Okay! Let’s get a few things straightened out about the Angels. First, the angels existed long before Hallmark Cards and Gifts. I know you think they invented them because their stores are filled with chubby, ceramic, baby-faced angels, however, God created the angels long before he created the person who invented Hallmark Cards and Gifts. Look – I like Hallmark too, but they did not create the angels.
Second, angels are not chubby and baby-faced. They are warriors who would and have fought for God. There was a great battle in heaven before the world was created (see Revelation 12:7-12). Remember what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew when the Temple guards come to arrest him – “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (26:53). A legion at that time consisted of 5,300 men. That means Jesus could have had 63,600 sword-wielding angels fighting for him. Talk about bringing the BOOM!
Third, when we pass from this life into the next life of the Kingdom of God, we will not become angels. Sorry to break the news to you all! We will become saints because we are saints here on Earth. On Earth, we are the saints militant. In Purgatory, we are the saints suffering (purgation). In Heaven, we are the saints triumphant. I know that Hollywood always portrays us as going to Heaven and getting a pair of wings (“every time a bell rings…an angel gets his wings”), but in reality, we don’t get wings and we are not angels in heaven. Angels are God’s creatures as well but different than humans. Angels don’t even have wings since they don’t have bodies. In art, angels are portrayed as having wings and look male and female, however, that is the case because it helps us relate to them better and to understand their powerful intellect.
Now that some of those assumptions are cleared up, let’s talk about the angels and who they are in God’s divine plan, since today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. The angels are neither male nor female. Since they are pure spirits, they do not possess the bodily traits of gender (see Heb 1:13-14, CCC 328, CCC 330), even though in the Scriptures angels appear as males as in the cases of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
The Greek word, angelos, is defined as angel. Angels are pure created spirits who have superior intellects and firm wills. God created the angels good, but some chose to disobey God and were banished from heaven, as I said above (read Revelation 12:7-12). There are nine choirs of angels: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels. We know they exist because they are spoken about in Public Revelation (Holy Scriptures) – Psalms 90:11, Matthew 18:10 and other places.
Guardian angels are created heavenly spirits who help and guard those to whom they have been assigned. All of us have a guardian angel and even some people have two or more angels that protect them. Jesus even said when talking about children, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Even though Jewish Tradition (except for the Sadducees) and Catholic Tradition had a devotion to the angels, it was not until the 17th century when Pope Clement X officially declared the devotion to the guardian angels as valid.
Theologians believe that all human beings have a guardian angel – baptized or non-baptized. It is also believed that guardian angels don’t get a new assignment when our life is through. They enter into the heavenly kingdom with us. Some might ask if they would enter into Hell. I would speculate no since Hell is a place is that is completely devoid of God and his goodness. Once a soul is in Hell, there is no leaving. It’s a choice to be there. While here on earth, our guardian angels never leave us, even if we tell them to do so. I experienced this before where people said to their guardian angels – you go and pray before Jesus in Adoration while I study. Ah yeah – not happening!
Their primary position is to act as a mediator between God and man. The angels are mentioned in wide range of scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. The amount of angels is gigantic and the scriptures speak of them as “a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand” (see Dan 7:10; Ps 67:18). In Marian Theology, one of the titles for the Blessed Mother is Queen of the Angels.
The Guardian Angel prayer is often a prayer that many children are first taught by their parents as they go to sleep for the night. It is a simple prayer, but one we should all know.