The Angels, God’s Messengers

The following is an excerpt from the Marian Press book 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle:

“As the Sisters were making their vows, I heard Angels singing in various tones, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ with chanting so delightful that no human tongue could ever match it.”

Diary, 1111

Angels are all around us! In fact, an amazing invisible world of angels has existed since the dawn of creation, but is often overlooked simply because we cannot see the angels! Yet, at each and every Catholic Mass, we are invited to join the angels in singing of the glory of God! Let’s get to know them better and learn about St. Faustina’s encounters with angels through this week’s spiritual exercise! Let’s get started!

Week 40

Angels are God’s special messengers, mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. The angels shouted for joy when God created the earth (Job 38:4, 7). God created the angels before He created the physical universe, including mankind. We are immensely blessed to be gifted with a guardian angel to assist us on our journey through life. We learn in Hebrews 1:14, “Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Saint Thomas Aquinas stated, “The angels work together for the benefit of us all”72 (CCC, 350). The Catechism teaches, “The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being” (CCC, 352). We know that some of the saints had direct experiences with angels. Saint Faustina was one such saint.

Angels and Sr. Faustina

God protected Sr. Faustina with His holy angels. Sister Faustina wrote, “I thanked God for His goodness, that He gives us angels for companions. Oh, how little people reflect on the fact that they always have beside them such a guest, and at the same time a witness to everything! Remember, sinners, that you likewise have a witness to all your deeds” (Diary, 630). This was after being accompanied by a great angel that rode with her on the train on her journey to Vilnius. Sister Faustina recalled, “Then I saw one of the seven spirits near me, radiant as at other times, under a form of light. I constantly saw him beside me when I was riding on the train. I saw an angel standing on every church we passed, but surrounded by a light which was paler than that of the spirit who was accompanying me on the journey, and each of these spirits who were guarding the churches bowed his head to the spirit who was near me” (Diary, 630). Can we even imagine?

Sister Faustina had a very close relationship with her guardian angel and greatly admired St. Michael. As she explained, “I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully” (Diary, 667). During Adoration one time, Sr. Faustina repeated the prayer “Holy God” several times. “[A] vivid presence of God suddenly swept over me, and I was caught up in spirit before the majesty of God. I saw how the Angels and the Saints of the Lord give glory to God.” She couldn’t describe it. “The glory of God is so great that I dare not try to describe it, because I would not be able to do so” (Diary, 1604). Sister Faustina said she truly understood why St. Paul did not want to describe Heaven (see 1 Cor 2:9 and 2 Cor 12:1-7). In her simplicity, this young nun was absolutely brilliant!

Sister Faustina wrote about her guardian angel several times in her Diary. Her guardian angel instructed her to pray for the dying, for instance, and came to her rescue, as well. Earlier, we discussed how her guardian angel had once revealed Purgatory to her. Sister Faustina recalled, “When I went to the garden one afternoon, my Guardian Angel said to me, ‘Pray for the dying.’” She and the gardeners prayed immediately. “After the rosary, we said various prayers for the dying” (Diary, 314). Another time, Sr. Faustina’s guardian angel alerted her to the needs of a dying soul. Sister Faustina recounted, “My Guardian Angel told me to pray for a certain soul, and in the morning I learned that it was a man whose agony had begun that very moment. The Lord Jesus makes it known to me in a special way when someone is in need of prayer. I especially know when my prayer is needed by a dying soul. This happens more often now than it did in the past” (Diary, 820). Often, her guardian angel alerted her, and she prayed fervently for the souls of the dying. “I feel vividly and clearly that spirit who is asking me for prayer. I was not aware that souls are so closely united, and often it is my Guardian Angel who tells me” (Diary, 828).

In a future chapter, we will discuss “Hell and Evil,” but for now I will share that Sr. Faustina’s guardian angel came to the rescue when Sr. Faustina needed protection from the devil. She recalled, “I fell asleep as soon as I lay down, but at about eleven o’clock Satan shook my bed. I awoke instantly, and I started to pray peacefully to my Guardian Angel” (Diary, 412). Another time, Sr. Faustina’s radiant guardian angel appeared to her and “a  flame of fire sparkled from his forehead” (Diary, 419). A great multitude of demons, filled with hatred, were blocking the mystic’s way. Sister Faustina beseeched her guardian angel for help. He said, “Do not fear, spouse of my Lord, without His permission these spirits will do you no harm.” Sister Faustina recounted, “Immediately, the evil spirits vanished, and the faithful Guardian Angel accompanied me, in a visible manner, right to the very house” (Diary, 419). Wow.

At Adoration another time, Sr. Faustina was overcome with love for Jesus. She wrote, “[M]y spirit seemed to be dying for Him” (Diary, 471). She began to cry and suddenly saw “a spirit of great beauty,” who spoke to her, saying, “Don’t cry — says the Lord.” She asked who he was. “I am one of the seven spirits who stand before the throne of God day and night and give Him ceaseless praise.” Sister Faustina’s yearning for God increased. “This spirit is very beautiful,” she recalled, “and his beauty comes from close union with God.” She added, “This spirit does not leave me for a single moment, but accompanies me everywhere” (Diary, 471).

An Angel, God’s Wrath, and Reparation

One night in her cell, Sr. Faustina saw a dazzling angel with a glorious face, an executor of divine wrath, who appeared on a cloud. “From the cloud, bolts of thunder and flashes of lightning were springing into his hands; and from his hand they were going forth, and only then were they striking the earth.” She began to implore the angel to halt when she saw he would strike the earth. She hoped penance could prevent the punishment. “But my plea was a mere nothing in the face of the divine anger.” She then saw the Most Holy Trinity. “The greatness of Its majesty pierced me deeply, and I did not dare to repeat my entreaties. At that very moment, I felt in my soul the power of Jesus’ grace, which dwells in my soul. When I became conscious of this grace, I was instantly snatched up before the Throne of God.” She said, “Oh, how great is our Lord and God and how incomprehensible His holiness!” She wouldn’t attempt to describe the greatness of God. She pleaded with God for the world. “As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel’s helplessness: he could not carry out the just punishment which was rightly due for sins.” She recalled, “Never before had I prayed with such inner power as I did then. The words with which I entreated God are these: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us” (Diary, 474-475). As we know, this prayer makes up part of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Sister Faustina was Served by Angels

Sister Faustina heard angels singing! She wrote in her Diary, “Today is the renewal; that is, the profession of vows in the course of a solemn celebration. As the Sisters were making their vows, I heard Angels singing in various tones, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ with chanting so delightful that no human tongue could ever match it” (Diary, 1111). Sister Faustina was also served by angels! At one point, when she was confined to bed due to illness, Sr. David said Sr. Faustina couldn’t go to the chapel to receive Holy Communion. Sister Faustina was sad, but felt calm and resigned herself to God’s will. The next day, a seraph surrounded by radiant light came to her, said, “Behold the Lord of Angels,” and gave Holy Communion to Sr. Faustina! She then “drowned in the love of God and in amazement.” She recalled, “The Seraph was surrounded by a great light, the divinity and love of God being reflected in him.” She described him, saying, “He wore a golden robe and, over it, a transparent surplice and a transparent stole. The chalice was crystal, covered with a transparent veil.” She said, “As soon as he gave me the Lord, he disappeared” (Diary, 1676). The seraph visited the young mystic for 13 days and gave her Holy Communion each time.

Something to Ponder

We have recourse to our own guardian angels. We should never tire of calling upon them for their protection and in- tercession. Take time this week to ponder the fact that your guardian angel has been with you since the very beginning of your life and that you can strive to be more attentive and thankful for his care. Strive to strike up conversations with your angel, saying things like, “Please help me today to follow God’s will more precisely,” and, “Please guard and protect me from veering off the path.” Pray traditional prayers to your guardian angel and St. Michael often.

Prayer to your Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this (day/night), be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, and guide. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our dsefense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

A Merciful Action

Make a point of enlightening the children in your life about the reality of angels. Youth today need to know that angels are real! Hopefully, they can grow to be fascinated with the angels rather than fictitious fairytale and superhero characters. Teach them to pray to the angels for help and protection. Also, pray to your guardian angel and ask him to enlighten you about ways to carry out your works of mercy — and then be sure to make them happen! For ideas of what works of mercy to perfom, take a look at the traditional list of Works of Mercy given in Week 23.

A PRAYER OF MERCY FOR THIS WEEK

(To be prayed each day this week.) Dear Merciful Jesus,

thank You for the amazing gift of my guardian angel.

Dear Mother Mary and St. Faustina, please pray for me.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Amen

You can order 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle here:

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