Belief Briefs - Are angels real?

Belief Brief - Are angels real?

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Reflection

Are angels real?

What’s your battle cry?

You know the words you say when the stakes are high and you’re on the verge of failure?

In medieval Europe, Christian soldiers cry to St. Michael in prayer and song. Why St. Michael?

In the Bible, this angel is assigned a special role as defender of God’s people against evil.

Of all the things you worry about, evil probably isn’t high on your life.

Just like the medieval soldiers were worried about warfare, you’ve got practical concerns.

Like failing health, broken relationships or how to pay the bills.

These are real concerns, and God is concerned about our day to day life.

But he’s also urging to pay attention to the spiritual battle.

Am I deepening my relationship with God, or am I too busy to spend time with him?

Am I consciously trying to make better, holier choices, or taking the easy way out?

Am I looking at the big picture as a daughter of God, or getting consumed by petty details?

Just remembering to ask yourself these questions, in the midst of your busy life, is a battle itself.

So turn to St. Michael and pray that he be your defender.

 

Sources from Scripture and Tradition

  1. Psalm 91.11
    Daniel 10.12
    Tobit 12.15

  2. Matthew 1.20; 2.13, 19; 4.11; 13.41-49; 16.27; 18.10; 24.31; 24.36; 28.2.
    Mark 1.13; 8.38; 13.27
    Luke/Acts: Luke 1.11ff, 26ff; 2.9ff.; 9.26; 12.8ff; 15.10; 24.23
    Acts 5.19; 8.26; 12.7; 10.2ff; 27.23
    John 20.12

  3. Hebrews 1.14
    Colossians 1.16; 2.18
    Ephesians 1:21

  4. Readings from the Feast of the Guardian Angels: Exodus 23.20-23a; Ps. 91; Mt. 18.1-5, 10.

  5. Excerpts from the writings of Sts. Bernard of Clairvaux, Augustine, John Vianney, Padre Pio, and Blessed John Henry Newman may be found in Angels in the Writings of theSaints

 

Reflection Questions

  1. Using the Scripture passages provided above, find examples of angels as: messengers of God, glorifying Christ and protectors of people from harm.

  2. St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Do you know the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel?

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke hum we humbly pray;
    and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God,
    cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
    who prowl through the world
    seeking the ruin of souls.
    Amen.


Teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Angels


  1. Catechism, Paragraphs CCC 325-336, 350-352. See especially:

    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.

    350
    Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).

    351
    The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.

    352
    The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.

    The Catechism is available in 9 languages. For the complete list and links, go to: vatican.va/archive/ccc

  2. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Questions 59-61; also “Angel of God,” in the section entitled Common Prayers:

    Angel of God
    Angel of God,
    my guardian dear,
    to whom God’s love commits me here,
    ever this day be at my side,
    to light and guard, to rule and guide.
    Amen.

    The Compendium is available in 14 languages. For the complete list and links, go to: vatican.va/archive/ccc


For Further Reading

  1. Pope Francis, "We All Have an Angel," (Morning Meditation in the Chapel of Domus Sancta Marta), 2 October 2014.

  2. Haydu, Fr. Mark. Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels, Liguori Publications, 2014.