Angels and their classificationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I will try to post in the following days about the catholic teaching of the most difficult part in the bible - St John's revelation, in a simplified manner. If I make any mistakes, please do correct me. I have done a lot of readings and research, and I have no more confusions or misunderstandings due to the hard work of good people to pass on their knowledge. I am not so well versed in English and I do not have English bible, but in my language malayalam, which is a direct translation of the hebrew version. The bible is Pshita bible, which used the language spoken by our lord himself. So remember, when I use verses it is my own translation to English from the original version, so my accent will be a little strange and the spellings may differ :) I have no intention to debate, and would like to make a reminder that if you truly want to follow the truth, you will understand the catholic teaching which is the truth, otherwise it is much easier to get lost in the beginning itself.
About revelation - Remember - the book of revelation is written by GOD HIMSELF for a specific purpose, as stated in revelation. It is not just a mere fantasy or not just coded for the people who lived at that time. It is as holy book.
As an introduction, I will explain in detail about the classification of angels. They are my favorite friends and I have a great interest in them. The writings of St Thomas Aquinas and early catholic scholars and the traditional knowledge passed on to us helps us in many ways to know these facts.
The first thing is that, NO, they don't have wings :) In some apparitions to children, they appeared to have pink wings and calm child like appearence because they revealed that the children would be terrified by their actual appearance. Also remember that they are spirits.
A total of 7 angels surround the one God's throne all the time. Two of them are familiar to us. Mikael and Gabriel. The third and the last one specified in the bible is Raphael, who we see in Tobith, who reveals himself as the angel who stands before the lord. What about the rest four? From apocrypha and traditions, we get the rest as Uriel, Raguel, Sariett and Rameel. They are found in the book of Enoch chap.20.
These 7, often are the most special of all. The other angels are not supposed to come face to face with God (Job: 1:6). All of them have different duties.
Mikael fought against the then Lucifer satan, the highest of them all, before our creation and cst him down. He is the holy warrior of God, the one who intercedes for us when satan constantly complaints to God about our faults and sins. The name Mika-el means "Who is like God?" Mikael is the most high of all angels. He is like the general, and he is like my big brother to me :) He is also the guardian angel of Israel.
Gabriel is the holy messenger of God. He is the one who came to St Mary and told her the greatest news ever. He is also the one who gave instructions to St Joseph. The name Gav-ri-el means "The powerful one of God"
Raphael is the holy healer of God. He is the one who is protecting doctors and health professionals worldwide. In Tobith he shows his role and keeps him safe. I am not sure about the meaning of the word. I forgot. My syriac roots are very weak.
There is not much detailed information about the other four in the apocrypha.
St Thomas Aquinas gives us specific information about the hierarchy of angels.
1. There are 3 main hierarchies. 2. Each main hierarchy contains 3 orders.
The highest hierarchy includes the order of (in descending order) a) Seraphim b) Cherubim c) Thrones
The middle hierarchy includes the order of a) Dominations b) Virtues c) Powers
The lowest hierarchy includes the order of a) Principalities b) Archangels c) Angels
This is the most commonly accepted hierarchy among catholic scholars. To add further confusion to this, according to St Thomas Aquinas, when speaking about angelic hierarchy, the words angel(small a) and Angel(capital A) are different. This is necessary to understand fully about the classifications.
angel = higher order Angel = lower order
After our life here is over (ie, the temporary life where earthly matters make us divide among ourselves and force us to disobey God's words), the hierarchies of angelic orders will remain the same, but the offices will not be there anymore as they no longer need to help humans anymore.
By God's grace, human beings can acquire merit that makes them equal to the angels in each order. Humans who get to heaven are classified into these orders but we remain humans, ie we will not be turned into angels.
There is a debate on whether satan who was formerly Lucifer(morning star) belonged to Seraphim or Cherubim.
Guardian angels :- It is stated in the bible that children have their guardian angels to protect them. In fact, we all do since we are the children of God. ST Jerome confirms this, and tells us that we all have each guardian angel. They are constantly supporting us without our knowledge in our fall and temptation and rejoicing with us in our happiness. The guardian angels are the lowest order of angels, ie Angels. In heaven, an angel will reign with each of us :) but not as a guardian because we no longer need a guardian because the most high is there.
Guardian angels never fail in their work. Sometimes in our suffering we are supposed to experience pain and they will not stop it because we are supposed to.
Know that we are not alone even in the darkest of our times. Even though they are invisible, they are there constantly by our side guarding us. Request to them with respect to pray for us to our father in heaven. Since they are in fact holier than us and appointed by God, he will defenitely intervene.
-- Abraham T (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 22, 2003
Thank you, Abraham.
I noticed that you mentioned that your native tongue is Malayalam. Until I did a little Internet search just now, I knew only that this is one of many languages spoken in India. I thought that I would post the following for other forum "regulars." Please correct any errors that it may contain.
"Malayalam [accent on third syllable] is the principal language of the South Indian state of Kerala [where there are many Catholics] and also of the Lakshadweep Islands (or Laccadives) off the west coast of India. Malayalis (speakers of Malayalam), who are almost totally literate, constitute 4 percent of the population of India and 96 percent of the population of Kerala (29.01 million in 1991). In terms of the number of speakers Malayalam ranks eights among the fifteen major languages of India. The word originally meant mountainous country (mala = mountain + alam = place). ... With Tamil, Kota, Kodagu and Kannada, Malayalam belongs to the southern group of Dravidian languages."
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), April 22, 2003.
Abraham, do you Christians ( Catholics, syrian Malabarese,...) don't eat meat because of the Hindus, or you really east meat (pork, cow, chicken...)?
-- Elpidio Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 22, 2003.
You know a lotof things J.F :) You are absolutely right about what you said. But I should say, I haven't heard a lot about the languages Kota and Kodangu. I don't know but I think those are practiced by a few minority. There is one problem there. Since each state in India was a seperate kingdom once, we are still a little different because of the difference in language and culture. It is still a wonder how all of us came together as one country. Our ancestors were converted by St Thomas the apostle, who was martyred and his resting place is here. His feast is on July 3, remembering his martyrdom. The pope has visited here. I also had the oppertunity to make a pilgrimage. I also had the oppertunity to study a little about early church history, and it is fascinating to know the stuff that happened in Kerala, like some of the acts of the St apostle, and the way the kings were pleased by the missionaries (yes pleased and not furious) and gave them royal titles and land etc. It is all very fascinating.
We catholics here are called Sero(Syrian) Malabar catholics, officially RCSC(Roman Catholic Syrian Christian) Elpidio :) We eat all kinds of meat (cow,pig,chicken,duck,crab,fish..) but actually from where I came from, all hindus too ate all these. There are some people who are a little fanatic but we can see them everywhere.
The orthdox catholics there are full of problems because the two sides of the orthdox catholics are constantly fighting with each other to seperate one another permanantly, and it is very sad to see.
The ways of priests there and here are totally different even though not much. The jesuit priests wear a complete white "loha" as their uniform and they will never take it off unless going to their quarters during the end of the day. The franciscan friars are the same and oozing with kindness :) Also, before entering the church, all people remove their sandals and shoes and only then they enter. it is not necessary but everyone does that to remember lord's words "Remove your sandals because the place you stand is holy".
-- Abraham T (email@example.com), April 22, 2003.
Thank you, Abraham, for broadening our horizons with that fascinating lesson on your native culture. You are the first member of the Syro-Malabar church [within Catholicism] with whom I have had contact.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2003.