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Chapter 49

The Holy Angels

 

There is a spiritual life that we share
with the angels of heaven and
with the divine (heavenly) spirits,
for like them we have been
formed in the image and likeness of God.
—St. Lawrence of Brindisi

 

 

Then I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was as the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.  He set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the land, and then he cried out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.” (Rev. 10:1,2,3)

The angels of God are pure spiritual beings with incredible wisdom and love, the “rainbow” and the “sun.  They come “clothed with a cloud,” the presence of God, to bring His divine mercy and justice “like pillars of fire.  They are powerful ambassadors of the Almighty, “like a lion roaring, teaching lessons of love and humility to fallen humanity, defeating the devil, and defending the good according to the order of Divine Providence.  They form the largest part of God’s heavenly host and the highest part of creation.  Far more than star differs from star, every individual angel is wholly unique and extraordinary, reflecting some particular power or virtue of the infinity of God’s divinity.  Yet, they act in harmonious concert in the oratorio of God’s praise and glory, and as a symphony in the salvation of souls.

Angels are grouped together in three groups of three according to their capacity and activity.  The Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones praise and adore the Lord around His glorious throne.  “Day and night they never cease to sing (in spirit), ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come!’” (Rev. 4:8)  They are contemplatives of the highest order, communicating God’s wisdom and love to those below in the celestial hierarchy.

The Dominations, Virtues, and Powers oversee and regulate the activities of the universe in general, both physical and spiritual.  They are responsible for maintaining the order of justice in the spiritual warfare between good and evil “in the heavenly places,” keeping the channels of grace open from the obstructing demons or devils, so that human beings can freely choose between heaven or hell, love or selfishness. (Eph. 6:12)  “Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

The Principalities, Archangels, and Angels protect individuals, families and ecclesiastical communities from evil, deliver divine messages, graces and gifts to them from God and, in general, help them to achieve their salvation.  Every individual has a Guardian Angel for the duration of their lifetime whom God sends to them when He creates their soul.  “See that you despise not one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:10)  Even Our Lord Jesus Christ, after He had passed through a time of testing and temptation, willed to be consoled and strengthened in His humanity by the holy angels, “Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.” (Matt. 4:11)

The holy angels of God are bright light and pure spiritual fire.  They elevate our spirit, mind and heart out of the dark, up into the light of God’s supernatural life, in truth and love.  The two wings of the “dove,” truth and love, will lift us up above the world of sin we live in.  Angels flow, like clouds in the wind, by divine inspiration.  They receive and communicate divine contemplation.  They are our friends from heaven, strong and peaceful spiritual company.  We will be like the angels someday, we pray.  Jesus said, “When they rise again from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven.” (Mark 12:25)  Call out to them and say, “Holy Angels of God, Holy Angels of God, Holy Angels of God!”

 

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