Questions regarding Catholicism by Mr. Gardner
Angel or Saint: by Mr. Jeff Gardner
Quite often students hold the belief that when a person dies and goes to Heaven the person becomes an Angel. This is a commonly held misconception among our students, many Catholics and many of the Christian faithful. To understand the difference, I will briefly explain what angels are and what saints are.
Angels are purely spiritual creatures who act as servants and messengers of God. What this means in regular terms is that they do God’s will without question, and as purely spiritual creatures they are not limited by time and space; thus, they are able to do a multitude of things simultaneously. Their focus is on God’s will and they can never stop being angels.
Saints are the people – you and me – who get into Heaven; they are the “holy ones” whose time on earth is united to God through Christ so that they receive the reward of eternal life! In other words, they are the saints in the Halls of Heaven who eat the Heavenly banquet of the Beatific Vision. These saints are people who are restored to their original relationship with God (CCC 329).
So, what we have are two different realities that worship God in Heaven and forms the one Heavenly court made of the Angels who always do God’s will, and the saints who are the “Holy Ones” of God who have received the reward of eternal life and form the Communion of Saints. (All of this information can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 329 – 333 and in paragraphs 946 – 962).