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August 10, 2005

Ch. XIII. Q. 81. The Work of Good Angels

THE good angels are sent forth by God to minister for the heirs of salvation,1 and to defend them against the assaults of evil angels.2 They also have work to fulfil in the ordering of nature.3

2. It has been widely agreed that a guardian angel is assigned to each heir of salvation.4 Among angelic services are to convey message's to men;5 to give them understanding;6 to succour them;7 to pray with and for the Church;8 to carry men's prayers to heaven;9 and to bear the souls of the faithful to their rest.10 They witness our actions and our judgment;11 rejoice over our repentance;12' and set an example for us.13 They will accompany our Lord at His second advent, and will have part in executing His judgments.14

3. But the evil angels, who are very numerous, and of various angelic orders are permitted to tempt men;15 although their malice is overruled by God to the furtherance of His own purpose, and for the good of those who love Him.16 They are employed by God in disciplining men,17 and are at times permitted to take possession of men's bodies and to torment them.18 But they can inflict no sufferings except those to which our bodies are naturally liable, and they cannot compel the faithful to sin.

1 Heb. i. 14. St. Thomas, I. cxi-cxiii.

2 St. Jude 9; Revel, xii. 7, 9; Tobit iii. 17; viii. 3.

3 Cf. Q. 76.6, above.

4 St. Matt. xviii. 10: Acts xii. 15. Cf. Psa. xci. 11. See St. Thomas, I. cxiii; Cath. Encyc., s. v. "Guardian Angel".

5 St. Luke i. 19; ii. 10; Acts x. 22; etc.

6 Dan. ix. 21-22.

7 1 Kings xix. 5-8; Dan. x. 18-19; St. Matt. iv. 11; St. Luke xxii. 43. Cf. Collect for St. Michael's.

8 Zech. i. 22.

9 Revel, viii. 3-4. Cf. Tobit xii. 15.

10 St. Luke xvi. 22.

11 Eccles. v. 6; St. Matt. xxv. 31; 1 Cor. iv. 9; 1 Tim. iii. 16; v. 21: Revel, iii. 5. Cf. 2 Esdras xvi. 66.

12 St. Luke xv. 7, 10.

13 St. Matt. vi. 10.

14 St. Matt. xxiv. 31; 2 Thess. i. 7.

15 Ephes. vi. 12; 1 St. Pet. v. 8.

16 Rom. viii. 25.

17 1 Sam. xvi. 14-15.

18 Job ii. 6-7; 1 Cor. v. 5; 1 Tim. i. 20. Cf. Q. 78.5, above.

Posted by AKMA at August 10, 2005 08:49 PM