In the previous weeks, we celebrated both the Feast of the Archangels - Its Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael - as well as the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We hear about angels in scripture and we might have learned as little children how God assigns one to each of his children. There are times one can't help but wonder what they are really like. What do they look like? Think like? And how do they really protect us?
What is an Angel?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the angels are spiritual, non-corporeal beings titled such by Sacred Scripture. Belief in them is a truth of faith, seen both through the witness of Scripture and Tradition. 'As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.' (CCC 330) Angels have been present since creation and have played a role in salvation history.
The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.- CCC 351
What Is an Archangel?
Angels are by nature spirits and within their nature God created different tiers of angels. One such tier is that of the archangels. They serve in leadership positions or in the highest celestial hierarchy. The Church identifies three archangels, taken from Sacred Scripture: Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s Power”), and Raphael (“God’s Doctor”).
It can be good to entrust ourselves to the archangels, especially since they played such a grand role in salvation history.They can help us avoid taking the wrong turns and still cooperate with God’s plan for our life! Not to mention, it is nice to know we have the same vocations as angels; to love and serve the Lord.
What Is a Guardian Angel?
Guardian angels serve as ambassadors of the Lord pointing us towards the way. As the Catechism states, "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession."
Today we can imagine them addressed to each one of us: “Behold I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared” (Exodus 23:20-23). The presence of guardian angels gives us security and consolation. They intervene daily on our behalf in various ways manifesting God’s love for us. Let us not forget to seek their intervention in our struggle and call upon them to set out hearts on fire with the Love of God!
The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being. - CCC 352
How to Teach Our Children about Guardian Angels:
When teaching children about the guardian angels it is nice to use our God-given creativity! As kids a swirly straw or a little rolly polly is the utmost joy. As kids the dream is of having an imaginary friend. How good is God to truly give us a friend that is always with us that we can't see.
A good way to help children rely on them is to teach them to be friends with their guardian angel as if it's their imaginary friend, but truly he or she is real! To talk to their angels when they are happy, scared, nervous or overjoyed. To ask them for help for whatever and truly know they are always accompanied.
“...their capacity for hearing and understanding us is much superior even to that of our most faithful human friend, since their attendance at our side is continuous; they can enter more deeply into our intentions, desires and petitions than can any human being, since angels can reach our imagination directly without recourse to the comprehension of words” (Francis Fernandez).