Affection for Angels

from the Office of Readings–a sermon by St Bernard.

“We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father. We are God’s children although it does not seem so, because we are still but small children under guardians and trustees, and for the present little better than slaves

Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear? They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven.”

What hit me about the reading today is that St Bernard is very okay with us having a relationship with our guardian angels. We sometimes think of them having a passive role just sort of being there to watch us. He sees them as having a far more active role–as if they are actively engaged in directing our steps, keeping us from danger, helping us to discern the way of God, helping us in time of temptation and assisting us in the spiritual journey on every step of the way.

I realize some Catholics are wary of us having too much to do with our guardian angels; they’re worried about all the weird New Age angel stuff. We shouldn’t let abuses undo right uses. Our guardian angels are there to help and guide us. We should not be worried about co-operating with them any more than we should be worried about praying to the saints and being aware of their presence. I’m sure if more of us were aware of our angelic guides and asked them to pray for us and guide us that we would make faster spiritual progress.I think we should especially ask their help when we are overwhelmed with temptation and the cares of the world.

Here’s why: it is so easy for us to forget the supernatural dimension of our lives. We get all wrapped up in the day to day cares of this physical world. We think that our spiritual journey is all about being more self disciplines, doing more good works, praying more, studying more and trying to overcome our weaknesses. We forget that the whole thing is a spiritual battle, and that beneath all the things we see is a world we do not see.We forget that God has a different plan and a different agenda. He’s working a different way and doing a different plan in our lives.

Being aware of the guardian angels, and invoking their care and involvement helps to remind us of the other dimension and helps us to bring that other dimension more alive in our everyday lives.St Bernard says we should show our affection for our guardian angels. I like that. Tell the guardian angel that you appreciate all that he’s doing for you and if there’s any way you can help, he should just let you know. Who knows, he might just make himself more well known to you. I did that once and my angel appeared and told me his name….but that’s another story.

Read more about the interaction of the supernatural and the natural realm Go here.

  • Korou

    A beautiful passage about imaginary friends.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      “What raptures you speak about this thing called color!” said the blind man.

  • Korou

    No, I mean it – it’s adorable!

  • Korou

    Oh, and incidentally:
    It’s not that difficult to prove to a blind man that colour exists. I’m sure this experiment could be easily adapted.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Proving color exists and experiencing color are not the same thing.

  • Korou

    Who said they were?

  • Joanne

    Father, I enjoyed this post. Coming from a very “practical” protestant background, it is so refreshing to know it’s “OK” to engage in this mystical part of our relationship with God.

    On another note, I have been finding the comments and quips from some of the athiests and/or unbelievers rather annoying. It’s a little different when the topic of your posts invite an engagement from this group, but it appears that some just want to pick. It sort of changes the atmosphere of your blog. If it wasn’t for the fact that there are really some insightful and mature responses, I would consider skipping over the comments altogether.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Thanks for your input. It is difficult to moderate the comments with charity. I have taken a position now to publish comments that are courteous, informed and wishing to discuss. Ones that are off the point, rude and ugly I delete. I hope this will clear things up.

      • Korou

        This seems a good time to ask: do you publish posts which contain links to other articles?

        • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

          I don’t understand your question.

          • Korou

            Sorry – I’ll rephrase it.
            If I wish to make a comment which includes a link to another website or webpage will that comment be published?
            If, for example, a question is asked which I think that will be answered much better by including a link to a news story or article.

            I asked because I tried to do this before and the comments weren’t published. If that’s your policy I’ll know not to try again.

          • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

            This is a combox for people to comment on my posts. It’s not an internet forum. That’s why I try in my own responses to make simple comments on comments or just clarify my point. I try not to argue. This is also not a soapbox for other people to launch their views. If they want to do that let them start their own blog. If you’re here to make a simple comment, fine. If you want to argue, I just don’t have time for that. If your comment holds a link which fits the above I’ll post it, but why do I even need to explain all this? It’s my blog, and I’ll post whatever comments I wish for whatever reasons I wish. If you don’t like that you don’t need to visit.

  • Amy Giglio

    Now you MUST share your guardian angel experience.

  • Malvenu

    Father, I agree with Amy Giglio about sharing the experience you referred to with your guardian angel.

    When i was reading the post and got to this bit:
    “Tell the guardian angel that you appreciate all that he’s doing for you and if there’s any way you can help, he should just let you know. Who knows, he might just make himself more well known to you. I did that once and my angel appeared and told me his name….but that’s another story.”
    it reminded me of when they give out the soccer results on the news. They say, ‘if you don’t want to know the scores look away NOW’ Maybe comments (and posts) like these should come with a disclaimer to Atheists.
    “To avoid your worldview being challenged… skip the next paragraph”!
    Excellent post. I might just try it myself!

  • Korou

    You need to explain it because previously I tried to do just that and the comment was not approved. Thank you for your eventual answer.