Written by Sherry
Friday, 22 June 2007 08:47
The career path less taken . . .Angelologist. Imagine the casual conversations at parties and with your seatmate on planes. It wouldn't be dull.
As one inquisitive New Yorker exclaimed to me as our plane circled Manhattan "You! You're interesting!" Multiply that X 1000 for angelologists.
In any case, Zenit recently ran a thought-provoking interview with Angelologist Father M. Stanzione.
In 2002, Father Stanzione refounded the Catholic association Militia of St. Michael the Archangel, which organizes an annual theological-pastoral meeting on angels. The second annual meeting was held June 1-2 with the theme "The Return of the Angels Today, Between Devotion and Mystification." Q: What do angels represent for the Catholic faith and why are they the object of more attention by other groups and religious movements than by Christians?
Father Stanzione: Sadly, the catechesis on evangelization has been somewhat lacking on this point of the world's knowledge of angels. Others have taken advantage of the vacuum that has been created.
What is central in theology is the doctrine on God, the Holy Trinity, and Jesus Christ. But the angels are not useless or superfluous realities, because they are part of God's revelation.
Angels are creatures as we are, with an ontological difference. We are born and die; angels do not die and have been given to us by God to keep us company. The angels are an important complement in the creation of the body; they are human beings' best friends.
A theologian has written that the angels are servants of God, and they make themselves servants of those who make themselves God's servants.
Some maintain that Jesus Christ, being the only mediator, does not need angels. In fact, in the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church makes evident the fundamental role of the angels. We can say that Jesus Christ is the only mediator and the angels collaborate in Jesus Christ's mediation.
Q: Is it plausible and Christian to think that each one of us has a guardian angel?
Father Stanzione: Whoever does not believe in the existence of the guardian angel is outside the doctrine of the faith. Each person has an angel as a good pastor. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also says it.
One cannot say that one believes in God, in the Holy Spirit, in the Virgin, without believing in the angels.
We do not see angels except in the history of the Bible and the history of the Church. Many saints had frequent contacts with angels; they experienced a relationship. Different mystics speak about the relationship with angels.
I think the time is ripe for the creation of courses on angelology and demonology in theological faculties.
Comments? Have any of you had experiences with angels that you'd be willing to share with the rest of us?