Do you believe in Angels

October 6th, 2015 | Posted by K Graham in Uncategorized

Dear Parish Family,
Yesterday was one of the most important feast days of the Church, the feast of the Archangels. Of course on this day we celebrate not just Archangels but all angels. But despite the great importance of angels in our daily lives and in the great events of history, most people know little of these creatures or believe things about them which are not true. I hope this column can both clear up misconceptions as well create a great interest for them in the minds of all of my parishioners. First of all angels are not human. We draw them as humans mostly because when they appear to humans they usually take on human form but in essence they are not human. For example, they do not have bodies. They are pure spirit. The idea of a pure spirit can be difficult for us to contemplate but we must keep in mind that we acknowledge the existence of many things as very real even though they have no physical existence. Thoughts, ideas, numbers, Justice, Mercy, the love we have for our country. These are all real things but they are not physical objects. Justice has no color and ideas have no weight. Angels can be thought of as living ideas or as pure thoughts which are themselves alive. Because angels have no bodies, angels are neither male nor female. We typically use the masculine pro-nouns “he” and “him” when speaking of angels because that is what the Bible does but being pure spirit they really have no gender. This also means that angels are infertile. They do not marry and have no children. Angels are much more powerful than us humans and much more intelligent. What would take weeks of analysis for us to solve angels do in a split second. Angels could also bring down the mightiest empires in just a few minutes, if God were to give them an order to do so. We must always have a healthy respect for the superior power and thinking ability of angels. We are not equals, they are better than us. Angels are also capable of travel at the speed of thought. They simply wish to be somewhere and they are there. But there are some similarities with us humans. Like us they can feel emotion, love and hate; they can plan and calculate; they have different personalities; and most of all, they have free-will. Angels, moreover were not created equal like us humans. They were divided into ranks (traditionally nine) with the best nearest God and lowest furthest from him. When they were first created they also had a leader, a supreme angel named Lucifer. Now we must not forget that Lucifer began good (God never creates garbage). But God wanted the angels to follow him willingly and not be just elaborate puppets. So he granted them free-will, a moment when they could choose to follow God or to reject him. Lucifer grew proud and convinced himself that he could be his own god. This was insane since no one can ever be their own god but the insanity of the proposal did not deter Lucifer. We should remind ourselves that even humans occasionally attempt to claim divine power and authority. Just look at Hitler and Stalin. Lucifer called on the angels to join him in rebellion and to become their own gods. One third of the angels took this lunatic idea seriously and followed Lucifer. But one archangel was having none of it. He stood up and challenged Lucifer with the great question “WHO IS LIKE GOD!!” In Hebrew that is MI-KA-EL, whence our name “Michael” comes from. St Michael then led the good angels in battle against the bad angels. After a fierce struggle Michael and the good angels were victorious and the bad angels were cast down into hell. Of course the bad angels became the demons. Though we should be aware of their existence, it is best to not spend too much time thinking about the demons. Better by far to contemplate the excellence and beauty of the good angels, especially of the three whose names the Bible gives us, Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. More next time. Fr. Max Biltz


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