Why Are Angels SO Hard To Contact?

We’ve had discussions about God, and he is particularly hard to get in touch with (htese days , anyway). But what about his lesser beings…I’m referring to the Angels (no, not he Los Angeles variety).
First of all: these angels are large in number, the Bible speaks of “multitudes” and “hosts” of them…are we to conclude that there are perhaps several million active ones?
-Humans are said to be accompanied by “guardian” angels…where was THIS guy when I blew $30,000 in the stock market?
-Their abilities are said to be almost God-like…they are not constrained by the limits of time and the physical world, etc.
So where are the angels? They don’t seem especially prominent in the NT…are they being employed elsewhere? :eek:

Your’s probably thought you were going to be at the dog track that day you blew all that money in the stock market. Or maybe he/she thought you needed a lesson in fiscal responsibility. They don’t do what you want them to do, but rather what they think is best and those two things can be miles apart. :wink: [sup]Enough said?[/sup]

Ah the old, “if they help it shows they exist, and if they don’t help it shows they exist” argument. Came early this time.

I’m sure the angels of children killed in car crashes, or abused by parents, or starving in Africa thought their tender care was for the best also. :frowning:

I did not say “if they don’t help then they exist”. I said that expecting them to do what you want them to is not a sign that they exist or don’t exist. That was in regard to ralph124c’s question as to why his angel didn’t keep him from losing money in the stock market. It seems you have an argument as to why they don’t exist at all, which is fine.

I wonder where the whole “guardian angel” myth comes from, anyway. It’s not part of any formal religion I know of. Is it an extension of the Roman “household gods”? Celtic pixies? Or is it, as I suspect, a much more recent creation?
Anyway, in Jewish myth, angels (the Hebrew word means “messengers”) are simply extensions of God’s will, who, having no form or face, will not appear directly to humans. They were usually used in disguise, as ways of testing or helping certain people (like with Jacob’s wrestling match), or in insances when a personal appearence was required (like with Bil’am and his ass). In any event, they had no will or agenda of their own, and their sole purpose is to do God’s bidding. Asking why an angel does or doesn’t do something is precisely the same as asking that about the KBH.

That’s the Jewish perspective, as far as I know (although I’m sure Zev will be here in a moment to correct me).

The existence of guardian angels is not a core Catholic belief, but it’s a mainstream one, and a very ancient one, according to this article in the (1908) Catholic Encyclopedia (which also notes that is was probably a pre-existing pagan belief). In Christian thinking it can be traced back at least to the Fourth Century in both the eastern and western churches.

There’s abundant scriptural support, in both the Old and New Testaments, for a belief in angels. In the OT they are invariably presented as executing God’s will; in the NT they have wider capacities. Angels in the NT can, for instance, contemplate God, which suggests that they are more than simply manifestations of God’s will. Christian tradition definitely gives them a will of their own, if only because the devil is an angel who has rebelled against God. I do not know if Jewish tradition has a similar concept of Satan; presumably not, on the basis of [v]Alessan**’s presentation.

There’s rather less scriptural support for the notion of Guardian angels, although the Catholic encyclopedia article does point out that there is scriptural support for the notion that particular indivduals, communities or places can have angels dedicated to them, and Matt 18:10 can be read to support the idea that children, at least, have guardian angels. (“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”)

In Catholic thinking, as in Jewish, angels execute the will of God. They do not, however, do this by snatching us from the paths of runaway locomotives, diverting bullets or the like. Rather they act upon our senses, our imagination, and our intellects. They guide us towards salvation. Thus the fact that you lose your money in an unwise speculation, or are killed in a car crash, does not disprove the existence of angels any more than it disproves the existence of God.

Because when they subscribed to the SDMB, they clicked the “Do Not Display My E-Mail Address” box.

Next question. :wink: :smiley:

It doesn’t sound hard at all to me.

You said “contact,” so I’ll stick with that. This is going to come from a Christian perspective.

God doesn’t want us contacting angels because He wants us to contact HIM.

I’m forgetting the book it’s in but there’s a passage where some people see some angels and they fall to the ground and worship them and the angels tell them to get up because God will annihilate them (the angels) if they don’t stop.

We can request angels, and we can even dictate where they go (whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven, etc.) but no trying to contact them. No worshipping them, no praying to them.

I know people who have seen angels, but not because they’d gone out of their way to contact them, they just kinda showed up. I don’t know of any of my friends/family having a conversation with one. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them did, but that’s not the kind of thing you go around telling just anybody so I imagine they’ve kept pretty mum on the subject. We know from the Bible that angels can and do talk to humans: however they don’t show up to chit chat and have a beer. When they talk, they’re all business.

Pardon me if I sound slightly bitter over this, but:

Honestly, I know people tend to be people-centric, but the galaxy is a vast and enormous space. And for all we know there may be billions of others. People are pretty important to God, says his own Word, and we might actually be alone in all of creation. However, the Angels and all probably have many more duties than attending to us.

Atheist here, so no angels for moi. But just wondering, what else could possibly be occupying your angels? Universal janitorial duties? In charge of the divine mess hall? What?

Perhaps he meant Guardian Angels. That’s easy, too. Curtis Sliwa even has a webpage.

Regarding the various types of angels-there are said to be “cherubim” and seraphim". What do these look like? Do they have the same jobs? :wink:

To paraphrase George Carlin: Here’s another question I’ve been pondering- What is all this shit about Angels? Have you herd this? 3 out of 4 people belive in Angels. Are you F@#%G STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? You know what I think it is? I think it's a massive, collective, psychotic chemical flashback for all the drugs smoked, swallowed, shot, and obsorbed rectally by all Americans from 1960 to 1990. 30 years of street drugs will get you some f@#%g Angels my friend!

I believe there’s a description somewhere in Isaiah.

Hereya go, Angels 101

I’ve been told that if you look at the head of a pin for long enough using the patented George Carlin Method outlined below you, you’ll be able to start telling them apart.

Not sure how you go about counting them though.

This icon is a good illustration of the different types of angels (even if some of them look fairly similar). The most immediately recognizable are the cherubim and seraphim (mislabelled in the icon, as the text below points out): the seraphim are the six-winged creatures at the bottom of the icon. They are considered to be the closest to the glory of God. The cherubim are the little winged heads flying about the Trinity. Going by the text below, the little orange angels below the Trinity are thrones, the four angels at the very top carrying the body of Christ are authorities, the top three angels on the left side are dominions, the four angels carrying long candles near the top are principalities, the bottom two angels on the right side are archangels, and the bottom two on the left are angels. The text doesn’t mention it, but based on the process of elimination, the four angels on the top right side carrying books are probably powers.

Per Orthodox angelology (if that’s a word), seraphim, cherubim, and thrones are very close to the Godhead, and we don’t know much about what they do. Authorities, dominions, principalities and powers are mainly concerned with the running of the natural world and the fighting of demons. Archangels are the great messengers of God and leaders of the rest of the angels, and the angels are the ones most involved with human life. For more detail, see here.

I knew a thread about angels on SDMB wouldn’t go far before somebody brought up the Celestial Hierarchies of the Pseudo-Dionysius – and I’m glad it’s somebody who knew what they were talking about. How “dogmatically sound” are his works considered in Orthodoxy?

No, no. He meant HELLS Angels. (I know, it’s missing an apostrophe.)

And they’re quite easy to contact: