October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. These messengers of God played pivotal roles throughout the events of the Bible. In fact, the word angel derived from the Greek word angelos which meant “messenger”. Angels visited Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Gideon to name a few examples. In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel visited Mary recognizing her holiness and that God called her to be the mother of Jesus.
Growing up I was fascinated with the topic of angels. My parents always had us recite the Guardian Angel prayer before bedtime. This tradition has continued in my family and my kids even say that prayer that before school. Catholics believe in spiritual beings, yet on a practical level and in “adult” conversations I have to admit this has been a teaching of the Church that I need to be better at living out and believing in myself.
Unfortunately, life gets busy, stress-inducing, and chaotic. It gets easy to forget out spiritual matters when all your troubles are tangible. Mortgage payments, hospital bills, strained family dynamics, or dissatisfaction at work are things people often battle. These are definitely pain points in my life. We crave truth, peace, and joy. Catholics live in the world while dreaming and hoping for the world to come. St. Augustine wrote, “Our hearts are restless until it rests in You (God)”.
The Feast of the Guardian Angels is a reminder that we should never give up hope and that we always have a someone to help us out even if our eyes cannot see.
An Angel for All
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 336, “336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their 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.” You. Me. Everyone now, in the past, and who will live in the future has a guardian angel to protect them from harm.
We Don’t Transform into Angels
It is common for people to post in reaction to the death of a love one: “He/she just received their angel wings in Heaven!” Angels are separate beings from humans. If you go to Heaven in Union with God after you die, you will remain yourself. You will receive a gloried body, but you will not become an angel.