Photography © by Andy Coan

Spiritual Guide, “Hurriquake” Protector, Boogieman Defender: Thanks, Guardian Angel!

In the wake of surviving unscathed an earthquake and a hurricane in one week, I have one more suggestion to add to Annie Mitchell’s wonderful article Make me Holy… Guardian Angels.

First, because devotion to Guardian Angels is so easily overlooked and secondly, because my angel deserves a little recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty – again – and yours does too.

Our guardian angels are a constant reality and daily encounter, whether we are conscious of it or not, with the mystical and heavenly as well as the practical and earthly. As the childhood prayer says, they are our helpers “to light, to guard, to rule and to guide.” They are real beings: unique, unrepeatable individuals with personalities and names. They are perfectly in love with Our Lord and enjoy the constant Beatific Vision as well as an incredible knowledge of our sinful and imperfect selves.

Our Lord matches us with our specific angels for a reason. Church tradition holds that our angels are with us not only on Earth, but in Heaven too. They are both our first friends and our friends for eternity. What a great gift, in celebration of our creation, Our Lord gives us in our guardian angels. As our constant companions ever since, they know us inside and out, our quirks, our struggles, our loves, joys and pains. They see the reality of our sinful, wounded lives and they see the glory for which God created us.

They see our potential to become saints and they know the state of our souls as sinners.

St. Jerome said, “How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it.”

How incredible is that?

Though I don’t know the name of my angel, I keep asking in hope that one day she will reveal it to me. As pure spirits, our angels don’t have a gender, but I find it easier to talk about mine as a “she.”

I also know that she has a sense of humor, she’s adventurous and she loves Our Lord. I know that she has a special devotion to Our Lady as her Queen, the Queen of Angels.

So many of the saints have had deep relationships with their angels. St. Cecilia had the great privilege of always seeing her angel at her side. St. Pio, St. Gemma, and many more recognized the great gift of their angels and developed real and close friendships.

But like all friendships, growing close to your angel takes effort and communication. I try to talk to mine throughout the day. I find she’s great company on long car rides between Washington DC, where I live, and Cincinnati, Ohio, where my family lives.

The more I keep her to the front of my mind, the more I realize how present she is in my daily life. Besides acting as my daily conscience-pricker, bodyguard and intercessor, I sent her to represent me in Madrid at World Youth Day since I couldn’t be there. Angels are messengers by nature and I find that she’s better than email at communicating with my boyfriend in Europe.

When I am sidewalk counseling outside the abortion mill, I’ll ask my angel and the angel of the woman seeking an abortion to be especially mighty in their prayers for the situation.

At Consecration, when my mind is in danger of wandering, I send my Guardian Angel to the altar to represent me, to be present to Our Lord in a way I am unable to be.

She beats my alarm clock at gently waking me in the morning. When I was a child she was always there, protecting accident-prone little Katie from starring in the next episode of “Rescue 911” and comforting me from the boogieman I imagined lived in our attic.

What humility, that this being, so superior to me in every way, so close to Our Lord, does not shrink from alarm-clock duty and boogieman watch!

Our angels are such real friends, constantly whispering little reminders of that Truth and Beauty they constantly envision, taking us outside our limited human understanding and gladly sharing their angelic one.

“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 unique, irreplaceable, unrepeatable individual stronger than Hercules, more brilliant than the greatest physicist and on fire with the love of God and the Blessed Mother is assigned to each of us for now and eternity. Don’t wait for the next earthquake to get acquainted with your first friend!

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