"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head" (Colossians 2:18-19)Anti-Catholics consider this verse a biblical refutation of Catholic devotion to angels. They also cite the following verse from the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation):
"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God" (Apoc/Rev 22:8-9 see also 19:10)
These verses clearly condemn the worship of angels; that is, offering to angels the supreme honor and sacrifice due God alone (latria). Yet Catholics do not do this; we offer them a lesser honor (dulia) which is fitting for holy creatures. We are just as firmly opposed to the worship of angels as Protestants are!
Some anti-Catholics will argue that prayer to angels is worship of them. They are mistaken; prayer is not worship, it is petitioning, requesting something. We can request something of God, and we can also request something of the holy angels and saints in heaven.
God does not forbid us to address His holy angels, in fact two of the Psalms which He Himself inspired contain invocations of angels:
"Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.If God wants us to pray these Psalms (which He does), then He clearly has no problem with us addressing the angels!*
Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure." (Ps 103:20-21)
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts." (Psalm 148:1-2)
In this case, we are asking the angels to offer prayers of praise to God. But it is also legitimate to ask them to offer prayers of petition to God on our behalf. For the angels do intercede for us before Him, according to the Apocalypse/Revelation:
"And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." (Apoc/Rev 8:3-4)Here we see a holy angel offering the prayers of the saints (a term used for Christians on earth in Scripture) before the throne of God. This is biblical proof of angelic intercession!
The angels are deeply concerned with our well-being. God gives them charge over us to be our guardians (Psalm 91:11-12; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 18:10; Acts 12:5-11, 5; Hebrews 1:14); surely they must pray for their charges! We also have fellowship with them as fellow citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22). We should not and do not worship them as we worship God, but we can still love and talk to them, even as we love and talk to fellow Christians on earth.
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