“…Nec sicut cogitantur Angeli mundi spiritus caelestia corpora inspirantes, atque ad arbitrium quo serviunt Deo mutantes atque versantes…”
“Nor as the Angels of the world are thought, spirits inspiring the heavenly bodies, and by the the will by which they serve God, change or turn them…”
–De Trin., VIII.2.3
By way of denying that God is at all like this, Augustine casually asserts that the “heavenly bodies” are — in a sense — orbital vehicles manned by angels in a cosmic bumper-car rally. This is a wonderful thought, and it brings to mind one of my favorite scenes from C.S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
Eustace: “In our world a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
Ramandu: “Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.”
Anyone who objects that stars are quite plainly not angels — aside from being a tedious bore — is likely confused on this basic point of logic: explaining what something is does not begin to explain why it is.