Monday, February 4, 2013

Guardian Angels and Why I Don't Believe in Germs

- angel as protector from earthly harm - 

Is your Guardian Angel broken?  

Do you find yourself, regardless of your angel's assistance, still in a frequent state of suffering?  What is WITH that?

Why are we told to pray for help from our Guardian Angels?  Aren't Guardian Angels supposed to be always there working for us whether we ask them to or not?  Isn't angel help, like breathing, an automatic process you don't have to think about all the time?  

Here is a common Guardian Angel prayer:

Angel sent by God to guide me
Be my light and walk beside me
Be my guardian and protect me
On the path of life direct me.

Here is another:

Angel of God my guardian dear
In whom his love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.

Now, even a six year old can figure out that people still die.  People still get sick.  Even a 6 year old, if nothing else, stubs his toe and gets a cold.  It surprises me that more kids don't ask hard questions about this.  This happens even if you say your Guardian Angel prayer every day.  Where is the supposedly protective power of all these angels?

- angel as protector from spiritual harm - 

This picture perhaps shows a more accurate concept of the role of our angels.  This angel looks helpful to me.  I would like to have an angel that helps me out like this.

But, help from Guardian Angels aside, it kind of leads us to the age old question:

Why do bad things happen to good people?  

For that matter, why do bad things happen to bad people?  Where is God in all this and why doesn't He do something?  

Here are some reasons God would allow (not cause, but allow) suffering:

A)  Suffering can build character, empathy, humility and help us to grow in love.

B)  We learn lessons from it.  (Especially if it comes as a consequence of our stupidity or meanness.)

C)  Purgatory  - It is a great virtue to look within ourselves and identify things we are doing/thinking/being that could separate us from close friendship with God.  Those things are called sin.  Going to confession gets us forgiveness but . . .  there is still restitution to be made.  There are still consequences of our forgiven sins that if not paid in this life will likely be waiting for us in Purgatory.

So Purgatory is where we pay off these little debts we accumulate in this life before we move on to Heaven with our shiny, clean souls.  Pain and suffering we experience in this life, if offered to God, goes toward paying off that debt and shortens the time of purification we experience in Purgatory, which is a good thing.  Pain and suffering in this life, when offered to God, is pure POWER.  Here are some things you can use that power for:
  • reducing the time YOU will spend in Purgatory
  • reducing the time someone specific you love spends in Purgatory
  • reducing the time someone you don't know or love spends in Purgatory (What a gift!)
  • making any of your prayer requests more powerful.  Why do you think people fast in the Bible?  Fasting is a good way to show repentance but it, as a form of voluntary suffering offered up, is a special kind of powerful prayer for any kind of intention you have.
This is one reason why some of the saints practiced bodily mortifications.  (Translation:  hurt themselves on PURPOSE)

This is true of physical, emotional and spiritual pain.  This is true of big pain and itty-bitty pain.

NOTE:  Best I can figure out, there are two parts of "offering something up".  One is to make a conscious decision and effort to give it as a gift to God.  Two is to try not to complain about your suffering.  That kind of ruins the gift.  And why complain when you realize your suffering is making you a powerful generator of POWER FOR GOOD.

I have noticed in my family that often after one of us does something unkind that person will have a little accident.  The offender, for example, might storm off in a huff and walk into a doorway.  We also have a suspiciously large number of chair-related injuries in my home.  You too?  OK, maybe that's just me.

What?  No germs?

Back to Guardian Angels - I have come to believe that my Guardian Angel's job is to protect me from RANDOM suffering.  So Notgod is always hanging around trying to cause me pain and suffering any way he can.  Also, I do stupid things.  I make dangerous mistakes.  My life is constantly full of pain and suffering waiting to get me from all these sources.  My Guardian Angel's job is to only let through the suffering that God specifically allows for some good purpose in my life or the lives of others.

So, I do believe germs exist, but I don't believe random germs are going to make me sick.  They can't touch me without God's permission.  And if they get me sick they will be an opportunity God is presenting me.  Then I will have the choice to waste the suffering by moaning and complaining, or I can see it as a gift that some of the saints actually sought out and longed for.  It is a gift I can give.  And when I give God my suffering I am ACTIVELY, AT THAT MOMENT, SAVING MYSELF, SAVING THOSE I LOVE AND SAVING THE WORLD!   I am putting power in the ammunition stores of the powers of good  in the battle against evil.

I will say my Guardian Angel prayer to help me to listen a little harder for my angel's voice, to thank my angel for his vigilance, and to make sure that nothing random happens to me that isn't purely a gift, in whatever kind of wrapping, from the hand of God.

Random, purposeless suffering stinks.  Suffering for someone you love, well . . . ask Jesus.

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