ARE THE GUARDIAN ANGELS BIBLICAL?

Guardian-Angel

As the Holy Catholic Church infallibly teaches the existence of the guardian angels, the anti-Catholic religious groups proudly rejected that doctrine. According to them, the belief was imported into the Catholic faith from the beliefs of the pagan Assyrians and Babylonians. These pagans believed in statues of winged animals with human heads. These statues abundantly decorated the Assyrian palaces. These pagan “guardian angels,” called “Lamasu” have been traced to 2,000 B.C. There is no doubt that they existed because archeological diggings have found proof that the belief in some kind of angels extended to the Assyrians and Semites of Babylonia. But does this mean that the Christian belief on guardian angels is also paganic? Of course NOT!

The belief regarding angels in human form, not animal form, can be traced throughout the history of the Holy Bible. It is a belief that goes further back in history than the existence of the Assyrian and Babylonian societies. In fact, evidence appears to be that the pagan societies stole the belief of angels from the Jewish people, God’s chosen people. They made animals statues with wings and human heads to represent their interpretation of guardian angels, or messengers that were found in the Holy Scriptures. 

In fact, God has used angelic beings to “guard” a variety of people and places in the past. As early as Genesis chapter three, after the fall of man, God “placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (3:24). Approximately 2,000 years later, two angels struck blind a group of Sodomites and guarded Lot and his household from harm (Genesis 19:9-11). When Nebuchadnezzar cast Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into the fiery furnace, “God sent His angel and delivered His servants” (Daniel 3:28), thus guarding the three Hebrews from the furnace’s consuming flames. During the reign of Darius the Mede, God sent His angel to guard Daniel in a den of lions (Daniel 6:21-22). Centuries later, after the establishment of the church, God sent an angel to release Peter from prison, guarding and guiding him safely out of the prison (Acts 12:1-10). Without a doubt, Almighty God has used His marvelous angelic creation in the past to serve as a kind of guardian for His people.

Consider, however, the way in which the term “guardian angel” is most often used in the 21st century. Merriam-Webster defines “guardian angel” as “an angel believed to have special care of a particular individual”. According to Encyclopedia.com, a “guardian angel” is “a spirit that is believed to watch over and protect a person or place”. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it reads: “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God” (CCC 336). But do the Sacred Scriptures really speak of guardian angels similar to what Catholics believe?

Below are the biblical proof texts of the existence of guardian angels:

⚫ Exodus 23:20-22 (KJV) — “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.”

⚫ Psalm 91:9-13 (NIV) — “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angelsconcerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.”

⚫ Acts 12:15 (NIV) —  “‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.'”

⚫ Matthew 18:10 (NIV) —  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

HUMANS are never without protectors. Thus, a guardian angel’s roles are threefold: 1) angel of peace, 2) angel of penitence (or penance) and 3) angel of prayer.

⚫ As an angel of peace, they protect against danger, both bodily and spiritual threats. They also can give peace and comfort to the soul when undergoing tribulations, like Jesus during his agony in the Garden.

⚫ As an angel of penance or penitence, they have the office of chastising and correcting men when they stray from God’s path. The angel also helps men in restoring their soul to health after they sin, helping them obtaining remission of their sins.

⚫ As an angel of prayer, the guardian angel presents our prayers to God, both liturgical and private prayers. “The angel, indeed, of each one, even of the little ones in the Church, always seeing the face of the Father who is in heaven and beholding the divinity of our Creator, prays with us and cooperates with us, as far as is possible, in what we seek” (Origen, De or., 11, 5).

THEREFORE, “Have confidence in your guardian angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend — that is what he is — and he will render you a thousand services in ordinary affairs each day” (St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, no. 562).

Prayer to the Guardian Angels:

“Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”

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