| 12717 - Réponse de about angels (ger) - 2012-04-24 |
|I am an Orthodox Christian. I'll tell you what I know about angels in general.
Angels are bodiless beings, purely spirits, created by God before man. They are superior in nature and intelligence to man; and, like man, they have understanding and free will. Some of them are appointed to guard the faithful (guardian angels). Angels are grouped in nine orders (tagmata) as follows: Angels; Archangels; Principalities; Powers; Virtues; Dominations; Thrones; Cherubim; Seraphim. In the Orthodox worship, every Monday is dedicated to the angels.
St. John the Damascene further states concerning angels: "They are in perpetual motion, with free will, having obtained by grace an immortal nature". "They are", he continues, "rational and intelligent, and endowed with free will, immortal not by nature but by grace... They are not hemmed in by walls and doors, bars and seals. When they are in heaven they are not on earth, and when they are sent by God down to earth they do not remain in heaven".
In addition to the created spiritual powers who do the will of God, there are, according to the Orthodox Christian faith, those who rebel against Him and do evil. These are the demons or devils (which means literally those who “pull apart” and destroy) who are also known both in the Old and New Testaments as well as in the lives of the saints of the Church.
Having become malevolent, the fallen angels try to push men to the path of sin and thus to their damnation. Oddly, the fallen angels themselves fear the kingdom they have created — hell or the abyss. Indeed, when the Savior, healing a person possessed by demons, wanted to send them back to their abyss, they begged Him to allow them instead to enter swine (Luke 8:31). The Savior calls the devil "murderer from the beginning and the father of lies," having in mind that moment in which, taking the form of a snake, he deceived our forbears Adam and Eve to break the commandment of God and by doing so deprived them of everlasting life (Genesis 3:1-6; John 8:44).From that moment on, having the opportunity to influence the thoughts, feelings and acts of man, the devil and his demons endeavor to pitch him deeper and deeper into the mire of sin, into which they themselves have sunk: "He who sins is from the devil, because the devil himself sinned first … Anyone who commits sin is a slave of sin" (1 John 3:8; John 8:34). The presence of evil spirits among us presents a constant danger. That is why the Apostle Peter extols us: "Be sober and watchful, for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). The Apostle Paul expresses the same thoughts on discretion, saying, "Put on the armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high" (Ephesians 6:11-12).
---- Now, on the guardian angel:
Bishop Theophan the Recluse instructs in one of his letters, "We must remember that we have a Guardian Angel and turn to him in our thoughts and heart. This is good during peaceful times and especially so during turmoil. When such contact with the angel is missing, he has no means of influencing us. For example, if one approaches quicksand or an abyss, and has plugged his ears and closed his eyes, how can anyone help him?"
Thus should a Christian remember his good angel, who for the span of all his life concerns himself with him, rejoicing in his spiritual achievements, and grieves over his downfalls. When a person dies, the angel takes his soul to God. Having found itself in the spirit world, according to many accounts, the soul recognizes its Guardian Angel.
The following is a short morning prayer to the Guardian Angel:
Angel of God, my holy protector, given to me from heaven by God for my protection, I fervently beseech you: enlighten me and preserve me from all evil, instruct me in good deeds and direct me on the path of salvation. Amen.
The Orthodox Christian spirituality is full of miracles. Just do a small search about it, and you will remember my words.
If you want to find out more, you can e-mail me at anytime!