Monday, October 5, 2009

Catholic Catechism: The Existence of Angels

I’ve never questioned the existence of angels, having learned to call upon my guardian angel at the earliest stages of childhood. Do you remember the very popular prayer? “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love entrust me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide, Amen.”

I pictured this little invisible person sitting on my shoulder, shaking its head in agreement or dismay with my thoughts and actions. His name was Angel, and he would help me lead a virtuous life, if I let him. The Catholic Church has a slightly different definition of angels. It affirms that they are created spiritual beings, and their role is to be servants and messengers for the greater glory of God. It also defines them in essence, as God’s army.

Much like soldiers work together to serve their country, angels were created to serve Christ. “From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels…They will be present at Christ’s return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgment.” (CCC pg. 97)

Just as soldiers have their own individual names and ranks, so do angels. Angel is an office (or job title) in the army of God. They are spiritual in nature, and live to enlighten us about the will of our creator.