DPPL 217: Deviations With Angels

STA altar at night smallAs with any good thing, devotion to angels can be taken to extremes:

217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
• when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and demons, in which (people are) left at the mercy of superior forces and over which (they are) helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;

In an age where people feel helpless against the powers of the world, it’s not surprising that some would feel at the mercy of some titanic and universal battle between beings of power and mystery.

No names, please:

• when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DPPL 217: Deviations With Angels

  1. Liam says:


    H/T to Pray Tell commenter Dennis Smolarski, SJ:

    Click to access litHomileticDirectory2014.pdf

  2. FrMichael says:

    I’ve encountered this “name your angel” idea among charismatics. I pointed out that guardian angels were given names by God and were not pets that we were free to name. This didn’t go over so well!

  3. FrMichael says:

    Liam, thanks for the link.

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