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The Profession of Faith

85

Paragraph 5. Heaven and Earth

325

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.”

326

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.

186

327

The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)

affirms that God “from the beginning of time made at once (

simul

)

out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the

corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (

deinde

) the

human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being com-

posed of spirit and body.”

187

I.

T

he

A

ngels

The existence of angels—a truth of faith

328

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?

329

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.’”

188

With their whole beings the

angels are

servants

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.”

189

186

Ps

115:16; 19:2;

Mt

5:16.

187 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3002 and Paul VI,

CPG §

8.

188 St. Augustine,

En. in Ps.

103, 1, 15: PL 37, 1348.

189

Mt

18:10;

Ps

103:20.

290

1023, 2794

296

150