every angelic speech is an enlightening. Therefore an inferior angel can in no way speak to a superior angel.
On the contrary According to the exposition of Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii), the inferior angels said to the superior: "Who is this King of Glory?"
I answer that The inferior angels can speak to the superior. To make this clear, we must consider that every angelic enlightening is an angelic speech; but on the other hand, not every speech is an enlightening; because, as we have said (Article ), for one angel to speak to another angel means nothing else, but that by his own will he directs his mental concept in such a way, that it becomes known to the other. Now what the mind conceives may be reduced to a twofold principle; to God Himself, Who is the primal truth; and to the will of the one who understands, whereby we actually consider anything. But because truth is the light of the intellect, and God Himself is the rule of all truth; the manifestation of what is conceived by the mind, as depending on the primary truth, is both speech and enlightenment; for example, when one man says to another: "Heaven was created by God"; or, "Man is an animal." The manifestation, however, of what depends on the will of the one who understands, cannot be called an enlightenment, but is only a speech; for instance, when one says to another: "I wish to learn this; I wish to do this or that." The reason is that the created will is not a light, nor a rule of truth; but participates of light. Hence to communicate what comes from the created will is not, as such, an enlightening. For to know what you may will, or what you may understand does not belong to the perfection of my intellect; but only to know the truth in reality.
Now it is clear that the angels are called superior or inferior by comparison with this principle, God; and therefore enlightenment, which depends on the principle which is God, is conveyed only by the superior angels to the inferior. But as regards the will as the principle, he who wills is first and supreme; and therefore the manifestation of what belongs to the will, is conveyed to others by the one who wills. In that manner both the superior angels speak to the inferior, and the inferior speak to the superior.
From this clearly appear the replies to the first and second objections.
3. Every speech of God to the angels is an enlightening; because since the will of God is the rule of truth, it belongs to the perfection and enlightenment of the created mind to know even what God wills. But the same does not apply to the will of the angels, as was explained above.
Objection: 1. It would seem that an angel does not speak to God. For speech makes known something to another. But an angel cannot make known anything to God, Who knows all things. Therefore an angel does not speak to God.
2. Further, to speak is to order the mental concept in reference to another, as was shown above (Article ). But an angel ever orders his mental concept to God. So if an angel speaks to God, he ever speaks to God; which in some ways appears to be unreasonable, since an angel sometimes speaks to another angel. Therefore it seems that an angel never speaks to God.
On the contrary It is written (Zach. 1:12): "The angel of the Lord answered and said: O Lord of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem." Therefore an angel speaks to God.
I answer that As was said above (Articles ,2), the angel speaks by ordering his mental concept to something else. Now one thing is ordered to another in a twofold manner. In one way for the purpose of giving one thing to another, as in natural things the agent is ordered to the patient, and in human speech the teacher is ordered to the learner; and in this sense an angel in no way speaks to God either of what concerns the truth, or of whatever depends on the created will; because God is the principle and source of all truth and of all will. In another way one thing is ordered to another to receive something, as in natural things the passive is ordered to the agent, and in human speech the disciple to the master; and in this way an angel speaks to God, either by consulting the Divine will of what ought to be done, or by admiring the Divine excellence which he can never comprehend; thus Gregory says (Moral. ii) that "the angels speak to God, when by contemplating what is above themselves they rise to emotions of admiration."
Reply to Objection: 1. Speech is not always for the purpose of making something known to another; but is sometimes finally ordered to the purpose of manifesting something to the speaker himself; as when the disciples ask instruction from the master.
2. The angels are ever speaking to God in the sense of praising and admiring Him and His works; but they speak to Him by consulting Him about what ought to be done whenever they have to perform any new work, concerning which they desire enlightenment.
Summa Th. I EN Qu.105 a.7