Feasts of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
Do I believe angels exist?
I found myself on my Spiritual Exercises Retreat pondering that question. One of the early meditations in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises retreat includes a meditation on the fall of the Angels. I had not really thought about angels, or my personal belief in them. Angels were always a comforting thought to me as a child. However, I rarely found myself praying to my guardian angel as an adult as I once did as a child. A simple meditation in the Exercises was actually challenging for because it forced me to examine what was the extent of my faith to believe in creatures which I cannot see normally.
What helped my belief in angels was to think about my belief in God to be truly omnipotent and wholly good. If angels did exist, God would be the only type of being capable to create an angel, and the only being that would delight in the creation of another type of being. For Catholics, we believe that God created angels to be his servants, and to share in the providential care for the world. The stories of the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are stories which demonstrate moments when God relied upon another to fulfill part of his plan.
The existence of angels reveals something about God’s care for all creation. God invites other beings to care for creation as He does. God so delights in creation that God created creatures to care for it and one another. The angels are one type of creature that cares for creation, but human beings are invited similarly. God relies upon us, and works through us to care for the people and the earth. Let us pray through the intercession of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael that we live out of the same grace God has given to them, that is the grace to join God in his care for creation.
When is a moment you cared for another person and creation? How did you see yourself being an instrument for God’s care of that person or thing.