The witness accounts are less clear about angels in the Vision of Knock. One witness testified to seeing angels hovering around the Lamb, their wings fluttering but their faces not seen because they were turned away. Another witness described small brilliant lights, glittering like jets of gas or glass balls reflecting the light of some luminous body. Others saw the altar and Lamb surrounded by a bright sparkling light with golden stars in the form of a halo.
While human beings are spirit and body, angels are purely spiritual beings (so it is hardly surprising that the witness accounts varied). Angels are personal and immortal creatures created by God, with free will and superior intelligence. Hosts of angels surround the throne of God, praising Him for His great glory, and they also act as God’s servants and messengers.
Though all angels were created good, God gave them free will so they could decide to serve him, or not. Some of the angels, led by Satan, irrevocably rejected God and were cast down to hell. Satan, ‘the father of lies’, and the rebellious angels, known as devils, try to tempt human beings to sin against God. Satan tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God, losing their original holiness and falling into original sin. Thankfully, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, so with the help of God’s grace, Satan’s temptations and lies can be rejected.
Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation. The Old Testament has many accounts of the work of angels. At the beginning of the New Testament Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus, and throughout his life on earth Jesus received the adoration and service of angels.
From Pentecost onwards the apostles were often guided and protected by angels. Since then, right up to present times, the whole life of the Church has benefited from the mysterious and powerful help of angels. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 327-336,391-398). Pope Francis has reminded us that Satan is for real, and Scripture describes life’s battle as primarily spiritual: ‘Put on God’s armour so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics’ (Ephesians 6:11).
Christian families seek to live the fullness of life, as promised by Jesus (John 10:10), for parents, children and extended family – to know, love and serve God here on earth and to be happy with him forever in heaven. In this task we face many joys, sorrows and challenges, both spiritual and material. Thankfully Jesus sends armies of angels to our aid, especially our guardian angels.
Thank you Jesus for sending your angels to serve us in so many ways. St Michael come to our aid to resist temptation and cast out evil in the name of Jesus. St Gabriel help us to understand the word of God and the inspirations that come from God. St Raphael help us to choose our spouse in marriage wisely and to look for angelic help when we are sick or troubled. Angels of God, come to our aid so that our families will live in love as sons and daughters of God’s household.
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in the hour of battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness & snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Pope Leo XIII