In years of
research about angels, Father John Horgan has discovered many surprising
things. For example, the saints write a lot about them.
“It’s fascinating to see how various saints speak of the angels,” he told The B.C. Catholic. Saints John XXIII, Padre Pio, and Faustina all wrote about these supernatural beings.
“Many of them never had an apparition or a message, but nonetheless felt that closeness with angels around them, relied on their protection, relied on their inspiration, and understood they were the invisible but very present messengers of God’s truth and love.”
Father Horgan, the pastor of St. Pius X Parish, has been interested in angels and saints for a long time and hosted EWTN’s TV series Angels of God, which first aired in 2005 and still sells on DVD today.
Now, this popular expert on the topic has released his first book on angels and the sometimes-surprising influences they can have on our lives.
“I wanted to write this book in order to introduce people to a friendship with these first created of God, who are magnificent creatures that help us approach God’s beauty, truth, and magnificence,” he recently explained to EWTN’s Father Mitch Pacwa on air.
“The angels are an expression of God’s generous love.”
Father Horgan has co-authored or contributed to various publications, but Angels at Our Side: Understanding Their Power in Our Souls and the World is the first book he has authored himself. He told The B.C. Catholic some people might find his research on angels quite surprising.
For example, he said, “if an angel could envy, they would envy us for two things.”
The first: human beings can receive the Eucharist, while angels cannot. The second: as many saints have said, humans can offer their sufferings for others. Angels cannot.
Instead, the job of our invisible, supernatural friends, said Father Horgan, is to be warriors, messengers, and adorers of God. “We can see in them reflections of God’s greatness, his almighty power, his knowledge, his foresight, and his love,” he said.
“Through them we come to a better sense of who God is and a greater wonder and desire to praise and adore him.”
Father Horgan encourages Catholics to be aware of the presence of angels by inviting them into their prayer, Scripture reading, and daily lives.
“A friendship with the angels does not mean we are expecting or trying to arrange for mystical visions or messages.” Instead, he said, angels speak to people often through “enlightenment, inspirations, and intuitions.”
In moments where a person might unexpectedly understand a passage of Scripture, forgive someone they didn’t think they were ready to forgive, or be suddenly moved to do something or know something they wouldn’t usually do – he said we may have angels to thank.
“We might say: ‘That’s a coincidence or something unusual.’” But “if you believe in a loving God who knows you and cares about you individually, the presence of an angel in your life is like the fingertips of God or the signs of his presence.”
In his book, he digs deeper into the differences between spirits and angels, the roles of guardian angels, angelic warfare, and prayers people can use to become more aware of the supernatural friends around them.
It’s based, he said, on the 230 mentions of angels found in Scripture and years of research into Church teaching and the writings of saints about these creatures.