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Can We Talk Now?

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By JOE SIXPACK

One of my favorite books of the Bible is found in the Old Testament. Most versions call it Tobit, while others call it Tobias. I keep waiting for someone like Mel Gibson to come along and make a movie out of it, because this book has everything that makes a great movie — angels, demons, miracles, murder, betrayal, deception, and on and on. This book is where we learn about guardian angels. It’s a short book that takes most people about 45 minutes to read. Here’s the gist of the story. . . .
Tobit, with his son Tobias, was a man of great charity among the people of Israel, but he had become blind and couldn’t earn his living anymore. So he sent Tobias to collect on an old debt from a friend. Not knowing the road to where Tobias’ friend lived, Tobit looked for a guide to go with him. A young man named Azarias met Tobias and offered to go with him to show him the way to the town where his father’s friend lived.
Many dangerous and exciting events took place during the journey (which is the best part of the story; you’ll have to read for yourself), and it seemed Azarias protected Tobias from every harm at every step along the way. When Tobias returned home to his parents, he also brought with him a wife — along with many camels, horses and sheep. When hismother saw him coming from afar, she sent word to her blind husband that Tobias was home.
Tobias was happy to see his parents and gave Tobit the money he was sent to retrieve while he told the story of his adventures. That’s when he explained how Azarias had helped and had told Tobias his father’s blindness could be cured. Azarias told Tobias to take the gall from a fish and put it on Tobit’s eyes. Immediately the older man’s sight was restored! Tobias was so grateful to Azarias for all his help on the trip and the cure for his father’s blindness, he tried to give the young man half of all he had. That’s when Azarias told Tobit and Tobias who he really was.
“There’s something I’ve got to tell you,” said Azarias. “I’m not what you suppose me to be. I’m not a man who desires to be paid for his services. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One. Because you have always worshipped God, because you buried the dead, were kind to the poor, bore your troubles bravely, God has sent me to you. Bless the Lord of Heaven who has shown you His mercy!”
As it turns out, Raphael was acting as Tobias’ guardian angel. But what is an angel? Thanks in large part to Hollywood, many people think angels are the souls of those who were once our friends and loved ones, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, most of us really know very little about the angels and have only a child’s perception of them.
You should read Fr. Robert Fox’s book The World and Work of the Holy Angels to learn more (you can find it on Amazon), but we’ll cover some of the basics here.
The angels are pure spirits who possess intelligence and free will. They have no body, but God has seen fit at various times throughout human history to allow them to assume a physical presence in order to deal directly with mankind, as is the case with Tobias and in Genesis 18 and 19, to name a few. The angels are more perfect than we are and are more like God, because they are pure spirits. They’re superior to us in the order of creation because of this. Ours is the natural world, but theirs is called the preternatural order.
God made all the angels good, but some became evil and rebelled against Him when God tested them (2 Peter 2:4). These rebellious angels are called devils, demons, or evil spirits. God cast them into Hell for their disobedience. Because they are God’s enemies, and because it is part of their nature to have the ability to bilocate (i.e., be in more than one place at a time — both Hell and among us), the demons desire to harm us by tempting us to sin against God. We can always resist the demons, though — not of ourselves, but with God’s help (1 Peter 5:8-9).
The angels who didn’t rebel were rewarded by God with the same reward He will give us if we persevere in serving Him well. That is, He will reward us with the eternal happiness of Heaven where we will live with the angels to see God as He truly is, and love and adore Him forever.
The good angels pray for us, protect us, and serve as our guardian angels. Of the nine choirs of angels (Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, Angels), the “lowest” is simply called Angels, and this choir serves as a sort of “draft board” for guardian angels. In other words, the angels in this choir are made up of all the other choirs and they are the ones who serve as our guardian angels.
So your guardian angel may be a Seraphim while mine is a Principality. Each human is assigned a guardian angel at our conception, and your guardian angel is with you from then and forever…if you make it to Heaven.
You’ll never lose your guardian angel, unless you end up in eternal punishment in Hell. There are more angels in Heaven than there are humans ever created or ever to be created, which is why everyone gets his own guardian angel forever.
Your guardian angel protects you from spiritual and material dangers, guides your mind to know what is right, prays for you, and presents your prayers to God. Think back throughout your life. Everyone can think of at least one time when something happened and you should have been killed or gravely injured, but something unexplainable happened that kept you from harm. You can thank your guardian angel for that…and you should!
Learn to talk to your angel. You might feel silly at first, but how is it different from speaking to God or the Blessed Virgin Mary? You can speak to your guardian angel like you’d talk to your best friend, and you can even call him by name. No, he probably won’t reveal his name to you, but you can give him a name. The great Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, known as “America’s Bishop” in the 1950s & 1960s, called his guardian angel Skippy, and he spoke to Skippy all the time.
Spending time with your angel is important. It would be very embarrassing to get to Heaven and meet up with this really big guy who says, “Hey, do you know who I am? I know who you are. I’m your guardian angel. I’ve been with you from the moment you began life in your mother’s womb. I’ve loved you, protected you, sat with you through all the good and bad in your life, and you never once spoke to me. Now I’ll be your servant throughout all eternity, even though I’m a perfect stranger to you. Can we talk now?”
The angels love silence. Begin spending time each day, preferably in the morning, to talk to your angel. Just five minutes in the beginning will be sufficient. Then sit and listen. Block all else from your mind and focus only on your angel. It will take a couple of weeks as you learn to drive the “white noise” from your mind, but if you’re persistent and try to focus on your guardian angel, he will begin to communicate with you. I’m not kidding.
This is actually true. I’ve done it for years, and it’s been a tremendous help to me. It only works against me when I fail to listen to my guardian angel.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

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