The Five Gifts of Angels

Do angels have a will of their own? Were they created free? Is their intelligence comparable to human intelligence? Here are five gifts they received from the Lord.

At the beginning of Creation, God created in an instant a myriad of magnificent angels. By creating them, God gave them the grace of supreme happiness, immeasurable intelligence, a will without weakness, perfect knowledge. But he also gave them freedom, so they could freely choose to serve and love him.


The greatest gift of angels is to live face to face with the Eternal. Before the Resurrection of Christ, angels were the only inhabitants of Heaven, constantly praising the Lord before his glorious Throne. These pure spirits, while helping men on earth, enlightening them and guiding their steps, never stop contemplating God. Certain biblical passages testify to this, in particular when the Archangel Gabriel visits Zechariah and says “I am Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God” (Luke 1.19) or again when Jesus says “be careful not to despise any one of these little ones, for, I tell you, their angels in heaven see the face of my Father unceasingly” (Mt 18, 10).


Human intelligence is often uncertain, whereas angelic intelligence is distinguished by its rapidity, its promptness and the security of its conceptions. Angels are endowed with a lively and intuitive intelligence. Moreover, God did not deprive the rebellious angels of the natural intelligence that He had given them when He had created them. However, by their refusal, these angels cut themselves off from divine intelligence. By their rejection of God, they have irreparably distorted the divine gift. Thus, “the smallest of the faithful angels, enlightened by divine intelligence, surpasses in wisdom the Prince of the Underworld, reduced to his own lights”, explains Anne Bernet in her book investigation of angels (Artege).


From the moment of their creation, God made known to the angels the reality of all that He created. Angels learn effortlessly. Contrary to the man who gets tired and demands rest, the angel is indefatigable precisely because he is freed from the weight of matter. Anne Bernet explains: “Human memory is capricious, that of the angel is incapable of the slightest forgetting. What he knows, he knows definitively and perfectly.


The human will is hesitant, while the angelic will is distinguished by the tenacity of its resolutions. Ours is subject to desires, passions and concupiscences, while that of the angels is exempt from them and knows no fluctuations. The will of the angel is so absolute that his decisions are irrevocable. As confirmed by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) all creatures were originally good, even the devil and the demons who “were created by God naturally good”. It is precisely by their own will that they have lost their primitive goodness and it is by themselves that they have become irrevocably evil.



God created angels free to serve and love Him. He trained their minds and their will to choose him freely, but did not entirely deprive them of the possibility of rejecting him. So, due to their angelic nature, their possibility of sin was tiny and improbable, but there was. Anne Bernet explains that “to defend them, he had given them his grace and his holiness, making this misfortune almost impossible for them. Any angelic fault, therefore, could only be the fruit of a monstrously vicious and totally weighed, weighed and premeditated act of will”.

Originally and in an instant, says Saint Augustine, “the angelic nature was created and grace was poured out in the angelic spirits.” Angels were created for supernatural bliss. From the first moment of their existence, they were placed in the conditions to achieve this supreme happiness, that is to say, the eternal beatific vision of God, in which we too are called to participate at the end the times.


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The Five Gifts of Angels

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