The Angels Magazine!
Fr Peter Prusakiewicz (CSMA) produces an excellent quarterly Angels magazine (The Official Teaching Of The Catholic Church) For more information please
email Noreen direct noreenbavister - at - btinternet.com or call +0044 07795
318605. Please visit Fr Peter's site here: Catholic Angels Magazine
This is a brief explanation of our belief in Angels.
"Behold I will send my Angel who will go before you, to guard you on your journey and bring you to the place that I have prepared. Revere him and obey what he says. Do not defy him, he will not pardon such a fault for My Name is in him." (Exodus 23: 20-21)
Interest in Angels is very widespread today especially
among "New Age" followers who don't realise though that the
angels they pray to are possibly clever deceiving devils. God has given every human being that has ever existed, a Guardian Angel to help protect
them from the evil angels which are called devils or demons. God created a
vast multitude of Angels sometime before He created humans. He tested them to
see if they would love Him or love themselves. Lucifer, who is supposed
to have been the most glorious angel of all, led the revolt against God and
was followed by all the other proud angels or demons and they were all cast
out of heaven to hell. They were not actually in the hightest Heaven,
they would have only been allowed into the Glorious presence of God if they passed
the test of freewill. We do not know how many rebelled, but we believe it
was a minority of the total number of all the Angels created. The Good
Angels are on our side and love us dearly and the demons hate us and want to deceive and damn us for Eternity to hell with them. The Angels were created with an incredible knowledge of God so the ones who rejected God knew exactly what they were doing so their condemnation was just and quick. They used their freewill to reject God and they want us to do the same.
Two angels have helped to change the course of history of the Human race. The
first one was "lucifer" who deceived the sinless virgin Eve and she then tempted Adam to sin also, and he caused the fall of the human race and the introduction of sin and death into our lives. The second Angel is the Archangel Gabriel who spoke to the Sinless Virgin Mary two thousand years ago and asked her to become the Mother of the NEW ADAM and Saviour; Jesus the only SON of GOD. Jesus brought Grace and Eternal Life back to the human race.
In general we don't have a name for our Guardian Angel unless we make one
up or apply one from Scripture. A friend who is very very ill once recommended that we pray to God for several minutes asking Him to help us find an appropriate name for our Guardian Angel and then to open the Bible at random and to read until the first name we came across and to use that name for our Angel. I don't know if this will work for you, I can only say that it worked for me because my finger landed on a name in the Commentary which is not a name in Scripture but it is the name of a Saint!
Prayer to the Guardian Angel
Oh Angel of God,
My Guardian dear,
To whom God's Love,
Commits me here,
Ever this day (or night),
Be at my side,
To Light and Guard,
To Rule and Guide,
The First Hierarchy of three Choirs of Angels
The Catholic Church teaches that there are nine Celestial choirs of Angels and they rank in hierarchy as follows. (Please see Paragraphs 350- 354 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for more information about Angels)
Seraphim means "Burning ones" because they are beside the Throne of God, they are on fire with the Love of God. They are mentioned in Scripture in Isaiah (6: 1). They appeared with six wings, two wings covering their faces, two covering their feet and with two to fly. They sing forever of the Holiness of God.
The Cherubim are first mentioned as the angels God put at the entrance to the Garden of Eden to guard it with the "flashing fiery sword" after God had expelled Adam and Eve. St Gregory and Dionysius said that these angels are full of Divine Wisdom and Knowledge. They are also thought to be the Throne of God (See Isaiah 37: 16 and Psalm 17: 11 ).
St Paul gave us the name of this choir in Colossians (1: 16) "In Him (Jesus) were all things created in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, or principalities or powers." We don't know much about them though but that they are thought to rank third in this hierarchy.
The Second Hierarchy of three Choirs of Angels
Dominations are the first choir of this hierarchy. St Paul mentions them above in Colossians and in Ephesians (1: 21). They are Angelic "Lords" in Heaven.
St Peter (See 1 Peter 3 :22) mentions "Angels, Powers and Virtues made subject to Him ( Jesus )" referring to the good angels. St Paul (See Ephesians 1: 21) also referred to them when he said "all Principality and Power, and Virtue, and Dominion,". Dionysius said that these higher choirs make complete and enlighten the choirs below them.
The Powers are the third choir of this hierarchy and they are mentioned by St Peter and St Paul above. Some writers say that St Paul was referring to them when he said "that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and powers in the Heavenly places through the Church".
The Third Hierarchy of three Choirs of Angels
They are the leading Choir of this third hierarchy of Angels. They are heavenly "Princes"
These are the most familiar Angels to us because Holy Scripture gives us the name of three of these Spirits: namely St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael. Other than these three we don't know much about this choir of angels.
St Michael is mentioned several times in Scripture in both the Old Testament and in the New. His name means "Who is like God". He is generally believed to have led the battle against Satan and his followers. He is a great arch-enemy of Satan and we should invoke him often.
St Gabriel is also mentioned in the Old and in the New Testament. His name means "The Strength of God". He appeared to Daniel in the Old Testament and explained prophecies about the Messiah or Christ who would come. Gabriel announced the good news to Mary that God wanted to send Jesus the Saviour or Messiah to save us. St Gabriel gave us the victory words of the "Hail Mary".
St Raphael is only mentioned in the beautifully romantic Book of Tobit where he appears in the
form of a young man named Azariah and his name means "God heals". He takes the form of Azarias for several reasons. He wants to help to cure old Tobit of his blindness, to match-make Tobit's son Tobias with the unfortunate Sara who herself has been married seven times but whose seven husbands were all killed by a demon on their wedding night! He accompanies Tobias on the long journey to collect a sum of money which is owed to his blind father.
This last choir of angels is believed to be the choir from which God generally chooses our
Guardian Angels. Some writers believe that some of the Saints who had special missions may have had different Angels because of their mission. Apart from God and our Lady our Guardian Angel is
our closest friend on earth. Our Guardian Angels are with us every moment of our lives and want
us to be saved. They can physically and spiritually guard us. The Guardian Angels of children
can often perform great miracles to help and save them. Recently I read in the newspaper about a
baby who fell thirty feet from a balcony onto a restaurant table and only received slight
bruises. Another time on television I saw that a small child was found alive after a few days beside the crashed car of her dead mother in a field of some very tall plant. I think they were guarded in a special way by their Guardian Angels. Many of the Saints saw and spoke with their Guardian Angel during their lives. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina used to tell visitors to send their Guardian Angel to him if they ever wanted him to pray for them for some special reason. Those visitors often did just that when a loved one fell ill or when an accident happened and when they met Padre Pio afterwards he would ask about the person who was in danger and show that the Guardian Angel had done exactly as they were asked. He often got no sleep at nighttime because of the queue of Guardian Angels going to him with requests for prayers. Saint Sister Faustina often saw her Guardian Angel. On one occasion she saw him on the empty seat on the train beside her and he was in deep contemplation of God. Guardian Angels are only allowed to intervene in extraordinary ways in our lives for extraordinary reasons. They can only be glimpsed by us in supernatural ways such as if there is a great grief or loss involved. Most of the people who have seen or heard their Angel were allowed that grace by God because there was a great sorrow or work for God involved. Mary is "Queen of the Angels" because like them she too never sinned but also because she suffered so much that her merit is far beyond all the Angels and Saints in Heaven. All the Angels are the property of Christ and she is His Mother so they are at her service. Perhaps the reasons we only have limited information on these Celestial Spirits is because they are so humble they do not want to receive any honour from us and also perhaps there is a danger that if we knew more about their glory we could be distracted from worshipping God to worshipping them!
There are several good books on Guardian Angels available
We would like to recommend "SEND ME YOUR GUARDIN ANGEL" by Fr Alessio Parente
( It is a book of testimonies by people who did send their Angel to Padre Pio and were amazed!)
"WHERE ANGELS WALK" by Joan Wester Anderson
(She is a journalist who felt prompted to write a book of testimonies about Angels after
her son's amazing escape from death during the Chicago big freeze
(70 degrees below zero) several years ago.)
There are many other good books but beware of New Age books!
Opus Sanctorum Angelorum (The work of the Holy Angels) :Website
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