Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 20, 2004
Angels carry God's messages
Guardian angels are at our side ready to help
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Angels appear more prominently in the Christmas story with the Annunciation, with Joseph and with the shepherds to herald Christ's birth at Bethlehem.
They are also available every day of the year to convey our prayers to God, says Patrick Stewart, director of Edmonton's Marian Centre.
"God can speak to us directly, which he does sometimes," Stewart said. "Often he speaks through people, places and events. Our angels are there to stand before the face of God for us, because we can't do that quite yet."
An angel acts as an intermediary, or messenger, between heaven and earth. That is believed to be why angels are depicted with wings in modern iconography. But they first appeared in human form, such as when Gabriel visited Mary.
There is little wrong in fostering strong relationships with the angels through prayer, Stewart said. Since he was a child, he has been reciting the guardian angel prayer, asking for help and, alternately, offering his gratitude.
"The Book of Tobit in the Old Testament is where the angel Raphael first appears, and heals the sight of Tobit and leads his son, Tobias, on a journey to find his wife. It's an angel who gets Peter out of prison. Angels are really prominent with Mary and Joseph," he said.
"We have a relationship with our guardian angels, where we are each given one at our conception. The angel is there to help look after us, or to nudge us in the right direction when we are in the midst of our chaos. They stand guard.
"My life was pretty chaotic for a long time, and I'm alive. I have a relationship of gratitude with my angel (St. Damian)," he said.
Stewart mentioned the spiritual war occurring in the Book of Revelation with Michael, and when Satan and his band of angels turn on God.
That battle still exists, he said.
"Satan and his group are a lot smarter than we are, but God has a force of angels who are trying to help us. We must be grateful for that."
Stewart has noticed a resurgence in the awareness of angels in the last decade. Even if it is merely "new age," it is good in the long run because people are more aware of the angels' part in creation.
"It isn't just God and us, but God, us and the angels and saints who have gone before us trying to help us all move toward to eternity with God."
Janet MacLellan agrees. The former owner of St. Joseph and The Angels Emporium is well known for her devotion to the angels.
"I definitely have a relationship with a guardian angel," MacLellan said. "I have never seen my guardian angel, but I know a lot of people have."
MacLellan admitted to a fear of driving around the traffic circle at 118th Avenue and 101st Street (near NAIT). When there are no other cars and she makes it through okay, MacLellan believes the angels were keeping the other cars away.
"People can ask in times of need, but they should thank their angels when they are kept safe in a time of danger," she said.
MacLellan says the guardian angel prayer every day.
Call on St. Michael
A person might develop a relationship with the angels by "sending his angel to Mass when he can't go due to illness or some other serious reason," MacLellan said.
"Asking St. Michael for help in your day is a good way to strengthen your relationship with them."
If someone wants to know his guardian angel's name, pray his name comes in the morning as the first thought one has, Stewart said.
"That is what happened to me. I prayed at night just before falling asleep, and when I awoke, I kept hearing Damian; Damian," Stewart said. "When I'm in trouble I try to call St. Damian and when things are good, I try to be mindful to give thanks."
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