The Catholic Defender: Angels, God's Messengers
While serving in the Middle East at the United States Government's expense, I can still remember the gunfire, the explosions, the many times being placed under fire. The kind of things most Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines can identify with. One of the things that brought many together was prayer, especially preparing to go outside the wire.
Psalms 91 was a popular reading as was Psalms 23:
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation,..." Psalms 91:1-9
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." Psalms 23:1-6
I wish I had a dime for every instance one of our vehicles were hit by an IED explosive device that had placed a Rosary in the cab. Under inspection, the vehicle would be totally a heap of metal but yet no one was seriously injured. I certainly do believe in Guardian Angels.
Consider just a few examples where God used Angels for His Messengers, who can not be touched reading about these stories where Angels appeared to Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15), Manoah and his wife (Judges 13:2-20), and Zechariah (Luke 1:11-23).
In the Heavenly Host, the Angels are continuously praising God, Revelation 14:6-7 states, "Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water."
Revelation 15:1-4 also states, "Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and wonderful, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, O Lord? For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for thy judgments have been revealed."
We all have Guardian Angels, they do help us in the battles unseen, consider Matthew 18:10! "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven." My wife and I watched an episode of ID where a man kidnapped a little girl and throughout her whole life he abused her finally killing her when she was just 20 years old. This cold hardened lost soul was not mindful that this child of God was loved by God and certainly not forgotten.
The bible is so full of beautiful stories of God's Angels and their communication with God's people, but none as great as the following:
"Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:26-38
"And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." Luke 2:8-15
I hope that this quick and easy article about Angels really encourages you to be mindful of God and His presence among us. I love Hebrews 13:2 in what it says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." If we understood this, maybe we might be a little nicer to our neighbors!
Angels are very much part of the Christmas Story!