Did you ever see that movie “City of Angels?” I loved it. Celestial beings roam the earth in packs attempting to offer protection to the human family. Nicholas Cage plays an angel who falls in love with a mortal woman and wants to convert into a living person in order to be with her. It’s a fascinating story with a rather sad twist in the end. I was reminded of the film this week as the Church celebrated the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. The Deacon in my parish preached the daily homily and talked about the biblical notion of angels. My mind went directly to the idea of various friends and strangers who were like angels to me in times of distress. But his homily encouraged the listener to consider the notion of God’s messengers and how they function.
Richard McBrien, in his excellent Encyclopedia of Catholicism, describes angels as “supernatural beings who act as messengers of God. Contrary to artistic convention depicting them as winged, angels are represented in the Bible in the guise of human beings. They are sent to announce the birth of a child and its future destiny; they intercede before God and intervene in human affairs sometimes to protect, sometimes to execute judgment.” It seems logical that God would create intermediaries who guide, communicate and protect. After all, everyone needs assistance as we attempt to cope with the unpredictability of life.
It is comforting to consider the possibility of a spirit with you on the freeway, in the Waiting Room at the hospital and right beside your child on the first day of school. I have certainly been the recipient of some very kind and generous people but it’s reassuring to think that just beyond the curve of your eye is God’s messenger —waiting for that moment to stop the car, guide the hand of the surgeon or break your fall and save you.Guardian Angel Prayer Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day or night be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.