by Fr Richard Heilman | October 2, 2018 8:46 AM
In his scripture reflection for today, Bishop Robert Barron writes,
Friends, today we celebrate the feast of our Guardian Angels. Why does God send these spiritual messengers to help us? Well, Aquinas says that each of us, due to our fallen nature, has been assigned a heavenly guide. Is all of this just speculation and conjecture?
One of my favorite stories about angels is this one: two relatively inexperienced pilots found themselves lost on a foggy day. Though they tried desperately to make contact with an airport, they were incapable of doing so. One of them then prayed for protection.
In time, a voice crackled onto the radio. The speaker identified himself as a controller from a small airport. Through very precise instructions, he guided the two pilots through the fog to a landing strip at that airport.
Once they had arrived, to their astonishment they discovered that the airport was closed and that there was no one on duty. A bizarre coincidence? A happy accident? Or perhaps a sign that we are being protected by powers at a higher pitch of ontological perfection? As you know, stories such as this come out of the woodwork once people are given the opportunity to share them.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus exhorts us to become like children,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4
This says to me that I need to jettison my vain pride in order to open myself up to the possibility that God has gifted me with a Guardian Angel. In fact, it is that same vain pride that must be shunned in order to open myself up to the possibility of God’s power; a power to answer prayer and grant miracles.
You see? Children are, in essence, wonderfully naive. They have not yet turned cynical by having been misled by people they trust. If you tell a child that God grants Guardian Angels, answers prayers and grants miracles, they believe you. In fact, children learn at lightning speed – like learning a whole language as a toddler – because of their high level of trust they have for “those who know better than they do.” They are like little sponges, soaking up everything they are taught.
We, on the other hand, grow up to be skeptics with each piece of misinformation we receive as we grow older. It becomes harder and harder to teach us old dogs new tricks.
Yet, that is exactly what we need to do: Trust, have faith, BELIEVE! Jesus puts it this way, in Mark 11:24:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Setting aside my vain pride, cynicism and skepticism, this is my little story of one of the ways my Guardian Angel is active in my life:
I am a morning person. I have that one cup of coffee and then morning Mass, and I become an “on fire” multitasker. Some days, that energy wanes a bit by mid-afternoon. All I need is a short cat nap to regain that energy. Many times, after having fallen into a deep sleep during that cat nap, my phone will ring, but only once. My phone always shows who just called, but in these instances, nothing is recorded. Just recently, I not only heard it ring, but saw the phone light up, as it does when calls come in, but nothing was recorded showing someone had called.
This happens so routinely, that I have come to say out loud, “Okay, I’m up.” Then I go over to my desk and, low and behold, the intercom rings and someone needs confession or the phone rings and someone needs assistance. Always about 15 seconds after reaching my desk.
It is then that I realize “Herm” called. “Herm” (short for Herman) was my mother’s term of endearment for me. I guess it had to do with an episode of the TV show, The Munsters, when Herman Munster ran into a wall or something. When I was a toddler, I would, excitedly, turn and take off running, without looking where I was going … and I would run into things. Thus the nickname, “Herm.” So, I decided to give that term of endearment to my Guardian Angel.
Yes, like a trusting child, I do believe my Guardian Angel is active in my life, and I think my Guardian Angel is AWESOME! O:-)
I have many other Guardian Angel stories I could tell, but I thought I would share this one with you. What’s your Guardian Angel story?
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide.
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