Angels do not form a separate universe. Instead, they are an integral part of our own world, sent forth for the sake of our salvation. They are pure spirits who communicate God’s grace, his goodness, and his truth.
Angels play many roles in the spiritual life, including messengers, stewards, warrior,s guardians, and adorers. But just what can we learn about spiritual warfare from the angelic hosts?
Within the pages of his latest book, His Angels at Our Side, Father John Horgan unveils the surprising role of angels in our lives. He also teaches readers what they can learn from warrior angels.
1. Learn about warrior angels from Scripture and tradition
In the Old and New Testaments alike, readers find angels defending us from evil and supporting the plans and purposes of God.
Even though they’re engaged in spiritual warfare, the angels don’t fight with weapons. “The tradition of the Church is that the warfare of angels, both the warfare at the trial of angels at the beginning of time and their day-to-day warfare on our behalf, is carried out with virtue, that is, their power of spirit,” writes Father Horgan.
2. Practice humility
A perfect example of a warrior angel is Saint Michael. Today we venerate him as the head of all Heaven’s armies.
“His name is from the Hebraic phrase he calls out, ‘Who is like unto God?’ Those words, shouted at Satan and his supporters, are a cry of humility, the humility of one who places all his trust and his allegiance in God and in him alone,” explains Father Horgan. “It is by his humility and trust in God that he vanquishes Lucifer, who has been cast down from Heaven.”
3. Know your enemy
Why does Satan try to tempt us? Why is the father of lies interested in our souls? It’s important to know who we’re up against and why Satan wants us to fail so badly.
“It is because Almighty God has created us with such an important place in His plan and because the Lord of Heaven and earth has come down to us as a man,” Father Horgan answers. “Jesus shared the flesh of Mary so that we might be transformed, raised to Heaven and divinized to share the vision of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that will fill us with joy for everlasting life.”
4. Respond to God with obedience
It was the angel’s jealously and pride that caused them to despise God and attack the image and likeness of God in us. They want to show God that he made a mistake in creating us.
“But the love of God strengthens us,” Father Horgan writes. “When we respond to the Lord and practice our love in obedience, we experience the help and defense of the holy angels.”
5. Keep showing up in prayer
Satan and his demons bring confusion and darkness to our intellect. How do we combat all these lies? How do we persevere when those close to us fall for the lies and turn away from the Lord?
“We remain strong and persevering in our prayer because we are convinced that Our Lord loves them even more than we do. We pray, too, that Satan’s sadness, the despair t hat fills the hearts of those who wander in darkness and sin, might once again be replaced by the peace of Heavenly grace,” Father Horgan advises. “The witness of our own inner peace and trust in Our Lord has a powerful role in this.”
Pick up a copy of Father Horgan’s book, His Angels at Our Side, at your local Catholic bookstore. If you’re more of an online shopper, grab a copy from Sophia Institute Press.