Their song fills the universe

The revelation of God tells us that God’s creation includes not only the physical Earth and its living creatures, but also a whole world of invisible creation. In faith we know that God created the heavens and the earth, things that are seen and unseen, The world is filled not only with material creation, but also with the invisible reality of Angels. We cannot hear all the sounds that fill our world, yet the message and song of the Angels fills the universe. We cannot see all the reality that fills our world, but we know that we are surrounded by ministering spirits who have been sent forth to serve God (Hebrews 1:14).

child-angel-with-harp

When Angels appear in the biblical stories, it is usually at the point of deepest mystery, when the wonder of God touches the lives of people most profoundly. Like a spotlight shining on stage at the key moments, the appearance of the Angels highlights the meaning and magnificence of God’s action among his people.

The Hebrew word for ‘Angel’ is Mal’akh, whose basic meaning is the same as its Greek equivalent Aggelos, or messenger.

Among the many functions of the Angels in the Israelite and Christian traditions, their role as intermediaries is crucial. They are constantly crossing the divide between God and humanity, bridging the gulf between heaven and earth. Because they are in direct touch with God, Angels reveal God in their very essence. They help people on earth to perceive divine power in the world and prepare them for ever-deeper experiences of God and ultimately for union with God.

Jacob's dream - Raffaello SanzioThe ladder envisioned by Jacob, the stairway connecting heaven and earth with Angels ascending and descending, symbolizes the Old Testament mediation of Angels. They bring the saving power of God to humanity and invite individuals to step over the boundaries of the material world into the limitless world of God. In the world of ancient Israel, the fiery seraphim and cherubim were known as guardian figures of God’s heavenly throne, preventing full access to God’s presence, hiding God’s glory with their protective wings. Yet in the New Testament the Angels’ mediation is overshadowed by the perfect mediation of Jesus Christ. As both divine and human, his very being is the presence of God in the world and the perfect expression of humanity joined to God.

Superior to the Angels and adored by them, Christ breaks the boundaries that prevent access to God and opens wide the passage to heaven. As sharers in the mediation of Christ, the Angels serve Him and facilitate God’s mission of bringing salvation to all people through Him.

The guardian angel - Pietro da CortonaA further aspect of the mission of God’s Angels is their service as guardians of God’s people. The Bible offers credible evidence of individual guardian angels for each person, offering not a substitute for God’s loving presence, but a manifestation of it. Like God, the Angels care about each individual person. As Jesus tells us, “There is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Jesus urges us to take care of God’s lowly people, “for I tell you, in heaven their Angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). The personal ministry of guardian angels is an extension of God’s unbroken attention toward us: guiding us, protecting us, rescuing us, and ultimately bringing us to everlasting life.

24 Responses to “Their song fills the universe”


  1. 1 Ruben Vidal September 17, 2009 at 22:10

    Santo Angel, mi guía celestial,
    a quien tantas veces he entristecido
    con mis pecados. No me abandones. Te lo ruego.
    En medio de los peligros, no me retires tu apoyo.
    No me pierdas de vista ni un solo instante, sino que tus
    amables inspiraciones dirijan y fortifiquen mi alma,
    reanimen mi corazon desfallecido y casi apagado,
    porque está sin amor: comunícale alguna chispa de las
    llamas suaves y puras que te abrasan, a fin de que cuando
    llegue el término de esta vida pueda en tu compañía y la
    de todos los Angeles obtener la vida eterna y ver sin cesar
    a Jesús, amarlo, alabarlo y bendecirlo.

  2. 2 Griff September 17, 2009 at 22:15

    A beautiful, intelligent and convincing summary. I went on a retreat to the Capuchin Friary at Pantasaph, North Wales, last year and found my retreat coinciding with that of one on the subject of Angels led by a CFR Friar named Fr Angelos. I ended up joining in with the retreat even though I had gone there for a bit of quiet isolation. His style, presentation and faith, as well as the content of his material, ranging from the Bible and Aquinas to personal experiences, were all very convincing.

  3. 3 Mary Nicewarner September 17, 2009 at 23:18

    Great post on Angels! Someday we will get to meet our Guardian Angels, mine deserves a big thank you. One of my favorite Angels is St. Michael the Archangel, I’m sure you already know this just as I know that St Gabriel is one of yours and he’s your Patron Saint, too.

  4. 4 ginny September 18, 2009 at 01:57

    I love angels! I have an angel in every room of my house. I especially am drawn to St. Michael, St.Raphael, and St. Gabriel….and of course, my own guardian angel.

  5. 5 Cinzia September 18, 2009 at 04:10

    Ruben – I LOVE the Spanish language, and that prayer to the guardian angel is beautiful! I understood most of it and anyway it sounds “celestial.”

    Gabriella, another brilliant post! Thank you … and you always, without fail, manage to find the most relevant and beautiful pictures to accompany each post!

    That alone is mind-blowing, never mind the rest ….

    Have a wonderful day!

  6. 6 churchmouse September 18, 2009 at 11:45

    Excellent post once again, Gabriella! Thank you so much for these informative posts!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. 7 Curro September 18, 2009 at 20:32

    Griff, I visited Wales some years ago: what a BEAUTIFUL country! The sea, the rocks, the wind, the fields, the villages!
    A country that calls for retreats and meditations🙂
    My best holiday🙂

    I agree, this is a very informative post but for those who wish to know more about angelos I suggest an excellent read:
    “Angels and Demons” by Peter J. Kreeft, a present-day famous catholic philosopher.

    Deseamos muy buen fin de semana.

    • 8 Griff September 24, 2009 at 01:26

      Hello Curro,

      Yes, Wales is beautiful. I’ve lived there all of my life and, praise God, I too find great captivation in all of the things that you mention!

      Take Care,

      Griff.

  8. 9 Andrea September 18, 2009 at 22:26

    Al mio angelo custode:
    Angelo mio,
    un giorno ti vedrò!

  9. 10 Micol M. September 19, 2009 at 09:55

    Andrea🙂
    Anch’io non vedo l’ora di conoscere il mio angelo custode. pensa, quando ero piccola dormivo sul bordo del mio letto per lasciare il posto al mio angelo — eheheheheh

  10. 11 anne bender September 19, 2009 at 12:55

    I admit that I am neglectful of my guardian angel and all angels until I attend adoration, and then I realize that I am surrounded by them, and I feel so little. One of my favorite songs is “Panis Angelicus”-it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it!

  11. 12 Davide September 19, 2009 at 16:49

    In his Summa Theologica, the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, writes that Angels “exist in an exceeding great number, far beyong all material multitude.” And the reason he gives is that “since it is the perfection of the universe that God chiefly intends in the creation of things, the more perfect some things are, in so much greater an excess they are created by God.” Now, with bodies (i.e. animal and human) this excess is observed in regards to their magnitude, but with things incorporeal (ie. without bodies, therefore Angels) it is observed in regards to their multitude (i.e. numbers).

    He then goes further to explain that “in the Angels, number is not that of discrete quantity, brought about by division of what is continuous, but that which is caused by distinction of forms.” What he is saying here, is that the multitude of Angels is not like the multitude of human beings. We human beings grow in number within the same species, hence this increase in number causes further division within the species. Think of the human species as a loaf of bread. The greater the number of human beings, the greater the number of divisions of the loaf of bread. Even though we grow in number, the species remains one. With Angels, on the other hand, the increase in number is shown by an increase in species, so that each Angel is his own species. How beautiful is that!! Praise be God and his creations!

  12. 13 Mitchell September 19, 2009 at 22:33

    Thank you Davide you’ve explained it very well — that’s really beautiful!
    And thank you for this blog Gabriella — it’s very informative, it teaches a lot of things in a very simple and easy to follow way — unfortunately I’m not one to delve into books.

  13. 14 Cinzia September 20, 2009 at 00:02

    Davide – that all sounds really fantastic … but in my ignorance about St Thomas Aquinas, can I humbly ask “How did he KNOW this?”

    Was he guided by the Holy Spirit when writing the Summa Theologica?

    Also, why did God make things so difficult for the average human being to understand (like myself and billions of others), that we need exceptional and extraordinary minds like Aquinas to work things out?

    Couldn’t things have been laid out for us all in an easier way perhaps? I mean, for example, what would have been wrong in knowing all about angels and guardian angels in a clear manner without having to wait for a Summa Theologica to have been written?

    Our Heavenly Father sure loves to give us mysteries to try and work out!

  14. 15 Davide September 20, 2009 at 05:38

    Ciao Cinzia. I first have to say that my knowledge on Aquinas is also limited. But I think I can answer your first question. Thomas was an extremely intelligent human being, perhaps closer to an Angel than to a human being. And I say this because just like Angels, Thomas had complete detachment from human passions, and this is what allowed him to delve into previously unchartered intellectual waters. History tells us that when Thomas announced to his family that he had become a Begging Friar, his family was against it and his brother kidnapped him and locked him up in a tower for nearly two years. To destroy his vocation, a woman was sent in by his family to tempt him, but he drove her from the room with a burning brand from the fire. He then knelt and most earnestly implored God to grant him integrity of mind and body. He fell into a gentle sleep, and, as he slept, two angels appeared to assure him that his prayer had been heard. They then girded him about with the girdle of perpetual virginity. Hence, his ability to know so much, I believe, comes from his ability to not be affected by human passions. Passions blind us from Truth and often are the cause of our obstinacy in sin.

  15. 16 Cinzia September 20, 2009 at 05:55

    Thank you Davide – an excellent reply and you certainly know lots more than I do about this great saint.

    It does beg the question, though, why God gave us humans these passions just so they are a constant and continual challenge to stay away from. I mean, one has to be locked up for two years, be given the girdle of perpetual virginity and be completely detached from normal human behaviour to be closer to God and to understand the heavently hosts and so forth?

    I do intend by human passions that they don’t necessarily have to mean sinful ones!

    Also, one has to stay away from human passions to be able to delve into previously unchartered intellectual waters?

    Sorry, I don’t mean to be the devil’s advocate again, I simply don’t understand😦

  16. 17 Bill Turner September 20, 2009 at 11:30

    Hi, Cinzia – I confirm David’s answer. The Angelic Doctor has left writings that are beyond any human intelligence yet!

    All these “human passions” have set into the world, as we all know, with original sin. Now, if in our lives we turn to God, listen to Him, and put ourselves in His hands, well, He’ll help us for sure. That’s why He sent us His son. That’s why Jesus gave us His mother.
    And, remember, as Jesus said to St. Thomas: Blessed are they who believe but have not seen. Isn’t this a wonderful promise!

    We also know that Satan and his angels are running loose here on earth and trying to win over as many souls as possible. Alas, as someone said, if we put God aside and don’t involve Him in our lives, well, like a true gentleman that He is, He won’t interfere🙂 It all boils down to God respecting our freedom of choice😉

  17. 18 christopher September 20, 2009 at 11:41

    Don’t forget that Michaelmas is on the 29th, the novena begins today!

  18. 19 Wendell September 20, 2009 at 11:50

    Thank u, Christopher. I’m also starting the novena today – it’s at 5.00pm at my church.
    St. Michael the Archangel – our greatest soldier!

  19. 20 Cinzia September 20, 2009 at 14:10

    Thank you Bill – I absolutely agree with what you say. I most certainly want to put my life in God’s hands and trust Him absolutely.

    At times, being an ignorant human, I just pose some questions .. merely to try and understand things a bit more.

    And, because I know so many of you commenters on this blog are excellent and know stuff, I like to get discussions going – mostly for selfish reasons🙂 so that I can learn.

    “Blessed are they that believe and have not seen.” Yes that is a wonderful promise! and yes, I do believe.

    Thanks again to you and Davide for the explanations.

  20. 21 Ehawee September 20, 2009 at 15:05

    There is a beautiful native American proverb –

    ” If we wonder often the gift of knowledge will come ”

    and I’m also one who’s always wondering about things🙂

  21. 22 booklady September 20, 2009 at 21:53

    Thank you for this beautiful post Gabriella. As you are named for one of the four great Archangels, I am sure you were angelically inspired. May you continue to be so guided.

    As a child, I named my Guardian Angel. I can’t remember if this was something we were encouraged to do, or if it was something which came from my extensive reading and an over-active imagination, but I can still remember the name I gave my angel–Bethany–the hometown of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Given my own faith journey which led me away from the Church for a long time into a life of sin and darkness, I still marvel at the appropriateness of my name choice. During all that time, my wonderful Guardian Angel kept watch over me, until the Holy Spirit was ready to call me back. ^j^

    In Christ, booklady

  22. 23 African Observer September 21, 2009 at 09:14

    This is such an excellent blog! My only complaint ( tongue in cheek) is that by the time one has started digesting the pertinent words of one posting, one finds that Gabriella is two or three topics ahead!
    One of the best decisions I have made recently is to call the Houses at my school ( Red, Blue and Green) after the Archangels Raphael, Michael and Gabriel.
    Thank you for the postings and all the interesting responses – always a pleasure to read and a very good way to begin the day!

  23. 24 Soledad May 23, 2014 at 06:20

    Bueno no suelo dilucidar mucho en foros de este tipo porque es dificil saber que decir, pero la confirmación que tu artículo o post me ha gustado como lo has escrito y lo que has dicho merece un reconocimiento.
    No he leido los crítica de los demás pero supongo que pensarán igual
    que yo. Desde aqui te informo que tienes un nuevo seguidor.


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Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

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