Real angels always point the way to God. Angels are not a replacement of the transcendent God whom they adore joyfully, without ceasing. They serve Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, with complete willingness. They carry out the will of the Triune God in the power of the Holy Spirit. {This is the true test of any angel, no matter when or in what form that angel comes}.

We must apply this criteria to any popular book we read on angels, to any documentary about them, and certainly to any talk shows. Do they ever mention the Christian God, or are the angels they present merely disembodied autonomous spirits? Whether through word or art, is there any allusion to Jesus or the Incarnation? Are angels presented as self-empowered or Spirit-empowered?

New Age Angels Come in Disguise

Many New Agers say that their angelic informants tell them that, through the ages, people have had a very false impression of fallen angels. Lucifer, for example, "has been identified in our mind as the devil, instead of an aspect of God dedicated to our growth by helping us strengthen our spiritual muscles," we are told. He is the "Light Bearer" who teaches about the necessity of life's dark side.

This reminds us of the words of St. Paul, "Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It comes as no surprise that his ministers disguise themselves as ministers of the justice of God. But their end will correspond to their deeds" (2 Cor 11:14-15).



In general, I would advise not seeking dream analysis. To guide one's conscious life according to what is manifested in dreams is inherently problematic because dreams are not guided by rationality, but rather reflect a multitude of influences difficult to categorize with certitude. The analysis of dreams is in no way limited to the clergy, but when interpreting a dream which may be from God, the advice of one theologically trained in accordance with the teachings of the Magisterium is essential.
The critical powers of the mind such as reality testing and decision making are greatly impaired in dreaming, which accounts for the incoherent and chaotic nature of many dreams. In a dream the distinction between reality and imagination is totally lost or at least impaired.

Dreams can be natural or supernatural. If they are supernatural then their origin lies in God, angels or demons. Dreams can also be induced by hypnosis.
Christian interpretation of dreams conforms to the following principles: (1) The dreams may be a legitimate vehicle of divine revelation, in which case God himself provides proofs attesting the divine origin of dreams. He also provides interpretation of the dream. (2) The majority of dreams are natural phenomena lacking in any special religious meaning. (3) Superstitious divination through dreams is severely forbidden by God as an immoral practice.

ZENIT: Why do you think that there is such a great interest in angels today among young people? Do you think that young people really understand the meaning of angels in the Catholic Christian tradition?

... We have good reason to be bothered by this blitz of angels. But I also think that their presence reveals a deep hunger and thirst for spirituality, especially in the lives of young people, who are searching and seeking for meaning and for closeness with God.

Q: Can you summarize what the angels teach us today?

Father Rosica: If the angels teach us anything, they show us what it means to put on the mind of Christ. What a great privilege is theirs, to stand constantly in God's presence, to feast their eyes on Jesus, to know his face and even more, his mind. They look upon the world, and on each of us, with the mind of Christ.

To truly love someone is not only to adore their face and their external reality, but to enter their mind and heart. To have the mind of Christ is not a boast but a prayer, and the prayer is that we, more and more, learn to think his thoughts and to see the world around us through his eyes. We have not only the spirit, the love and the strength of Christ. We also have been given his mind.

Our minds as well as our emotions are to be trained to see and to judge the events of our day. That is why we are invited by the Scriptures and by the Church to discern the signs of the times, and why the early Church swept over the Roman Empire, not only by out-loving and out-living the pagan world, but by out-thinking it as well.

The pagan world, today as in the past, is always happy to tolerate a church that neglects the Christian mind. Even dictators have been undisturbed by Christians who confined their activities to prayer and worship.

When we think of how the Christian Gospel inspired and shaped the civilization we have inherited, how it taught generations to look at the human drama through the lens of Christ, and inspired not only the glories of art, music, poetry and architecture, but also the thinkers and theologians who swayed our destinies, then we must have a different vision of our religious heritage.

How often do we hear: "I don't want to look at the world through any lens at all, especially angelic ones: I want to look at the facts and let them speak for themselves." This is the great heresy of our times: the myth of objectivity—the belief that the factors of life around us need no interpretation.

Anyone who brings some prior conviction into play is accused of ignoring or distorting the facts. But there is no such thing as a purely objective judgment. We all bring some lens through which to see the facts. The angels have much to teach us—they offer us ways of looking at Christ and at the world.

Second, the angels teach us about simplicity, about delighting in God's presence. Responding to the question of who was the greatest, Jesus called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven."

St. Augustine captured this well when he said, "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels." Children and angels know how to delight and how to rejoice! In the midst of our busy lives, I fear that we have lost the art of delighting and rejoicing. How often do we focus on our disappointments, rather than our delights!

Third, the angels invite us to become angels and messengers for one another. For what is ultimately their role—to be messengers, bearers of words of consolation, hope, peace, joy, protection ... to remind others of the beauty and consolation of God's presence ... to invite us ever more deeply into the mystery of God ... to mirror God and God's glory to others ... to gently lead others to God.

The important thing is not the terminology, but the realization that there are such powers, powers of numinous strength and majesty, that can break in on humans. These powers stir the deepest and most awesome responses within us; they can destroy or upbuild, illumine or darken.

Those who do not recognize them, who persistently refuse to admit their existence, have little chance to avoid the destructive powers in the human psyche and in the universe; they are unlikely to open themselves to the angelic, and to the Christ who wants to live within all humans. There are dimensions of life far deeper and more mysterious than most of us usually admit.

Angels are very important, because they provide people with an articulation of the conviction that God is intimately involved in human life. Angels address the loss of the depth of being of a person. As we become a more individualistic society, we are strangely becoming more isolated, because we rely on technology and science to find all the angels. Angels in art, especially, represent a soaring of the spirit, a desire to reach out.

There is much more to life than meets our eyes here and now. So much of the resurgence of angels today and this angel mania is pure sentimentality—devoid of any authentic spirituality. But some of it is not. Some it betrays our deep human longing for God, for whom our hearts are restless until they rest in him. ZE02121023