Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Angels and Demons
We all share characteristics with God. We are made in His image and likeness. I don't believe that notion has gone out any windows. Angels and devils certainly share characteristics. God made them, too. All devils were once angels.
In our attempt to understand the supernatural, which is beyond our understanding, we picture angels and devils as beings like us except the good ones have wings and halos and the bad ones have horns and tails wings. The unfortunate down side of this characterization is that it makes devils look more powerful than angels. They are so often giant and red, with massive horns and long fingernails, while angels are sweet faced Swedish looking types. I think that is by artistic design to remind us, if not scare the devil out of us, about what we're up against.
But always remember who won the battle in the first place. The angels won. That should tell us who to back. That's why I never understood these silly people who want to be Satanists and worship the devil and all that nonsense. I understand how people make the mistake of following earthly evil, like say, Hitler, because of their misguided notions and fears. But why would anyone want to follow the thing that lost the battle and the power in the first place in the pursuit of power on earth with the full understanding that after that's over, it all adds up to eternity in Hell? Because if you are a follower of Satan, you do believe in an afterlife and Hell, or you couldn't believe in Satan in the first place. So, really, how dumb can you get?
What was the question? Oh, yes! the characteristics of God.
We don't know what angels and devils actually look like. When angels appear in the Bible, they look just like us, but they are able to come and go supernaturally. Tobias travels all over with his friend, Raphael, who happens to be an archangel. They seem to all appear as young men (who are created in God's likeness). Abraham has some angels over for lunch.
When the devil comes to tempt Jesus in the desert, we really don't get a description of him. We never see the demons that afflict humans through possession, we just see the ugly results. The devil in the desert rather seems to be walking around talking to Jesus like a person, but the devil does show Jesus visions of how great it would be if Jesus would give up all the God stuff and follow Satan instead. Jesus, who has a brain in His head, says no. That certainly would have been a coup for the devil, to have the Second Person in the Holy Trinity on his side.
But the devil is always a loser.
My point is that angels and devils, though we have seen them in rather human form, are not humans. Angels are not human beings who have died and gone to Heaven and devils are not human beings who have died and gone to Hell. If an angel "doesn't have his wings", he's just not that kind of angel, despite what SzuSzu's teacher said. Angels don't even need wings to travel around, as Tobias and Abraham can attest.
As beings that God created, we assume they, too, have some of His characteristics. What your question actually refers to is their supernatural powers, like bi-location and what geeks call 'shape-shifting', like taking on human form. I'm not sure if they can 'see into our hearts'. I wouldn't put it past them. There are humans who have those powers, like Padre Pio (who could also bi-locate).
Just keep in mind that these gifts, like the gift of life itself, come from God. The devil shows us that we always have a choice in how to use our gifts.