18a. Angels

According to this arrangement the first or lowest hierarchy is made up of the angels, the archangels, and the principalities. The angels being the least perfect – that is to say, when compared with the higher orders, for in themselves they are far greater and more perfect than anything that we are familiar with – are called by the generic name, which is taken from the function that is common to all the angels, of whom Saint Paul says that “all are ministering spirits.” Considered in general, such ministry does not imply any special perfection, and hence the name angel which is derived from it, while applicable to all, is especially suited to those who have no pre-eminence in their ministry, even as they have none in their natures. These are the angels of the first or lowest choir, from whom, it is thought, our guardian angels are regularly chosen, and who from time to time are sent as messengers to private individuals.

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