Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead

Guardian Angels—Not Superstitious Nonsense (in fact, Rather Respectable)
October 1, 2009, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Misc

My Mom asked me last night what the theological basis is for guardian angels.  As tomorrow is the Feast of the Guardian Angels, it seems appropriate to consider this. So here you go, Mom.

The phrase “Guardian Angel” usually conjures this sort of image for me:


It makes me think of superstition and miserably bad art and begs the question, “Why not trust in God instead of the goofy looking pastel-clad folks?” I think this is the wrong question to ask, and not just because I highly doubt angels look anything like the one in the visual atrocity above.

According to Holy Scripture God’s angels are present in our world and are commissioned by God to guard us, protect us, defend us, etc. Therefore it is not theologically unsound to trust in the care of the angels which God has given charge over us in spite of all the bad art and terrible poems that feature them.

It seems that there is absolutely no question whether angels do guard the faithful. St. Thomas explains that Archangels deliver messages from God and angels protect individuals. However, it is not affirmed in Church doctrine whether or not each person has a guardian angel ‘assigned’ to them.  Many of the church fathers did believe this.  St. Basil, for instance, explains, “That there is an angel for each one of the faithful no one will contradict.” St. Jerome says something similar.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [angels’] watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels” (CCC 336).

So don’t feel uncomfortable believing in guardian angels, Mom. It’s not only not lame but its very scripturally sound as you can see by the references given in the article on Guardian Angels in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

So bake some Angel Food Cake for tomorrow and don’t apologize for it.

1 Comment so far
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My Dear Daughter,

Thanks very much for the speedy response to my query. I was glad I could provide the fodder for such a stimulating blog entry. And, how ironic that my query would arrive on the evening before the Feast of Guardian Angels! It was your Aunt Debbie who, in leaving a comment on my blog, encouraged me to remember that I have a guardian angel. I’m glad that I know more about these ministering angels.

Coram Deo,

Comment by Margo Payne

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