Does everyone have a guardian angel or "just believers"?


#1

The question is does everyone have a guardian angel or just believers? I read the following in the catechism and it says just "believers".

336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "**Beside each believer stands an angel **as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

Pork


#2

[quote="Porknpie, post:1, topic:329167"]
The question is does everyone have a guardian angel or just believers? I read the following in the catechism and it says just "believers".

336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "**Beside each believer stands an angel **as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

Pork

[/quote]

I think It is more of a belief that God assigned a Guardian Angel to all created souls. It is however not an article of faith.


#3

Well yes when we are baptized we are infused with the Holy Spirit and we have the certainty of a guardian angel watching over us. However I would not dismiss that God might appoint guardian angels to all humans for so many instances of unbelievers lifes have been changed and later they recognized that someone was watching over them nudging and sometime even saving their lifes.
Is it not that awesome? That God loves us so much that He sends an angel to keep us?
That does not mean that we can reject his gift though! :eek:


#4

Plato said that everybody has a Guardian Angel. It makes sense in a Christian worldview, because God wants as many of us in Heaven as He can, for He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, so God provides us excellently with helpers and advocates. These Heavenly Advocates work with us as silent prayer partners, and with the help of the Holy Spirit/Ghost, reveal to us something of God’s happiness when we invoke them. The “flip-side” of this, is the evilness of the demons, who always work as tirelessly to try to get us to refuse God’s Grace as much as possible.

Hope this helps.


#5

“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.” (Mt. 18:10)

Nowhere does Jesus say that only Jewish children of His time on Earth had guardian angels, or that humans lose their guardian angels as they grow older. Therefore, one must surmise that all humans have guardian angels – and that is what the Church has taught.

The Catechism says “believers” because you’re quoting a part where it’s talking about angels as part of the way the Church works today, just like earlier it talks about angels’ part in salvation history.

However, it first says “human life,” which means every single human ever is protected “by their watchful care and intercession.” And if you follow the footnote, the scriptural references show you that, starting with the same Mt. 18:10 I just quoted, which is straight from Jesus’ mouth and therefore of the highest authority. (Also Lk 16:22; Ps 34:7; Ps. 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech 1:12; Tob 12:12.)

Now, the second quote, from St. Basil the Great’s Against Eunomius (Volume III, Chapter 1) goes like this: “Likewise, all the angels, having but one appellation, have the same nature among themselves, even though some of them are set over nations, while others of them are guardians to each one of the faithful.”

This is in the context of a discussion of the nature of all three Persons of the Trinity being the same (ie, the Trinity doesn’t have three different natures of Godness). Basil is not excluding non-believers from having guardian angels, but rather emphasizing that different angels can have either very general or very specific jobs from God without having different natures; there may be different kinds of angels but they all share the same angelic nature. The Catechism is using this quote because it is a nice quote, and because it shows that belief in guardian angels is part of Christian tradition in the East as well as the West.

Obviously “believers” are better able to receive help from angels, because they have advantages in terms of knowledge and grace. (Whether or not individual believers decide to ignore their advantages.) Also, angels aren’t going to override your free will. But guardian angels are still going to be there for every single human, whether or not they believe in God or the teachings of the Church.

The Catechism tries to contextualize doctrine to give people a more sophisticated idea about how it works, and to let people know that the stuff from the “Old Days” hasn’t been ditched. It doesn’t contradict things previously learned and explained throughout the ages; it supplements that doctrine.


#6

Of course, everyone has a guardian angel. I do hope that an angel appears to you while in deep prayer as St. Gabriel appeared to me in my youth.


#7

I forgot to explain the rest of the Basil footnote. "PG 29, 656B" means Migne's Patrologia Graeca (which is a reprint collection of as many works written in Greek by the Fathers of the Church and ecclesiastical writers that Fr. Migne could get ahold of), Volume 29, Column 656, at the part of the column marked B.

(Migne put A, B, C, D down the middle of his columns, so A is from the top of the page to about a quarter of the way down, B is from a quarter to half of the way down, etc. A lot of people cite specific line numbers instead, because there's sometimes sixty or seventy lines per column.)

Most of Migne's Patrologia Latina and Patrologia Graeca are available online somewhere, which is a lot handier than going to a library and hauling down a volume about as long as someone's chest. So though there are more recent editions with better editing and notes, it's still very handy for looking stuff up.

However, I went the lazy (or in my case, the non-Greek-speaking) way, and looked up the volume and chapter citation in Jurgens' three-volume set of The Faith of the Early Fathers.


#8

[quote="Porknpie, post:1, topic:329167"]
The question is does everyone have a guardian angel or just believers? I read the following in the catechism and it says just "believers".

336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "**Beside each believer stands an angel **as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

Pork

[/quote]

Porknpie,

The CCC does not say **just **believers, it says believers and does not exclude others. In the first sentence *all *human life *is inferred *to be surrounded by angels' watchful care and intercession.

Until I learn that the Church teaches differently, I believe that we all have a guardian angel from the moment of conception, certainly well before our baptism be that in infancy, childhood, or adulthood. Therefore I believe everyone has a guardian angel, believers and non-believers alike.


#9

We know that God has no favourites so therefore from the moment of conception God has an angel assigned to us ready for active duty at the moment of birth. We have little or no knowledge of the role played by our angel except for anecdotal accounts of encounters with our angels. I believe my angel was instrumental in assisting me in the making of some key decisions in my life I also think that in past times when I fell into mortal sin "he" probably distanced himself from me but not to the extent that "he" abandoned me. Our angels probably mock us humans because of inferior intellect but have great patience which must be Divinely inspired. They are there to talk to and love to hear us recite the prayer to our Guardian Angel. I'm not psychic but when I'm present at the consecration of the Mass it's as if there's someone else being joyous at the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ within me. All of this may seem simplistic and childish to some of you but I'm quite old now and hopefully getting closer to things Divine...some call it wisdom....so I guess I'll be talking to Ezekiel (yes I gave him a name!) on a regular basis.
Thank you all for allowing me to share - God Bless


#10

[quote="TARSUS_PADDY, post:9, topic:329167"]
We know that God has no favourites so therefore from the moment of conception God has an angel assigned to us ready for active duty at the moment of birth. We have little or no knowledge of the role played by our angel except for anecdotal accounts of encounters with our angels. I believe my angel was instrumental in assisting me in the making of some key decisions in my life I also think that in past times when I fell into mortal sin "he" probably distanced himself from me but not to the extent that "he" abandoned me. Our angels probably mock us humans because of inferior intellect but have great patience which must be Divinely inspired. They are there to talk to and love to hear us recite the prayer to our Guardian Angel. I'm not psychic but when I'm present at the consecration of the Mass it's as if there's someone else being joyous at the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ within me. All of this may seem simplistic and childish to some of you but I'm quite old now and hopefully getting closer to things Divine...some call it wisdom....so I guess I'll be talking to Ezekiel (yes I gave him a name!) on a regular basis.
Thank you all for allowing me to share - God Bless

[/quote]

Dear friend,
It is wonderful that you have a strong devotion to your angel - this is very commendable. That being said, the Church advises against naming our angels - see here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=498635


#11

It sounds like we do not have a good source to answer the OP one way or the other.


#12

My thanks to "twf" for that information on naming of angels. Henceforth Ezekiel will be addressed as "My Angel".......you see how "he" led me to the Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy which I had never heard of until tonight...looks like a good read! God Bless


#13

[quote="vicar777, post:6, topic:329167"]
Of course, everyone has a guardian angel. I do hope that an angel appears to you while in deep prayer as St. Gabriel appeared to me in my youth.

[/quote]

Vicar,

Welcome to CAF !

Would you mind sharing your story? My wife, "Pie" has one as well. God can work his miracles in very unexpected ways...

As a note, I do believe everyone has a guardian angel but the catechism's wording created a question in my mind.

Appreciate all the responses.

Pork


#14

I was in college then. My dad had to undergo an emergency gall bladder operation and my Mom and I were the only ones who accompanied him to the infirmary.

I excused myself and went to the University Chapel across the street. It was 2am, but as usual, the chapel was open all around as there were no doors. The dome was lighted in light blue fluorescent lights.

I knelt before the blessed sacrament and was deep in prayer when I happened to glance at the small altar infront of the sacristy containing the images of the Blessed Mother. I was astounded at the sudden appearance of this entity, exceedingly tall, dressed in a sky blue robe decorated with small stars that shone and twinkled. His hair was shining like gols and his face had an unquestionable holy countenance. Unfortunately, fear overcame me as I was shocked at his sudden appearance and did't wait for him to speak. I ran sppedily out of the chapel and back to the infirmary. I told no one about the apprarition as I felt no one would believe me.

Years from then, when I joined the Charismatic Movement, I thought about the apparition and what message he must have prepared for me. I wish I had not been so frightened and stayed to listen to his message.


#15

[quote="vicar777, post:14, topic:329167"]
I was in college then. My dad had to undergo an emergency gall bladder operation and my Mom and I were the only ones who accompanied him to the infirmary.

I excused myself and went to the University Chapel across the street. It was 2am, but as usual, the chapel was open all around as there were no doors. The dome was lighted in light blue fluorescent lights.

I knelt before the blessed sacrament and was deep in prayer when I happened to glance at the small altar infront of the sacristy containing the images of the Blessed Mother. I was astounded at the sudden appearance of this entity, exceedingly tall, dressed in a sky blue robe decorated with small stars that shone and twinkled. His hair was shining like gols and his face had an unquestionable holy countenance. Unfortunately, fear overcame me as I was shocked at his sudden appearance and did't wait for him to speak. I ran sppedily out of the chapel and back to the infirmary. I told no one about the apprarition as I felt no one would believe me.

Years from then, when I joined the Charismatic Movement, I thought about the apparition and what message he must have prepared for me. I wish I had not been so frightened and stayed to listen to his message.

[/quote]

Perhaps his just being there was the message. Thank you for sharing.


#16

If I recall correctly, in Dr. Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, the doctrine of guardian angels is not "dogmatic," although it does seem to be quite common in the history of Church teaching. I haven't done the research from ECFs unto today, but one could possibly argue that it has been definitively taught via the ordinary magisterium.

Regarding whether all souls have a guardian angel, here is a recent papal comment:
Dear friends, the Lord is always near and active in human history, and follows us with the unique presence of His angels, that today the Church venerates as *'Guardian,' in other words those who minister God's care for every man*. (Pope Benedict XVI, Sunday Angelus address, October 2, 2011)


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.