The Profession of Faith
Paragraph 5. Heaven and Earth
The Apostles’ Creed professes that God is “Creator of
heaven and earth.” The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this
profession includes “all things visible and invisible.”
The Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all
that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep
within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distin-
guishes the one from the other: “the earth” is the world of men,
while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament
and God’s own “place”—“our Father in heaven” and consequently
the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory. Finally, “heaven”
refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the
angels, who surround God.
The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
affirms that God “from the beginning of time made at once (
out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the
corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (
human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being com-
posed of spirit and body.”
The existence of angels—a truth of faith
The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that
Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The
witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they?
St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not
of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if
you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are,
‘spirit,’ fromwhat they do, ‘angel.’”
With their whole beings the
and messengers of God. Because they “always
behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty
ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word.”
187 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3002 and Paul VI,
188 St. Augustine,
En. in Ps.
103, 1, 15: PL 37, 1348.