I hear this often “She is an angel in heaven now” or “He is angel watching over us”.
Have you ever heard this phrase? I realize it brings loved ones tremendous comfort to picture their departed loved ones as angels watching over us, but it’s incorrect to call them “angels”.
Let me attempt to explain.
If your familiar with the bible you will know that God alone makes angels.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
329 Who Are They
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”.
Sections 331-336 also discuss all the different areas within the New and Old Testaments where we see the Angels as messengers of God. Announcing the birth of Christ, aiding the prophets, protecting Lot, speaking to the women at the empty tomb
Can I just go on a rant here for a minute. In writing this blog, I try to use many different sources online or in books. It has been so difficult to find online Bible resources, that actually are full of the original 73 books of the Bible found in ALL Catholic Bibles. Protestant Bibles have removed the following books:
- What’s the difference between a “Catholic Bible” and a “Protestant Bible”?
Catholic and Protestant Bibles both include 27 books in the New Testament. Protestant Bibles have only 39 books in the Old Testament, however, while Catholic Bibles have 46. The seven books included in Catholic Bibles are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. Catholic Bibles also include sections in the Books of Esther and Daniel which are not found in Protestant Bibles. These books are called the deuterocanonical books. The Catholic Church believes these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. (Source the USCCB.org)
Part of my wanting to write this blog is to spread the Truth & Teachings of the Catholic Church. So in ALL my research I try to seek out solid, factual and available resources. In writing I sometimes use Siri to help with my spelling or questions of faith. You would be amazed with some of the answers I get. While writing this blog I have encountered several detours, bare with me while I get the Facts and just the FACTS! I’m sure this is Satan trying to trip me up and discourage me. #ReturnToHellDoNotPassGo
Sure enough I stopped and said a prayer and of course God pointed me to the correct answers. My Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible (New Revised Standard Edition), I checked the index and ta dah:
“In a special way, angels accompany Jesus and belong to Him:At the end of time, Scripture tells us. “The Son of Man is come with His angels”(Matthew 16:27)Excepting the fallen angels, every angel in the Bible is portrayed serving God and his plan.
A random sampling:
Raphael is sent to guide Tobiah (Tobit 5-14)
Gabriel announces two momentous births(Luke 1,11,-13,26-31)
Michael and his angels fight God’s enemies (Revelation 12:7)
Unnamed angels save Issac (Genesis 22:11)
Assist the Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:5)
Appear to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-14)
Attend Jesus (Matthew 4 :11;Luke 22:43)
Unlock prison doors (Acts 12:7)”
Hosts of angels offer unceasing praise (Revelations 5:11)” -From page 515 Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible NRSV
Later after Christ’s Passion, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18). After Peter had run back to tell the disciples that the tomb was empty (Hallelujah!) Mary looks into the tomb and sees two angels in dazzling (Clorox?) white and they ask her “Woman why are you weeping?” Then what Mary at first takes to be a stranger, Mary says “Sir,if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away” (can you even imagine how frantic she must be at this point?)
I couldn’t finish without touching on seraphim and cherubim, from the Websters.com
We read a description of Seraphs “and one called to another and said
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (sound familiar? it’s part of the mass)
“The seraphs are some of the more exotic angels described in the Bible.They are associated with the fire of the alter, perhaps because they reflect God’s holiness. I like to think that they burn with love for God.” -Ann Spangler Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible NRSV
In Ezekiel you will find a most terrifying description of Cherubim, not the chubby little baby angels seen in Renaissance art to be sure.
No where the Bible are we can we find, that when we leave this mortal coil and ascend to our heavenly reward (God willing) do we or our loved ones become angels.
I understand in our grief we want to picture our dearly departed like something out of a Hollywood movie with Jimmy Stewart. We want to think of them with wings and a halo. That is just not the case.
Gods hierarchy of angels by all accounts are a terrifying sight to behold, I personally will be happy just to have my soul enter in to heaven and worship God for all eternity. No wings necessary.
“One loving soul sets another on fire” St.Augustine
Pilar The Papist Squirrel