Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

I write this on the Feast of the Archangels, Sept. 29. I am not an expert on angels, but thought it would be helpful to correct some common misperceptions about angels.
First, angels are real. If we take God’s Word seriously then we must believe in angels. They are mentioned in numerous places in the Old Testament and also in the New Testament. Most compelling, Jesus speaks about angels in several places (see Mt 18:10, Mt 24:31, Mk 13:32, Lk 10:18). That is in addition to the Gospels telling us that angels announced the Incarnation and birth of Jesus, gave instructions for the Holy Family to move, ministered to Jesus after His fasting and temptation, comforted Jesus during the Agony in the Garden and announced the Resurrection.
Second, we do not become angels when we die. They are a different “species” if you will. We humans are the union of matter and spirit, the union of body and soul. Angels are pure spirit. When we die our bodies are separated from our souls. This is an unnatural state for humans. This is why ghosts and zombies are frightening to us. Ghosts are spirits with a body, and zombies are bodies without a human spirit. We believe in the resurrection of our bodies. We will be reunited with our bodies for all eternity. We will not be angels.
Third, we do have guardian angels. Their feast day was Oct. 2. Jesus says “… (the angels of the little ones) always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” So in some way this angel is ours, but simultaneously looks upon the face of the Father in heaven. We understand this to mean that we have an angel who is constantly guarding us and praying for us. Think about this angel sometimes. How delighted our angel must be when we go to the celebration of the Eucharist.
How vexed our angel must be when we drag them in to witness our sinful rejection of God. Ask your angel to pray for you. Thank your angel for their prayers.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at
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