Because A Reader Asks A Question I Cannot Answer

Dear Readers: The post “God Takes Care of Little Ones with Guardian Angels” from last spring is the most widely read of all the posts on our site. Yesterday, a reader asked a question I (Allison)  have not been able to answer, despite struggling overnight with it. I’m republishing my post, along with her question in the hopes that someone with more wisdom than I can answer.

Victoria asks: I am of the “Angel of God…” generation. I still pray to my guardian angel but the idea of a guardian angel is probably the one thing in Church teaching that I have a problem with. I can accept that there are angels because they are in the bible but if they are guardians, where are/were they when little children are being sexually abused? I would really like an answer to this one.

The original post is here.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria, I think what you question comes down to is, "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" And I'm not very good at explaining that. But I know there are answers out there. Hopefully someone else can suggest a good resource with a good answer to this question.

  • Michael Wurzer

    Undoubtedly, this is the most difficult challenge to an all-knowing, all-powerful and yet personal God. As Father Robert Barron has said, there may not be a completely satisfactory answer for us right now (we'll know in the after-life), but one significant reason for evil is free will. God's act of creating us was an act of love, because he gave us free will. He could have made us puppets and controlled our every move, but he didn't, because being fully human requires freedom. Unfortunately, that freedom can result in very bad choices that hurt others and even deprive others of their freedom. But God cannot give true freedom without allowing for the possibility of such terrible choices.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria, there are two main jobs of the Guardian Angel, to protect you against evil spirits that roam the world looking to ruin souls and to take you to Heaven when you die. Wondering why your Guardian Angel did not protect you from abuse is also wondering why God did not. The Guardian Angel does not necessarily protect you from physical harm as much as it does from spiritual harm. The fact that you did not turn into a monster like the one that abused you should give you comfort that your Guardian Angel battled for and protected your soul. It sounds like you have been conscious of your abuse through most of your life. I suppressed the memory of mine until I began to discover what was at the root of my anger that was helping to destroy a second marriage. I have forgiven my abusers and the enablers of the abuse. And I am an ardent and protective guardian of my children's innocence. I pray that you have forgiven the person(s) that harmed you; it will help to relieve the pain that still scars your soul.

  • Mike

    As alluded to in the posts above, one of the defenses I have heard on this subject is that God does not interfere with one's free will. So, while he may place something on the person's conscience that his doing the abuse to alert them, God will not step in and directly intervene.

  • Caspar Ignatius

    If the angels were to prevent every violation of the innocent by evil, then Christ would never have been crucified. Why don't angels or God stop all the most horrific acts?Michael O'Brien's book "Father Elijah" is a marvelous answer to the question–not an easy answer, but an answer.God permits evil so that we can freely choose to love, and because he is capable of bringing more good out of it than the enemy can conceive.Angels have their roles, and humans have their roles. Human failures are not always prevented by angelic intervention.

  • kkollwitz

    Bad things happen to every innocent thing due to sin, which is a result of Man's misuse of Free Will.And who knows how often guardian angels may have protected their young charges?

  • Anonymous

    There is a book by Fr. Benedict Groeschel that addresses this. It is called "Tears of God". I hope it is helpful. It is also available for download, I believe at

  • Allison

    I am really appreciating these responses. One thing I often have considered: when we finally meet our destiny we will discover how often God protected us without our knowing.