The Nine Choirs of Angels Section 2

The Angels of the Fourth Choir

The Angels of this Choir have received from God unlimited sway over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence. so as to be able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so amazing that one alone of them would be able to destroy all the infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin.

The Angels of this choir appear tall and wear alb and dalmatic, which is colored according to the virtues of the souls they serve. With few exceptions they serve only the priests. The Powers appear tall and earnest. Their power is of a more intensive character than that of the Virtues, and the devil must give way before them. Their arms are crossed before the breast, and their look is compelling and authoritative, and their faces shine with great splendor. It is the sublime majesty that proceeds from this Choir that justifies their name. They guard the priests more carefully in their priestly work. Priests should invoke these Angels for proper recitation of the office, because the Powers can drive away all distractions during obligatory prayers. The Choirs of Angels, Archangels, Cherubim, and Seraphim are often remembered, whereas the rest, particularly the Powers and Virtues are almost wholly forgotten.

Powers are assigned to priests who are confessors of very devout souls. Confessors in monasteries have such a helper, other confessors only when they must guide privileged souls especially beloved by God. Priests who have one of the Powers constantly at their side are much favored in the sight of God, because these Angels lead them to a better self knowledge and instill in them an ever growing desire for perfection. If a priest has an Angel of this choir, it is almost certain that later he will be given one of the Dominations in place of the Power. It has occurred that at their ordination certain priests have received in addition to their regular Guardian Angel an Angel from the Choir of the Powers, because they were destined to do much extraordinary work in the confessional. Priests under the protection of the Powers have great influence over souls, and their work is very fruitful. Should their zeal ever lag, the Powers again enkindle it for them. The blessing given by such priests has a special power. This Choir is to be invoked in times of spiritual dryness and slothfulness, and against all temptations of anger and impatience.

Practice-----Resist the attacks of vice and passion; frequently make acts of diffidence in self and confidence in God; combat your evil inclinations.

Aspiration----- "Lord! send Thy Angels to assist us."

The Angels of the Fifth Choir

The Principalities. who form the Third Choir, are charged to watch over Empires, Provinces, Dioceses, etc., and to avert them from the effects of the Divine wrath. They are also appointed to transmit to the Angels of the last two Choirs the orders of the Most High. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone. Let us imitate them. It is the intention which stamps the action with merit or demerit.

These Blessed Spirits also have charge over each parish and know every member. If one should take the appearance of man, he stands tall and glorious, surrounded by a court of other Angels. Angels of this Choir kneel before the throne of God praying night and day for the members of their parishes. They are ever watchful that dying sinners receive the last Sacraments and that children are Baptized. They know all the members of the parish. In general they devote themselves to constant prayer for their parishioners, begging God in particular to forgive all scandals. They adore the Hidden God in the tabernacles, Who is almost entirely forgotten by His children and Who waits in vain for them in His empty church. The Principalities continually chant their mystical Sanctus in reparation for the lukewarmness of their parishioners.

Seldom does anyone invoke this choir. As a child of six, when on my way to church, I was accustomed to invoke its Angel and greet him then, for when I entered the church I had no time for this, as my Most Loving Savior was waiting for my greeting.

Devotion to this Choir will bring delight and perseverance in prayer. Their garments are of the color of amethyst and over them they wear a mantle covered with beautiful stones, much like a cope. Their crown is a diadem containing two stars. Their hands are always folded in prayer, their countenances friendly and gracious, but at times very sad, namely when the Sacraments have been received unworthily in their churches. It is then that they bow down to the ground and make most fervent reparation. Every priest should make it a point to greet this Angel of each parish, particularly of his own. The graces he can gain by this practice are many and very precious, and these graces are seldom merited.

The Patron feast is a day of great joy for the Principalities. Every church has its protector, who on this feast presents before the throne of God all sacrifices, merits, prayers, acts of mortification, which have accumulated since the last Patron feast. What a joy for these Angels when the number of good works is great and the incense of prayer constantly ascends to Heaven from their churches. On this day the Heavenly Prince blesses the parish. This Angel will never forsake his children and prays always for them, begging God to give them courage and strength. A mother cannot pray more fervently for her children, and yet, who renders him due thanks?

Practice-----In all you do and say, seek the greater glory of God. Refer all to this end.

Aspiration----- "O Holy Spirits! may we, like thee, seek God, for God alone."


The Angels of the Sixth Choir

Zeal for the Divine glory distinguished the Dominations. They are consumed by their yearning for the interests of God-----their principal office is to manifest His will. We, too, ought to be interested in all that concerns the honor of this ever Adorable Being, such as the conversion of sinners, the perfection of the just, the decoration of altars. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences"-----and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity.

God assigns Angels of this Choir to such who must give spiritual guidance as teachers in higher schools of learning, from the pulpit, or in the confessional. Missionaries stand under the protection of the Dominations. These Angels assist especially those who work for the spread of God's kingdom on earth. Angels of this choir are given to superiors of monasteries and seminaries provided they are humble, and give God credit for all the good they do. These Angels appear dressed in white garments, which are covered with precious stones, and on their breast they bear a shield inscribed with the Name of God. In the right hand they carry a small scepter, their faces shine like the sun, and their crown is of blinding radiance. We must pray to these Angels for the spread of God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith. In the time of despondency or despair, one must call these Angels to help, for they exercise great power against such temptations. Although this Choir is mentioned in the preface of the Mass, [the Dominions adore], very few think of invoking them, and still these Angels strive with much zeal to spread God's reign on earth.

Practice-----Give practical proof of your zeal for the glory of God; do something for His reign in souls, as instructing the ignorant, etc.

Aspiration----- "Holy Dominations! animate us with thy zeal."