What are angels?

Categories: Questions of Faith

Angels are created by God. They are not human beings. Whereas we are creatures of body and spirit, the angels are pure spirit. In artwork they are often portrayed with wings, indicating their role as messengers from heaven, and as infants, indicating their purity and innocence. Yet they are far from being children: the angels are beings of incredible power and intellect.

How do we know angels exist?

The Scriptures refer to the angels, and Our Lord often spoke of them. They were an important part of Jewish theology and have had a constant place in the Tradition of the Church. Also, it is reasonable to assume that if God created us to know and love him in this world, He also created the angels to do the same in His own spiritual realm.

Are all angels the same?

No. According to the Scriptures there is a rich diversity of angels, usually referred to as the Nine Choirs: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Archangels, Principalities and Angels. Each serve God in a different way.

Who are our Guardian Angels?

A heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over us during our lives. Their role is both to guide us to good thoughts and deeds, and to preserve us from evil. It should be a source of great comfort to know we have such a sure and holy intelligence ever present at our side.

What about the Fallen Angels?

Like us, the angels have free will. God does not force them to love and serve him. Those angels that rejected God did so with full knowledge and irrevocably. The most powerful of these is Satan. Even so, God loves them still and will not destroy them, just as He does not destroy us when we reject him. These fallen angels are permitted a limited scope of activity on earth. We should be aware of the danger of these malevolent influences, but trust in Christ who gives us everything we need to combat their malice.

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Author: Fr Andrew