What are angels?

Posted November 9, 2009

Angels are referred to in Scripture more than 300 times. In general, angels are ministering spirits (Heb. 1:14), and as the Greek word for angel (angelos) signifies, their primary ministerial role is acting as messengers (2:2).

God’s myriads of angels, “mighty ones who do his bidding” (Ps. 103:20), are beings with a superlative intellect and incredible power. Of the nine angelic “choirs” or orders, referred to in various places in Scripture, our guardians belong to the order closest to the human level. As angels, they are lower than archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim and seraphim. Yet their abilities and intelligence and holiness are inconceivably greater than ours. Having such an angelic companion is better than having super-holy Superman as our private intercessor, servant, bodyguard, and friend.

“Glad You Asked” by Fr. John Hampsch, cmf