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Friday, October 2, 2015

Send Me Your Angels!

by Susan Fox

“See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Be attentive to him and obey him. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority is within him. If you obey him and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out.” (Exodus 23:20-23)

This is dedicated to my godsons, Ben and Chris, who were baptized on this feast of the angels, Oct. 2nd. (Susan Fox)

Carmelite Mystic and Doctor of the Church St. Teresa of Avila understood her relationship to God as Friend of the Lord.
St. Teresa of Avila by Francois Gerard.
She is Friend of the Lord. 
Therefore she struggled with numerous temptations with respect to friendship during her life.

She was plagued with caring what others thought of her; she enjoyed gossip; she was tempted by false loyalties, and entertained many frivolous friendships about which Jesus warned her sternly.

"I had a very serious fault which led me into great trouble. If I realized that a person liked me, and I liked them, I would grow so fond of them that I would think of them constantly without any intention of offending God. This was such a harmful thing, it was ruining my soul," she said in her autobiography.

Teresa was shocked when a spiritual director told her to abandon certain friendships that were not harming her soul. She feared to do so would be an act of base ingratitude. So her director told her to ask God why she should abandon these friendships while praying the hymn, "Veni Creator." She did so, and was put into ecstasy. She heard these words: "I will have you converse now, not with men, but with

Many people do not realize the value of having a close relationship with their guardian angels.  Our Guardian Angels remain constantly in prayer, seeing the Face of God. To touch their spirits with your heart brings similar peace and prayerfulness. It brings you into the Presence of God. In fact, when you are struggling with distractions in prayer, it is an excellent plan to remember your angels’ presence!

“He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf.” Abbot St. Bernard of Clairvaux, (1090-1153 A.D.)

Their job is to protect you and bring you to heaven. That’s what they did for St. Teresa because after she heard God say, "I will have you converse now, not with men, but with angels," she was unable to be friends with anyone -- except those who loved God and were trying to serve Him. By ending all frivolous friendships, she said she received incredible freedom; something she was unable to achieve on her own despite severe penances that almost ruined her health.

Believe me, your guardian angels are worth their weight in gold. Whoops. Humorous spirits, they reminded me they don’t weigh anything. Well, they are more precious to you than gold, silver or any of the world’s riches. Make God your treasure. Blessed be God in his angels and his saints.

Angels have an incredible sense of humor. I was in the Post Office one day and I was looking at a giant picture of the latest U.S. stamp. It was an old painting, portraying angels as 
plump voluptuous women. As I became aware of their presence, I realized my angels were laughing their brains out. Sorry, they don’t have brains. But they thought that depiction was silly.

Today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels, Oct. 2, 2015. During the homily today, Father said he was very surprised that a friend of his actually knew the name of his guardian angel.

Anyone can know the name of his or her guardian angel. I learned this from a holy priest. He talked about the name of his guardian angel during his retreats. He called him “Alfredo.” But actually his name meant the Alpha and the Omega.

This works according to Pope St. Gregory the Great, who explained about the names of angels: These Archangels are also given special names to describe their particular virtue. For Michael means "Who is like unto God?" Gabriel means "Strength
of God," and Raphael "Medicine of God." Whenever something is to be done needing great power, Michael is sent forth so that from his action and from his name we can understand that no one can do what God can do. Hence that old enemy who through pride desired to be like God, saying, "I will scale the heavens, I will set up my throne, I will be like the Most High," is shown at the end of the world left to his own strength, and about to undergo the final punishment, as destined to fight with Michael the Archangel. Similarly, Gabriel was sent to Mary; he who is called "strength of God" came to announce Him who deigned to appear in humility to conquer the powers of the air. And Raphael is interpreted, as we said, "Medicine of God," for when he touched the eyes of Tobias to do the work of healing, he dispelled the night of his blindness.”

So my priest friend had an angel named after Our Lord, the Alpha and the Omega. From this priest, I learned that satan cannot hear your thoughts. Neither can your guardian angel. Only God can hear your thoughts.

But – if you wish -- in silent prayer you can tell God He has permission to let your guardian angel hear your thoughts. Do this quietly, not out loud. You don’t want any evil spirits to hear you talking. I had a spiritual director who was bothered so much by the evil one, she used to pray while washing dishes. He apparently wasn’t aware of her practice and so he left her alone.

Satan cannot hear your confessions, but if you tell everyone your sins – confessed or un-confessed, then he will know them. Best not to tell anyone. I accidentally found out why.

My son was seven years old and about to make his first confession. As a younger boy, he had frequently been in the confessional with me. But now he was seven, and he said, “Mom, let me go in again so I’ll be prepared to make my first confession.” And I let him.

Well, satan didn’t hear that confession either, but when we got out of the confessional, James had understood one thing I confessed, and he was really excited so he spoke only to me about it. However, satan heard us speak of my sin outside the confessional. That night I endured the most horrific temptation to commit that sin again. If he didn’t know what I said in the sanctuary of confession, I never would have been bothered with it.

So I know that angels, fallen or otherwise, cannot hear your thoughts. They cannot hear your confessions.  But tell God to give your guardian angel(s) permission to hear your thoughts, and then ask your angel for his name. Silently.

Now I have suggested this to many people, and children have inevitably found out incredible names for their angels. But I haven’t found an adult who was successful except for my husband, who accidentally blurted the name out in Greek without thinking. LOL.

So I would say you need to be very childlike in your approach in this exercise. 

Angels usually respond with images, not words to that question, “What is your name?” It actually turns into a guessing game. The priest who told me about this said, “Angels like to play little games.”  He noted that when he first asked his guardian angel his name he didn’t answer right away. So he demanded to know if he thought he was greater than God because God gave us His name!

That’s when the priest’s angel confessed his mission had to do with the Alpha and the Omega. And Father started calling him “Alfredo.” Much easier, yes?

After I heard this story, I tried this out that night. Lying in bed pretending I was trying to fall asleep, I told God He could allow my guardian angel to hear my thoughts. Then I said silently in my head, "What is your name?" It’s important now not to discard the first image that comes into your heard. I think that’s where the adults go wrong. They think, “Ahh, it couldn’t be.”

The image of a flower came into my head. I thought of a Lilac or a Lily or a rose, and none of those things fit. Then I said, "It has to do with a daisy, right?" And my angel agreed. Suddenly, I said, "Your name is David!"

Think “Jesus, Son of David. Have mercy on me a sinner.” As a matter of fact, someone later pointed out to me that the Daisy opens up during the day when the Sun (Son) comes out. And Son of David is a title for Jesus Christ, descendant of King David. David also wrestled with bears and defeated the giant Goliath.

So my guardian angel is a bear-wrestling, giant-killing, devil-defeating angel imitating Christ, Divine Son and Son of Man, descended from King David. (Your throne will stand forever.)

Now I made sure this was correct. I asked God for three signs, one every day for the next three days. The next morning one of my fellow retreatants started talking about her deceased husband David over breakfast. In shock, I said, “What did you say your husband’s name was?” She responded, “David.” The next day I was praying and I inadvertently said, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me." It’s one of my favorite prayers.

And on the third day I sat down to read my Bible. I was in the habit of reading the Bible beginning to end, little by little. The chapter I was scheduled to read that night was the first introducing King David as a young lad. I didn’t know that in advance.

I got my three signs. I was blown away. Twenty years before, my best friend, Phoebe, and I had sat on the brick fence around the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, longing for communication from our guardian angels, but all we saw were some pigeons.

Phoebe and I used to celebrate Michaelmas (St. Michaels’ Day, Sept. 29) when we were roommates at the University of Kentucky.  She’d rent out Medieval Art books about angels and prop them up around the room. We’d light candles, pray and eat Angel Food Cake. I credit her solely for my devotion to the angels. And she is a convert to Catholicism, converted by the writings of the Medieval Catholics that she studied at Harvard University.

For my Protestant friends, I want to remind you that all true devotion is Christ centered. So the only purpose of devotion to our guardian angels is to draw closer to Christ. And that is our angels' purpose -- to draw us to Christ. An angel can be a friend, helper, beloved, but your devotion does not end with the good spirit. He is to be used as a ladder to Jesus Christ. 

Now if you are able to open communication with your angel, it is not recommended you share their name. However, I have shared David’s name (as I have in the past many times) as a teaching tool, the same as Father did with Alfredo.

So I was sitting at breakfast again on a different retreat, and
Note the angel in the background
directing Isidore's plow while he
another retreatant told me her guardian angel had made her bed that morning so she wouldn’t miss Mass. I started to tell her that was impossible, but I remembered that the guardian angels of 11th century farmer St. Isidore plowed the ground for him when he was delayed from his labor by deep prayer. "Hmm," I thought at my guardian angels, “Why didn’t you make my bed?” They said it was necessary for my salvation to do it myself. They are all Glory of God and Salvation of Souls around me. Yeah, I get it. No short cuts.  

One of my guardian angels works with weather, and recently a friend asked me to send him to make the weather beautiful in a certain week in Devon, England, for his children’s’ vacation. Well they only had one sunny day, and the rest was rain. Therefore I concluded the rain must have been necessary for the family’s salvation.

This particular angel is the one I constantly prayed to when we moved to Colorado. His name is the Greek word for spirit, Numa or Wind. His mission has to do with the Breath of the Holy Spirit. I asked him to keep the tornadoes and hail from my house because we couldn’t afford to fix it. On September 29, 2014, (the Feast of St. Michael), an “insane hail storm” hit the Denver area. I was in my bedroom, during the storm and it sounded like an army of angels were beating my house. I asked Numa, “What are you doing? You know we can’t afford to fix hail damage.”   

So this is when I learned the value of having a weather angel and homeowner’s insurance. We got a new roof, new paint and a new garage door. The deductible was $1,000, which we paid, but when the claim was completed we were reimbursed for our out-of-pocket expenses completely. We paid nothing.

That little angel just thought we needed to fix the house up so he blew in the storm. There isn’t a single house in my neighborhood that didn’t get a new roof thanks to the Michaelmas Hail Storm!

But mostly the job of guardian angels is to bring us to heaven. A lot of my angels have names related to my sanctification. So there’s one who is a specialist in self-knowledge. His image is lightening from the Throne of God, illuminating the world. It’s a great gift to know and recognize your sins so you can bring them to confession. It’s actually a punishment to be ignorant of your faults.

Another angel is the Refiner’s Fire. Like with gold, he heats me up so the impurities rise to the top leaving only the pure metal behind. I resist, of course, and try to keep the temperature low, as this is not a pleasant process. But with God’s help I will do better.

Now why do we want to know the names of our guardian angels? Just as St. Teresa discovered, it’s a means of coming into friendship with them. Being aware of their presence, and with your permission to do what’s necessary for your salvation, they can give you occasional discernment. Just this week the lightening angel showed me something I did that was not pleasing to God. I immediately made an act of contrition and prepared to confess it. God gave me the opportunity to apologize to the person I offended. That didn't happen by accident. It was a real experience arising out of a relationship with a spirit I know and love – someone God has given me for my salvation.

It’s okay to show affection for your guardian angels. Here is what Abbot St. Bernard had to say about the angels in today’s Office of Readings:

“We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father... Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous sway to go, with such protectors what have we to fear? They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven."
Angel with cross
Statue at Lourdes, France

We can also send our angels out on missions. Pure spirits -- angels -- can be in multiple places at one time. So without leaving your side, your guardian angels can be sent to help whoever you are praying for. I have sent them to many people, especially children, to stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

I pray to my angels before I lector at Sunday Mass, and ask them to speak to the congregation and open their ears for the Word of God. They love that job. Every so often I’ll be reading, look up and see an expression of amazed “I heard that” on someone’s face.

I know a Catholic doctor who prays with his patients. God has given him an angel of healing. Whatever your apostolate, whatever your purpose in life, God has given you ministering spirits who are uniquely suited to assist you in your vocation.

Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels!
Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us. 

Did you enjoy this piece? Maybe you would like to read 

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Satan's strategy in the life of St. Teresa of Avila

which is about the fallen angels

Another angel poem?

Skid Row Profiles 2: Tom, The Fish Salesman


  1. I love this post, Lawrence and Susan! The angels have always helped me, especially with anxiety problems, but there is so much about them of which I wasn't aware. Thank you for sharing about your angels. X

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Kathy. It's for God's special little ones like you. Susan Fox

  3. Thank you for this info. I'm gonna pray right now and see if God gave me any angels. I've never asked. I hope i have one of strength and one that helps with bleeding hearts.

  4. God bless you Anonymous. I will pray too for you as you seek to understand this process. Just remember, you find your angels in Christ, and so that you can grow closer to Christ. And don't advertise verbally to others what you are doing. Pray inside your heart. I'm sure God has given you and will give you many beautiful angels. Start with the first one, your original guardian angel. Everyone has one. Susan Fox

  5. Thank you for the very interesting article on the Holy Angels. On this day, the 98th Anniversary of the 6th apparition of Our Lady at Fatima and the miracle of the Sun dance, I Mary, Queen of Angels to guide me in the right direction as I seek to build and strengthen my relationship with my Guardian Angel to begin with.I used to ask my Guardian Angel to visit Jesus in every Tabernacle around the world and in every Consecrated Host, especially in those parts of the world where nobody or very few people pay Him a visit. I was not sure if An Angel could be in more than 1 place at a time. But now I feel confident that it's not a tall order. One thing I learnt from EWTN is that we shouldn't take the liberty of naming our Angel as would a pet or a so called genie. Padre Pio enjoyed a very good relationship with his Guardian Angel.
    Thank you once and keep me in your precious prayers.
    Warm regards and prayers
    Edwin Rodrigues

  6. How come many gardian angels? I thought it was only for priests.

  7. No Anonymous. Everyone has a guardian angel. The laity are called to devotion to their angels. If you make your consecration to Jesus through Mary you get a second angel. St. Louis Marie de Montfort said so. Some people have more than one or two guardian angels. I have 11. I have prayed for others to receive 9 guardian angels one from each choir of angels for many many years, and somehow I got my 9 as well. You offer nine consecutive holy communions in honor of Jesus King of Nations, and He promised to give whoever you pray for 9 guardian angels. God bless you. Susan Fox

  8. We do have angels all aboutus, and we have our God chosen Guardian Angel. I MUST SAY I don't know my Angel's name,for I have never asked. I forget sometimes & ,I don't know why. I do kow I'm not protected from all things or I would never get hurt or perhaps get angry over things; almost as though I Don't have My Angel. It's only a fleeting thouht because, when I'm able to study the situation thing could have been very much; worse. I pray so much to Mary. Our Mother. Jesus gave His Mother to us, and Iam always so overjoyed and so happy with my Mother of Jesus. Mary has appeared quite more than several times. It's just so astonishing. We are living now in the time of prediction. Evidently Our Blessed Mother's warnig regarding praying the rosary daily has not been heeded pleasingly, since we are on the brink of war.as our Blessed Mother said. Would happen our Anels are always with us in fact many angels are around us. I need to talk to them more. They actually take our prayers to God for us. Yes, I must quietly ask for my God Given Guardian Angel's name. Iknow I have one, I talk to my Angel often, and ask for favor. How rude to never have asked, with so much done for me,my Angel's name. Susan I will ask. I'm excited to know. At this time we all need to call upon our Angels. And with great hope, Do as we were all told via 3 shepard children that A Beautiful Lady appeared in view , in the air with predictions for us to heed.we must do this as was done after Holy Mass, for World Peace and our beautiful Church filled with all our Guardian Angels and theChurch just full of Angels. I have felt Our Blessed Mother close befor. & my Guardian Angel so close, but at Holy Mass knowing I truly received Jesus All of Jesus came to be within me. Also my Blessed Mother, everyone's Guardian Angel and all the Special Saints with so very many Angels to carry all our prayers to God. What Hope & Joy filled my heart for all. Ivysnow3567

  9. AGod gave me a wonderous Angel. A very strong, destructive hurricane took a very destrutive path destroying all in it's. Path. I was closing the barn door before school. No warning of this devastation. The door I had weighed 800lbs.only 1 side. to make brief ,I was very broken my femur bone broke clear through to ball joint. Rods held me together. After surgery I was told may not walk. I said nothing back nor did I take it in.It took 3 surgeries and many years of therapy. My God Given Angel with me always. I FELT THIS. My Angel had picked me up and put me in a place no more harm could happen-death. I think often of all that happened. I know I'm not alone. What beautiful company The Trinity, my Blessed Mother too many special saint's to mention. I really never feel alone.Ivorysnow3567. GOD WANTS US TO KNOW ALL OF THIS. HIS GIFTS TO US.

  10. Ssusan, I forgot Ivorysnow3567 I wrote regarding mainly Fatima. Iam thankful for my special angel. I must say we have been ignoring The true meaning and Love of Jesus, His most Sacred heart. Heis not receiving love from us as we should. Beyond words the sufferings jesus suffered during & all that took place before & after His Crucifixtion. His Heart still wounded ddue to our refysal to listen & do what has been asked of us I believe Our Blessed Mother having been pierced Through. Still suffers. Think of Cana "Do whatever He tells you" We are not doing this. Our Mother is holding hand of God to save us. We better get busy just look around. Take a good look at what is taking place in our word. HORRIFIC! Ivorysnow3467/Fatima also