Catholic tradition teaches that there are 9 choirs of angels.
Peter Kreeft in his book, ‘Angels and Demons’ writes
“The first three levels see and adore God directly:
The next three choirs fulfill God’s providential plans for the universe, like middle management personnel:
The last three choirs directly order human affairs (they are like warriors)
9-Guardian angels ”
Each of the choirs of angels have different vocations, tasks to perform. Joan Carroll Crux in her book, ‘Angels and Devils’ writes, ” While all the angels love God exceedingly, the love of the seraphim is said to be beyond compare. They are called ‘the princes of pure love’ according to the great St.Denis (258) who mentions eight properties of this love that are represented by fire. Among these properties is that ‘seraphic love signifies intense love, which is ever burning and consuming.’ He mentions that fire is in constant motion, just as the seraphim are incessantly intent on God alone. Since fire in intensely hot, the love of the seraphim is a burning love. Fire never loses it light, just as seraphic love abides in its fullness, ‘Fire not only penetrates what is combustible, but permeates throughout; and seraphic love plunges, loses and engulfs itself in the abyss of the Divinity by a glorious transformation. Fire communicates warmth and purifies; the seraphim carry love and light into all the choirs of angels.”
The cherubim. “Just as an intense love is attributed to the seraphim, light and admirable knowledge are the possession of the cherubim. They are not only described as learned in the divine science of Heaven, but St Gregory affirms that they have the very fullness of it. The name cherubim signifies the ‘power to know and to see God,’ to ‘receive the greatest gifts of His light.’ to contemplate the divine splendor.’ They are also called the doctors of the science of the Saints….Divine light imparts to them admirable knowledge, and the holy effulgence with with they are replenished is reflected in abundant streams upon the other hierarchies.”
The seraphim reflect God’s Love. The cherubim reflect God’s truth. Because love is greater than truth the seraphim are the highest choir of angels. However, love and truth form a single reality.
The thrones. “The main characteristic of those who belong to the order of thrones are submission and peace. For this reason, it is reported that they are patrons of true repose of soul and tranquil peace of heart. It is said that God rest on them and imparts His Spirit to them, which they pass on to angels and to mankind. Dionysius teaches that thrones carry warmth and an outpouring of wisdom and they they, like servants, are ever attentive to the will of God. He continues that they ‘dwell in fullest power, immovably and perfectly established in the Most High.”
Thought for the day: You can pray to the seraphim to fill you with God’s Love. You can pray to the cherubim to fill you with God’s truth. You can pray to the thrones to fill you with God’s peace.