For us, humans, it is quite difficult to imagine something that is not tangible, something that is not easily explainable or something that we don’t meet face to face every day. When we hear the word ‘angel’ we often think of young figures with dimples, in white robes, always smiling and singing; or, for example, the imposing figure of St Michael stepping onto the Devil holding a flaming sword in his hand. The figures of innocence, of power, of readiness, of devotion, of determination, of forever.
And while many times it really is difficult to put into words what they look like, for we seldom recognize the angels appearing in our lives, they are everything we portray them as, and each carrying all the characteristics we associate them with: power, innocence, devotion, readiness, determination.
Angels are non-corporeal, spiritual beings created by God who never die, but have intelligence and will. They have been part of human history since the beginning and in the Bible we can see several parts where they appear to help steer man or to be divine messengers. They are a very special link between God and man who are here to help us on our way to holiness.
However, they are a link we often forget about. We frequently hear or talk about guardian angels, though we rarely ask for their guidance or help; sometimes because many people are not aware of the fact that God, in his great love ordered an angel for each of his children who believe. Or, more often, we have misconceptions about these celestial beings. The spectacular films that flood our lives nowadays more often than not have a very superficial understanding and description of angels and it is very easy to get lost in the idea of what angels are if someone only sees this portrayal.
So who are angels for us? They are servants of God, “who always behold the face of the Father” (cf.Matthew 18:10), immortal beings, “ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation” (Hebrews 1:14) But at a closer look, we could simply say that they are our friends. Friends, who are always present in our lives, but work in the background, even if we forget about them sometimes. They protect us on our way, they help us to be the best we can be. They are a special bridge between us and God and work tirelessly to help us get closer to Him and salvation.
We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for their intercession and help. It’s never too late to meet new friends, and who could be better than the angels God sent to us to be part of our lives? Their existence is a gift that is hardly comprehensible at times, but a gift I am profoundly grateful for, for if I look at my life deeply, I can easily notice the presence of these companions on my way to God.