Contrary to popular belief, Hallmark Cards and Gifts did not create the Angels nor do they receive wings every time a bell rings (my last two blog post titles on the feast of the Guardian Angels, which is today).
Our understanding of the Angels is out of whack because of false marketing and advertising, and the creative talents of Hollywood screenwriters. Please don’t think I am criticizing the film, It’s A Wonderful Life…I am not because I think it’s a fantastic movie and one of the greatest family films of all time. What I am saying is that because of films, television shows, and the creation of ceramic statues our idea of how the angels interact with us is completely incorrect.
If you read the link above, you will come to understand that the Angels, who are God’s creatures, are more powerful and real than the modern world depicts them as being. Over the past year, I have seen everything from the “Hallmark Angel” to the “sexy angel” during Halloween. Again, completely false and a total distortion to the correct understanding of the Angels.
Now if you are teaching small children about the Angels, using pictures that depict them with wings is fine until they have the reason and capacity to understand a good and true definition of the Angels. By the time we are adolescents and adults, our understanding of the Angels needs to be more advanced and adhering to what the Catholic Church teaches.
So with this being said, let us turn our gaze to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states about the Angels of God –
CCC 350: Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).
CCC 351: The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.
CCC 352: The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.
For the full understanding of what the Catechism teaches on the Angels, I would suggest you also read paragraphs 328-336.
As we celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels, let us all invoke this prayer and say…
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.