Sunday, January 11, 2009
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
I'm in the market for some new slippers. I go through them very quickly because I always have to have something on my feet here in the house and my big nun shoes are hard on the hard wood floors. I must wear something on my feet because otherwise I break my little toe over and over again. I have broken my little toe on both feet a total of six times, once every summer for three years running, the last time was in the fall and was the very worst. Does God want me to have my toes broken? Do I owe Him a little something and it's my toes rather than my kneecaps? Is my guardian angel under orders to hold his ears and hum during all of this?
I don't know how that works.
We have some follow up questions and comments on our angels and our check books.
Speaking of angels, my best friend asked me a question and I still don't fully understand the answer. We know that God protects us, right? So then why do we need guardian angels if we have Him?
It's God's Will. God can do anything He wants, including delegate. Here is what we do know: Every single person has a guardian angel watching over them 24/7. It's your guardian angel's job to keep you out of trouble and keep you from harm.
I'm not sure how this works, what with free will and all. I'll have to chalk that one up to "It's a Sacred Mystery"*. It seems to mean that your guardian angel keeps you safe from all harm that is not God's will. If God wants you to get hit by the bus, your angel has to watch helplessly from the curb.
Otherwise the angel is on the case. Here is a good illustration of how this all works from a reader named Lawrence:
When I was about 4 years old... this would have been in the early 1950's... my Mom and Pop took us to a local creek for the afternoon. My Aunt Mary and Uncle Buddy came along with us. I was the youngest child, and was playing by myself near the edge of the creek, but only about 20 feet away from my parents and my Aunt and Uncle, who were all sitting around a small campfire talking. I took a notion to walk out into the creek and did so, and promptly stepped off into a deeper part of the creek and sank out of sight. I still remember the silence and beauty of that strange underwater world as I sank down to the bottom of the stream. The very next thing that happened was a large hand reached down and grabbed me, and pulled me out, and I began to wail and cry. It was my Uncle Buddy who had saved me, and after that he often told what had happened. They had all been sitting around the campfire talking when he heard a voice say "LOOK!" and he looked up just in time to see me go under. No one else heard anything. Had an Angel not warned him and had he not seen me, and acted, I would surely have drowned.
If only Uncle Buddy would tell us if the voice was male or female, you'd know a little more about your guardian angel, Lawrence.
Most of my readers disagreed with me about the Mary checks being a bad idea. I am not easily swayed, but I am on the fence. Their argument, simply, is that it never hurts to hand somebody something with Mary on it in the hope that the person receiving whatever it is will maybe inquire about the image. That would allow you to stick your big foot in the door and say a few words about Mary.
So far so good. Certainly I am all about sacramentals.
A sacramental is anything that reminds you of Jesus, or of God, or that you need to pray or sacrifice or head out to Mass or hang a sacramental picture of Jesus in your house to remind you of prayer, God, sacrifice, Mass.....
I just think there is a limit to where we stick Mary and what we do with her image. Perhaps it's a matter of taste. I don't care for rosaries hanging from car mirrors, but many people tell me they keep the rosary there and use it during traffic jams and such. That's good. Especially since they could be spending that time in utterly useless texting.
Unless they are texting someone to remind them to say a rosary.
I kind of like the little plastic Mary or Jesus statues that have a peel off bottom so you can stick them wherever you like, car included. I encourage St. Joseph real estate kits for the home seller. A glow in the dark rosary is great for sleepless nights. I must have some sort of cognitive dissonance going on.
But at the point where we extinguish our cigarette butts on Jesus, I'm done. The Mary checks are just about there for me. Jesus flipped over the tables at the Temple because of the money changers out there and the idea of His Mother on a check just seems to push the boundaries of taste.
Don't feel bad if you ran right out and got yourself some Mary checks. I'm sure your heart is in the right place.
There's no accounting for taste. You can tell that by my shoes.
* "Sacred Mystery" is a Catholic term that means "just let it go."