Monday, November 26, 2012

Year of Faith Series: Angels Among Us

I started the Year of Faith Series as an attempt to further explore my faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Through this series I will dive deeper into specific faith filled moments in my life, teachings of the Church, and new ways to strengthen my faith. I'd love for you to join me in this journey throughout the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI. If you are interested in doing a guest post in the series about your faith journey please email me @

One late afternoon I was driving home from undergrad. The gas light in my car went on about 15 minutes before I had arrived for class earlier that morning. I knew that I had had to stop to get gas before hitting the highway or I wouldn't make the 45 minute drive home. On top of that, rain was pouring down from the sky and I could hardly see out my window. In my mind I debated whether or not I should stop. The area around school wasn't particularly safe, but it also wasn't safe to run out of gas on the highway.

I had made up my mind and pulled into the nearest gas station despite the fact that it looked mostly abandoned. Just as my tank was almost filled a man, much larger than I, approached me. As soon as I noticed him, I scrambled to try to get the nozzle to detach from my car. I was not quick enough. He cornered me between my car and the station where the hose was attached.

"I am so sorry to bother you ma'am, but my arm is real hurt and I was hoping you could help me", he said. Glancing down at the arm he was holding, I noticed it was swaddled in dirty gauze. I did my best to decipher if it truly looked like a real injury. "Could you please drive me to the nearest hospital to get it checked out?" he stated while giving me a wincing smile. My mind was racing. Was this really happening to me? I gathered my thoughts and calmly told him that I was sorry about his arm, but that I wasn't able to give him a ride. We went back and forth like this for a while.

"You're just not going to help me because I am black!" he shouted at me. Outraged that I had just been called a racist by someone whom was possibly trying to harm me, I spoke without thinking. I stared him straight in the eyes and said, "This has nothing to do with you being black! I don't know you. I don't care what color you are, you are not getting in my car." He smiled, appearing to be fairly amused. Expletives mixed with prayers were racing through my mind. My fight or flight response was kicking in, yet I had no where to go and surely this was a fight I wasn't going to win. The he looked at me and said, "Ma'am, I am not going to ask you again, get in your car and take me to the hospital".

Just then a scruffy looking older man stumbled out of the gas station store drinking from a large brown paper bag. He stumbled over to where the man and I were standing. "Someone help me", I thought to myself.  "Leave this young lady alone!" he shouted at the man, slurring his words in the process. Then he looked at me and told me to take the nozzle out of my car and be on my way. I did as I was told. I could hear the two men arguing as I got in my car and locked the doors as quickly as I could. My entire body was shaking as I drove off. Before I made it onto the street, I turned around to take one last look at the horrible scene I had just escaped. The larger man was lifting up his arms to stretch as he was talking to the obviously homeless fellow. His shirt pulled up, just enough for me to see the handle of a gun sticking out from the top of his pants. My mind was in too much of a whirlwind to make sense of what had just happened.

Later that afternoon I told my mom the story, knowing that she would lecture me about getting gas in an unsafe area of town. Instead all she said was, "You must have one heck of a guardian angel". I hadn't thought of it that way before, but I knew she was right.

Ever since then, I have stayed in constant contact with my guardian angel and spent some time looking into the Church's teaching about them.

The Catechism tells us that, "From its beginning until 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."- Catechism 336

My guardian angel sure got the memo about being my protector!

Angels also play an important role in Biblical history. They were there to close the Garden of Eden- after Adam and Eve betrayed God, they communicated the law to countless figures, helped out the prophets and the angel, Gabriel, even announced Jesus' birth!

St. Francis De Sales tells us" Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen they are present with you"-St. Francis De Sales

It is clear that angels are important: people mustn't forget about them. In my life, I have noticed that I can call on the angel assigned to me for practical help as well as in dire circumstances. I often plead with my angel to go talk to other people's angels. Although there is no official teaching about this, it does seem to be within their jurisdiction to do this. I have sent my angel to talk to my daughter's angel about giving her some comfort when she was waking up in the middle of the night. Miraculously the two times I felt desperate enough to do this, she calmed down within a few seconds and fell back asleep. I didn't even need to get out of bed.

I find myself feeling more spiritually connected, when I am in constant conversation with the angel assigned to me. It is so amazing to know that God assigned one specific spiritual being to constantly be by my side and to protect me. What an awesome gift! I have come to know that the power of angels is real.

In the words of Chris Tomlin, "I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind, The God of angel armies is always on my side".

Let us not forget our angels. Their feast day is on October 2nd and here is a petition written specifically  to them:

O most Faithful companion, 
appointment by God to be my guide and protector, 
and who art ever at my side, 
what thanks can I offer thee for thy faithfulness and love, 
and for all the benefits
which thou hast conferred upon me?
Thou watchest over me in sleep; 
thou consolest me when I am sad; 
though liftest me up when I fall; 
though avertest the dangers that threaten me;
though preparest me for the future;
though withdrawest me from evil
and excitest me to good; 
though exhortest me to penance when I yield to temptation
and reconcilest me to my offended God. 
Long since should I have been cast into hell,
unless by thy prayers thou hadst averted from me the angel of God. 
Leave me not, then, I entreat tee; 
but still comfort me in adversity, 
restrain me in prosperity, 
defend me in danger, 
assist me in temptations, 
lest at any time I fall a victim to them. 
Offer to God my prayers and groanings, 
and all my religious exercises, 
and obtain for me the great gift of final perseverance, 
and the grace to die in the friendship of my Creator, 
and so to enter into life everlasting. 

Credit: Prayer retrieved from

Has there ever been a moment in your life where you felt the presence of your guardian angel? What have you done to strengthen your relationship with your angel?


  1. Wow...What a scary moment! But your Guardian angel was right there with you! I too am very close to mine. I also ask my guardian angel to intercede with my childrens at special times as well. Have a happy Monday, friend!

  2. Wow! That is an absolutely amazing story. Thank goodness for guardian angels!

    I hope everything is going well for you with the end of the semester! :)

  3. Oh.My.GOSH! If my feet hadn't been up on an ottoman while reading this story, I would have literally been on the edge of my seat the entire read! I definitely don't give enough credit or thought to guardian angels, but after reading your story, I see how important it is that I get to know mine better. I'm not sure how it's slipped by so unnoticed until now, but I'm really glad you shared this reflection! :)

  4. Just saw this and wow. I am so happy everything turned out ok! Guardian angels are amazing!