A lifetime ago I taught a CCE class at St. Mary’s back home. I wanted so much to be an angel— not a saint, an angel— that I mentioned this tasty morsel to the other catechists at our Christmas luncheon.
The director, who overheard, chided me.
Don’t you know that angels were never human? That they’re nothing more than God’s helpers? That God loves us infinitely more than angels? You should want to be a saint instead!
I was crushed!
That night I dreamt I was standing in a field at dusk. The flapping sounds all around me kept getting louder and louder. I wondered if I was standing at the airport near mom’s house. Then, lo and behold, what a sight!
What joy! What awe!
As evening became nighttime more and more angels were landing all around me. Lots of angels. A whole field full of angels gracefully landing and lifting off. Some my height, others much taller. All willowy. All with the same peaceful yet intense expression. All so very elegant, purposeful. All so very real!
I had no idea what was happening. I was awestruck to be in the presence of these gorgeous beings that were either oblivious to my standing in their midst or accepting of me as I was.
I remember facing west, and when I turned to my right, there— not two feet from me— stood the most beautiful angel ever! He must’ve been eight to ten feet tall, wearing a resplendent white gown with a bright, teal-colored satin sash. His hair was brown; his face, masculine yet soft-featured. He emanated self-confidence and was so focused that he didn’t even turn to look at me. He straightened his sash as we stood in total silence except for the flapping all around of wings spanning eight to ten feet or more.
Standing beside him I sensed that he commanded the others. Yet, they were so proficient that they needed no reminders about their duties and responsibilities. I wondered if they were working in shifts, since they came and went at different times. Had they returned for the night? Were those departing called out on emergencies?
A few years later when I taught CCE at Christ the King, Bennye, a fourth grader, gave me a book, There’s Dynamite in Praise (Gossett, 1974), which included a story about two angels.
I thought about my dream. Maybe those steadfast angels landing all around me had indeed returned to heaven after having spent their day on earth.
It was during this time, too, that the catechists at Christ the King would gather ’round Sister Jovita to talk after Tuesday night’s middle school CCE classes.
One plus three or twelve
“Have you ever wanted to meet your guardian angel?” I asked.
The catechists in our small group hadn’t given the notion any thought, but I was so excited that I had to share my dream.
“I did, and I have! I even wrote about it in my journal. My guardian angel’s name is Brwyn, spelled with all consonants. I met him as he walked down a dirt path with his ‘three assistants,’ but he can summon ‘a dozen more if they’re needed.’ He’s stocky and robust with a strong yet gentle voice, and he assured me that I’m very well protected.”
“Are you familiar with Andrew Greeley?” Sister asked.
None of us had heard of Greeley, so Sister told us he’d written about angels.
“I’ll check Waldenbooks,” I told her but never found that particular title.
Although I forgot about the book, my recollection of the dream remains unchanged and just as vivid. I see the old castle on the low, somewhat grassy hill in the distance as Brwyn and two or three others make their way down the well-trodden pathway. I’m reminded of Robin Hood with his forest-green outfit, leggings, and dark-brown suede boots. Brwyn is clearly in charge, speaking to the others here and there. I’m so taken with him that I don’t notice his wings. Are they folded back so that I can’t see them?
Without a doubt, then or now, Brwyn is my guardian angel. What a dream come true!
My dreams were truly unforgettable; the angels, very real. It’s easier to share what I felt than to describe what I saw. I can readily visualize the scenes, but the words take time. For this reason, I was tempted to scour through my journals to look for the angel entries, but that’d be a lengthy process.
To this day I still look for the tall angel when I come across angel sites, prayer cards, and literature on angels. In fact, my sister gave me Angels (Underhill, 1994) because of the teal-colored angel on the cover, but I didn’t find my angel in the book.
I haven’t given up, though.
One of these days I’ll find the angel in white with the teal satin sash but, ’til then, I’ll enjoy my gift angels all around as reminders of the field of angels in my dream.
For protection… My guardian angel, faithful and strong in virtue, you are one of the angels led by St. Michael who overcame Satan and his followers. That battle, which one day took place in heaven, now continues on earth. The prince of evil and his followers oppose Jesus Christ and try to ensnare souls.
Pray to the Immaculate Queen of the Apostles of the Church, the city of God which fights against the city of Satan. St. Michael the Archangel, together with your followers, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May the Lord subdue him! And you, prince of the heavenly host, thrust back into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Guardian angel… Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side… to light, to love, to be my guide.
O most faithful companion, appointed by God to be my guardian who never leaves my side, how shall I thank you for your faithfulness and love and for the benefits which you have obtained for me?
You watch over me when I sleep, comfort me when I’m sad, avert the dangers that threaten me, and warn me of those to come. You withdraw me from sin and inspire me to good. You exhort me to penance when I fall and reconcile me to God.
I beg you not to leave me. Comfort me in adversity, restrain me in prosperity, defend me in danger, and assist me in temptations.
Offer up in the sight of the Divine Majesty my prayers and petitions and all my works of piety. Help me to persevere in grace until I come to everlasting life. Amen.
Mother to her children’s guardian angels… I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company. Amen.
October 2, 2012
The angels, wherever they may be sent, never stop gazing upon God. In the same way, the virtuous person, as much as he can, always keeps the memory of God in his heart (St. Bonaventure, 1217-1274).
“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, 1567-1622).
October 2, 2013
Thank you, Father, for sending an angel to watch over me. May I come to share your life with all the angels, singing your praises forever! (the Word among us, October 2013, p. 22).
September 3, 2014
The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the angels (Pope St. Gregory the Great).
October 2, 2014
For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone (Psalm 91:11–12).
“The whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 334).
November 21, 2014
“You will become a saint by complying exactly with your daily duties” (St. Mary Joseph Rossello).
June 16, 2015
He who believes himself to be a saint is a fool. Genuine saints always look upon themselves as the worst sinners. And, when our Lord grants a favor through their prayers, they credit such favors to this or that saint, whereas their own faith was largely responsible for them (St. John Bosco).
July 7, 2015
Ask Jesus to make you a saint. After all, only he can do that. Go to confession regularly and to Communion as often as you can (St. Dominic Savio).
May 5, 2016
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels (St. Augustine).
July 6, 2016
“He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you to make your journey successful'” (Genesis 24:40).
October 2, 2016
“If we could only see the joy of our guardian angel when he sees us fighting our temptations” (St. John Vianney).
Blue angel mascot – Immaculate Conception School – Brownsville, TX
Links of interest… Angels: about (more) / book / chaplet / choirs / creation (more) / prayers & more / servants of God / spiritual life / stories… Archangels: feast (more) / Gabriel / Michael / Michael, Gabriel, St. Raphael / novenas / prayers for protection & to St. Michael / Raphael (joyful friend) / rosary / Uriel / seven… Crises of saints… Fear not: Angels we have heard on high / Guardian angel: about (more) / badge / chaplet / eight things to know & share about the guardian angel / memorial / prayers: for humanity – litany & more – more – special)… Keeping it Catholic (more)… Our Lady, queen of angels (miracles / novena)… Lessons from a monastery: hospitality… Rosaries & chaplets: collection / for the sick & dying / maker’s guide / pictures & prayers / various… There’s dynamite in praise (Gossett, 1974): about / book (more) / miracle healing testimonies… Time for Christian heroes… We are called to be angels… What humans can do that angels can’t…