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 Gods 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 , 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 Gods 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 Churchs 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 Gods 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)
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)
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 mans 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 mans 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 tempters 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."
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.