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The Apostles' Creed, the Scriptures,the Fathers,& Catechisms Creator of Heaven & Earth [Ecumenical] ^ | October 27, 1998 | Robert Haddad

Posted on 05/28/2008 2:41:39 PM PDT by Salvation


"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1, 1).

It is in the book of Genesis that we find recorded the story of Creation. St. John writes in the first chapter of his Gospel: "All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being" (1, 3). We are told that the world did not always exist, but was created in time. The visible universe, all living things, angels and men, sprang into being: "Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created" (Ps. 148 [147], 5).

God made all things, heaven and earth, out of nothing ("Ex nihilo") by His Word. A creator is one who makes a thing out of nothing. Only God can create, all other things are creatures. It is fundamental that we believe in creation, out of nothing, of heaven and earth by one Almighty personal God whose power now sustains His creation (Fourth Lateran and First Vatican Councils). In an era where science purports to advance at the expense of religion it remains obligatory for Catholics to reject any notion or theory which excludes God from being the author of either all matter or life.

God had no necessity to create the universe but, being infinitely good, He wished to impart some of His goodness to created beings. St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things "not to increase His glory, but to show it forth." The First Vatican Council elaborates:

This one, true God, of His own goodness and "almighty power," not for increasing His own beatitude, nor for attaining His perfection, but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which He bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel "and from the beginning

of time, made out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal..."

According to philosophers, God's Intellect contemplates His own Essence and understands the infinite ways in which it can be imitable in creatures. The natures of all beings are therefore dependent on God's own Essence and hence are said to belong to the Essential Order. Whether God brings such creatures into existence depends on His Will. All creatures created by God are said to belong to the Existential Order.

All creatures are made in the likeness of God. Everything created by God in some way or another reflects one or more of His infinite perfections. Hence, in opposition to Gnosticism in its various historic forms, all created things are good in themselves: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good" (Gen. 1, 31). God cannot create anything evil in its essence, for that would be contrary to His own essential goodness.

The Existential Order of creatures is basically as follows: (i) minerals; (ii) plants; (iii) animals; (iv) humans and (v) angels. Each subsequent level is a higher order of creation possessing and reflecting more of God's own infinite perfections. Minerals possess no life; plants possess vegetative life; animals possess vegetative and sensitive life; humans possess vegetative, sensitive and intellective life; angels, being pure spirits without a body, possess intellective life greatly superior to humans. While, as stated earlier, all creatures are made in the likeness of God, humans and angels are both in the image and likeness of God by virtue of possessing an intellect and will to understand and love like Him.

After creating the universe, God did not abandon it to mere chance but by His power continued to preserve and govern it. He has a care for all things and directs them to the end for which He created them: "because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike"; "For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it" (Wis. 6, 7; 11, 24).

However, if God is good and directs all things, why is there so much sin and misery in the world? The existence of sin is not due to the creating hand of God but to our own malice in rejecting God and turning to creatures. God forbids sin, yet permits its existence because of the certainty that a greater good will flow from it. For example, Adam's fall, as tragic as it was for him and all his posterity, was the occasion for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us: "O happy fault, which brought to us so great a Redeemer." God uses threats to deter us from sin and grace to avoid it, but having created us with free will, leaves us to follow it.

As for sufferings, persecutions, afflictions etc., these God also permits for our good: "Good things and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, come from the Lord" (Sir. 11, 14). God desires the sinner to acknowledge the chastisement and change his ways that he may not perish everlastingly. He would wean and purify the just man from the world that he may abound in merit and receive in heaven the reward due to his patient suffering.

The Fathers:

The Shepherd of Hermas, Mand. 1, 1 (C. 140 -155 AD):

"Believe first of all that God is one, that He created all things and set them in order, and brought out of non-existence into existence everything that is, and that He contains all things while He Himself is uncontained."

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 4, 20, 1 (C. 180 AD):

"God had no need of others to make what He had already determined of Himself to make, as if He had not His own hands. For with Him always are the Word and the Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, through whom and in whom He had made all things freely and spontaneously; and to whom He spoke, saying: ‘Let us make man in our image and likeness.’"

St. Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus 2, 4 (C. 181 AD):

"And what great thing were it, if God made the world out of existing matter? Even a human artist, when he obtains material from someone, makes of it whatever he pleases. But the power of God is made evident in this, that he makes out of what does not exist whatever He pleases; and the giving of life and movement belongs to none other, but to God alone."

Origen, Fundamental Doctrines 2, 9, 6 (C. 220 AD):

"...God, the Creator of all things, is good and just and almighty. He, when in the beginning He created those things which He wished to create, that is, rational beings, had no other cause for creating them except on account of Himself, that is, His own goodness."

St. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God Against the Pagans 11, 24 (Inter 413-426 AD):

"But in that place where it is said: ‘God saw that it is good,’ it is sufficiently indicated that God created what He did create, not because of any necessity nor to supply for any need of His own, but solely by reason of goodness, that is, because He is good."

Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566):

For God formed the world not from materials of any sort, but created it from nothing and that not by constraint or necessity, but spontaneously, and of His own free will. Nor was He impelled to create by any other cause than a desire to communicate His goodness to creatures. Being essentially happy in Himself, He stands not in need of anything; as David expresses it: I have said to the Lord, thou art my God, for thou hast no need of my goods.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992):

No. 290: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth": three things are affirmed in these words of Scripture: the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists outside of himself; he alone is Creator (the verb "create" - Hebrew bara - always has God for its subject). The totality of what exists (expressed by the formula "the heavens and the earth") depends on the One who gives it being.

No. 295: We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom. It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God’s free will, he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom, and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all..."; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made."

No. 300: God is infinitely greater than all his works: "You have set your glory above the heavens." Indeed, God’s "greatness is unsearchable." But because he is the free and sovereign Creator, the first cause of all that exists, God is present to his creatures’ inmost being: "In him we live and move and have our being." In the words of St. Augustine, God is "higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self."

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; creeds
Creator of Heaven and Earth: Man



"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him" (Gen. 1, 27).

God then "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Gen. 2, 7). Man was also given dominion over all the other creatures upon earth.

However, in the plan of God He saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone for he needed companionship with one like himself. So God sent a deep sleep upon Adam, and while he was sleeping took one of his ribs and from it created Eve whom God gave to Adam as his companion and helpmate. Beholding his new partner for the first time Adam was ecstatic and exclaimed, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken" (Gen. 2, 23).

Being made in the image and likeness of God, Adam and Eve possessed the spiritual powers of intellect and will. They were created in a state of innocence and happiness, and enriched with supernatural (above nature) gifts to elevate, or "divinize," them and so enable them to participate in the life of God. These gifts included sanctifying grace with the concomitant infused theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, the infused moral virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the uncreated grace of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity. Through such gifts, Adam and Eve possessed the sonship of God and the right to inherit heaven. In addition to these supernatural gifts, Adam and Eve possessed preternatural (beyond nature) gifts to perfect them as human beings, namely, impassability, immortality, integrity and infused knowledge. Their lower instincts, or passions, obeyed their reason and their reason obeyed God. All these gifts were gratuitous gifts of God, above our natural rights.

God placed Adam and Eve in the paradise of Eden, a garden of delights, where they would live in happiness and innocence, growing in grace, until God transported them body and soul to heaven for all eternity. However, it was God's determination for Adam and Eve to merit heaven through obedience and so put our first parents to the test: "And the Lord God commanded the man, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die" (Gen. 2, 16-17). Satan in the form of a serpent approached Eve: "you will be like God." Adam, puffed up with pride at the prompting of Eve, sought inordinately to become like God in knowledge, and then believing God to be a liar disobeyed His prohibition and ate of the Tree of Knowledge.

At once, Adam and Eve felt shame and wished to hide from God’s presence. The punishments were then pronounced. They lost the sonship of God by being stripped of sanctifying grace and hence their right to enter heaven. Four wounds opened up within them: malice in the will; ignorance in the intellect; concupiscence in the concupiscible appetite; and debility in the irascible appetite. Their minds were now therefore darkened, and they became prone to evil, disorder and weakness. They were driven out of Paradise, angels guarding the entrances with flaming swords to prevent their return and access to the Tree of Life. Toil and sickness were henceforth to be their lot, and with the forfeiture of the gifts of impassibility and immortality they became subject to pain, suffering, sickness and death: "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen. 3, 19).

Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned" (Rom. 5, 12). The miserable consequences of Adam’s sin were to pass from him to all his posterity through natural generation, a fatal stain upon our souls. To this, the Church gives the term "Original Sin": "we were by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2, 3).

God in His mercy, however, would not allow humanity to remain in this fallen state. Satan would not be allowed any victory through envy and deception. God gave us time for repentance, and promised a new Adam and Eve who would co-operate together to redeem our lost innocence and regain the Kingdom of Heaven (Gen. 3, 15).

The Fathers:

Tatian the Syrian, Address to the Greeks 15 (C. 165-175 AD):

" is necessary for us now to seek what once we had, but have lost: indeed, to unite the soul with the Holy Spirit, and to strive after union with God...The perfect God is without flesh; but man is flesh...Such is the form of man’s constitution: and if it be like a temple, God desires to dwell in it through the Spirit, His Representative; but if it be not such a habitation, then man excels the beasts only in that he has articulate speech, and in other respects his manner of life is like theirs and he is not a likeness of God."

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 5, 3, 2 (C. 180 AD):

"God, taking soil from the earth, made man. And surely it is much more difficult and more incredible that from non-existent bones and nerves and veins and the rest of the human system, he makes him to exist, and in fact raises him up as an animated and rational living being..."

Tertullian, The Soul 22, 2 (Inter 208-212 AD):

"We define the soul as born of the breath of God, immortal, corporal (sic), having form, simple in substance, acquiring knowledge by its own operation, showing itself in various ways, free to choose, subject to misfortunes, changeable according to natural inclinations, rational, the mistress, she who divines, descended from a single source."

St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Advantage of Patience 19 (256 AD):

"The Devil bore impatiently the fact that man was made in the image of God; and that is why he was the first to perish and the first to bring others to perdition. Adam, contrary to the heavenly command, was impatient in regard to the deadly food, and fell into death; nor did he preserve, under the guardianship of patience, the grace he received from God."

Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566):

Lastly, He formed man from the slime of the earth, so created and constituted in body as to be immortal and impassable, not, however, by the strength of nature, but by the bounty of God. Man’s soul He created to His own image and likeness; gifted him with free will, and tempered all his motions and appetites so as to subject them, at all times, to the dictates of reason. He then added the admirable gift of original righteousness, and next gave him dominion over all other animals.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992):

No. 396: God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God...

No. 397: Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.

No. 400: The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay." Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true; man will "return to the ground" for out of it he was taken. Death makes it entrance into human history.

No. 404: By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice.

1 posted on 05/28/2008 2:41:39 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...

Catholic Discussion Ping!
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

I will be glad to establish a Ecumenical Ping List in addtion to the Catholic list for only this series of discussions on the Apostles’ Creed.

Please let me know (through Freepmail) if you would like to be pinged also to this series! I promise —— you will only get these pings!!

2 posted on 05/28/2008 2:43:50 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
The Apostles' Creed in the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Catechisms [Ecumenical] (I believe in God the Father Almighty

The Apostles' Creed, the Scriptures,the Fathers,& Catechisms Creator of Heaven & Earth [Ecumenical]

3 posted on 05/28/2008 2:46:54 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

I have a question. Why do we as Catholics, clearly see Genesis prophecy of a new Eve in Mary, and certain Protestants can’t? My daughter’s religion teacher keeps on telling her that “Mary was just another woman, like us”. I’m proud to say that my daughter reponds to her religion teacher with Genesis and “The Wedding in Canna” along with other biblical references as clear symbols of Mary’s greatness. The teacher quotes Dueteronomy and other old testament quotes. I just don’t understand the anymosity towards our Lord’s mother.

4 posted on 05/28/2008 4:03:13 PM PDT by mgist
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To: mgist

You may see it as animosity, but I definately hold none toward Mary. She was blessed to be the earthly mother of Christ, highly favored, but only human, with all our faults. I draw the line at praying to dead people, when clearly the Bible says there is 1 intercessor for us, and that is Christ the Lord, no one else can do anything for us.

5 posted on 05/28/2008 4:49:39 PM PDT by vpintheak (Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Prov. 25:26)
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To: mgist

**I just don’t understand the anymosity towards our Lord’s mother.**

Neither do I.

I have a whole slew of Biblical quotes on this subject. Typology that ties the Old Testament to the Old Testament.

One of my favorites is the person who touched the (Old) Ark of the Covenant without using the poles correctly. He immediately died.

Likewise, this typology leads to the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No one touched her; St. Joseph was a chaste spouse. The Holy Spirit came over her and Christ was conveived.

6 posted on 05/28/2008 4:52:58 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: mgist

I forgot an important phrase in the New Testament reference:

**Likewise, this typology leads to the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant.

She carried Christ in her womb, conceived by the Holy Spirit. It’s all right there in Luke 1.

7 posted on 05/28/2008 4:55:57 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: vpintheak


I here where you are coming from, but the fact that Christ is the one mediator between God and Men, does not mean that Christians can’t pray for one another or that the Saints in Heaven can’t pray for us.

Christ is the one mediator between God the Father and men, but because of our Baptism, all of us, participate, in a “subordinate role”, in the priesthood of Christ. For example, in Catholic theology, and I would also say the Eastern Orthodox theology, when an individual is Baptized, they, like Christ, are annointed, priest, prophet and king.

St. Peter speaks of this when he writes “but you are a chose race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own” (c.f. 1 Peter 2:9). So while the Catholic/Eastern Orthodox Church sees the ministerial/sacramental priesthood, which is a participation in the priesthood of Christ, as he is the eternal high priest, all the baptized participate in the priesthood of Christ in some way.

So, Christians, who are baptized into the Holy Trinity, and the Church, which is Christ’s body (c.f. 1 Cor 12: 12-14), all pray for the good of the rest of the body since if one part of the body suffers, all do (c.f. 1 Cor 12: 26).

So understanding the Church as the Body of Christ means all the baptized, those on earth and the saints in heaven. Since this thread deals with the Apostles Creed, there is a theological/doctrinal statement in that Creed which mentions the “Communion of Saints”, which in readers digest language, is the “Communion of all the baptized”.

So Catholic prayer on earth (e.g.,in Liturgy), for example, shows the doctrine of the COmmunion of Saints. For example, in the “confideor”, which is a penitential rite of the Liturgy, we hear “and I ask Mary ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God”. In the Eucharastic Prayers of the Roman canon, particularly the Intercessions in Eucharistic Prayer II, we see intercessory prayer again the

Some Protestant Christians, maybe not you, look at the passag from St. Paul in 1 Tim 2: 5, and conclude that intercessory prayer is unorthodox. However, if you look at the entire passage, that interpretation is incorrect. For example, St Paul writes “First of all then, I ask supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offerred for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quite and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the tuth” (c.f. 1 Tim 2: 1-4).

In another passage St. Paul states “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God” (cf. Col 1: 24-25)..”For this I labor and struggle in accord with the exercise of his power working in me” (c.f. Col 1:29)

So from these two passages, we see St. Paul asking for Christians to pray for everyone (c.f. 1 Tim 2) and St. Paul using his own sufferings as a form of prayer by uniting his sufferings with Christ’s, to strengthen the rest of the Church. A very Powerful!!! form of intercessory prayer.

In the Letter of St. James, we read “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and annoint [him] with the oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, an the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful” (c.f. James 5: 13-16).

Now in this passage, Catholics see many doctrines here. Clearly the first context is the Presbyters (Priests) were called to 1) Annoint with oil (Sacrament of Annointing of the Sick) and 2) Hear Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. However, it is also clear that praying for each other is commanded by St. James, similar to what St. Paul commanded, and in doing this, we are in now way taking from Christ’s role as the “sole mediator” for humanity before God.

In addition, there are numerous other passages where St. Paul is offering his own prayers to God for the good of the Church and/or asking the Church to pray for him (c.f. Rom 15:30; 2 Cor 1:11; 2 Cor 9:14; Eph 6: 18-19; Phil 1:9; Col 1:3; 1 Thes 5:25; 2 Thes 2:11; 2 Thes 3:1) and we see in St. Luke’s Gospel that the saints and angels in heaven rejoice when a sinner repents and returns into God’s grace (c.f. Luke 15:7; 15:10)

In addition, the early Church Fathers are unanimous in their consent to the practice of honoring the saints and asking them to pray for us and with us.

In closing, there is nothig unorthodox about honoring Mary, who even the angel Gabriel greated her with “Hail Mary full of grace”, some translations use “Hail most favored one” (c.f. Luke 1:25), and the saints, and asking them to pray for us and with us as both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (Liturgy of early Church and Church Fathers) attest.


8 posted on 05/29/2008 11:00:56 AM PDT by CTrent1564
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To: All
There is so much on this website -- just found CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH: ANGELS

My goof-up. Here it is:


"A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him" (Dan. 7, 10).

Angels are the highest and most perfect of God’s creatures, being pure spirits endowed with power, intelligence and free will. They surround the throne of God and are "His ministers that do his will" (Ps. 103 [102], 21).

God created the angels before men, and in a state of innocence and grace together with excellent gifts. But God created them also free and capable of sinning, and willed that they should undergo a trial in order to merit heaven permanently as a reward for their fidelity. According to tradition, this test involved God revealing His plan to create humanity and later have the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assume human nature and dwell among men on earth. Some time later, He and His Mother would be exalted in heaven above all the angels. Lucifer, the highest of the angels, could not accept mere human nature being exalted above his own and in his pride preferred the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity to unite with himself.

Lucifer together with one-third of the other angels rebelled against this plan of God, and becoming devils with perverted wills, were cast into hell: "God did not spare the angels when they sinned" (2 Pet. 2, 4). There they will remain forever without repentence or redemption for they gave full consent to their rebellion knowing without deception the consequences thereof. In other words they permanently fixed their own end.

Though they have no physical body like humans, they have the power to appear in bodily form. This they can do in either two ways. They can "assume bodies" by manipulating matter to create and put on a mask in the same way humans can put on a disguise or costume. This is the case when angels are seen by more than one person at a time. The other way is by influencing our imaginations by placing an image within them that gives the impression that there is a body there. This is normally the case when only one person is having a purely private experience of an angel.1

The exact number of angels is not stated in Sacred Scripture, however, according to the Prophet Daniel "A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him" (Dan. 7, 10).

According to the Fathers of the Church, the angels are divided into three hierarchies, and each hierarchy into three chiors:

(i) Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones;

(ii) Dominations, Principalities, Powers;

(iii) Virtues, Archangels, Guardian Angels.

Only three of the heavenly host are known to us by name:

(i) Gabriel ("Strength of God");

(ii) Michael ("Who is like unto God");

(iii) Raphael ("Remedy of God").

Though condemned to hell, Devils are permitted by God to come upon the earth to test mankind: "Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5, 8). In their envy and hatred they try to lead us to sin, and can even affect our bodies by possession. Nevertheless, "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10, 13). If, then, we are overcome the fault is our own.

The chief occupation of the good angels is to adore and to praise God continually: "Day and night without ceasing they sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty’" (Rev. 4, 8). Angels also, as God’s ministers, take part in the government of the universe, executing the Divine commands: "Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?" (Heb. 1, 14).

It is the Church’s teaching that each person has a Guardian Angel appointed by God as a special protector: "Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven" (St. Matt. 18, 10); "When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. On recognizing Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, You are out of your mind! But she insisted that it was so. They said, It is his angel" (Acts 12, 11-15).

St. Michael was the special protector of Israel, and is now venerated as the guardian of God’s Church against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

We should love and revere the angels, and with confidence recommend ourselves to them in all the circumstances of our lives.

The Fathers:

The Shepherd of Hermas, Vis. 3, 4, 1 (C. 140-155 AD):

[Hermas recounts that the old woman who is the Church came to him in a vision]:

"I answered and said to her: ‘Lady, this is a great and wonderful thing. But the six young men who are building, who are they, lady?’

‘These are the holy angels of God, who were the first to be created, and to whom the Lord entrusted all of His creation, to increase it and to build it up, and to be masters of the whole of creation. Through them, therefore, the building of the tower will be completed.’

‘But the others, who are bringing the stones:-who are they?’

‘They also are holy angels of God; but these six are superior to them. The building of the tower, then, shall be completed; and all alike shall rejoice around the tower, and shall give glory to God, because the building of the tower was accomplished.’"

Tertullian, Apology 22, 4 (197 AD):

"The business (of the fallen angels, who are the demons), is to corrupt mankind. Thus, from the very first, spiritual wickedness augured man’s destruction. Therefore do they inflict diseases and other grievous misfortunes upon our bodies; and upon the soul they do violence to achieve sudden and extraordinary excesses. Their marvellous subtlety and elusiveness give them access to both parts of man’s substance...Therefore are they everywhere in a moment. The whole world is but one place to them. What and where anything happens they can know and tell with equal facility."

St. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 6, 13, 107, 2 (Post 202 AD):

"Even here in the Church the gradations of bishops, presbyters, and deacons happen to be imitations, in my opinion, of the angelic glory and of that arrangement which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who have followed in the footsteps of the Apostles, and who have lived in perfect righteousness according to the Gospel."

Origen, Fundamental Doctrines 1, Preface, 6 (Inter 220-230 AD):

"In regard to the Devil and his angels and opposing powers, the ecclesiastical teaching maintains that these beings do indeed exist; but what they are or how they exist is not explained with sufficient clarity. This opinion, however, is held by most: that the Devil was an angel; and having apostatized, he persuaded as many angels as possible to fall away with himself; and these, even to the present time, are called his angels."

St. Hilary of Poitiers, Commentaries on the Psalms, On Psalm 130 (129), 7 (C. 365 AD):

"We recall that there are many spiritual powers, to whom the name angels is given, or presidents of Churches. There are, according to John, angels of the Churches of Asia. And there were, as Moses bears witness, when the sons of Adam were separated, bounds appointed for the peoples according to the number of the angels. And, as the Lord teaches, there are for little children, angels who see God daily. There are, as Raphael told Tobias, angels assisting before the majesty of God, and carrying to God the prayers of suppliants. Mention is made of all this, because you might wish to understand these angels as the eyes, or the ears, or the hands, or the feet of God."

Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566):

Moreover, He created out of nothing the spiritual world and Angels innumerable to serve and minister to Him; and these He enriched and adorned with the admirable gifts of His grace and power...That the Devil and the other rebel angels were gifted from the beginning of their creation with grace, clearly follows from these words of the Sacred Scriptures: He (the Devil) stood not in the truth. On this subject St. Augustine says: In creating the angels He endowed them with good will, that is, with pure love that they might adhere to Him, giving them existence and adorning them with grace at one and the same time. Hence we are to believe that the holy Angels were never without good will, that is, the love of God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992):

No. 329: St. Augustine says: "‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit,’ from what they do, ‘angel.’" With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word."

No. 336: From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their 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 the angels and men united in God."

No. 392: Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection in that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: "You will be like God." The devil "has sinned from the beginning..."; he is "a liar and the father of lies."

9 posted on 05/29/2008 5:37:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Interesting that this also speaks about the fallen angels.

This is also one of the sites where I have seen the different classifications of angels.

Worth noting.

10 posted on 05/29/2008 5:38:44 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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