“he commands his angels…to guard you wherever you go.”
The Catechism affirms this as well in paragraph 336.
“Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” So, according to the Church and Scripture, they are real.
Contrary to popular representations, they are probably not the gown-wearing ladies that adorn so many Christmas trees, and they’re most likely not the chubby, winged babies that have become so familiar. Interestingly, the majority of angelic descriptions in the Bible regard angels as masculine figures. They are warriors. They lead armies. They stand off hostile mobs. The book of Revelation, using highly symbolic language, describes angels in an even more imposing manner.
. . .there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes.Revelation 4:4-8
If your guardian angel follows the pattern described in Scripture, he is more than likely an imposing figure indeed.
It should be noted, however, that while typically appearing in the masculine form, angels do not have gender in the same way we do. Human gender is related to our physical reality. We are spiritual and physical beings. St. Thomas Aquinas describes angels, on the other hand, as creatures of pure spirit. They may have masculine or feminine qualities. They cannot, however, be male or female.
A Real Spiritual Battle
You may be wondering, “Why do I need such an imposing figure assigned to me?” Well, your life is a battlefield. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us this in Paragraph 409.
“This dramatic situation of ‘the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one’ makes man’s life a battle.”
The demons rebelled against God. They hate him but they cannot hurt him. You, made in the image and likeness of God, they can come after. They hate you because you are like him in a way they can never be. Christ became man. Our struggle is real and it is not an easy one. That is why the Lord has given us an angel as a strong ally.
Jesus tells us that they “look upon the face of my Father.” That means that your guardian angel is present to you, and to the Father in heaven at the same time. Our angels are immersed in the awareness and presence of God as they watch over us. That is what makes them angels, as opposed to demons, who look away from God in order to focus their nefarious will upon man.
Guardian angels act to defend us from evil. Most spiritual attack is aimed at the will. Demons often strike by trying to undermine our resolve, often through deception, or through enflaming pride. They work subtly, a nudge here, a whisper there. Your guardian angel can support you by directly opposing any attack the demonic may try to throw. It is a good idea to formally enlist his help against any regular attack you may come under. “Guardian angel, I have been coming under a lot of cynicism lately. I am asking you to fight off any attack that is in that.” He is your teammate. Ask him to shore up areas of weakness in your will.
Your angel may assist through inspiration. Have you ever, when heading down a familiar path of sin, found yourself humming a song from Mass, or thinking about a Scripture verse? That very well might have been the inspiration of your guardian.
Guardian angels are with us constantly, ever watchful against attack. They focus on the Lord, worshiping him even as they defend us. It would be a great folly, indeed to ignore such a tremendous ally.
Take a moment today. Consider the areas of sin in your life, the places where you may be coming under spiritual attack, or perhaps where you may have given the enemy a foot hold. Renounce any claim the devil may have made on your life and invite your guardian angel into the struggle.
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