Angels are real — a vast variety of spirits who are more active in our lives than we might know. We should be mindful of them, particularly our guardian angels, and have a personal relationship with them. We should pray to them, speak to them whenever we think of them – and they will seek our attention if we but pay attention — whether or not we are in need. For they want to be with us in weal or in woe. They pray not just for us but with us, sharing in our spiritual and moral challenges and growth. We should thank them and bless them and honor them as the exalted yet humble fellow creatures they are, endowed by God with prodigious intelligence and powers they freely, lovingly, use for His glory and for our good.

It is commonly understood that angels were created early on during the six days of Genesis, and that they were endowed by God at their inception with all the knowledge and capabilities they would ever have – they do not change through experience. Accordingly, tradition holds that angels chose to submit to or rebel against their Maker at the instant they came to being. They are genderless and do not propagate their own kind, and each angel is so unique as to be a species unto itself. Angels are made in God’s image and likeness, as are we, with an intellect and free will; but they are in other essential ways very different, and mysterious – such as their division into three tiered hierarchies: Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; Dominions, Virtues, and Powers; Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. 

Angels are largely misunderstood, when they are not ignored. The word angel, from the Greek angelos, means “messenger.” But Psalm 103:20 states more pointedly their reason for being: “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word.” Angels exist first and foremost, as do we, to praise God and do His will. And it is primary to His will that angels watch over each of us – over our family, our country, history, the Church. Pope St. John XXIII said it was his guardian angel who told him to convoke the Second Vatican Council.

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