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The Nine Choirs of Angels

September 29, is the feast day of the Archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. Did you know that the Archangels are not the highest choir of angels? There are nine choirs of angels. The Archangels are the 7th choir. Let me explain the nine choirs.

The first is the Seraphim. These are the highest order or choir of angels. They are the angels who are attendants or guardians before God’s throne. They praise God, calling, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts”. the only Bible reference is Isaiah 6:1-7. One of them touched Isaiah’s lips with a live coal from the altar, cleansing him from sin.

The next choir is the Cherubim. In the New Testament, they are alluded to as celestial attendants in the Apocalypse (Rv 4-6). Catholic tradition describes them as angels who have an intimate knowledge of God and continually praise Him.

The third choir is the Thrones. Thrones are the angels of pure Humility, Peace and Submission. They reside in the area of the cosmos where material form begins to take shape. The lower choir of angels need the Thrones to access God.

The fourth choir is Dominions. Dominions are angels of leadership. They regulate the duties of the angels, making known the commands of God.

The fifth choir is Virtues. Virtues are known as the spirits of motion and control the elements. They are sometimes referred to as “the shining ones.” They govern all nature. They have control over seasons, stars, moon; even the sun is subject to their command. They are also in charge of miracles and provide courage, grace, and valor.

The sixth choir is Powers. Powers are warrior angels against evil defending the cosmos and humans. They are known as potentates. They fight against evil spirits who attempt to wreak chaos through human beings.

The Archangels are generally taken to mean “chief or leading angel” ( Jude 9; 1 Thes 4:16). They are the most frequently mentioned throughout the Bible. They may be of this or other hierarchies as St. Michael Archangel, who is a princely Seraph. The Archangels have a unique role as God’s messenger to the people at critical times in history and salvation (Tb 12:6, 15; Jn 5:4; Rv 12:7-9) as in The Annunciation and Apocalypse. Of special significance is St. Michael as he has been invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles. The Eastern Rite and many others place him over all the angels, as Prince of the Seraphim. He is described as the “chief of princes” and as the leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over satan and his followers. The angel Gabriel first appeared in the Old Testament in the prophesies of Daniel, he announced the prophecy of 70 weeks (Dn 9:21-27). He appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist (Lk 1:11). It was also Gabriel which proclaimed the Annunciation of Mary to be the mother of our Lord. (Lk 1:26) The angel Raphael first appeared in the book of Tobit (Tobias)Tb 3:25, 5:5-28, 6-12). He announces “I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the throne of God.” (Tb 12:15)

The 8th choir is Principalities. In the New Testament Principalities refers to one type of spiritual (metaphysical) being which are now quite hostile to God and human beings. (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15) Along with the principalities are the powers (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 1 Pt 3:22; 2 Thes 1:7); and cosmological powers (1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 3:10; Col 2:15); Dominions (Eph 1:21; Col 1:16) and thrones (Col1:16).

The 9th choir is Angels. These angels are closest to the material world and human beings. They deliver the prayers to God and God’s answers and other messages to humans. Angels have the capacity to access any and all other Angels at any time. They are the most caring and social to assist those who ask for help. This is the choir where our guardian angels come from. ‘He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways’ (see Ps 91:11).

Select this link to see a video teaching by Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D., professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville on the Nine Choirs of Angels.

The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”. (John 6:48-56)

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”(Lumen Gentium 11) The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself. CCC 1324

The HHS Mandate requires that all employers provide converage for free contraception, sterilization and abortion. It forces all employers, including church-related employers, to pay insurance premiums that fund abortion, contraception and sterilization. This would force all Catholic service agencies such as Catholic hospitals, colleges, and social service agencies to pay for services which Catholic doctrine considers seriously immoral, or to go out of business.

Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authority when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) CCC 2256

We have a divine mandate from God to provide works of mercy. Pope Benedict XVI makes clear in his encyclical God is Love, “For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is
a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being.”

Contraception is not health care. Contraception attacks a healthy system of the body in order to prevent that system from accomplishing its normal functions. Evidence of this situation is provided by the many health problems actually caused by contraceptive methods such as the contraceptive pill. Sterilization is not health care. Sterilization destroys the same healthy bodily system that contraceptives attack. The unhealthiness of sterilization is shown by the many health problems and social problems associated with sterilization such as depression, sexual dysfunction, and increase of divorce, with all the social problems that arise from divorce. Abortion is not health care. An unborn baby is killed. There are also a multitude of health problems that arise from abortion, such as cancer, depression and suicide.

Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom. CCC 2254

CCC 980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church: (1422-1484)

“Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers “a laborious kind of baptism.” This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.” Council of Trent (1551): DS 1672; cf. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 39, 17: PG 36, 356

Jesus exercised the power to forgive sins “that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mt 8:6). And Jesus to the Apostles in Jn 20:21-23 reads: “… As the Father has sent Me, so I send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them:’Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Take a look at this video to learn more.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is now available at the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a format identical to an e-book.  The new version, currently only available in English, can be found at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/index.cfmAuthorized by Pope John Paul II in 1986, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was first published in 1992, with a revised second edition published in 2000.  Prior to 1992, the Church had been using a universal catechism approved by the Council of Trent in 1566.

“Providing the Catechism in this particular electronic format will make this foundational resource even more accessible to people,” explained Bishop John Wester, chair of the USCCB Communications Committee. “It is free to anyone who has access to the Internet.” Available through any Internet browser, the Catechism file displays and functions as an e-book. Users can bookmark or highlight areas, see footnotes in a “light box” without leaving the original page, and search within the Catechism, including by paragraph number.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church is proving to be as compelling if not more, of an influence on the faithful,” said Bishop David Ricken, Chair of the USCCB Evangelization and Catechesis Committee. “Our ability to use the new technologies means that many more millions will be able to find the Catholic Church’s teachings on their tablets, their smartphones, and their laptops.”

“The USCCB is wisely using technology to serve their constituents and they are raising the bar for engaging users,” said Dave Gallerizzo, CEO of Fig Leaf Software, the interactive Web agency that partnered with the USCCB to create the e-book. “There might be some e-book readers that have a few of these features, but I doubt you can find one that offers all of these features in a single application.”

The new e-book version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church resides on the USCCB’s flagship website, www.usccb.org.  The site receives more than two million visitors per month, with approximately two trillion bytes of data delivered. In addition to reading content, visitors to the site can share what they find with their social media networks, receive an RSS feed of the daily readings, and view videos of reflections on the daily Scripture readings.

About the new e-book version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Most browser-based e-book readers:

  • Make the e-book readable in a web browser
  • Have some type of table of contents that links to chapters
  • Don’t require any modifications to the e-book file

The new e-book version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has all those features, plus new custom features that most e-book readers don’t offer. The new USCCB e-book reader has:

  • A built in search feature
  • Robust internal linking feature set
  • Footnotes and internal page references are hyperlinked.
  • Each internal link displays the referenced paragraph in a lightbox overlay
  • The lightbox overlay has a link to jump directly to that section of the book
  • No browser plugin is required for legacy browsers
  • The USCCB e-book application works natively in any browser, including Internet Explorer
  • It works on an iPad
  • It can print entire sections, not just a single page

Sacraments

“A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” (Baltimore Catechism) St. Augustine said it is a visible sign of an invisible grace.

The sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  (CCC1211) They lay the foundations of every Christian life. (CCC 1212)

The sacraments of Healing are Penance and Anointing of the Sick. (CCC1211) The purpose of the two sacraments of healing is to continue Christ’s work of healing and salvation even among the members of the Church. (CCC1421)

The sacraments at the service of communion are Holy Orders and Matrimony. (CCC1211) They contribute to personal salvation through service to others. (CCC1534)

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