Sunday, November 9, 2014

What are angels?

Do you ever wonder what angels are.  No, I'm not referring to the baseball team in California, I'm referring to the angels of Heaven.

When I asked my five-year-old daughter Laney this she said, "Angels aren't real."

I said they are.  In fact, I told her that we all have an angel to help us and guide us through life.  I told her I named my angel Martin, and that she should name hers. Yet this was all over her head, no pun intended.

So what are angels, at least according to the Catholic faith?  Oscar Lukefahr, in his book "The Catechism Handbook" defines angel this way:
Heaven refers to the angels, personal and immortal spiritual beings who are created by God and possess intelligence  and free will.  The word angel means "messenger," and angels are mentioned throughout the Scripture as those who do God's will and care for people.  Angels adore and minister to Christ.  Angels watch over and protect us as members of the Church, and we enjoy their company on life's journey.
Every have one of those moments where you are driving down the road and all of a sudden you wake up from your dream and wonder how you were still on the road and not on a ditch.  Well, I think it in such moments that your angel is watching over you.

Angels can't stop you from making bad decisions, and they can't stop you from dying.  But they surely can help you through life.  I believe your conscience is your angel talking to you.  He is telling you to make the right decision.

Catholic Online agrees with  Lukefahr, and adds:
Although the word "angel" in the Bible, meaning a messenger, nearly always applies to heavenly beings, it can occasionally apply to human messengers. Malachi himself said a priest was a messenger (malak) of the LORD of hosts (Malachi 2:7), and in the Book of Revelation the elders of the seven churches of Asia were called angels (1:20;2:1 etc.). But when we meet messengers doing supernatural things, there is no doubt they are heavenly beings - God's messengers, working for Him and for the ultimate benefit of mankind.
Catholic Online also discusses personal angels, such as I was discussing to my Laney.  It begins by quoting a Psalm (Psalm 91:10-12 ):
No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Catholic Online then describes your personal angel this way:
A heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over each of us during our lives. The doctrine of angels is part of the Church's tradition. The role of the guardian angel is both to guide us to good thoughts, works and words, and to preserve us from evil...
He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels...
So even nations, such as the United States, has an angel guiding us on our path to share the Bible, capitalism, and natural rights with the world through our good example.  It is for this reason that the U.S. will always prevail.

So, should we all give our personal angels a name?  Recently I had a friend tell me tell me I should give my angel a name, and our priest, who was having dinner with us, agreed.  I Googled this, and the answer I got was from Catholic Answers:
I once attended a conference during which a priest said that we should name our guardian angels. So I did. Now I just heard someone say that we should never name our guardian angel because demons like the knowledge of names.