Opus Sanctorum Angelorum Updated 5-18-2020

May 18

Angels are pretty amazing.  They can affect our memory, our intellect and our imagination, but not our free will.  I’ll bet there have been times in your life when you told someone you would do something, like pray for them, or call them or pick up something for them, but you didn’t get it done. When you said it, you had every intention of doing it, but you forgot, or you got distracted and went off in a totally different direction, or something more urgent or important was put before you and you told yourself you would take care of it later, but later never came. Then it popped into your head. You remembered what you said you’d do and that you didn’t do it. That little prompting to take care of it was likely from your Guardian Angel. He wants to help you be true to your word, but can’t make you do it, so he reminds you.

God always keeps his promises. He gives his Word to us in the Sacred Scriptures. Sometimes it is very clear, but sometimes we don’t understand what He is saying. Our Guardian Angel helps us in this understanding. One of the ways he does this is by helping us use our imagination.  It’s always a good idea to pray before we read God’s Word, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and our hearts as we read.  He utilizes the service of our Guardian Angel to help us imagine ourselves in the Scripture stories we are reading. Sometimes we can simply be an observer watching what is going on, like the fly on the wall, so to speak. Other times, we are one of the characters in the story. Whether I watch the story unfold or play a part in the unfolding of it, I get a different perspective and a new understanding of what is really happening, than I do when I just read the words on the page. My Guardian Angel helps the story to jump off the page and come to life in my mind. He prompts me to ask questions like what kind of a day was it, or what undercurrents or other things were going on in the story, or I wonder what would have happened if he or she had done this or that instead, or would I have responded the same way, or what is God telling me here? My angel is instrumental in helping me come to a new or deeper understanding of God’s Word in my life and in the mission or purpose God created me for. He is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to me. God has given you this gift as well.

Get to know your Guardian Angel. He is the best possible friend you can have. He knows you better than you know yourself, and his purpose in your life is to lead you to heaven. In my next article, I will share ways you can discern if what you “hear” is from your Guardian Angel or not.

You are in my prayers!
Peace,
Therese Holderbaum

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May 11 

If you’ve been listening to Fr. Bearer over the past couple weeks, you’ll know he has been telling us how important it is to read and pray with the Scriptures. In his Divine Mercy Sunday homily, he spoke about someone who said they couldn’t remember what they had for breakfast two weeks ago, but they were glad they ate.  That reminded me of something amazing our Guardian Angels can do. They can affect our memory. So, when we feed our minds with God’s Word, it is kind of like making deposits in our memory “bank”. Whenever we need hope or encouragement or peace of mind, our Guardian Angel can withdraw from our memory “bank” those beautiful truths in God’s Word and give them to us so we know there is hope, we are encouraged and we experience peace of mind. If we hadn’t read or listened to scripture, those words of God would not be in our memory “bank” to be withdrawn.

One way I enjoy “reading” the bible is to choose a topic I’m interested in like love or honesty or forgiveness.  Then I do a Google search on “Scriptures on ____ “ (you fill in the blank). Then I just start reading what comes up.  I write down or do a copy/paste of the ones that really strike a chord with me, including the book, the chapter and the verse. Then I print them out on colored paper and cut them into strips that can be put in places where I will see them often, like the refrigerator, or the bathroom or bedroom mirror, or even on my computer or desk. When I read them often, they take root in my heart and I can remember them and be changed by them. But even if I never read them again, my Guardian Angel would be able to remind me of them, because they were in my memory.

You are in my prayers!
Peace,
Therese Holderbaum

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As we pray through the Mass, coming into our homes via our electronic devices, we have a unique opportunity to see it with different eyes and hear it with different ears. Father Bearer shared a quote from St. Jerome during his parish mission just before Holy Week, about listening to the readings at Mass. St. Jerome says, “When we approach the [Eucharistic] mystery, if a crumb falls to the ground we are troubled, yet when we are listening to the word of God, and God’s Word and Christ’s flesh and blood are being poured into our ears, yet we pay no heed, what great peril shall we not feel?”

When I heard that, I was reminded of how often we can be distracted while the readings are proclaimed at Mass?  Many times I have caught myself at the beginning of the homily wondering what the readings were about. They were just proclaimed, and already I forgot them. Or I heard the words, but didn’t understand how to apply them to my life.

Did you know your Guardian Angel can help you with that?  Because God’s word is living, it can be planted in our hearts and bear fruit. God has something to tell us every time His Word is spoken. Your Guardian Angel knows God’s Word well, and he knows what personal message God has for you when the Scriptures are proclaimed at Mass.

As you watch the Mass during this time at home, ask your Guardian Angel to reveal to you what God wants you to know as His Word is proclaimed. And if you don’t catch it the first time, you can “rewind” it and listen again and again until you do. Then share with your family and friends what you heard in God’s Word. You’ll soon be able to see the fruit, and it will be good practice for paying close attention to the Word of God when you are able to come back to church again for Mass. Your Guardian Angel is a huge help to you, but he can help you so much more when you ask him. Once we are permitted to worship at Mass in the Church again, come a few minutes early and take one of those minutes to ask your Guardian Angel to plant the seed of God’s Word in your heart so it can bear fruit in your life.

You are in my prayers!
Peace,
Therese Holderbaum