Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Angels - Are They Real and What Do They Do?

Today, the Catholic Church remembers and celebrates one of God's eternal gifts, the Holy Guardian Angels.

I have prayed the Guardian Angel prayer since I was a child, but over the years have lost my conviction about the need for or efficacy of those prayers, until this morning.

Just a few angel references from Scripture and a couple of sentences from a meditation were enough to rekindle my awareness of their actual presence and their activity binding Heaven and earth.

Thus says the Lord:  "See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.  Be attentive to him and heed his voice.  Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin.  My authority resides in him.  If you heed his voice and carry out all I tell you, I wil be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes..."  Exodus 23:20-22

The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."  Matthew 18:10

In today's Magnificat meditation, Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey quotes Fr. Olier and has the following to say about our guardian angel's commission:

"Because we are his children, he appoints to us as tutors the princes of his realm, who hold it an honor to have us in their charge. (Fr. Olier)

"Because we are his temples in which he himself dwells, he wills that angels hover about us as they do about our churches, so that bowed down in worship before him they may offer a perpetual homage to his glory, supplying for our neglect and making reparation for our irreverence."

"he sends this mysterious host of angels in order that they may by uniting themselves to us and binding us to themselves form one body of the Church of heaven and the Church of earth." (Fr. Olier) 

"Our guardian angel keeps us in constant touch with heaven."

What an incredible gift!  And why wouldn't it be true?  God offers every possible help to ensure our arrival at the place He has prepared for us.

My spiritual director believes so much in her guardian angel that she asks him to go and comfort those she sees in distress.  (I love this idea and have used it a time or two myself).

I know great angel stories abound...My brother installs and repairs industrial heating and air equipment.  He was working on a unit one day and when he was finished, realized it had full power the entire time.  He should have been dead.  I'm pretty sure he owes his life to his guardian angel for that day.

Do you have a story you can share here? It would be a great tribute to our heavenly advocates!

I heard that if you ask your guardian angel their name, they will reveal it to you.  I know several people who have "heard" an answer.  I have asked repeatedly, but am still waiting.  I also had my boys ask, but they always said names like "Anakin" and "Thomas the Train".  I decided we might try again, later

Angel sent by God to guide me
Be my light and walk beside me
Be my guardian and protect me
On the paths of life direct me.


  1. Guardian angel stories? Where do I start?? I have so many! I suppose my most recent story involved Neilan running off without me last spring. We were at Tanglewood Park and he thought I had left (I never moved). He was confused when his brother's class was getting ready to leave. He ended up crossing the street himself (unaided by myself or anyone that could be seen). I later found him sitting sobbing under the tree in the parking lot by the splashpad waiting for me. After I found him he kept telling me how worried he was about me! Can you believe that? All I could do was cry and thank both my (who no doubt had a hand in his safety) and his guardian angel.

    Another time I was driving to the airport with the whole family in the car. I was headed with the baby to my grandfather's funeral. I started getting sleepy at the wheel when all of a sudden in the upper corner of the windshield I saw the outline of a dove. I have no doubt it was a combination of my guardian angel, all of the the kids' guardian angels, my husband's guardian angel... and maybe my grandmother and grandfather who were very successful in waking me up! We got there safely and on time!

    Like you I had lost my fervor for praying to my guardian angel. They truly are a gift who deserve our thanks, as does God who appointed them to us!

    1. Hey Paula! I just wanted to thank you for sharing your angel stories (a month later). I've been thinking about you a lot and wondering how things are going and if you have adjusted to your new normal.

      I had a chance to visit with the brother whose story I mentioned above about the day that his guardian angel interceded. He reminded me of a few details that I had surprisingly forgotten...He said there was a grackle perched above him on a power line, squawking the entire time he was working and when he realized that he should have been dead, a piece of a torn page from a children's coloring book floated down to him and it said "God Loves You".

      I wouldn't believe this story from just anyone, but my brother (who is not easily excited or moved) was convinced that he was given a second chance that day, and so am I.