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Angels – Pure, Created Spirits

One interesting theory that has been written about by some theologians is that God’s original plan did not include the creation of humans.  Instead, His original intention was to populate heaven with angels.  Unfortunately, because of the pride and rebellion of Lucifer and his followers, a conflict arose and Lucifer and his followers were subsequently cast into hell.  According to the theory, it was at that time that God decided to create the human race, with the intention of populating heaven with the exact number of humans needed to replace the fallen angels.  Although it’s an interesting theory, we have no way of knowing whether it’s true.

So what are angels?  The Modern Catholic Dictionary defines an angel as follows:

A pure, created spirit, called angel because some angels are sent by God as messengers to humans.  An angel is a pure spirit because he has no body, and does not depend for his existence or activity on matter.  The Bible tells us that the angels constitute a vast multitude, beyond human reckoning.  They differ in perfection of nature and grace.  Each is an individual person.  According to Christian tradition, they form three major categories in descending order.  The word “angel” is commonly applied only to those who remained faithful to God, although the devils are also angels by nature.  Moreover, “angel” is the special name for the choir of angelic spirits, from whom guardian angels are sent to minister to human needs.  The existence of angels has been twice defined by the Church: at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 (Denzinger 800) and the First Vatican Council in 1868 (Denzinger 3002).

Angels are similar to God in that they do not have bodies.  While God is an uncreated pure spirit, angels are created pure spirits.  They are similar to humans in that each individual angel is a unique person who has a mind and a will of his own.  Also, like humans, no two angels are the same.  Some are more gifted than others, and some are closer to God than others.  They each have their own personalities and traits.

Like humans, angels communicate with each other, hold meetings, engage in discussions, and make decisions.  One question worth considering: How is it that angels communicate with each other if they don’t have bodies?  We humans have the ability to talk to each other by using various parts of our bodies – our vocal chords and lips to talk to others, our ears to listen to the words and sounds of others, and our eyes to see the facial expressions and body language of others.

Angels have no vocal chords, lips, ears, eyes, or bodies, so how is it that they communicate with each other?  With no ears to hear, how do they understand our words when we talk to them?  With no eyes to see, how do they see us and keep track of us?

As earthly creatures, we have no way of knowing or understanding how it is that angels communicate with God, with each other, and with us.  Regardless of where we end up in eternity (heaven or hell), we’re going to be living and interacting with pure spirits.  We’re going to have to wait until then to find out how it is that they communicate with each other.

We refer to angels who were cast into hell as fallen angels, evil angels, or evil spirits.  No person – angel or human – was created by God to be evil.  Every person who has become evil made a choice to be evil.  The angels who chose to be evil were never given a chance to repent.  Fortunately, up until the moment of death, any human who chooses evil over good has an opportunity to repent and return to God.  That’s one of the advantages we humans have over angels.

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