"You have to watch what you do because your life is the only bible some people are ever going to read." - Dale Evans
Note: In this report I may occasionally use bold print, Italics, or word underlining for emphasis. This will be my personal emphasis and not that of the source that I am quoting. Shading identifies large quotations. The Situation: Sunday, December 21, 2008 - Invoking the guidance of our Guardian Angel.
Today my husband and I (Eileen Renders, Locutionist) attended our usual 8:00 A.M. Mass at our parish, Our Lady Of Sorrows, where I made humble offerings to Jesus and Mary and remembered in prayer all those with special needs and intentions. Our priest had a beautiful message regarding Our Blessed Mother's visit from the Guardian Angel Gabriel who told her that she had been chosen to become the Mother of Jesus. Father John relayed to us how her acceptance and surrender to God's will is also a reminder to all of us to accept God's will each day and surrender ourselves to Him. In preparing to receive Holy Communion, I prayed an Act of Contrition and began to wonder exactly who my guardian angel is. After receiving the most sacred body and blood of Christ in the sacrament of Holy Communion, I knelt in silent commune with Jesus. I thanked Him for His many blessings and I asked Him to please come into my heart. I again surrendered my will to Him and quietly asked who my guardian angel is.
Then I prayed, Speak Lord (if it be Your will), Your servant listens.
Jesus responded to my heart saying Eileen, My child; Lepidus is your guardian angel. He in life was an ancient soldier, a warrior! It is important to acknowledge your guardian angel each day who is always beside you to protect you. Ask your guardian angel to guide you and lead you always on the path that is God's will for you. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Continue to pray for your brothers and sisters. Amen. Now I will be researching about my guardian angel, Lepidus. Initially what I have learned is that he, Marcus Aemillius Lepidus came after the death of Julius Caesar, he supported Mark Anthony and was joined by Anthony in Gaul after the defeat of Mutina (modern Modena). In 43 BC they formed the Second Triumvirate with Octavian (Augustus). After the battle of Philippi (42 BC), Lepidus received the governorship of Africa, whence he returned (36 BC) to conquer Sicily. Octavian suspected him of trying to keep Sicily for himself and deprived him of his offices, except that of pontifex maximus.
My Response: I have read Mrs. Renders' messages for many years and never found a problem with any of them. However, the above messages states that her Guardian Angel was initially a human being who lived upon the earth and was somehow 'turned into an angel' after his human death by our Lord. In this ministry of Catholic Q&A research, I have often read and researched about angels. I immediately knew from my past research that this human being-to-angel switch was not possible. I felt Mrs. Renders should be informed of the Catholic truth and so I now prepare this report!
I begin with the alleged 'message from Our Lord' wherein He allegedly tells Mrs. Renders that her guardian angel began his existence as a human being and somehow was changed to an angel after his human death. This would be paramount to a new revelation, as this is nowhere taught by Holy Church now or in the past. The Church teaches the following regarding revelation: "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a son. Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect, and unsurpassable Word. In Him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one (referring to the Catholic Bible). The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment."1
This statement alone by Holy Church should end any misunderstanding or argument about Mrs. Render’s alleged message as prior to this 'message' there has never been a teaching from Holy Church that supports the claim that Mrs. Render’s Guardian Angel was a human being living on earth prior to 'becoming' an angel.
My research turned up a great deal of Church teaching as to what/who angels are.
"Angel: Purely spiritual or bodiless persons (Matthew 22:30), some of whom behold the face of God and thus are in bliss (Matthew 18:10). These spiritual beings comprise the celestial court and are called angels (from the Greek for messenger) because, according to the bible, they carry out missions at God’s command. In order to complete these missions, they can at times assume bodily form."2
"Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve His saving plans for other creatures. The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve Him especially in the accomplishment of His saving mission to men. The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being."3
We see here that Holy Church teaches that angels are not men themselves but are spiritual beings assigned to serve men.
The following teaching emphasizes the difference between people and angels; it does not infer that one can become the other. "Heaven refers to the saints and the 'place' of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God. God from the beginning made at once out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body. The existence of the spiritual non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith. Angels always behold the face of My Father who is in heaven. As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures."4
This teaching emphasized that spiritual non-corporeal beings are angels and that this teaching is a truth of faith.
The Church further separates mankind from angels as she teaches: "Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those (human creatures) who are to obtain salvation."5 "Angels don’t belong in this universe (they’re visitors). But you (humans) don’t totally belong here either. You also have a part of you beyond matter and space and time. That doesn’t make you an angel. But your spirit side – your soul, mind, intellect, will, emotions – is like an angel."6
"Angels aren’t humans without bodies any more than fish are birds without wings. They’re (angels) a different kind, a different species of mind, or intelligence, just as man is a different species of animal than fish. Human souls are meant for bodies. Angels are not."7
"Angels were created before the dawn of time. They sang at the creation of the world."8
"The Angels were an immediate creation of God, in His Image and likeness. Angels are not human; they are actually superior to man. Scripture tells us we are 'a little less than the angels'. In question 50 of his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas gives us an understanding of the substance of Angels, by categorizing the different degrees of existence of all creatures. He breaks down creation into three groupings, animal, human and Angelic. Angels are pure spirit without body at all."9
"The angels were created at the same time the world was created, but before man."10
"Do we become angels when we die? No. We don’t change species. God didn’t make a mistake when He made us human. We don’t become angels anymore than we become apes."11
"The power and the wisdom of God is not confined to the creation of man and of the material world. Beyond man, millions of creatures (angels) exist far more perfect than man."12
"The Angels are pure spirits."13
"The intellect of the Angel is incomparably superior to the human intellect."14 In follow-up e-mails, Mrs. Renders was critical of those who disagreed with her 'alleged message' about her Guardian Angel first being a human being. She said that these people were "throwing stones" at her. That is certainly not my intent. I wrote this report for Mrs. Render’s benefit (and the benefit of other readers) as a Spiritual Work of Mercy. Two of the Spiritual Works of Mercy are "instructing the ignorant and correcting sinners."15 I summarize this report by stating that Jesus is incapable of telling an untruth. He cannot go against the teachings of His own Church by telling of a new (hybrid-if-you-will) type of angel, as this is nowhere to be found within the teachings of Holy Church. Since our Lord could never have made such a statement (new revelation) concerning Mrs. Render’s Guardian Angel, there had to be another cause or source for this 'new teaching’. The source could have been Mrs. Renders making a mistake in writing what she heard or the source could even have been demonic. Lastly, I said I have read Mrs. Render’s messages for several years. Other than the one reported herein I have never experienced a problem with any of her other messages. END This report prepared on December 23, 2008 by Ronald Smith, 11701 Maplewood Road, Chardon, Ohio 44024-8482, E-mail: email@example.com. Readers may copy and distribute this report as desired to anyone as long as the content is not altered and it is copied in its entirety. In this little ministry I do free Catholic research and answer your questions. Questions are answered in this format with detailed footnotes on all quotes. If you would like to be on my list to get a copy of all Q&A’s I do, please send me a note. If you have a question(s), please submit it to this landmail or e-mail address. Answers are usually forthcoming within one week. If you find error(s) in my report(s), please notify me immediately! Let us recover by penance what we have lost by sin
Angels, Our Best Friends
Interview With Angelologist Father M. Stanzione ROME, JUNE 8, 2006 (Zenit.org)
There is a lack of education about angels, especially among young Christians, and other groups take advantage of this vacuum, warns an expert on angelology. Father Marcello Stanzione, a priest at the Abbey of Santa Maria La Nova in Campagna, Italy, and author of numerous essays and books on angelology, spoke with ZENIT about the modern perception of angels. In 2002, Father Stanzione re-founded the Catholic association Militia of St. Michael the Archangel, which organizes an annual theological-pastoral meeting on angels. The second annual meeting was held June 1-2 with the theme "The Return of the Angels Today, Between Devotion and Mystification."
Q: What do angels represent for the Catholic faith and why are they the object of more attention by other groups and religious movements than by Christians? Father Stanzione: Sadly, the catechesis on evangelization has been somewhat lacking on this point of the world's knowledge of angels. Others have taken advantage of the vacuum that has been created. What is central in theology is the doctrine on God, the Holy Trinity, and Jesus Christ. But the angels are not useless or superfluous realities, because they are part of God's revelation. Angels are creatures as we are, with an ontological difference. We are born and die; angels do not die and have been given to us by God to keep us company. The angels are an important complement in the creation of the body; they are human beings' best friends. A theologian has written that the angels are servants of God, and they make themselves servants of those who make themselves God's servants. Some maintain that Jesus Christ, being the only mediator, does not need angels. In fact, in the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church makes evident the fundamental role of the angels. We can say that Jesus Christ is the only mediator and the angels collaborate in Jesus Christ's mediation.
The decline in attention and veneration of the angels in the last 50 years is due to a kind of secularization, influenced by a Protestant deviation, which criticizes veneration of the Virgin, saints and angels. There has been no clear evangelization on the nature and role of angels and there is some confusion even among Catholics.
I have written and published several texts of Christian prayers to angels to avoid catechists also believing and using ambiguous texts circulating in bookstores.
Several of these ambiguous texts are reviewed by Catholic magazines without making any critical observation. They are essays that are based on astrology, on the 365 degrees of the zodiac, and they hold that there is a protector angel every five degrees, so that those born in those five degrees have that protector angel.
It is a kind of white magic. I have met several Church people who confused Catholic devotion with these rites. However, it would be enough to enter a bookstore to find in the esoteric section some 30-40 titles on the angels. This indicates the great confusion that exists.
There are few Catholic authors who write orthodox texts on the angels.
Q: Has the intercession of angels before the Lord been forgotten by Catholics? Father Stanzione: The problem exists. For some people it is comfortable to use the angels to falsify the relationship with Jesus Christ and with ecclesiastical institutions. In this way, the discourse of the Ten Commandments and of morality is also falsified. It is a religion a la carte, with angels who serve to help one find a fiancé or parking place.
In sum, a trivial, magic use is made of them. Instead, angels have great dignity; even the simplest angel is much more intelligent and powerful than a human being. Evident is the lack of education of the new generations in devotion and relationship with the angels. I have been concerned with this question for 15 years, and in this endeavor of education I am appreciated and supported by my bishop.
Q: Were angels created before man? What happened with Lucifer? Father Stanzione: There is an ongoing debate on the birth of the angels, in the sense that some hold that the angels were created before men, and others that they were created contemporaneously with men.
In regard to Lucifer, it is proof that God does not impose faith and does not want to be loved by force but allows freedom of choice.
It must be specified that there is no dualism, in the sense that Lucifer is not God's antagonist. Lucifer is the Archangel Michael's antagonist because God does not lower himself to combat Lucifer, but sends Michael.
Q: What is the purpose of the congress you organize annually? Father Stanzione: Every year, at the beginning of June, we hold a meeting on the angels. Last year we reflected on the figure of St. Michael. This year we are discussing the angels today, between devotion and mystification. Next year we will reflect on the relationship between the angels and saints. In this way we want to fill a gap and overcome the prejudice that a discussion about angels is not worthy of theological debate. We give our congresses a theological and above all a pastoral focus.
Q: Is it plausible and Christian to think that each one of us has a guardian angel? Father Stanzione: Whoever does not believe in the existence of the guardian angel is outside the doctrine of the faith. Each person has an angel as a good pastor. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also says it. One cannot say that one believes in God, in the Holy Spirit, in the Virgin, without believing in the angels. We do not see angels except in the history of the Bible and the history of the Church. Many saints had frequent contacts with angels; they experienced a relationship. Different mystics speak about the relationship with angels. I think the time is ripe for the creation of courses on angelology and demonology in theological faculties. ZE06060824
What are angels? An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the name applied to certain spiritual beings or intelligences of heavenly residence, employed by God as the ministers of His will.
The English word "angel" comes from the Greek angelos, which means 'messenger'. In the Old Testament, with two exceptions, the Hebrew word for "angel" is malak, also meaning 'messenger'.
The prophet Malachi took his name from this word. He was himself a messenger, and he prophesied about the coming of "the messenger of the covenant", Jesus Christ (Malachi 3:1).
Although the word "angel" in the Bible, meaning a messenger, nearly always applies to heavenly beings, it can occasionally apply to human messengers. Malachi himself said a priest was a messenger (malak) of the LORD of hosts (Mal. 2:7), and in the Book of Revelation the elders of the seven churches of Asia were called angels (1:20; 2:1 etc.). But when we meet messengers doing supernatural things, there is no doubt they are heavenly beings - God's messengers, working for Him and for the ultimate benefit of mankind.
How do we know angels exist? The Scriptures give us no indication of the precise time of the creation of angels; their existence is assumed at the earliest times. Our Lord often spoke of angels; in the New Testament they are numerous and seven orders are mentioned: Angels, Powers, Principalities, Dominions (ations), Thrones and Archangels the Old Testament specifically mentions two others Seraph(im) and Cherub(im). God bestowed upon angels great wisdom, freedom, and power, and their many appearances in the New Testament are indication of the lead role assigned to them. Both the New Testament and Old Testament refer also to the fallen angels. The Temptation of Adam and Eve presupposes the existence of bad spirits or demons who were cast into hell from which they have no hope of redemption. Angels are purely spiritual or bodiless persons (Mt 11:30), some of whom behold the face of God and thus are in bliss (Mt 18:10). These spiritual beings comprise the celestial court and are called angels (from the Greek for "messenger") because, according to the Bible, they carry out missions at God's command. In order to complete these missions, they can at times assume bodily form. According to the Bible, their missions are sometimes of great importance - e.g., the Annunciation (Lk. 1:26; 2:9-14). Like us, the angels are the objects of God's grace and love. But because, unlike us they are non-bodily creatures, their response to God's love did not require time and reflection to grow and mature. As soon as they were created and received grace, they had the opportunity to respond to God's love and thus be welcomed into bliss. While many did so, some did not. Perhaps the most significant continuing activity of the good angels is to be the agents of God's particular providence for mankind. Thus, the Church teaches that everyone has a guardian angel, based on references to them throughout the Bible.
Why did God Create Angels? The Creator Himself is so powerful and glorious that He cannot be approached in person by human beings. He alone "hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see (1 Timothy 6:16). Angels do not have man's shortcomings, and can therefore act for God and represent Him when communicating with men and women. They bridge the huge gap between the holiness and perfection of God in heaven and the shortcomings of dying people on this planet. Angels were made immortal (that is, never to die). Their eternal quality was spoken of by Jesus when he said:
"They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God. being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:35.36)
Jesus was saying that, in the same way as the angels (the children or "sons" of God) live for ever and are of one gender, so those who will be called the "sons" and "daughters" of God when Jesus returns will also live for ever and will not marry.
Angels with Names Only occasionally are the angels given names. "Michael", for instance, was "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people (Israel)" (Daniel 12:1). Undoubtedly, among the most significant of angelic appearances were those by the angel whose name was "Gabriel". He was sent twice to the prophet Daniel. On the second occasion Daniel was at prayer, and Gabriel, "being caused to fly swiftly, touched me ... and talked with me" and proceeded to prophesy the date of the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Daniel 9:21-27). There was therefore great expectation among the Jews at the time when Jesus Christ was about to be born, and this was heightened by the personal appearance of Gabriel again, firstly to Zacharias the priest while on duty in the temple, and then to Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph. To Zacharias, the angel announced. "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God: and am sent to speak unto thee" (Luke 1:19). We notice that angels can stand in the glorious presence of the LORD, whereas men cannot, and angels are sent to do whatever God wishes. His mission here was to announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist.
Six months later, Gabriel appeared to Mary, who was in the royal line of King David. Her prayer, said the angel, had found favour with God, and she would be the mother of the expected Messiah. Gabriel told her that she would conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit and her son would be Jesus, the Saviour, and he would be the Son of God and would occupy the royal throne of David (Luke 1:26-33). It was an extraordinary meeting because Mary was not yet married. Nothing is impossible with God! Joseph, her husband-to-be, also received angelic messages advising him what steps to take in this unique situation.
When Jesus came to be born in Bethlehem, the birth was the signal for a glorious witness of divine approval, seen by shepherds:
"An angel of the Lord (could this have been Gabriel?) appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear ... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!'" (Luke 2:9-14, RSV)
Who are our Guardian Angels? No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Psalm 91: 10-12 A heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over each of us during our lives. The doctrine of angels is part of the Church's tradition. The role of the guardian angel is both to guide us to good thoughts, works and words, and to preserve us from evil. Since the 17th century the Church has celebrated a feast honoring them in October throughout the Universal Church. Since the last calendar revision this feast is Oct 2.
He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels; these latter it is to whom religion designates the Holy Guardian Angels. Our Lord says in the Gospel, "Beware lest ye scandalize any of these little ones, for their angels in heaven see the face of My Father." The existence of Guardian Angels, is, hence a dogma of the Christian faith: this being so, what ought not our respect be for that sure and holy intelligence that is ever present at our side; and how great our solicitude be, lest, by any act of ours, we offend those eyes which are ever bent upon us in all our ways!