Angels and Demons

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 325-36, 391-95:

  • Angels are pure spirits created by God; each angel is an immortal being, possessing a personal intelligence and will.
  • The very word “angel” derives from the Greek term that describes their duties: they are literally “messengers” or “envoys” from God.
  • As Scripture attests, angels play an active role throughout salvation history.
  • In a very special way, angels are associated with Christ: created through Him and for Him, they accompanied Him in His earthly life and attend Him in heaven.
  • Angels continue their mission in the life of the Church – as a whole, through their mystical presence in the liturgy, and individually, since each one of us has our own unique guardian angel to protect us.
  • Tragically, however, some angels at the dawn of time decided to rebel against God, to reject His sovereignty and refuse to do His will.
  • Because angels are spirits of pure intellect, their choice was irrevocable, made once and for all; unlike human beings, who later regret our sins and repent, the rebellious angels deliberately set themselves against God for all eternity.
  • These fallen angels – led by Satan, the devil – are what we call demons.
  • Driven by their hatred for God and for us, demons want to implicate us in their rebellion, by trying to lure us into sin and so draw us away from God.
  • Although demons have a measure of power and are capable of inflicting harm, they are still limited creatures, and they cannot prevent God’s ultimate triumph.

Live Your Faith

Sometimes we can slip into the sentimental view of angels as cute little cherubs or whimsical mascots. But in truth, they are formidable creatures of grandeur and glory, power and holiness.

The Lord doesn’t give us guardian angels just to help us get a good parking spot. Rather, our angels have a far more momentous mission: to defend us in spiritual battle, protect our souls from harm, and help us to attain heaven. Let each of us cultivate a strong personal relationship with our guardian angel.