Angels Are Real, They Exist: Do You Believe?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “[T]he existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.” Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3). Based on the Church teachings, Angels are basically God’s creatures and are heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity. Essentially, they act as God’s squad, servants and messengers. One of their responsibilities is to look after us, guide and lead us into Heaven, particularly the Guardian Angels whose feast day falls today (2nd of October). Similar to the Saints in heaven, the Angels likewise serve as one of our channels to God, they intercede for us, they help us raise our hearts and minds in gratitude to the graces and blessings from God. Thus, Angels are real – they’re not just make believe, or in today’s internet parlance, they aren’t fake, they aren’t trolls who spew hate and fake narratives! The help us get to Heaven!
Few days ago (29th September), the Catholic world also commemorated the feast day of the 3 principal Archangels in Heaven, namely: St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel who act as the chief messengers of God. Because of their crucial roles played in our faith and salvation, the said Archangels are accorded special honor, respect and recognition, hence they are labeled as “Saints”. According to St. Thomas, Archangels bear the greatest messages of God to man.
For Catholics, it is but normal for us to seek the help of the Angels, particularly the Archangels and our Guardian Angels in order to guide us to the right path and to teach us on how to walk in God’s presence. Still remember the following prayer which some of us learned when we were still young?: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and . Amen”.
Very little is known about the roles of Archangels and Guardian Angels in the salvation history, other than what we have read from the Holy Scriptures and from the Church teachings. Despite this, it seems we actually know well these invisible guardians. Based on accounts, Saints Michael, Raphael and Gabriel are endowed by God with very important responsibility. St. Gabriel is the messenger of the Good News; he was sent down by God to deliver His message that the Blessed Virgin Mary will be the Mother of God. On the other hand, St. Raphael is the healing angel; he is the consoler and healer of the afflicted. This is the reason why during this Covid-19 virus pandemic, some of us have sought the intercession of St. Raphael because he is also the patron Saint of the sick and the messenger from Heaven and remedy of Divine Love, and last but not the least, is St. Michael who primarily serves as our protector and the defender of the Faith. Based on accounts, it was St. Michael who fought with Lucifer, the head of the proud angels who have been thrown to Hell and is continuously sowing evil throughout the world, “seeking the ruin of souls”. Of the 3 Archangels, most of us have devotions to St. Michael the Archangel, specifically to defend us in the day of battle and safeguard us from the wickedness and snares of the devil, as the prayer to St. Michael says. If we sincerely implore the assistance of the Archangels and our guardian angels, they’ll always be there for us by the grace of God, to help, protect and rescue us from all dangers, and heal us from our afflictions
We celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels primarily to commemorate their significant role in our spiritual journey, to express our gratefulness to them for guarding and guiding us, and to get to know them even more, among others. Angels are God’s wondrous blessings to us, especially Guardian Angels who are God’s messengers on earth and who are always with us wherever we are, regardless. According to some theologians, our guardian angels were assigned to us at the moment of birth until the last breath. They do not only help us develop our spiritual growth but they also work behind the scenes, so to speak, protecting us from evil and all kinds of physical harm, thus bringing us closer to God. Angels may not be physically visible as they are heavenly spirits but for those who have devotions and fondness with them, they could sense their presence particularly in time of need. Have you ever encountered your guardian angel in your life?
Even if we Catholics believe in the existence of Angels, not everyone of us is in the “close-friend” zone with our guardian angel. Some people who have had interpersonal relationship with their guardian angels even go to the extent of giving their guardian angel a name for intimacy. Unfortunately, some people have yet to know them, particularly on God’s wondrous blessings via guardian angels. As such, they lose the opportunity of asking help from them, in the same manner that we can pray and seek help from Our Blessed Mother and the Saints in Heaven.
Generally, Angels have no gender. Candidly, I utilized the feminine pronoun to address my guardian angel. I treat her just like a trusted friend, and just like friends there good and bad times, conflict and misunderstanding. She has always been by my side and most of the times she seems pleased to see me doing good, but there were times that she might have been sad for some wrong choices in my life. Despite everything, I felt she has not abandoned me and instead encouraged me more to do good things by doing the will of God and to live a life pleasing to God. St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina who had encounters with Angels throughout his life, once said, “How consoling it is to know that we have a spirit who, from the womb to the tomb, never leaves us even for an instant, not even when we dare to sin. And this heavenly spirit guides and protects us like a friend, a brother”. Similarly, St. Jose Maria Escriva advised us to have confidence in our guardian angel. He stated: “Treat him as a lifelong friend – that is what he is -and he will render you a thousand services in the ordinary affairs of each day” (from his book, The Way). Hence, the importance of linking up with our guardian angels for wisdom and guidance.
We may have some memorable encounters with our guardian angel but what is amazing is God’s enormous love for us – He gave us guardian angels regardless who we are, even if/when we have sinned, they are still on our side fighting for us with the devil (who is also pushing hard for us to do evil), trying hard to convince us to act the the kind of person that God has created and what is expected from us. St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the Doctors of the Church, once clarified that “God never leaves any of us, including sinners. Based on accounts published on the web, one of the Catholic theologians, Ludwig Ott, opined that “ not only every baptized person, but every human being, including unbelievers, has his own special guardian angel from his birth.” Once again, God has provided us so many ways for us to choose the right path. There is no way to reason out that we can’t go through the way to God because there are always best alternative options available for us if we only listen, obey and desire so, and one of which is through the wondrous assistance from the Archangels and our guardian angels!
Pope Francis once indicated that guardian angels are like our travel companions and protectors. They act as “a human compass or a compass that resembles a human being and helps us see where we should go” to keep us protected from all kinds of danger. The Holy Father encouraged us to pray to our guardian angels as they are privileged to see God in Heaven and they are tasked to guard and protect everyone on earth. How can we not avail such gift from God and establish a friendly environment with our guardian angels instead? Such a great love and generosity from our Father in Heaven! The Holy Father further impressed on us that guardian angels aren’t mere imaginations, there is truth to it. As a matter of fact, it is “what Jesus, what God said: ‘I send an angel before you, to guard you, to accompany you on the way, so you will not make a mistake”.
And so with all these ineffable blessings, we praise and thank our loving Lord and God for all these, especially for the constant travel companion He has given us, the Archangels and our guardian angels who are ever ready to protect us, guide our thoughts, and help us in our day to day life. We pray that our Lord God grant us the grace of humility that through our guardian angels, we may be able to listen and obey His will. Amen.
O Holy Mary, handmaid of the Lord, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Queen of Angels, pray for us. Amen.