March 30, 2014
BAD ANGELS…..First Article of Apostles Creed Continued
So, were the bad angels always bad? The answer is no, God created all of the angels good. Lets see what The 4th Lateran Council in 1215 has to say, ” the devil and the other demons were created by God good in their nature but they by themselves have made themselves evil” D 428, D 427.
The Angels were subjected to a moral testing, they were in a state of pilgrimage in which they were required to merit The Beatific Vision of God. The Good Angels who passed the test entered into the blessedness of heaven (Matt 18:10, Tob 12:15, Heb 12:22, Rev 5:11, 7:11. The bad angels who did not cooperate freely with Gods will, and through their own pride and envy chose freely not to serve God, fell under the ban of eternal damnation (2 Peter 2:4, Jud 6 ). The Fathers and theologians generally refer to the fall the words from Jeremiah 2:20 ” non serviam ” in English, it translates as ” I will not serve .”
Well, what if I choose not to believe that the devil and his demons are real? You had better change your mind quick, and it is a good chance that the devil or one of his demons has made that suggestion to you. The devil truly exists and we see his handiwork everywhere we look. Satanism, satanic cults, devil worship, abortion, radical feminism,exorcisms are all very publicized and glamourized in the secular world for it not to be true. So, how do we resist the devil and his temptations and is it always the devil that tempts us? We resist the devil with our will and the help of the Sacraments of the Church. 1 Cor 10:13 states ” God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able. ” It is not always the demon who tempts, it could be our own flesh or the world, but always keep your guard up through daily prayer, regular confession, daily rosary, and of course The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist to protect yourself from the evil one. Sacramentals like Holy Water and the Brown Scapular are also very helpful in fending off the evil one . Some of the other ways we protect ourselves from the evil one are by making prudent decisions by what we expose ourselves to. Definitely stay away from astrology, palm readers, psychics, yoga, white or black magic, mediums, Ouija boards, séances, pornography, sexually explicit movies or images, and away from other sources ,or potential sources of temptations. We have that responsibility also to make willfull decisions that won’t put us in an occasion to sin or draw others into sin either.
The Council of Trent names as a consequence of Adams sin mans subjection to the power of the devil D 788, D793. The Church’s belief finds liturgical expression in the ceremonies of Baptism. We know that the devil tempts and tries to hurt us spiritually and morally, but in certain circumstances, he can in fact harm us physically. A type of demonic infestation is possession, obsession , and oppression. This is when the evil spirit , takes forceable possession of the human body, so that the bodily organs and lower part of the soul, but not the higher parts of the soul are dominated by him. In these cases often a good confession can heal the one afflicted. Sometimes some deliverance prayers will be needed, and in less common cases, a priest who is granted permission by the Bishop will have to perform an exorcism or exorcisms to rid the person of the demonic possession.
in JMJ, Lee
March 26, 2014
Good Angels…..First Article of Apostles Creed continued
I find it a very appropriate day to blog about Good Angels. Of course today is the First Class Feast of The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25 and yesterday was St Gabriels feast day, the Archangel chosen by God to announce to Mary that she was to be the Mother of Christ. The Angel in the above image of the Annunciation is none other than the Angel Gabriel. He was hand picked by God to deliver Good News to Mary.
I think it is important to note that although each individual angel is indeed a different unique species from one another since they are not of a material nature but a spiritual nature, that their still are different classes of angels. Actually, nine Choirs of Angels is the language we use to identify the hierarchy,types or government if you will, of angels.. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quod Apostolici muneris, writes of the distinct nature of the choirs of angels, ” Just then as the Almighty willed that, in the Heavenly Kingdom itself, the choirs of angels should be of different ranks, and subordinated the one to the other; again just as in the Church, God has established different grades of orders with diversity of functions…” St Teresa of Avila who saw angels on more than one occasion, a favourite Saint of mine, and most powerful intercessor , also Doctor of the Church writes of the choirs, ” Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that their is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, I cannot explain it.”
The nine choirs are as follows, The Seraphim, The Cherubim, The Thrones, The Dominations, The Virtues, The Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. In a more intermediate study in the future, we will look at the different functions of these nine choirs and how they relate with God, one another and with us here on earth.
The Archangels that are known to us as Catholics definitively through Sacred Scripture and Sacred tradition are Archangel St Michael, Archangel St Gabriel, and Archangel St Raphael. We know that their are more Archangels, ” I am Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord” (Tob 12:16). We do not know the names of the other four, we might have wait and see who they are in heaven. If you want to read more about Angels, you might like Joan Carrol Cruz’s book Angels and Demons or Peter Kreefts book Angels and Demons: What do we Really Know about Them? I have read both these books and really appreciated the thoroughness of each.
Next time we will look at Bad Angels….
in JMJ, Lee
First Article of Creed Continued…..Angels
March 20, 2014
As we continue looking at the First Article of the Apostles Creed, “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth “ we will do a basic study on Angels. This is a very popular subject with people of all religions and even no religion, since most people seem to believe in angels existence. Of course we know they do exist and have a very active part in our day to day life. We will take a quick look at what The Church has to say about Angels.
The word Angel, actually means “one who is sent” or ” messenger.” Angels are revealed to us all through Sacred Scripture (Psalm 103:20-21, 148:2, Genesis 48:16, Matt 22:30, Lk1:26,Peter 2:4, Rev 5:11……) and all through Sacred Tradition.
God created angels as pure spirits. They are spiritual beings, non-corporeal : therefore, having no bodies. Each Angel is a person, a subsisting intelligent being with an intellect and a will. Angels are immortal beings, not to be confused with God, who is Eternal. Each Angel is a completely unique creature of God, naturally superior to man and closer to God in semblance. He is the creator, they are creatures. His knowledge is infinite, angels knowledge is finite. He knows past, present, future….Angels do not know the future unless specially revealed to them by God. Angels , good and bad had choice in the beginning, to either co-operate with Gods will and spend eternity with Him in heaven, or be cast into hell for willful disobedience. We will continue for the next two or three posts on Angels: Good and Bad. Don’t forget to stay in constant contact with your guardian angel. I ask mine to remind me of appointments, to help me remember many things and to help protect me from the world, the devil and myself. I also try and thank him also for the guidance he gives me and all the help he has given me over the years. This is the Guardian Angel prayer, I say it every day when I wake and when I go to bed and also say it to my children and ask their Guardian Angels to watch over them always.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide.
“From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God.”
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.
in JMJ, Lee