January 2018 Print

The Last Word

Dear readers,

“Take Notice of him, Hear His Voice”

“They have ears and hear not” (Ps. 113:14). This is said firstly about the idols of pagans, it is clear, but since “what things soever were written for our learning” (Rom. 15:4), I ask our readers the question: have you ever heard your guardian angel talking to you?

Such a question implies a number of other questions: Can angels talk? Do they talk to each other? To us? How can we hear them? How can we discern their voice? Can we talk to them? Can they speak at a distance?

St. Thomas Aquinas studies at length the “speech of angels.” It is one of these odd questions which, nevertheless can have a deep effect on our spiritual life as it can constantly lift us into the supernatural world any time, anywhere. It can make us say like the Apostle: “Our life is in Heaven” (Phil. 3:20).

“To speak to another only means to make known the mental concept to another.” We humans must use our tongues to speak to the ears of others. Angels, however, not having bodies, put thoughts directly in the mind of others, other angels or men, and he does this at will, i.e., to many or to all as he wills, and “in this way one angel speaks to another”.

“Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice…” (Ex. 23:20)

In order to discern which thoughts comes from our angel, we have to be familiar with the rules of discernment of spirits as they are taught by St. Ignatius. Since our angel wants our sanctification, his thoughts will be directed to the fulfillment of our duty of state, towards the avoidance of anything sinful, towards the practice of virtue and of sacrifices.

Let us indeed “take notice of him”.

And when we think that our angel is in Heaven, contemplating the Most Holy Trinity, receiving orders from his Queen, while at the same time at our side, devotion to our angel will truly dispose us to be docile to do God’s will in all things.

“Angel of God, my guardian dear… be at my side! From stain of sin, oh, keep me free, and at my death my helper be!”

Fr. Daniel Couture