Thursday, October 02, 2014

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

The church has taught of the reality of our guardian angels since the beginning of Christianity.

In recent years, even our secular culture has become fascinated with these heavenly beings.

One of my favorite devotionals, In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez, (not to be confused with Conversations with God-- a book I most assuredly do not recommend) today's reading includes the following:
     We have to deal with our Guardian Angels in a familiar way, while at the same time recognizing their superior nature and grace.  Though less palpable in their presence than human friends are, their efficacy for our benefit is far greater.  Their counsel and suggestions come from God, and penetrate more deeply than any human voice.  To reiterate, their capacity for hearing and understanding us is much superior even to that of our most faithful human friend, since their attendance at our side is continuous;  they can enter more deeply into our intentions, desires and petitions than any human being, since angels can reach our imagination directly without recourse to the comprehension of words.  They are able to incite images, provoke memories, and make impressions in order to give us direction...
Fernandez also says that they "can grasp reality beyond the capacity of our human intelligence..."

The above picture by Thomas Blackshear hangs in my upstairs hallway.  I like it better than the guardian angel picture of my youth.  It includes the Scriptural quote "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." ( Psalm 91) Entitled "Watchers in the Night," I like that it conveys the strength and power of our guardian angels.  Very reassuring.

We know that angels can assume the appearance of human beings from Hebrew13:2 "Do not neglect to show hospitality, for by that means some have entertained angels without knowing it."

Some twenty years ago I had a number of my children together with a few of their friends in a Wendy's for lunch.  I was a little stressed and as I passed out the Kid's Meals, ketchup for the french fries, etc.  I looked up to see a lovely woman at the next table dressed in a white suit.  She was looking at me very directly.  Her demeanor was very tranquil and she was smiling.  There was no food in front of her.  I remember laughingly saying, "You're pretty brave sitting so close to us in that white suit."  Unruffled, she continued to smile and said, "Your children are very well behaved."  I thanked her and remember feeling very reassured and peaceful after that.  I never saw her leave.

It was later that day as the image of that woman kept coming back to me that I considered that she may have been an angel.  White suit, no food, never saw her leave, words conveying peace....I really don't know.  But I have acknowledged that she may have been.  And all these years later I still remember her.  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me then, and so many times since then, that you are always with me.  Thank you for the protection and care of our guardian angels.

No comments: