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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creation of Angels




The creation of the Angels is mentioned by Saint Paul in one of those incomplete enumerations of the Angelic orders: "In Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Logos) were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers: all things were created by Him and in Him." Colossians 1:16.

We believe as very probable that the Angels were created long before the material world. They were certainly created before man, because we find them already distinguished as good Angels and fallen angels on man's first appearance on earth.

It does not seem probable that God, Who created this world for His own glory, would have no created intelligences to witness the awe-inspiring act of its making. The passage from Job quoted above seems to prove that such witnesses did exist. They saw the marvelous manifestations of the Divine Wisdom, Power, and Goodness and praised the Lord, filling the heavens with "joyful melody. When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:7.

Man himself was not there at the beginning of creation to give glory to God; some created intelligence must have been present. The Angels were the first splendors created to reflect the glory of the Eternal. The first creative act must have produced a creature to the image and similitude of God, a creature able to understand, love, thank, and praise God.

When the whole material world had been created, the Lord formed another similar creature, “a little less than the Angels,” as in Hebrews 2:7, consisting of body and spirit, able to know, love, and serve Him on earth as the Angels do in heaven. We like to imagine the creation of the material universe placed between the creations of two orders of rational beings. One, heavenly, purely spiritual: the Angels; one, earthly, partly material, partly spiritual: Man.

Every Angel is a distinct being, an individual subsisting in an intellectual nature; consequently every Angel is a person. Not only are the Angels real personal beings but because of their spiritual nature wholly untrammeled by matter, their personality is far superior to human personality. Human beings differ from each other merely as individuals of the same species; Angels on the contrary, according to Saint Thomas, differ from each other specifically, so that we may say that there are not two Angels of the same species; each of them is his own kind. This fact implies a far more perfect individuality, a higher form of personality than the one known to us. Because of this specific difference, it follows that every single Angelic creature reveals an entirely new aspect of the eternal beauty and glory of God. To them apply the words of Saint Paul: “Star differs from star in glory.” 1 Corinthians 15:41.

This is the wondrous Angelic world that the Lord created at the beginning of time. In our earthly way of thinking we may conceive it as a living diamond whose myriads of facets reflect constantly and harmoniously the divine splendors of the eternal glory of God. Among all created things the Angels are the best reflectors of the divine light.

 

Nothing is revealed about the number of the fallen angels. However, some theologians believe to have found something like a proportion between good Angels and demons (fallen angels) in the words of Revelation 12:3;

“Behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his head seven diadems; and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth.”

The stars of heaven are understood by these authors to be a figure of speech for Angels and the red dragon for Satan. “On the strength of this text certain mystically inclined theologians estimate the proportion of the fallen angels to those that remained faithful as one to three, 1:3.

Whether this estimate is correct or not, we may safely assume that the number of the faithful Angels exceeded those who fell away.”

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