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112. The Mission or Ministry of Angels

1. God sends angels to minister to his purposes amongbodily creatures. This sending or mission is not the dispatching ofangels upon a journey. To be sent means to be present in a newplace in which one was not present before, or to be present whereone was but in a new way. An angel is present where itexercises or applies its powers, and not elsewhere. When God has anangel apply its powers to a creature, the angel is sent tothat creature. God is the sender and the first principle of theeffect produced by the angel sent; God is also the ultimate goal orfinal cause of the work so produced. The angel is God'sminister or intelligent instrument; by its being sent it rendersministry to God.

2. It seems that, of the nine orders of angels, only fiveorders are sent for the external ministry, and that the superiorangels are never sent.

3. Angels are said to assist before the throne of God. Allangels assist inasmuch as all permanently possess the beatificvision. But, in a special sense, only the superior angels assistbefore God's throne. These superior angels, beholding mysteriesin God, communicate what they behold to the inferior angels. Allgood angels see God in the beatific vision, but the superior angelsbehold deeper and wider mysteries in God than do the lesser angels.By their deeper and wider knowledge of divine mysteries, thesuperior angels are said to assist.

4. Angels sent in the external ministry are those whose namesindicate some kind of administrative or executive office. Theseare, in descending rank, Virtues, Powers, Principalities,Archangels, Angels.

"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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