Feast of the Guardian Angels: Living as Though Angels Are Real - Because They Are
reminds the faithful that the "existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition." These purely spiritual creatures "have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness." Further, from our beginning until death, "human life is surrounded" by the "watchful care and intercession" of our angel guardians, for "beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life" (see Nos. 202, 203, 328, 330).
The Lord has given us devoted, powerful friends of resplendent beauty who stand ready at our side, ever-watchful angelic guardians who take a personal interest in seeing us arrive safely at our final destination. Let us remember to frequently speak with our guardian angels, converse with them as true friends, and gratefully thank them for all they have done, for we cannot as of yet know of the many times they have rescued us from some calamity. Let us ask for their assistance as we live our daily lives in the Lord.
St. Thomas Aquinas' Teaching On Angels
St. Thomas taught far too much about the angels to list here, and, although what is listed below is not defined doctrine, it does represent a unified body of theological thought about the angels.
One interesting element of St. Thomas's teaching is on the uniqueness of each angel: He taught that each angel is a different species. We can understand -- at least in part -- such a concept by examining our own existence and that of animals. As humans, we all possess a human nature yet belong to the same species, even though we are individual persons. Animals, on the other hand, are of the same nature, yet are made up of different species. There are stark differences between say, an eagle and a giraffe.
With angels, they all possess an angelic nature, yet each individual angel is a unique species. Of course our imagination fails us here, for it is only good at reproducing pictures of material objects, and angels are spiritual and immaterial beings. So, while we can understand the concept of the angels' uniqueness of species, we cannot draw an image of it from our imagination.
Of this uniqueness of species Fr. Paul O'Sullivan writes: "No two angels are alike, no two are equal. God's perfections are infinite, and the countless millions of angels reflect these perfections in a divinely marvelous way. . . . Every angel is specifically different from the other as one species differs from another. . . . The angels are unspeakably lovely, . . . nothing on this earth can possibly give us an idea of their resplendent glory. No painter, no poet, no artist ever conceived anything like them. They are living replicas of God's beauty" (All About The Angels, 28).
We Ought To Love Our Guardian Angels
We have so much to thank our Lord for that should we begin each day by praising him for all that he has done for us, we would not finish such a task in our lifetime. Christ has given us the breath of life, he has given us himself on the cross and in Eucharist, and he has given us his Bride, the Church who nourishes us with the truth about God's revelation.
Yet, pouring out upon us even more love, our Lord has given us devoted, powerful friends of resplendent beauty who stand ready at our side, ever-watchful angelic guardians who take a personal interest in seeing us arrive safely at our final destination.
Let us remember to frequently speak with our guardian angels, converse with them as true friends, and gratefully thank them for all they have done, for we cannot as of yet know of the many times they have rescued us from some calamity. Let us ask for their assistance as we live our daily lives in the Lord.
"'He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways' (see Ps 91:11). These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need." -- St. Bernard
F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at www.joyintruth.com
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Angels, Guardian Angels, angelic, cherubim, seraphin, angelic, spiritual world, FK Bartels
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