I remember a print that hung in my family’s kitchen when I was a little girl. You know the one. A little boy and little girl are happily traversing a broken bridge over raging waters while a very ethereal, smiling angel hovers over and behind them with arms outstretched.
Man, I loved that print.
I would stare at it over my bowl of cheerios in the morning, thinking how cool it was that little Hansel and Gretel there could just move about the world so blissfully oblivious to danger thanks to their sweet angel. See, because my mom had taught the guardian angel prayer to me as a tiny girl, I knew exactly what that angel was and why those kiddos were safe. She was their guardian angel. And as long as she was by their side to “light and guard, to rule and guide,” they would be A-OK.
What About Our Guardian Angels?
But what about me? And what about us, sisters? Now that we are adult women with our mature intellects and our skepticisms that have grown right along with our faith, do we still believe in the protection of guardian angels? Or have we been scarred and jaded by hardships and lost battles to the point that we doubt their existence?
Angels Among Us
So, where is the first place we should look when we have a question about our Faith? The Catechism, of course!
From its beginning until death human life is surrounded by (the angels’) watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God. -CCC 336
Wonderful! So we, as believers, have been given our very own angel to protect us as we go through our trials, tribulations, joys, triumphs in this life. But who, or rather, what is our guardian angel? Is it our dear friend that passed away? A loved one that we believe to be in heaven already with our Lord? I’m afraid not.
What is an Angel?
St. Augustine says:
“Angel” is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is “spirit”; if you seek the name of their office, it is “angel”…” With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. -CCC 329
Let’s let that marinate for a minute. From our very beginning in our mother’s wombs, until the last breath we take, we are under the care of spirit given to us by God Himself. This angel, this completely spiritual and non-physical being, is ours for protection and guidance. By its very existence it bridges the gap for us between Heaven and earth.
Send Me an Angel
Can I just say how much I love both our Blessed is She sisterhood and the internet? As I was preparing to write this post, I wanted to hear what some of you had to say about guardian angels. You didn’t let me down!
When I asked what vision came to mind when people thought of their personal guardian angel, it seemed like a mixed bag. Some people had the very flowery, traditional view of an angel, not unlike the one in that print I mentioned earlier. Others said that they saw their angel as similar to St. Michael to Archangel, a fierce and strong protector.
Shannon said that she views her angel in that fierce way. “My angel has had to do some WORK!” she said.
While Joan sees her angel as very large, but comforting and strong, as she often feels very much alone.
Lee said that her image of guardian angels has changed as she’s gotten older. She’s learned more about how they can protect us in the spiritual battles we face as well as the physical ones.
And Alison says she imagines a large, fight-ready angel who stands as our protector from attack.
Angel of Mine
I also asked if anyone would be willing to share personal experiences. In what way had they felt their guardian angel’s presence in their life?
Several people shared stories of how guardian angels protected them from being tragically hurt or even killed in car accidents.
Some told stories of being lost as children and finding safety through the help of their angelic protector.
Others credited their angels for working with and through police, friends, and even strangers to save them from dangerous situations.
Some are in conversation with them as a natural part of their daily lives.
But here’s what I think it comes down to on this Feast of Guardian Angels. Whether or not we have impressive stories about our angels, whether or not we feel their presence in our daily lives, we need to trust that they are there. They travel this road with us as we, like those sweet kids in the painting, blissfully and obliviously wander through dangerous territory. In His infinite wisdom and providence, our Heavenly Father loves each of us enough to grant us our very own spiritual BFF.
Let’s Chat with Our Angelic BFFs
So today, I invite all of us to say the guardian angel prayer with a little extra love. To listen to that still, small voice in our hearts when faced with a situation we are unsure of. To ask our own personal guardian and friend to join its prayer with ours and, by doing so, move just a little farther along to our safe landing on the other side.
Do you have a relationship with your guardian angel? How do you picture your guardian angel?Angel of God, My Guardian Dear #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Beth Williby is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a mom of four pretty amazing humans and has been married to her college sweetheart for almost twenty years. She does her best praying through singing and feeding the people she loves. Having grown up in the Midwest, she now calls Northeast Florida home. You can find out more about her here.