The Holy Guardian Angels

RJM

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Today is the Catholic feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.

The Universalis app says:
"The doctrine that every individual has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church and so is not an article of faith but is the “mind of the Church” as expressed particularly by St Jerome and St Basil. It is present in both the Old and New Testaments.

As Jesus says: See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you their angels in heaven always gaze upon the face of my Father in heaven.

Thus even little children have guardian angels, and these angels remain in the presence of God even as they fulfil their mission on earth.

Anciently all angels were celebrated together on the feast of St Michael. A separate feast of the Guardian Angels began in Valencia in 1411. At the reform of the Breviary in the 16th century it was included among the local feasts, and it was raised to the status of a feast in the General Calendar in 1608, placed on the first free day after the feasts of saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

One of the benefits of this feast is that it reminds us that God cares for us each individually. We all know this in theory, but it is easy – in times of depression or temptation – to convince ourselves that we are too small to matter, for good or ill.

Let us use this feast to remind ourselves that each of us has an angel of our very own looking after us; and also to pray to God for our own Guardian Angel."


The reading at mass is from the Book of Exodus 23:20-22

The Lord says this: “I myself will send an angel before you to guard you as you go and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Give him reverence and listen to all that he says. Offer him no defiance, he would not pardon such a fault, for my name is in him. If you listen carefully to his voice and do all that I say, I shall be enemy to your enemies, foe to your foes. My angel will go before you."


I find it inspiring ...
 
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Cino

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Does one interact in some way with one's guardian angel?
 

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I don't know the answers for a single blade of grass
 
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Cino

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The still, small voice of the Divine?
A late member of the Catholic branch of my family once told my child that they had been praying for or on behalf of the young one's guardian angel, the sense I got was that the angel should be empowered and commanded to be extra watchful and protective. Is it common to do this?

(I want to add that I can understand the sentiment, even if at the time I felt it to be rather overbearing)
 

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A late member of the Catholic branch of my family once told my child that they had been praying for or on behalf of the young one's guardian angel, the sense I got was that the angel should be empowered and commanded to be extra watchful and protective. Is it common to do this?

(I want to add that I can understand the sentiment, even if at the time I felt it to be rather overbearing)
I don't know @Cino

I personally believe God hears sincere prayer: I can't do this. It's in your hands. I'm in your hands. Please help me.

I believe that because we have free will, God's angels need our consent and invitation.

Of course we pray for others too.
 
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Thomas

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A late member of the Catholic branch of my family once told my child that they had been praying for or on behalf of the young one's guardian angel, the sense I got was that the angel should be empowered and commanded to be extra watchful and protective. Is it common to do this?
Not sure how common. I grew up with guardian angels, but we never made a big deal of it, they tend to be anonymous? There is a kind of hierarchy of intercession, I suppose. The Big Three at the top, then Mary (and often Joseph), and then the saints.

Many saints are patrons of particular causes, St Christopher (now downgraded to myth) was the patron saint of travellers; St Anthony for recovering lost things. Doing my degree, we said a prayer to St Thomas Aquinas before study ... that kind of thing.

I often muttered a prayer to the 'saints of bikers' when contemplating some risky riding (bad weather, heavy traffic) while on my 600cc Honda. Turns out St Columbanus is the patron saint of motorcyclists.
 

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a figment of your imagination
I have no clue how many times I have heard "you must have a guardian angel"

While sometimes it was sincere (from a religious person) I think often it was more fableish...repeating a movie phrase
 

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I have no clue how many times I have heard "you must have a guardian angel"

While sometimes it was sincere (from a religious person) I think often it was more fableish...repeating a movie phrase

Ha, yes, same here.
 

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Angels are described across Abrahamic religions. Perhaps we each have our own angel companion/advisor, that we can listen to or not?
 

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Some the Western esoteric traditions also often feature this concept, and it seems to be very close to the "still small voice of the divine".
 
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muhammad_isa

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Angels are described across Abrahamic religions. Perhaps we each have our own angel companion/advisor, that we can listen to or not?

In Islam, we have 2 angels personally assigned to each of us .. one writing down the good deeds, and one the bad.
Fortunately for us, God's Mercy is so great, that a good deed has greater weight than a bad deed:-

Ibn Abbas, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He):

“Verily Allah has recorded the good deeds and the evil deeds.” Then he clarified that: “Whosoever intends to do a good deed but does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it with Himself as ten good deeds, up to seven hundred times, or more than that. But if he intends to do an evil deed and does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it down as one single evil deed.”

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

59 And with Him are the keys of the invisible. None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record.
60 He it is Who gathereth you at night and knoweth that which ye commit by day. Then He raiseth you again to life therein, that the term appointed (for you) may be accomplished. And afterward unto Him is your return. Then He will proclaim unto you what ye used to do.
61 He is the Omnipotent over His slaves. He sendeth guardians over you until, when death cometh unto one of you, Our messengers receive him, and they neglect not.
62 Then are they restored unto Allah, their Lord, the Just. Surely His is the judgment. And He is the most swift of reckoners.
-Qur'an - Surah Al An'am ( The cattle )

Unfortunately, there are also jinns that can have the opposite effect i.e. encourage us to do bad deeds. :(
 
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muhammad_isa

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I see this and the devil as religious scapegoats. An attempt to relieve our self from personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions.

No .. the excuse of "it was the devil's fault" is not acceptable .. it cannot save us.

However, being aware of the devil and those who follow him might ..
 

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a figment of your imagination
However, being aware of the devil and those who follow him might ..
Have you met these people?

I mean I have met satanic folk...that is different. I have met criminals. I have met folk that are chaotic evil....none of them I see as devil worshippers or followers....wrong path sure....but some supernatural force...nah.
 

muhammad_isa

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Al-Ghaib is an Arabic expression used to convey that something is concealed (unseen). It is an important concept in Islam, encompassing not only the realm of the divine, including angels, paradise, and hell, but also future events, which only God knows.
-wiki-

3. This is the (most honored, matchless) Book: there is no doubt about it (its Divine authorship and that it is a collection of pure truths throughout). A guidance for the God-revering, pious who keep their duty to God. Those who believe in the Unseen; establish the Prayer in conformity with its conditions, and out of what We have provided for them (of wealth, knowledge, power, etc.,) they spend (to provide sustenance for the needy and in G-ds cause, purely for the good pleasure of G-d and without placing others under obligation.)
-Al Qur'an - Al-Baqara (The Cow)

What is faith, man? :)
You have eyes to see, but a blind man can also "see" .. they might see more .. think !

Re. what people follow .. some people know no better .. they follow what their father / peers follow, whilst others DO know better but are careless.
 

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I see this and the devil as religious scapegoats. An attempt to relieve our self from personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions.
To be fair, though, 'the devil made me do it' has never been presented as a theology; the devil tempts, but cannot make anyone do anything, so 'the devil made me do it' or its variations has never been accepted as an acceptable means of avoiding responsibility for one's actions.

Theologically, the existence of the devil is somewhat more nuanced than that.

I was about to say no-one ever seriously put that forward as a defence, but of course it was! In 1981 'the devil made me do it' trial was a defence based on a claim of demonic possession. The judge ruled against the argument and Arne was convicted.

A secular variation, 'because s/he told me to' or 'I was just following orders' has likewise been dismisses as an excuse.
 

Cino

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I mean I have met satanic folk...that is different. I have met criminals. I have met folk that are chaotic evil....none of them I see as devil worshippers or followers....wrong path sure....but some supernatural force...nah.

The reality (existence, ontology) of evil is one of the topics that deeply interest me.

Where I have found the most concrete indicators is in certain aspects of the human psyche, in the self-destructive spirals of addiction and depression, and some forms of schizophrenia. Untreated, these illnesses will kill those who suffer from them. Unlike more physical illnesses which are potentially deadly, such as certain virus infections, addiction and depression have "a mind of their own", they display a degree of cognition and autonomy, "will" if you like, and as such, I consider them to be willfully evil in a way that a virus, with its largely mechanical destruction, is not.

Those Satanists I have met are usually really into the Trickster aspect of the figure of Satan, or the Promethean, antinomian aspect, but they are not evil in the sense I presented above. While some of them flirt with the dark glamor of self-harm and any number of morbid aesthetics, or even suffer from the effects of depression or addiction, none of them that I know of actively or consciously admire or worship the self-destroying convoluted autonomous mass of corrosive, deathly dissociation which is at the core of such a condition.

While I used psychology to illustrate my take on ontological evil, I don't think psychology has the last say on the matter, by a far cry. It is just the instrument which picked up the traces I followed. To those who are like me, it brings the topic down to earth in a way that the language of evil supernatural spirits does not.

Just wanted to throw that perspective in here.
 
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