"A little lower than the angels"

There's a few scenes in the play that I'm in, in which my character is seen to be reading a book. One of the books that was bought for this purpose is entitled, "In His Maker's Image," by Robert Edward Brennan.

Here is an excerpt:

Though man is not a pure spirit, yet his gift of understanding is a spiritual power. Thus, to grasp things in their natures is to grasp them by a form which is freed of the contingencies of matter. And this is what it means to have insight or intelligence. This, moreover, is why we have a share in the life of the angels. If they have minds, then so have we. If they are able to think, then so are we. If they can see things in their essences, then so can we. Still, with all these concessions, our knowledge is far below theirs. On the ladder of intellectual beings, we occupy the lowest rung. Our thoughts, somehow, have the breath of earth upon them, since they have their beginnings in the world of matter; but the thoughts of the angels are born in the matterless world of spirit. Our thoughts, too, must wait on the experience of the senses; but the thoughts of the angels know no such dependency, since bodies and organs and all the trappings of sense are utterly foreign to their natures. As St. Thomas says: "Men are called rational beings because they come to know truth by way of discourse, being forced to follow such a method because of the weakness of their understanding. For, if they had the fullness of intellectual life that the angels possess, then by the very first act by which they grasp a principle, they would see at oncee all that the principle implies, by seeing all that could be reasoned out of it."

Interesting is it not? It is dedicated to Eugenio Pacelli (better known as Pope Pius XIII) and was published in 1948. Mother picked it up at Value Village for 99 cents.