The Guardian Angels (Part 1)

Excerpt from: “The Spiritual Life. A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology”, [pgs. 97-98] by The Very Reverend Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S., D.D.

Some among the Angels are commissioned with the care of individual souls:  these are the Guardian Angels.  This is the traditional doctrine of the Fathers, based upon scriptural texts and supported by solid reasons.   It has been confirmed by the Church in the institution of a feast in honor of the Guardian Angels.  The reasons that support this doctrine flow from our relationship to God, for we are His children, members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost.  “Because we are His children,” says Father Olier, “He appoints to us as tutors the princes of His realm, who hold it an honor to have us in their charge.  Because we are His members, He wills that those very spirits that minister unto Him be also at our side to render us their services.  Because we are His temples in which He Himself dwells, He wills that Angels hover about us as they do about our churches, so that bowed down in worship before Him they may offer a perpetual homage to His glory, supplying for our neglect and making reparation for our irreverence.”  Father Olier goes on to say that God wishes to unite intimately through the agency of His Angels the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant:  “He sends this mysterious host of Angels in order that they may by uniting themselves to us and binding us to themselves form one body of the Church of heaven and the Church of earth.” 

Note:  The “Father Olier” referred to by Fr. Tanquerey is Father J.J. Olier (1608-1657), founder of the Society of St. Sulpice.


11 thoughts on “The Guardian Angels (Part 1)

  1. I have always believed and trusted in guardian angels. In my life I believe I have witnessed the intervention of at least one guardian angel every time I think of my son Wes. He has had numerous brushes with death due to his diabetes since the age of 9. Yet, here he is today, 36,a profound witness to the Providence of God. Thank you!

  2. “(our angels) bowed down in worship before Him they may offer a perpetual homage to His glory, supplying for our neglect and making reparation for our irreverence.”

    I like that idea; I will really appreciate knowing all that my Guardian Angel did in that area.. it has touched me already.

  3. The last couple of lines speak the loudest to me, Gabrielle, and also the line that Carol has chosen.
    All very reassuring – we are not – we are never – alone.

  4. I too, am very thankful that everyone of us – where ever we happen to be in our lives – have a guardian angel. Isn’t this one of the greatest signs of how much God loves us?

  5. Cathy, praise God your Wes made it through those episodes. As it says in the excerpt, the angels consider it “an honor to have us in their charge”, and how much moreso when they are encouraged and acknowledged by faith and trust such as yours!

    Carol, yes, and I just noticed that in the first part of the sentence you chose it makes the same comparison as we were discussing at your site, about the Temple (church) and our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

    Ann, same for me, re the last couple of lines. Heaven and earth are united; we are actually living in unity but are so often unaware of it.

    Joakim, I hope seeing you here might mean that you will only be taking the briefest of intermissions from blogging! We’ve missed you! I agree, it is one of the greatest signs of His love; He wants us to have all the heavenly help possible.

  6. Hebrews 1:14 – Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

    (How awesome is that?) 🙂

  7. This is a great idea Gab! My brother once told me a story of how he and a friend, on a long road trip were talking about their guardian angels. They decided to give them names, and were sort of chuckling about it when the car broke down. That took that smile off their faces quick…and they immediately apologized. They found help quick enough and got out of their predicament, but they decided to take their angels more seriously from that moment on!

  8. Totally awesome, Kristin!

    Thanks, Pia. I think some people don’t take their personal angels nor the great hosts of ministering angels seriously for at least two reasons; some associate it only with childhood prayers and images, and forget about angels for the most part throughout their adult years, and also, I think some Catholics avoid the subject because they don’t have enough solid Catholic information about angels in their own minds and don’t want to get caught up in (or have it appear to others that they are caught up in) the wave of interest in angels that has been going on with non-Catholics over the last number of years.

  9. Well, one of my co-workers the second night into our shift, pulled out a deck of angel cards. She meant well, but as a Catholic, I felt like an unmanacled organism on the auction block being thumped for soundness. Maybe that’s just me. What’s the difference between reading angel cards and Tarot? Only better news. (Probably –I don’t really know.) I avoid angel-talk because Christ and Mary already suffer a dearth of hearing Their names in connection with anyone’s spirituality. Obviously, God is the source of anyone’s spirituality (unless it’s a false god), but attention is deflected.. so I guess I avoid the subject of angels, tho’ I do know their Source.

  10. Carol, that’s what I mean. I have nothing against anyone having pictures of angels (on cards or otherwise) or positive affirmations to read, but sometimes the way these things are presented is not acknowledging the source of the angels’ power anywhere, i.e., God. That’s why I think it’s important for Catholics to know what the Church’s beliefs are concerning the angels.

    I wouldn’t agree with the last part of your comment though, and I’ll tell you why; God has given us the angels to help us, to protect us, to intercede for us, and for so many other reasons. God wants us to use all of the means He has provided for us to help us, to aid us, while we’re here on earth – praying to the angels, asking for their help for ourselves or others, etc. So I think talking about them is very important, because even so many Catholics are not making use of this help the way God desires us to and intended for us to do. I don’t believe this will deflect attention away from Jesus or Mary – it can create a greater love for and glorification of God when we really understand the extent to which He has provided for us here.

  11. I can see your point, but I’ve almost never heard a word about Christ in my day to day, except from Protestants or unless I’m at Mass. I speak to my angel privately, but I’m not inclined to speak of anything but Jesus publicly, and that is hardly welcomed by even the sweetest parishioners, let alone anyone outside of the Church. Your words will hopefully happily help othes, tho’.

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