The AngelsFATHER GEORGE W. RUTLER
The Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on September 29, is quickly followed by the Feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2.
Angels are creatures, but existed before the first man (Colossians 1:15-16). They are subject to Christ (1 Peter 3:21-22). They enjoy the constant presence of God (Luke 1:18-19). They are numerous beyond human calculation, and so they are described as thousands upon thousands, or myriads, since Hebrew has no word for "millions." (Hebrews 12:22-23). They know God's will but do not know all its details (Matthew 24:35-36). Angels are multi-lingual (1 Corinthians 4:9) and patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:10-11). Although Christ is divine, he can appear as an angel (Hosea 12:4-5). Angels can appear as winds and fire (Hebrews 1:7) and they rejoice when we go to Confession (Luke 15:9-20). Scripture never says that they have halos, and only seraphim and cherubim are described as having wings, so we would probably not recognize an angel if we saw one. They are astonishingly strong, so that one was able to slay 185,000 Assyrians. They want to comfort us (Matthew 28:1-7) and do not want us to give them the worship which is due to God alone (Colossians 2:18-19). Jesus had power to invoke 72,000 of them (twelve legions) had he wanted to avoid crucifixion, but he did not (Matthew 26:52-53). At the end of the created universe they will accompany Jesus in the Final Judgment (Matthew 25:31).
As angels have no bodies, they have no size, and so they care for everyone equally, regardless of size or age or worldly importance. Jesus said that the littlest human body has a guardian angel in heaven (Matthew 18:10). In each of us the guardian angels see their Lord and our Lord. So Pope Francis said on September 20: "Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ."
St. Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) wrote to a young girl: "Never say you are alone in sustaining the battle against your enemies. Never say you have nobody to whom you can open up and confide. You would do this heavenly messenger a grave wrong."
Father George William Rutler. "The Angels." From the Pastor (September 29, 2013).
Reprinted with permission of Father George W. Rutler.
Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has published 17 books, including: Cloud of Witnesses — Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections, A Crisis of Saints: Essays on People and Principles, Brightest and Best, Saint John Vianney: The Cure D'Ars Today, Crisis in Culture, and Adam Danced: The Cross and the Seven Deadly Sins.
Copyright © 2013 Father George W. Rutler
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