Unless a proper understanding of angels exists, it can be tempting to lump them in with unicorns, vampires, and other mythical creatures that we aren’t able to see. But unlike those made-up creatures, angels have a deep and extensive place in our Catholic Faith. They are pure spiritual beings that play an active role in both Scripture and Catholic tradition.
The Catholic Catechism has a lot to say on angels. In brief:
I. THE ANGELS
The existence of angels – a truth of faith
328 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.
Who are they?
329 St. Augustine says: “‘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.'”188 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”.189
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190
And of course, we can expect our good and thorough friend St. Thomas Aquinas to have delved deeply into these spiritual co-creations. So on Episode 65 of The Catholic Mama podcast, I chat with author Carrie Magalski about her book, Heaven’s Angels, which gives a wonderful introduction to the types of angels that God has created, coupled with the beautiful artwork of Dona Gelsinger. Based on the Thomistic understanding of angels, Carrie created a great resource to explain angels and their roles in God’s plan to both children and adults.
And connect with Carrie at HeavensAngelsBook.com.
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