Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

10/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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

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.

Article Highlights

By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/2/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Angels, Guardian Angels, angelic, cherubim, seraphin, angelic, spiritual world, FK Bartels


GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) - When we contemplate the nearly endless gifts of grace and love our God has given us, we are left awe struck. Just a short time ago, each one of us did not exist. Now we live; not simply for a time, but for ever as the result of God's free gift of an immortal soul and the promised resurrection of our bodies.

Just a short time ago, we were lost. Now we have been found; for our Lord Jesus Christ stretched out his arms upon the cruel Roman cross, allowed himself to be brutally nailed to that unyielding wood, fixed there until death, and thus laid a new horizon of salvation before us: A road of Love stretching from here into eternity.

In the Mass and the Eucharist, in our parishes and families and homes we are surrounded by God's gift of himself and his love. From the farthest reaches of the cosmos to the depths of the sea, all of material creation has been given to man. We should think that enough. It is not enough for God. In our Lord's infinite love, compassion and tenderness, he sends us each our very own guardian angel, an invisible, spiritual creature who, magnificent and powerful, carefully guides us as we travel along in the midst of what is often a dangerous world.

"The Lord will send his angel to accompany you and to guide you safely on your way." -- Memorial of the Guardian Angels, Morning Prayer antiphon.

Angels: The Good And The Bad

We have not to look long nor far to find out something about angels. The question is, is that something accurate or inaccurate? Is it true, or, on the other hand, is it downright false? Whether it be a glance into the darker recesses of the Internet or a trip to the local bookstore -- whose shelves are often laden with dozens of pounds of printed material concerning the angels -- both will yield a bewildering array of conflicting information.

This problem of discord is due to many factors, which we will not go into here. However, it is important to remember that our knowledge of the angels is not a matter of natural revelation (what can be known by human reason), but rather is a matter of supernatural revelation; that is, God himself has revealed what we know of the angels' existence, who and what they are.

So, the question arises, how do we access what God has revealed about these powerful spiritual beings, sorting out what is true from what is false? In order to do that, it is necessary to turn to the authoritative institution God willed should exist: The Catholic Church. It is through the Church that, founded by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, we receive the fullness of truth that is faithfully transmitted to the nations.

It is necessary to here mention that some will think it trivial to speak of the need to turn to the Church's authority concerning the angels. It is not, however. For   in our contemporary society we find people who insist they have communicated with angels, and who, against the teaching of the Church, make wild claims about spiritual and eschatological realities.

For instance, it is not unusual to find people who insist that, according to the messages they received from angels, hell does not exist, as a final separation from the Love of the God who is Love. Such false claims are obviously due to an lack of awareness of the aspirations of the fallen angels, those diabolical spirits we know as demons, and their evil intent. The guardian angels, however, do not bring us messages opposed to God's revelation, for their intellect thrives on God's truth, and their will is fixed on love of that same Truth.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that Satan and the other "demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God" (CCC No. 414). St. Peter warns us: "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

The point is, the devil and his cohorts intend not only to destroy our belief in God and his Church, but also pollute our understanding of God's revelation with every sort of error. Thus it is necessary to turn to the Church whose divine Founder is Jesus Christ in order to properly understand what God has revealed about the angels and, in fact, all of created reality.

Who Are The Angels?

The word "angel" comes from the Greek word angelos, which means "messenger." The chief source of Divine Revelation about the angels is Sacred Scripture, and in both the Old and New Testaments there are many references to these incorporeal beings. For instance, we find in Acts that angels opened prison doors for the apostles, delivered Peter from chains, and accompanied Paul during a storm at sea.

The Catechism 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

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Living Faith

BREAKING THE RULES or IS HE? Pope Francis washes women's feet and those of undetermined religion Watch

Image of This year, Francis arrived at a center for the disabled and elderly in Rome. Francis kneeled down, washed, dried and kissed the feet of a dozen people, some in wheelchairs, other with grossly swollen and disfigured feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has shown little regard for rules in regards to his papacy. The latest controversy now surrounds his washing the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people, some of who were women and non-Catholics. The pre-Easter ritual, Pope Francis is designed to show ... continue reading


'Priestly joy is a priceless treasure,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pope, presiding over the first of two Holy Thursday liturgies, blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a priest wants to overcome moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom, in addition to discovering his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, Pope Francis said during the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's ... continue reading


Who's ready for the most historic canonization in modern history?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you ready for the canonization of Pope John Paul II? Vatican officials are busy preparing for the historic canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. As they prepare, it's time for use to get ready as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - on April 27, a ... continue reading


Pope Francis encourages people to kiss crucifix and recite simple prayer Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is encouraging people this holy week to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord." He wishes to remind others that Christ's passion "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the ... continue reading


Pope Francis distributes Bibles, asks Catholics to perform acts of charity

Image of Bibles were handed out to all visitors regardless of their religious affiliation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has given out tens of thousands of Bibles to people that he hopes they will keep and use daily. The gifts were distributed in St. Peter's Square following Mass. The gifts came with one string attached however, Pope Francis asked all people to perform an ... continue reading


Pope Francis' Wild Ride - Pope takes happy kids for a spin through St. Peter's Square Watch

Image of Pope Francis kisses Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria goodbye after their lucky ride.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis gave to kids the ride of a lifetime by inviting them for a spin in the Popemobile around St. Peter's Square. The gesture continues to cement Pope Francis as a man of the people who is most comfortable with the throngs of faithful who seek his wisdom and ... continue reading


Seminary is not for those who do not wish to 'get on with life,' Pope admonishes Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In addressing the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, the Pope did not mince words. Pope Francis was forthright in saying that the seminary is not a refuge for those who have "psychological problems" or lack the courage "to get on in life." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Pope Francis apologizes for abuse scandal, says Church deserves to pay Watch

Image of Pope Francis embraces a child in St. Peter's Square.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet about the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis made clear that victims of abuse deserved an apology as well as compensation for what they have suffered.  He reaffirmed that the Church will be ... continue reading


Pope Francis makes special plea, but is asking us - Are you listening? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis continues to call for aid to the poor as the holiday season ends. The Holy Father has set a goal to eradicate global hunger by distributing food more equitably around the world and he has called on all faithful Catholics to help. It's a call that can't be ... continue reading


'The Devil is here, even in the 21st century,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of Life is a constant battle against evil due to the presence of the devil, Pope Francis said, admitting that even he

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The devil is very much alive in the 21st Century, Pope Francis warns, and he often takes the form of gossip. The pope confessed that he himself was tempted to gossip, and the faithful need to stay on their toes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking in the ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 1:1--2:2
1 In the beginning God created heaven and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first ... Read More

Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
1 It happened some time later that God put Abraham to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2014 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter