I’ve been thinking about angels lately. Guardian angels especially. I had never much considered them before this past year, never really thought deeply about the extent of my own belief in them or what it means. Yet in looking back over my life, there were times and events when, well, it was more than just blind fate, more than being lucky, that I am still here. Who are these beings who watch over us?
Those who speak of angels often describe them as male, or appearing as young men. Icon often depict them in an androgynous way, neither male nor female, able to be read as either or both.
I recall a newspaper account of a woman whose car went over a cliff. She was badly injured, very badly, with broken legs. She realized that she would die in the ravine, that nobody would see her on the steep, wooded slopes. Somehow she got out of her smashed car and began to crawl up the sides of the cliff. It took hours, and finally within eyesight off the top, she collapsed in exhaustion and shock. She remembers a young man seeing her and coming to her aid. He lifted her and carried her to the top of the embankment, flagging down a car. The occupants of the car brought her to the hospital. They never saw a young man, there was no one around but the injured woman lying prone on the side of the road.
The initial story, which I think I read online, included the information about the young man who aided her. The local newspaper account left that part out. Not surprising in this corner of the world, where we would rather not know, rather not have to face the possibility of spirit and mystery!
Fairly recently, a friend told me that she thought it was presumptuous to even ask one’s guardian angel’s name. She knew someone who did do so, though, and was eventually told his name. A book I am reading now, Answers Not Questions by Mother Angelica (founder of EWTN Catholic television) talks about angels. She says there is always someone praying for us, inspiring us, watching over us. Mother Angelica named her personal guardian angel herself, calling him Fidelis, meaning “faithful”. She shared several angel stories. It seems to me that it would be more of an intimate relationship, a bonding of souls, so to speak, to know each other’s name. It does seem a bit bold to demand to know the name of a spiritual being–or does it? Perhaps most of us just don’t bother to ask.