It seems to me that the word “angel” is used a lot a in today’s parlance. Guys refer to their wives or girlfriends as angels, kind individuals who get us out of fixes are called angels, LA’s baseball team is the Angels, when someone passes away it is sometimes said that “God needed another angel up there.” The thing that seems to be so common is an idea that angels are actually humans or that humans can be angels. Sometimes it’s even imagined that angels can become human–not just take on human appearance as we read in Scripture. I’m thinking about that wack movie in which Nicholas Cage becomes an angel because he loves Meg Ryan. Anyway, all of this may beg the question: what, or who, are angels?
Angels are supernatural, spiritual beings. They are pure spirits. The word angel comes from a Greek word for messenger, which is primarily the function, after continual adoration of the Almighty, of these spiritual beings: messenger. God gives us his inspirations through the ministry of angels and angels take our prayers up to God. Sometimes angels take up human appearance and help us when we are in danger.
It’s been recorded that angels have appeared to humans. They have appeared throughout the Old and New Testaments and in more recent times. People appear out of nowhere to fend off attacks–and then they disappear: Angels are known to have done that. We are talking about real, supernatural beings here. And yet there may be something in our references to people who help us out as angels. Angels can orchestrate things on God’s behalf, arranging events and inspiring people to show up at the right time.
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the three Archangels: Saints Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. They’re powerful intercessors in defense, healing, and obedience to God. Angels are at the service of God and our great allies. Real angels can do things that ordinary ones cannot.
All you holy Angels and Archangels, pray for us!