Update On Guardian Angels

Today is the feast of Holy Angels. Scripture readings for today's Mass are here.

Just after finishing this post I came across another one on angels from a couple of years ago which featured a poem and image I particularly like so I have added it below. 


It only looks as if the boy
on the bike, in his angel costume,
is pulling the heavy load,
drayhorses and all, that we cannot see.
Like the faces of the domestic beasts,
his face says he is only halfway present.
He has learned to steer with one hand.

And it only looks as if the stolid crone

is watching him for one false move.
In fact, she is looking beyond him,
maybe at some likeness of a saint
the yoked team pulls impassively.
Strapped to his shoulders, his wings
have survived remarkably intact.

This wonderful poem was a find from here

 Original post below..


By the time I was five I had my own guardian angel who was indeterminate in gender but had big wings.  

The pictures of guardian angels in those days invariably featured a bridge. 

As I grew older the angel morphed and evolved along with me in physical shape and size but the wing imagery remained. 

My angel said very little but listened well and hovered on my shoulder at times of indecision, and when there were perceived threats and danger. Later I began to initiate real conversations with my angel about the right thing to do and how to do it. I assumed everyone was the same but somehow never discussed it with anyone at great length.

Then I encountered angels on tombstones to remind me of my mortality and the lines from the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” – “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

                                                        Angels by Raphael Santi Image source

 The tradition of belief in angels has been around for centuries. Click here for a potted history of how the feast has evolved from the early Roman Church. 

It states that "By the fifth century, devotion to all angels was widespread, and by the 12th century, mainly because of St. Bernard and his love for angels, the belief that each human being has his own guardian angel had become a tradition. The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief.

 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

18th C depiction of guardian 
angel Wikipedia

This article informs that  Muslims believe that each person has two Guardian Angels, one on each side of them. And in very early history pagans of northern Europe and Ireland believed in guardian angels when they had never even heard of the writings and teachings of the Christian Bible. 

The New Testament is literally filled with Angels and Archangels. In almost every book of the New Testament there is the story of an angel.

 This study says that angels are mentioned 273 times in the Bible and offers many scriptural references, but another interesting article revises this number and says depending on the Bible translation searched, these celestial beings are referred to from 294 to 305 times in the Bible. References to angels occur at least 116 times in the Old Testament and 175 times in the New Testament.

How well do you know Biblical Angels ? Click here to take a Quiz.

Monnickendam: Guardian Angel
Monnickendam: Guardian Angel (Photo credit: jimforest)

The association of white feathers with an impending communication from angels intrigues too, maybe something to do with "the unbearable lightness of being."

                                                                             Image source

If you have ever wondered  about the origin of the question of whether medieval scholars spent much time arguing passionately over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin this link gives you some low down on it all and another one here which proposes a final answer to this medieval conundrum  in a casual remark made to Senate by the Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Raoul Mortley "The answer is of course well known; fewer if fat, more if thin". 

 A lovely sculpture showing two whimsical figures walking together in the rain, each assisting the another. One seems to carry a companion on his/her back while the friend holds an umbrella as a guardian. Carved by hand from suar wood, the modern portrait is the work of Nyoman Sudiana from here

Do I believe in guardian angels ?
                                                                               Yes ! 

                                      To me they are beautiful portals to the thin places.

                                                                           Image Pinterest

They are the poet's  dream of a kiss from  the muse of inspiration.

Dream of the poet by Cezanne

                                                     Image source and reflection from here

One of my favourite stories of guardian angels is the one of Elijah under the broom tree.

Click here for my post on this earlier this year and here.
I also believe that when people we love die, that they too are watching over us as part of the great continuum of life in an angelic community where "every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."New Living Translation.

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