The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
   
 

Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives

 

Angelology Index


Return to:  Home > Archives Index


Created Spirits
The existence of angels, their spiritual nature, the fact that there are good and bad angels, the fall of the evil spirits of their own free will, and the role of the devil in bringing about the fall of man are doctrines of the Catholic faith solemnly proclaimed by the Church.
The Angels: Adorers of God
We commonly and correctly think of the angels as messengers from God to us. So they are. But before being messengers from God, the angels are adorers of God. Their principal role in heaven is to adore the Holy Trinity. This role of adoration runs through the whole Bible from Genesis to the book of the Apocalypse.
Angel of the Resurrection
Among the evangelists, St. Matthew is the most detailed in describing the role of the angel on Easter Sunday. As we have been doing, we will first quote the account as described by the first evangelist; then something of its profound meaning as the historic foundation of our faith; and finally apply the angel’s message to ourselves.
Angel Popularity on the Rise
It is impossible to exaggerate the widespread interest in angels in a country like the United States. Our task is to sift this avalanche of literature and media production. How much of it is psychological emotion or even positive error? And how much is consistent with the teaching of authentic Christianity?
The Angelic Messenger to the Gentiles
St. Luke devotes a whole chapter in the Acts of the Apostles to the angelic visitation of the Gentile Cornelius in the baptism of his whole family. This chapter marks the turning point in Christian history. For twenty centuries, the Chosen People of Israel were prepared for the coming of the Messiah. In God’s providence, they were to have accepted the Redeemer. They were in turn to be the agents, shall we call them missionaries, sent by Yahweh to bring the good news to the whole world.
The Angels in Bethlehem
Surely, the most dramatic appearance of the angels in Sacred Scripture occurred on Christmas morning. St. Luke, at once the evangelist of Mary, the evangelist of the Holy Spirit, and the evangelist of the angels, had just finished describing the birth of the Savior. Christ was born in silence, but Christ’s birth was to be known to the whole world.
Angels - in Heaven, on Earth and in Hell
The existence of Angels; their spiritual nature; the fall of the evil Spirits of their own free will; the role of the devil in the fall of man, are doctrines of faith proclaimed by the Church and by the 4th Lateran Council, 2nd Council of Lyons, the Councils of Florence, and Trent, and the 1st Vatican Council.
The Good Angels Glorify God and Serve as His Messengers to the Human Race
God created the angels for one main purpose: to glorify the Holy Trinity. What needs to be stressed, however, is that the angels' glorifying God includes serving His divine majesty. Our title for the present conference could be re-worded to say that: "The angels in heaven glorify God and serve Him as messengers to the human race."
The Angels in Sacred Scripture
The angels therefore belong to the mystery of Christianity. Deny their existence, function, or our devotion to the angels and it would be heresy. This is why it is so important to see what Divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture tells us about the angels.
Angels in the History of the Church
Our plan is to focus on successive periods in Catholic history to learn what the Church we belong to has been telling the faithful about the angels. One of the main factors which has evoked Church teaching has been the rise of error in angelology. After all, in God’s providence this is one reason why He allows error. It serves as a stimulus for a deeper understanding of revealed truth.
Angels in the Life of Christ
The focus of our reflections will be in the nature of meditations on the close relationship between the humanity of Christ and the mission of the angels in the redemption of the world.
The Angels of the Ascension
No sooner had Jesus given His last instruction to the disciples than He left them to return to the Father, but now in His glorified humanity, but as the Church tells us, with the wounds in His hands and feet and the open wound in His side. The story of Christ’s visible stay on earth would not be complete if the angels were not identified with His Ascension into heaven.
The Strategy of the Devil in Demonic Temptations
It was divinely providential that Christ allowed Himself to be tempted by the devil at the beginning of His public ministry. He is teaching us one of the most important lessons we need to learn in life. If He the living God in human form was tempted by the evil spirit then so are we. In order to imitate Christ, we must resist the devil as Christ, Himself, resisted the devil.
The Archangel Raphael
We will take this meditation in steps, first to see and say something about the history of Tobit, who was identified as the father, and Tobias identified as the son. Then a reflection on one chapter of this inspired book in which the Archangel Raphael speaks at length. The longest recorded speech of an angel is in this chapter twelve in the book of Tobias. Then we will make some applications for our own spiritual life drawing on both the experience of Tobias and his family, and especially on what the archangel told Tobias and through him is telling all of us.
At the Beginning of Time, God Created the Angels as Individual, Immortal Spirits with Intelligence and Free Will
In the Anglo-Saxon world, we are so preoccupied with the material world that surrounds us, that we have practically come to identify reality with matter. A standard dictionary definition tells the readers that "matter" is "to be of importance," or "as distinguished from nonsense or drollery." For too many people to talk about angels is nonsense.
The Fall of the Angels and Our Probation on Earth
If there is one lesson that we need to learn in life it is that our stay here on earth is a probation. We commonly speak of the trials of life. We should say that our life on earth is a trial. It is a test. It is God’s way of enabling us to prove our loyalty to Him. That is what life, or we correctly say, is - a valley of tears. It is an opportunity to prove our fidelity to the God from whom we came and the condition for our eternity with the God for whom we were made.
The Holy Angels
We begin by observing that there is no such thing as chance with God. God has a purpose for everything which he created. God must have a purpose, and a purpose for us, in creating the angels, and the first I would say, fundamental reason is because God wants us to both understand and live spiritual life. And the angels are pure spirits. Our lives are only as spiritual as they are angelic.
Devotion to the Angels
I do not hesitate to say that devotion to the angels is one of the hallmarks of being a true Christian. It was an angel who first appeared to our Lady to announce her conception of Jesus Christ at Nazareth. It was an angel who appeared to the shepherds at Bethlehem to tell them that the Messiah had been born. It was an angel who consoled our Lord in His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was an angel who told the women who visited the tomb in which Christ had been buried, that the Savior was risen from the dead. It was angels who told the disciples staring into the sky at Christ’s ascension that He would return from heaven to earth even as He had ascended from earth to heaven. It was an angel who delivered Peter from prison where he was chained for his proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. It will be angels who will announce the coming of Christ on the last day of time and the first day of eternity to judge the living and the dead.
We All Have Our Own Special Guardian Angel
There are few aspects of the Christian faith that are more satisfying to the human spirit than to know that each one of us has our own personal guardian angel. We may say this is part of God’s loving providence over the human race. If there is one thing that we all appreciate, in fact deeply need, it is the sense of companionship. We want to know there is someone who is near us, who cares about us, and who is ready to assist us in our needs.
What is Devotion to the Angels and Why is it so Important?
Our closing conference is a double question: What is devotion to the angels and why is it so important? A simple preliminary answer is, devotion to the holy angels is veneration of the angels; it is especially important today because the unholy angels are so active in the modern world.
The Angel Gabriel Appearing to Zachary and Announcing the Birth of John the Baptist
Once we enter the New Testament, we can almost say that angels are an essential part of the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Law. After all, it was a fallen angel who first tempted our first parents to sin. We should therefore expect the good angels to bring comfort and consolation to the human race expecting its Redeemer.
The Annunciation
The opening words of the angel’s greeting of Mary is not really a greeting. Ave is no mere ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ or ‘how are you’. As we know from Sacred Scripture as a form of salutation, it is a prelude of respect. It is an introduction to a solemn mission from God. It is an expression of profound reverence, reverence by an angel of God to the one who was to become the mother of God.
Our Lady's Receiving the Message from Gabriel
After his opening greeting, ‘Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women,’ the archangel then continues, what we might call his prediction or prophecy. On hearing the salutation Mary, we are told, became troubled. She wondered what the unusual greeting she received might be. She was called full of grace and was told "the Lord is with thee." "Blessed art thou among women," and at which our Lady, understandably then continued and asked further questions. We shall first listen to the angel’s prophecy, then we will see what the prophetic words mean objectively and finally, apply the angel’s prediction to ourselves and our spiritual life.
The Angelic Visitation of Our Lady’s Annunciation
Gabriel the archangel told our Lady that she was to conceive and bear a son who would be the Son of the Most High. Unlike Zachary, Mary did not doubt. She did not suspend her judgment. She accepted what she was told as being true. However, she did ask a question, “How should this happen since I do not know man.” In another words, Mary, Our Lady, had consecrated her virginity to God. She logically asked how would this conception take place. Though betrothed to Joseph, she would remain a virgin. The angel’s answer is an essential part of our Christian faith.
Christ Strengthened by the Angels
If there is one aspect of Christ’s life on earth stressed by the evangelists, it is to show how truly human Jesus was. He was conceived and born of a human mother. He was nursed and nourished by her. For thirty years, He lived and slept and ate at Nazareth. So human was His behavior at Nazareth that when He spoke at the synagogue at Nazareth, His fellow Nazareans rose up in protest. Jesus had told them that the prophecy of Isaiah was being fulfilled. This man claimed to be the Messiah! All of this is important to keep in mind as we approach the most dramatic occasion in the gospels, when Jesus Christ was strengthened by an angel during His Agony at the Garden at Gethsemane.
Peter’s Angelic Deliverance From Prison
No less than a good angel was sent from God to release Peter by angelic strategy from certain death; so another surprisingly good angel was the immediate miraculous cause of the death of Herod. The angels of God are engaged in two kinds of protection of human beings on earth. They are commissioned to deliver the servants of God from the harm which their enemies wished to cause them, but good angels are also used by the Lord to destroy those who are enemies of the servants of God.
Catholic Catechism on the Angels
Why a catechism on the angels? Because we need one. There is such a preoccupation with human psychology and physiology as almost to exclude the whole world of reality which is at once intelligent and deeply involved in the affairs of men. Even in Christian circles, the complaint has been justly made that "the angels have taken flight from Catholic schools of thought," with only token attention from some professional theologians.
Our Guardian Angels: Angels of Peace
The story of St. Luke’s account of Peter’s deliverance from prison is only an extensive revealed description of the role of the angels in guarding the human race. Over the centuries, the Church has consistently encouraged the faithful to believe that angelic spirits guide them throughout life.
Our Guardian Angels: Angels of Penance and Prayer
All that we have seen about the guardian spirits being angels of peace applies equally to their mission as angels of penance and angels of prayer. So true is this that when Christ instituted the sacrament of penance on Easter Sunday night, He introduced Himself by telling the disciples to be at peace. In the Church’s tradition, a perfect synonym for the sacrament of penance is the sacrament of peace.
The Promise of Peace
Who, then, are the “men of good will” to whom the angels on Christmas morning promised peace? They are those whose wills are good because they are ready and willing to do whatever the Creator expects of them.





search tips advanced search

What's New    Site Index



Home | Directory | Eucharist | Divine Training | Testimonials | Visit Chapel | Hardon Archives

Adorers Society | PEA Manual | Essentials of Faith | Dictionary | Thesaurus | Catalog | Newsletters

Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association
718 Liberty Lane
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 815-254-4420
Contact Us
Internet: www.therealpresence.org

Copyright © 2000 by www.therealpresence.org
All rights reserved worldwide.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of www.therealpresence.org