Guardian Angels
#1
Is the idea that we have a personal guardian angel a doctrine, or merely a commonly held theological opinion?  Are Catholics free to believe that we don't have guardian angels?
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#2
Hi Melkite. Our Lord has taught us of it in plain terms: "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their Angels in heaven always see the Face of My Father who is in Heaven." (Mat 18:10) The Church would probably define it dogmatically if anyone denied it.

What a beautiful and consoling heavenly doctrine it is that we have Angel Guardians to pray for and protect us always! That they who always behold the face of the Father, are to us, "their Angels", i.e. "our Angels", our very own, Guardians, Protectors, Patrons, Heroes watching over us. Let us always commend ourselves to their powerful protection; devotion to one's own Guardian Angel is a sure mark of predestination. For if the Lord pronounces woe on those who despise children, it is clear that their Angels are mighty in protecting them, and in acquiring powerful Graces for them from the Eternal Father, Whose Holy Face they ever behold in the Beatific Vision.

We can share anything with our Angel, ask his prayers, tell him to watch over us while we sleep, ask for his assistance during Holy Mass, tell him to reveal to us the mysteries of God, ask him to strengthen our love for Our Lord Jesus, deepen our devotion to the Immaculate Mother etc.

God Bless You, Melkite.
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#3
(01-18-2020, 02:13 AM)Melkite Wrote: Is the idea that we have a personal guardian angel a doctrine, or merely a commonly held theological opinion?  Are Catholics free to believe that we don't have guardian angels?


It is a doctrine of the Church. From Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ott:

"Every one of the faithful has his own special guardian angel from baptism."

This is based on what Jesus said in Mt 18:10 (See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven). It is also mentioned in other places in the  Bible.

Most theologians think that all people (not just the baptized) have a guardian angel . 

Anything found in the Bible, and is being taught by the Church throughout the ages, is considered part of our Faith. For example, we know from the 10 Commandments that "thou shalt not steal", without the Church formally making it a doctrine. 
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#4
This is my best attempt as a layperson(I apologize if I'm misrepresenting anything) at summarizing what I've read in Pole-Preuss' "God- Author of Nature and the Supernatural". 

               - Angels serving as guardians over humanity in general: of the faith via the Ordinary Magisterium
                   
              - All baptized persons have a guardian angel: according to Suarez, "Though not expressly contained in Holy Writ, not yet formally defined, it is received by universal consent in the                  Church and has such a solid foundation in Scripture, as interpreted by the Fathers, that it cannot be denied without very great temerity and error."
             
              - All humans have a personal guardian angel from birth: Common Teaching of Fathers and Theologians
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#5
MacPasquale,
Are you sure the Fathers believed that every single person, regardless of Faith, has a guardian angel?
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#6
Thank you for the replies everyone.  I asked because I was starting to think we didn't have one, and I couldn't remember anything explicitly saying so in Scripture (thank you, Xavier, for reminding of the verse where it is very explicit).

Now I am wondering about whether we do not have a guardian angel until baptism.  I had heard that before, and was trying to figure a way to explain why bad things happen to children.  Of course, that is sort of a tangent of the question 'why do bad things happen to good people.'  So what exactly do our angels protect us from, if not evil and harm?  This is easier to answer if we don't have an angel assigned to us until our baptism.  If all humans have one from birth (or, conception would seem more appropriate), what exactly are they doing if not protecting us from the evil that comes our way?

I know I don't deserve protection any more than anyone else, but I look back at the evil that happened to me while I was a child and wonder why I should have any particular devotion or affinity towards my angel if I can't trust it to protect me from the things that have hurt me the most?
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#7
(01-18-2020, 04:13 AM)KIM.T Wrote: MacPasquale,
Are you sure the Fathers believed that every single person, regardless of Faith, has a guardian angel?

No, I'm not sure.  I'm just going off of what I read in ONE manual on dogmatic theology.
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#8
(01-18-2020, 11:02 AM)Melkite Wrote: I know I don't deserve protection any more than anyone else, but I look back at the evil that happened to me while I was a child and wonder why I should have any particular devotion or affinity towards my angel if I can't trust it to protect me from the things that have hurt me the most?

We cannot blame the guardian angels for everything bad that happens to us. How do we know it is their fault? Could it be our fault in not listening to him? Could it be that things were going to be worse than what happened and the guardian angel lessened the evil effects? Do not forget that God respects the free will of individuals. He will not force us to do good. We have to choose between good and evil.
Besides our guardian angels there is also the evil spirits working on our minds, to veer us to do what is not pleasing to God. 

I heard from Fr Ripperger, the famous exorcist, that there exists certain evil generational spirits that are sort of inherited from parent to child. Some persons make a pact with the devil and hand him their children and their children's children etc.....These people have a tougher fight with evil, than those whose ancestors loved and served God. 
Fr Ripperger said that sometimes just going to confession gets rid of these generational spirits.
So one should not lose trust in God and His angels because bad things happened to them as kids. Any thoughts that bring us far from God are not from a good spirit. I had my share of evil happening to me as a child and I just brush it off. I think it is wise to dwell on positive things, once we start the spiritual journey towards Heaven.
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#9
(01-18-2020, 12:11 PM)MacPasquale Wrote:
(01-18-2020, 04:13 AM)KIM.T Wrote: MacPasquale,
Are you sure the Fathers believed that every single person, regardless of Faith, has a guardian angel?

No, I'm not sure.  I'm just going off of what I read in ONE manual on dogmatic theology.

From my reading (which is not inclusive of everything written) the Fathers believed that the baptized had a guardian angel. We get our Catholic Tradition from these Fathers and that is why this is a doctrine. We even have a guardian angel feast day. 

Since many theologians believe that everyone has a guardian angel, then it is not wrong to believe that (the Church never formally went against that belief).
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#10
(01-19-2020, 04:22 AM)KIM.T Wrote: I heard from Fr Ripperger, the famous exorcist, that there exists certain evil generational spirits that are sort of inherited from parent to child. Some persons make a pact with the devil and hand him their children and their children's children etc.....These people have a tougher fight with evil, than those whose ancestors loved and served God. 
Fr Ripperger said that sometimes just going to confession gets rid of these generational spirits.
So one should not lose trust in God and His angels because bad things happened to them as kids. Any thoughts that bring us far from God are not from a good spirit. I had my share of evil happening to me as a child and I just brush it off. I think it is wise to dwell on positive things, once we start the spiritual journey towards Heaven.

Generational Spirits are a load of hooey.

The idea that one who makes a pact with the devil or invited the devil in by false worship can cause problems for his family for several generations in Scriptural. In Exodus 20:5-6, God says (as an explanation of the First Commandment), "Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."

So yes, that kind of diabolical problems are certainly true.

However, you misrepresent Fr Ripperger's idea of "Generational Spirits".

In one online article he clearly defines what he means : "What's a generational spirit? It's one in which if parents commit particular kinds of sins, they open the door to demons inserting themselves into their family life, and it gets passed from generation to generation."

Thus, if your father were an alcoholic then the same alcoholic demon that is attacking him, might be passed it to you, and if you are seeing signs of alcoholism you should buy his book of deliverance prayers to be delivered from this demon and break this curse. If dad had a habit of masturbation, look out, you might also because of a demon.

This idea does not find any support in Catholic teaching, and in fact seems to war against several passages in Scripture as well as the rite of Baptism. It also sounds very much like the New-Agey Pentecostal "Catholic" "Generational Healing" and not anything traditional.

To be fair, however, certainly when parents rob their children of a good formation for any reason be it alcoholism, abuse, a failure to take seriously the Faith, or even simply parents not living in the state of grace or not praying and sacrificing for their children and thus losing the many graces their children need, it is not surprising that the children grow up malformed and worse that their parents, and so their own children are yet worse. No devil need be posited to explain this, and since the Thomstic principle is that we never look for a supernatural or praeternatural cause when natural causes sufficiently explain things, there is no good reason to presume a devil. Bad parenting explains it pretty well.

However, if you want to sell some unapproved books of deliverance prayers and justify speaking engagements ... the devil's in the details.
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