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86

Part One

330

As purely

spiritual

creatures angels have intelligence and

will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in per-

fection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears

witness.

190

Christ “with all his angels”

331

Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are

his

angels:

“When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with

him. . . .”

191

They belong to him because they were created

through

and

for

him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on

earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or prin-

cipalities or authorities—all things were created through him and

for him.”

192

They belong to him still more because he has made

them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering

spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain

salvation?”

193

332

Angels have been present since creation and throughout

the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near

and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the

earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed

Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the

People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the

prophets, just to cite a few examples.

194

Finally, the angel Gabriel

announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.

195

333

From the Incarnation to theAscension, the life of the Word

incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels.

When God “brings the firstborn into the world, he says: ‘Let all

God’s angels worship him.’”

196

Their song of praise at the birth of

Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church’s praise: “Glory to

God in the highest!”

197

They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him

in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he

could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as

Israel had been.

198

Again, it is the angels who “evangelize” by pro-

190 Cf. Pius XII,

Humani Generis:

DS 3891;

Lk

20:36;

Dan

10:9-12.

191

Mt

25:31.

192

Col

1:16.

193

Heb

1:14.

194 Cf.

Job

38:7 (where angels are called “sons of God”);

Gen

3:24; 19; 21:17;

22:11;

Acts

7:53;

Ex

23:20-23;

Judg

13; 6:11-24;

Isa

6:6;

1 Kings

19:5.

195 Cf.

Lk

1:11, 26.

196

Heb

1:6.

197

Lk

2:14.

198 Cf.

Mt

1:20; 2:13, 19; 4:11; 26:53;

Mk

1:13;

Lk

22:43;

2 Macc

10:29-30; 11:8.

291

559