Catholics really pray to angels


When meeting angels, people feel that God is with them.

Angels are messengers of God. The Bible reports that angels are gathered around the throne of God. They come to people to bring God's messages to them. The Hebrew word malakwhich stands for “angel” means messenger. The German word "angel" is derived from the Greek word for messenger, angelos, from. Angels act in God's sense in the Bible and protect people in danger. They show people that God is with them. In this way, many people today experience God's presence. There are many stories about angels, especially in the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, angels primarily encounter important people, such as Abraham, Moses and Elijah (Gen 22:11; Ex 3: 2; 2 Kings 1:15). Most of the time, they bring them direct messages from God. Angels can also do concrete things, for example angels who shut the lions' mouths when Daniel is thrown into the pit with them (Dan 6:23). The Psalms describe the experiences of people who are protected by God as angelic experiences: "The angel of the LORD camps around those who fear him and helps them out" (Ps 34: 8). And: "For he has commanded his angels to keep you in all your ways" (Ps 91:11). Another task of the angels is to praise God in heaven (Ps 103.20; 148.2). In ancient times, a very extensive doctrine of angels emerged in Judaism within some currents, especially in Jewish writings outside the Hebrew Bible, i.e. outside the Old Testament. There are different classes of angels in these scriptures, such as Serafim, Kerubim, and Ofannim. There are also particularly important angels, such as Michael, Gabriel, Rafael and Uriel. The people imagined that angels guided the stars and the passage of time and had insight into wisdom and history.

In the New Testament, one idea is particularly important: Christ becomes ruler over all creation, including heaven and the angels. He ended people's distance from God. In him God himself came to people. With his resurrection comes God's promise that creation will not be lost, but that God will take care of it forever and will transform it into his great kingdom, the kingdom of God. He does this through Jesus Christ, who says in the Gospel of Matthew: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mt 28:18) Angels bring this message to people in the New Testament.

The angels serve Jesus, for example in the story of his temptation in the desert (Mk 1:13). With his resurrection, Christ becomes ruler over everything (Eph 1:20; Col 2:10). In Col 1:16, Christ is even from the beginning above all creation. Angels appear in the New Testament texts to proclaim this good news. They announce to Mary that they are pregnant. They come to the shepherds in the field and tell them that Jesus was born. Finally, an angel announces to the women at the tomb that Jesus is risen. The idea that angels are with people who believe in God still exists in the New Testament. For example, in Mt 18:10 it is said that all children have an angel in heaven, and it is angels who, for example, deliver Paul and the other apostles from prison (Acts 5:19 [KC6]; Acts 12) , 7).

In the early Church times and in the Middle Ages, Christian theologians dealt with angels in different ways.

Dionysius Aeropagita, for example, developed a doctrine of angels in his work "The Heavenly Hierarchy", which he linked with the Trinity of God. For example, Kerubim and Serafim are assigned to God the Father, who, according to the biblical representation, bear the throne of God. God the Son are assigned the “powers”, “lordships” and “figures” and God, the Holy Spirit, the “angels”, “archangels” and “principles”.

In one of his main writings, "De civitate Dei", Augustine designed a battle between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. The powers of darkness are "fallen angels", that is, angels who have sinned. They are trying to take possession of people. The "good" angels, in turn, try to prevent that.

For the reformers like Martin Luther and Johannes Calvin the existence of angels was also a matter of course, but other aspects, such as the justification of man through Jesus Christ, came to the fore. Angels assigned them more to a private piety. When theologians reacted to the effects of the Enlightenment in the 19th century, they almost completely banned the doctrine of angels from theology. This continued into the 20th century. Today theologians are rediscovering angels as expressions of religious experiences that go beyond human realities

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  • ask

    Does everyone have a guardian angel?

    Answer: God can meet people in very different ways. People believe that God watches over and protects them. They experience very different ways in which he does this. Many people believe that God will send them an angel to accompany them on their way. These are very personal experiences. They cannot be generalized, but they show that God is close to people.

    Are you allowed to pray to angels?

    Answer: Assuming that Christ is above all angels, there is little point in praying to angels because they are God's creatures as are humans (Col 1:16). The direct way would be to pray to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so to speak. For the Reformers, in a believer's relationship with God, there could be no mediator to pray to. The Evangelical Church in Germany builds on the doctrine of the Reformation. However, in the evangelical sense, the piety of each individual is also important and the faith that is given to everyone not by the church, but by God himself. The Reformers did not reject the existence of angels. So it is open how people can meet the angels.

  • discussion

    In the 20th century, the theologian Rudolf Bultmann strongly influenced the theology of his time with his doctrine of demythologizing. For example, he said that a conception of angels for scientifically enlightened people is "done". Even in the 19th century, theologians rejected the belief in the existence of angels. For a long time there were only two options: Either you rejected angels because they did not correspond to the teaching of the natural sciences, or you were seen as pious and irrational.

    This contrast began to dissolve towards the end of the 20th century. Newer theologians like Wolfhart Pannenberg no longer reject the idea of ​​angels. Pannenberg sees angels in connection with the work of the Holy Spirit, which is the part of God who is present in the world until creation is complete. The Holy Spirit opens up “fields of force” in the space of creation, says Pannenberg. Angels could represent these fields of force, so God is working in them in the world. They are the “good forces” that surround people, as the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have recorded in a poem during his imprisonment during the Nazi era: “Wonderfully safe from good forces, we confidently await what may come. God is with us in the evening and in the morning, and most certainly every new day. "

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