On angels

I’d like some help on the subject of angels and the creation of the angels. References to scripture and apologetics works (preferably free or cheap) would also be of great help, so that I might look more into the subject of angelology (if that’s a word).

Were angels created before or after the creation of the universe? (By universe, I mean matter and energy, and eventually human beings (material conjoined with immaterial).)

Were angels created by the Father, and then the earth and humans by the Son? If yes for both, then what is the Holy Spirit’s role? (I have a guess, but I’m not sure how to word it right now.)

It seems like once the angels committed one sin, that was that. No second chance. But humans are given mercy. We sin, and as John 3:16 tells us, if we believe in Him we can have eternal life. Despite being sinners, He died for us. How come fallen humans get a Savior, and fallen angels do not?

Is it because angels are much more intelligent and therefore have no excuse? Is it because they felt no temptation, but chose evil anyway? Is it because they all saw (and knew completely) God in their own form (God is pure spirit, angels are pure spirit), and still rejected Him? Or are there reason(s) other than these ones?

If Lucifer had never rebelled, and if Adam and Eve had never sinned, would Jesus Christ still have become a human…or was the incarnation (partly) the result of the Fall and Man needing a mediator? (Also, if Lucifer had never rebelled, would it be okay to speculate that he would have told Eve not to eat the fruit…thus making his chosen rebellion all the more evil?)

Also, once Lucifer fell, did he try to get other angels to fall also? (If so, how exactly did that work?) But the angels still had free will and knew right from wrong, so even if Lucifer “pulled them in,” it was still their choice to fall.

Also, would it be correct to say that as intelligent as Satan is, God will always be infinitely more intelligent?

I think Scott Hahn just released a book about angels this week. I’m betting you would probably enjoy it thoroughly and would answer many questions for you.

I’ll take a stab at a few that your raised.

I don’t know if angels were created before or at the same time as the universe. Sorry.

Then angels are fundamentally different from humans. They are pure spirit and behold God. They have much higher intellects and wills. They were without sin and had perfect knowledge and unspoiled minds like man does after the fall. They had a choice, a permanent and unchanging choice. 1/3 of the angels chose to permanently reject God and their wills were permanently fixed on rejecting God. 2/3 of angels chose to follow God and His will, and their will was permanently fixed on God. Humans are different, in that we are a lower life form, with an injured intellect, and our will is not permanent. We have the option to change our will while we are alive on earth. Once we die, our choices will affix our will either for or against God. This will be permanent and we will be either in Heaven or hell because of that permanent fixing of our will.

And you are correct, Lucifer is infinitely lower than God. He is NOT an equal or the opposite of God. He is a creature that God created. There is an infinite gulf between God and His creations.

Angels All Around Us is a good book by Antony DeStefano…

It totally is. And I’ll give your question another stab.

My best guess is angels were either part of the “Let there be light.” (Light doesn’t really have a body, neither do angels, angels are depicted as light?? It’s a fairly weak argument, I’ll admit.) Or as part of the “firmament.” But there is also a strong case for God not really “needing” angels until He needed a message passed on, since “angel” just means “messenger.” (Also, I know God is totally self-sufficient and doesn’t ever “need” angels.) We know it’s sometime after “In the beginning…” and sometime before the serpent was hanging out in the garden. Personally, I’m a fan of angels = light. That’s pious speculation based on how lots of people report their visions of the angelic host. So take it with a grain or three of salt. :twocents:

Well, we know the Holy Spirit was right there in Gen 1:2 (…spirit hovered over the face of the void [Hebrew: ruach: breath, wind, spirit. See also, "He breathed His ruach into the man’s nostrils.]) As to how the Persons divy’ed up Creation, I’ve never thought about it before. I mean, I don’t think it was like, “Okay, Father, you take the fish, trees, and birds; I’ll get the creepy-crawlies, carnivores, and flowers, and the Spirit can get dinosaurs, fruit, and birds, and We’ll all work together on humans, 'cause they’re cool.” That smacks a little too close to tri-theism for me to be comfortable with the idea. :bigyikes:

I have a cool blog post on this that I’m going to shamelessly plug here. But basically, the above poster was spot on in the popular (although not dogmatic) belief about how, precisely, Lucy fell.

I would greatly encourage you to read over the Easter Exsultet which contains this most joyful line!

***O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

O happy fault that earned for us
so great, so glorious a Redeemer!***

And the above poster was basically spot on with everything else, so no point in repeating. :slight_smile:

feltmeanings23,

I don’t think the Holy scriptures answer your questions, so most of anyone’s answers are speculation. So what I’m going to say comes from ancient writings that are not canon. We do know from scripture that there was a war in Heaven and Jesus (before He had taken on flesh) saw Lucifer fall from Heaven.

I think the angels were created after the universe. God first created 3 archangels, and Lucifer was one. Each archangel was then given slightly lower angels to help them. This is why 1/3rd rebelled with Lucifer. They belonged to him. Yes, Lucifer is much lower than God. That was his big problem. He wanted to be equal to God. Today Satan tells people of the new age that he can give them the powers of God. But even Satan can’t have those powers. No one can. I agree the angels can’t be forgiven because they walked in the presence of God. They can never be trusted.

I have one warning for you. Don’t take much interest in angels. They are created beings like we are. I’ve known too many Catholics that start out curious about angels, and end up praying to them for help. That’s idolatry. God wants us to pray to Him, not His other created beings. In the Bible, when an angel appears to a man, the man usually bows down. The angel tells the man, quite sternly, to get up. Do not bow to me, I serve the same God you do. So be careful. Even venerating angels is spiritually unhealthy.

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER Or second chapter in THE MISTICAL CITY OF GOD its free on the web just google it. the author is the virgin mary

On the other hand, the book of Tobit pretty much has an archangel saying, “I’m in charge of taking your prayers to God.”

“So you must know that when you and Sarah were at prayer, it was I who offered up your supplications before the glory of the Lord and who read them; so too, when you were burying the dead… I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.” They were both overwhelmed with awe; they fell on their faces in terror. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; peace be with you.”

Note that Raphael does not tell them to stand up. He tells them in the following verses to praise and bless God, but not to stand up. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m gonna take the archangel Raphael’s word for it. :thumbsup:

Also, when angels appear to Abraham in Genesis 18, they do not tell him to stand. When angels appear to Lot in Genesis 19, they say nothing to him bowing down to them. And God Himself tells Israel in the book of Exodus, ch 20:

"I myself will send an angel before you to guard you as you go and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Give him reverence and listen to all that he says. Offer him no defiance; he would not pardon such a fault, for my name is in him. (emphasis mine.)

Pretty much sums it up. God told Israel he was sending an angel, to offer that angel reverence, and to do what he says. The end. God’s Word.

Angels aren’t God, but they know what we’re praying for and sometimes God uses them to answer our prayers. We have a guardian angel, whose entire job it is to take our prayers and petitions to God and to look out for us, and drop-kick any pesky demons that come our way. Why wouldn’t we ask God’s messenger’s for help? So on that note:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
oh Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan, and all evil spirits who
prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
:crossrc:

I’m uncomfortable with that line. Adam and Eve had free will, so how could their sin have been “necessary” in anyway?

The prevailing response to the “uncomfortable” feeling (which I totally understand, had for a while, and still get echoes of) is that we were made with natural bodies and natural minds that, while they were (for a brief time) unstained by sin, were also human and nothing more.

However, through the felix culpa, we have gained much much more than we lost, for we are now able to become “partakers of the divine nature” as seen in 2 Peter 1:4: “…He has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them [these gifts] you will be able to share in the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice.” So, human nature would not have needed or merited divinization except by the felix culpa.

There’s another thread on this line on CAF here and some commentary from outside CAF (but still from Catholic sources) here.

Also, the CCC speaks of the Fall in this way:

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God.”

412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, “Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.” And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “There is nothing to prevent human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’; and the Exsultet sings, ‘O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!’”

Hope that helps! God bless. x

The author of The Mystical City of God is a Franciscan nun, Venerable Mary of Jesus of Ágreda. The book has no known ecclesiastical approval.

BE CAREFUL when selecting books about angels. I recently vetted books for our parish lending library and I took out several books on angels which contained lots of information on fallen angels, many names of angels not named in Sacred Scripture, and information drawn from many sources such as Kabbalah and the occult.

Anthony Destefano seems to be a fine author. He is an EWTN host and his book, Angels All Around Us, has a favorable blurb from Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

However, the best source you can find about angels is Saint Thomas Aquinas himself. He is known as the Angelic Doctor for this reason. It is important to remember that much that he wrote about angels is theological speculation, and not taken to be Church teaching. The Church leaves many aspects of angelology imprecisely defined.

Lighthouse Catholic Media (www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org) has a great talk given by Dr. Mark Miravalle.The MP3 is only $3.50. I learned TONS of great stuff about angels. You can totally trust information on Lighthouse. A link about the talk is:

lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/angels-explained-what-you-should-know-about-the-nine-choirs#

Two excellent books on the subject are The Angels and Their Mission - According to the Fathers of the Church by Cdl. Jean Danielou

shop.sophiainstitute.com/Ange…sion-P114.aspx

and the late Mortimer Adler’s The Angels and Us.

goodreads.com/book/show/1…_Angels_and_Us

Sariaru,

That verse you quoted isn’t in Exodus 20. I just checked for it.

Just remember God’s words come 1st.

My apologies, that was a typo. The correct chapter/verse is 23:20 (and 21). Here’s a link. biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+23%3A20-21&version=ESV

Many, many many errors in here: where do I start? As far as I know of Catholic theology, Lucifer is not considered an archangel by us. This is the belief of occultists. There are three archangels known to us and named in Sacred Scripture: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. In fact these are the only names for angels we know, and the only names we are permitted to apply.

The fallen angels made a choice for evil, but it was a one-time, irrevocable choice. At the same time, the good angels made a choice for God and it is similarly irrevocable. A holy angel will not suddenly turn evil, and vice versa. The time experienced by angels is not the same as our time.

Catholics beleive in the Communion of Saints, and likewise we believe that the Holy Angels are part of that same Communion. They enjoy the Beatific Vision, hovering around God’s throne. They are powerful intercessors for us and we do indeed pray to them just as we pray to Mary and all the saints. We can pray to unnamed saints as well: I can pray to my grandparents since I believe them to be in Heaven, and just as much, I can pray to my Guardian Angel, even though I do not know his name, more so than my ancestors, because I am assured my Guardian Angel is in Heaven and I am assured he is a good and holy angel.

Venerating angels is one of the signs of a healthy spiritual life. One of the most powerful prayers is as follows:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the Divine Power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
Who roam throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

It’s speaking about how the New Covenant wasnt necessary until sin entered the world. And yet, the graces of the New Covenant, especially the Eucharist, far surpass the unspoiled life before the Fall.

Praying to saints isn’t worship. Neither is bowing down before them. Those only become idolatry if you worship angels and incorporate those actions as part of your worship. Read your Bible some more. EXPLICITLY we see angels receiving our prayers and presenting them to God, and we see people bow down in respect (not worship) to them.

Well said. I ask the saints to pray for me all the time. Protestants think its ok for them to ask a friend to pray for them but its not ok for us to ask someone who is already in heaven with God to pray for us and that makes no sense.

What exactly do you consider worship?

II. “HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE”

2095 The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity inform and give life to the moral virtues. Thus charity leads us to render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice. The virtue of religion disposes us to have this attitude.

  • Adoration

2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.13

2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.14 The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c1a1.htm#I

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.