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 ”For He will give His angels charge over thee,
To keep thee in all thy ways.” – Psalm 91:11

Publisher Kathy Bernard


Diane, a young Christian university student, had gone to visit some friends one evening, but she ended up staying longer than planned.  Evening had come and Diane had to walk home alone in the gathering dusk.  Since it was a small town she wasn't afraid because she lived only a few blocks away. 

She walked along under the tall elm trees and when she reached the alley, which was a short cut to her house, she decided to take it.  Halfway down the alley, she noticed a man standing at the end, as though he were waiting for her.  She became uneasy and began to earnestly pray, asking for "God's" protection.  Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her and she felt as though God had sent a special angel to walk with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely.

The following day, she read in the paper that a young girl had been raped in that same alley, just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep and thank the Lord for her safety.  To help this young woman, she went to the police station hoping to recognize the man who had been found and arrested.  After relating her own story, the police asked her if she could identify the man in a police lineup.

Immediately, she was able to point out the person she saw in the alley the night before. When the man heard he had been identified twice, he confessed. The officer thanked Diane for coming in and wanted to know if there was anything he might do for her.  She told the officer she had one question troubling her; she wanted to inquire why the rapist had not attacked her instead of the other girl.  When the policeman asked the man, he answered, "Because she was not alone. I saw "two tall men" walking on either side of her."

The above story was written  by an unknown hand with appropriate changes.  But, as adults, many of us do not think about our guardian angels.  It was just something that was told to us as children.  This comforting thought was a strong assurance against the “bogey man” who hid in the closet, or the scary thing hiding under the bed.  As we grew older, the angel theory was laid aside. 

My father experienced an angel one dark, rainy night in New Orleans when he was driving on an overpass on his way home.  I remember him telling us how he had lost control of his car because of the wet and slippery pavement and just before he went crashing into the railing and into the river below, he felt strong hands taking control of the wheel and righting the car back onto the bridge.  These powerful hands held him safe and steady, then disappeared once my dad was able to continue home.  But he heard the Lord saying in his heart,  "Don't be afraid.  I am with you."  

According to Catholic resource website "Catholic Culture", scripture states  “Every person on earth has a guardian angel who watches and helps us in troubled times.  Angelical guardianship begins at the moment of birth; prior to this, the child is protected by the mother's guardian angel.  It continues throughout our whole life and ceases only when our probation on earth ends, namely, at the moment of death. Angels are servants and messengers from God.  'Angel' in Greek means messenger.  In unseen ways the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.  Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.  The idea that each soul has assigned to it a personal guardian angel has been long accepted by the Church and is a truth of our faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reads that "the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually call 'angels' is a truth of faith".

"It is a teaching of our faith that the providence of Almighty God cares for the souls of men by the means of angelic spirits.   At birth each child of Adam receives as custodian and guide of the heavenly court, a member of that celestial hierachy who adores before the throne of God.  Although the angel who abides before God with perpetual attention toward us is witness to our every word and act, he cannot know our thoughts unless we manifest them.  God alone has entrance to the sanctuary of our soul; angels are powerless to offer salvation or save our souls.

That every individual soul has a guardian angel has never been fully defined by the Church, and is, consequently, not an article of faith, but it is the "mind of the Church".   Further Church reasoning on this clearly denotes that angels are not requisite or essential to man's salvation but as St. Jerome expressed his views on angels: "how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it.” (Comm. in Matt., xviii, lib. II).  

St. Bernard says of guardian angels: " Wonderful condescension! and truly great love! He has given His angels a charge over thee, to guard thee in all thy ways. What is man, O God, that Thou should thus be mindful of him! What reverence, devotion, and confidence, should this word inspire in us!" Again, Christ Himself in the gospel charges us not to scandalize little ones, because "Their angels (that is, those who keep watch over them) always see the face of the Father."

The Catholic Encyclopedia, The New Advent, has this to say in part:  “The angels of the bible generally appear in the role of God’s messengers to mankind. They are His instruments by whom He communicates His will to men, and in Jacob’s vision they are depicted as ascending and descending the ladder which stretches from earth to heaven while gazing upon the wanderer below. It was an angel who found Agar in the wilderness. (Genesis 16) Angels drew Lot out of Sodom; an angel announces to Gideon that he was to save his people; an angel foretells the birth of Samson (Judges 13); and the angel Gabriel instructs Daniel (Daniel 8:16); though he is not called an angel in either of these passages, but "the man Gabriel" (9:21). The same heavenly spirit announced the birth of St. John the Baptist and the incarnation of the Redeemer, while tradition ascribes to him both the message to the shepherds (Luke 2:9) and the most glorious mission of all, that of strengthening the King of Angels in His agony (Luke 22:43). The spiritual nature of the angels is manifested very clearly in the account which Zacharias gives of the revelations bestowed upon him by the ministry of an angel. The prophet depicts the angel as speaking "in him". He seems to imply that he was conscious of an interior voice which was not that of God but of His messenger.  

In the Bible this doctrine is clearly discernible and its development is well marked. In Genesis 19:1, angels not only act as the executors of God’s wrath against the cities of the plain, but they delivered Lot from danger; in Exodus 23:23, an angel is the appointed leader of the host of Israel, and in 32-34, God says to Moses: "my angel shall go before thee." At a much later period we have the story of Tobias (Tobit 5:21), which might serve for a commentary on the words of Psalm 90-11: "For He hath given His angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways."  Lastly, in Daniel 10 angels are entrusted with the care of particular districts; one is called "prince of the Kingdom of the Persians”, and Michael is termed "one of the chief princes".   It is clear that the Old Testament conceived of God’s angels as His ministers who carried out His behests, and who were at times given special commissions, regarding men and mundane affairs. There is no special teaching; the doctrine is rather taken for granted than expressly laid down."

But in the New Testament the doctrine is stated with greater precision. Angels are everywhere and are the intermediaries between God and man; and Christ set a seal upon the Old Testament teaching: ‘See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10).  A twofold aspect of the doctrine is here put before us: even little children have guardian angels, and these same angels lose not the vision of God by the fact that they have a mission to fulfill on earth.

Without dwelling on the various passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of guardian angels is suggested, it may suffice to mention the angel who succored (gave aid to) Christ in the garden, and the angel who delivered St. Peter from prison.  Hebrews 1:14 puts the doctrine in its clearest light: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" This is the function of the guardian angels, they are to lead us, if we wish it, to the Kingdom of Heaven.” 

Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in
thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. - Exodus 23:20


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