Angels, Servants of the Most-High God BASIC ANGELOLOGY Aaron JP Hackett | Theology | 04/06/2019

Brothers and Sisters, before God created the world, he created the angels. He created them to serve and love him. He created them with a purpose of being united in the One family of creation. There are Nine Choirs or types of angels as being identified in the bible and by various theologians.[1]

*Seraphim: means “the burning ones”. They have the most intense love for God and comprehend Him with the greatest clarity, constantly praising him.

*Cherubim: means “fullness of wisdom”. They contemplate God’s divine providence and plan for His creatures.

*Thrones: symbolize divine justice and judicial power. They contemplate God’s power and justice.

These first three see and adore God directly. The next three choirs fulfill God’s plan in the universe.

*Dominions (or Dominations): means “authority”. They govern the lesser choirs of angels.

*Virtues: name originally suggested power or strength. They implement the orders from the Dominions and govern the heavenly bodies.

*Powers: They confront and fight against any evil forces opposed to God’s providential plan.

The final three choirs are directly involved in human affairs:

*Principalities: care for earthy principalities, i.e. nations or cities

*Archangels: deliver God’s most important messages to mankind

*Angels: serve as guardians for each of us

Saint Augustine, bishop of hippo is quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church[2] that “Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.'” With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”. One of the Most famous of the three archangel is Gabriel. He delivered the message of God to first the priest Zechari’ah in the account of the evangelist Luke in his Gospel writings. “And Zechari′ah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”  And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.  And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”  And the people were waiting for Zechari′ah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple.  And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb.  And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”[3] The other account is when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary, proclaiming the birth of the messiah. “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;

and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;

and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;

therefore the child to be born will be called holy,

the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”[4]

 

According to the teaching of Holy Mother Church, they are “pure spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures”[5] Truly this shows the remarkable power of God. Angels have been sent on many missions throughout the bible. From the two angels that were sent to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah[6], when Balaam saw the angel on the road[7]. My personal favorite account is when the angel of God foretells the birth of Samson in Judges 13:3-7  “And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have no children; but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore beware, and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for lo, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”  Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his countenance was like the countenance of the angel of God, very terrible; I did not ask him whence he was, and he did not tell me his name;  but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son; so then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.’” Judges 13:21-23 “The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Mano′ah and to his wife. Then Mano′ah knew that he was the angel of the Lord.  And Mano′ah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”  But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a cereal offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.”

 

From CCC 332[8] “Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples. Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.” We are truly blessed to have these heavenly beings to ask for their intercession and help. But we must remember this, they are only created creatures with more intelligence than us, but they answer to God alone. Jesus, the Son of God came to heal the sick, cure the lame, bring sight to the blind and forgive the sins of men. The angels were created to worship and serve Jesus and Honor Mary, which is the main reason that satan rejected this (since he was created as a Seraphim angel), but this topic will be covered in another future blog (demonology). Let us close with this prayer.

Eternal and everlasting Trinity, We, invoke your perfect Threeness as One, True God and thank you for sharing with us the small mysteries of your heavenly beings. We thank you for creating helpers to aid us on our journey in life. We ask our guardian angels and all the angels in heaven to keep us on the straight and narrow path, fight the enemy that is before us and help us to build a closer relationship with Christ. We ask this in your Most Perfect Name Creator God, amen. In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

God Bless,

Aaron JP

 

 

 

[1] Prayers for Pilgrim book. www.magnificattours.com by Gary Appleberry

[2] CCC 329

[3] Luke 1:18-25

[4]  Luke 1:26-38

[5] Catechism of the Catholic Church 330

[6] Genesis 19:15-17

[7] Numbers 22:31-33

[8] Catechism of the Catholic Church section 332

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