Monday, September 7, 2009

Catholics and Angels

Q: I was wondering what the Church believes about angels. Do we all really have a guardian angel?

A: Angel is Greek for messenger. The Church teaches that angels are pure spirits, and are far more intelligent than we are, and wield a great deal more power and responsibility (CCC, 330). Of course, angels are not perfect and can make wrong decisions, as shown by Satan and his followers (called demons or fallen angels) who chose to disobey God. Also there are nine different orders of angels: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels. And yes, we do have a guardian angel. Since the seventeenth century, the Catholic Church has celebrated guardian angels every October 2. You can even give your angel a name if you want. For example, I named my angel Sanctus. It’s not actually exactly a common name, but it stuck all the same.