| Detail of a previous
Revelation Concerning the Angels of Christian Angelology
FROM THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA
§ 28. The Supernatural Exaltation and Probation of the Angels
1. Elevation to the state of grace
God set a supernatural final end for the Angels, the immediate vision of God,
and endowed them with sanctifying grace in order that they might achieve
this end. [Sent. certa.]
a) Pope Pius V rejected the teaching of Baius that not grace but eternal bliss is the reward to the good Angels for their naturally good works. D. 1003 et. seq. Jesus in the warning against scandal assures: "Their Angels in Heaven see the face of My Father Who is in Heaven." [Matt. 18:10] Cf. Tob. 12:19. However, the indispensable precondition for the achievement of the immediate vision of God is the possession of sanctifying grace.
The Fathers attest the elevation of the Angels to the state of grace. St. Augustine teaches that all Angels without exception were endowed with habitual grace, in order to be good, and were constantly supported by co-operating grace in order to be able to remain good [De civ. Dei XII 9:2; De corrept. et gratia c. 11 n. 32]. St. John Damascene teaches: "All the Angels were created by the Logos and perfected by the Holy Ghost through sanctification; corresponding to their dignity and to their order of rank they became participators in the illumination and the grace" [De fide orth. II 3].
b) As far as the time of the elevation into the state of grace is concerned Petrus Lombardus (Sent. II d. 4-5), with the medieval Franciscan School, teaches that the Angels were created without supernatural endowment, and that they were required to prepare themselves with the help of actual grace for the reception of sanctifying grace. This grace was received by the good Angels only. St. Thomas, on the other hand (in his later writings), following St. Augustine, teaches that the Angels were created in the state of sanctifying grace; probabilius videtur tenendum et magis dictis sanctorum consonum est, quod fuerunt creati in gratia gratum faciente. S. th. I 62, 3. Cf. St. Augustine, De Civ. Dei XII 9, 2: angelos creavit ... simul eis et condens naturam et largiens gratiam. The Roman Catechism (I 2, 17) follows the teaching of St. Augustine and St. Thomas in this matter.