Friday, October 2, 2009

Feast of the Guardian Angels

"Our knowledge of the angels is based on Revelation, on the Old and New Testaments, Tradition and the Church's doctrine from the beginning. Lateran Council IV (1215) and Vatican Council I (1869) declared that "simultaneously at the beginning of time. God created from nothing both the spiritual and corporal creation, i.e. angelic and mundane." Therefore, like his predecessors, a modern theologian, Karl Rahner (Encyclopedia of Theology) firmly holds that the "existence of the angels cannot be disputed by a sincere Christian. They are mere creatures and like man, they are created for a supernatural goal. Their saving grace came from Christ, who is their Head too, and round the Word they form a true society of persons. They are a part of the Christian Message." Through Christ, they give praise to the Father (Mass Preface).

All recent popes have confirmed and promoted the Church's constant faith in the angels. They themselves, lived in close, friendly, brotherly contact with them. Here are some of their words and sentiments:

Pope Pius XI: "I feel that he is here, close by, ready to help me. " To visitors: "every day, morning and evening, pray to your guardian angel, especially in difficulties."

To his successor (Pope Pius XII): "In speaking with someone who is closed to your argument, go to your guardian angel and recommend the matter to him. Ask him to take it up with the guardian angel of the person you have to see. Once the two angels establish an understanding, the conversation with the visitor will be much easier."

Pope Pius XII: "We must unite with the holy angels; with them we must become one great strong family in view of the times that are approaching us!" He denounced (Encyclical Humani Generis, 1950) theologians who questioned whether the angels were persons or reduced them to myths or vague ethereal beings. To American tourists (1958): "There exists another, an invisible world, real as our own, it is all around us; it is peopled with angels; they travel with you and play a part in your lives. As Christ said of children that 'their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven' (Mt. 18:10), so when children become adults, their guardian angels do not abandon them, but remain at their sides."

Pope John XXIII had a deep devotion and familiarity with the angels. With simplicity and naturalness, he said, "rely on your guardian angels, the lovable heralds of our will. May the angels, present in every home, speak of our desire to bring about social concord, good morals, the practice of charity, peace among nations."

To parents: "Teach the children that they are never alone, that an angel is at their side. Show them how to have a trusting conversation with the angel, who is a good advisor and intercedes for you and helps you in your needs." It is consoling to feel this special guardian near us; he promotes our intimacy with God as a teacher of asceticism and mysticism and guide to the summit."

-- Our Guardian Angels by Alfred Boeddeker, OFM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this meaningful posting, and lovely image of the Guardian Angel. I love these images of the Angels. May Our Guardian Angels remove the obstacles along our path and gently take our hand, not letting go until we have safely reached Heaven to behold the Love of Loves that is Jesus Himself! John K.