04 November 2007

Not that far away

Communion of saints
A wonderful priest I knew used to have a very intimate relationship with his Guardian Angel. One would think, from the way this priest spoke, that his angel was a person in his home, a constant companion. Although I don't think Father saw his Guardian Angel, he did have a very close and playful relationship with his angel. It wasn't as if his angel was a nebulous idea or something far away and intangible. Father's angel was as close as you or I.

During All Souls Day, I think about how close we are to those in Purgatory and Heaven, but because of our fallen nature, we have a clouded "connection" or awareness. Many of the saints, blessed by God, seemed to have been able to "see past the veil" a bit. Some were visited by Poor Souls, others demons, others had glimpses of Jesus or Heaven. Reading about their experiences makes one realize the reality of these things and that they aren't as far removed from us as we might think.

A cold night and stormy sea
I was ten when my grandfather died. I have never known anyone as saintly in my life. He was very beloved by his family, friends and community. I think everyone saw in him something special. He lived the gospels, but also lived a very normal life right in our midst.

I remember the night he passed away. It was in the middle of winter. My dad, brother and I were in our den (how 70s is that!) playing a board game while my mother was napping on the couch in the livingroom. Suddenly, our cat started acting very strange. He sat staring very intently at a spot on the wall. Suddenly, he began to jump up at the wall, quite high up for a cat. We all just sat there watching him and wondering what he was doing. If we tried to move the cat, he came immediately back to the spot and kept jumping up at the wall. It was very odd and completely out of character for the cat.

Then, the phone rang and we heard that my grandfather had died. My father wondered if my grandfather had been allowed to "visit" his children before heading off to where he was going and the cat could tell this.

Coincidence? Maybe. I don't know how to explain it.

Another story from my family is when my father's ship was sunk in WWII. Communication was not what it is today and it could be days, even weeks to hear if a loved one was injured or killed. As the story goes, my grandparents were asleep when my grandmother woke up in a panic and rousted my grandfather to tell him that something had happened to my father. She didn't know what, but knew something terrible had happened. Days later, they got word that my father's ship had been sunk, but that my father, although slightly injured, was OK.

How did she know? Was it her Guardian Angel? My father's Guardian Angel?

When I lived in Seattle and my father was an elderly widower in MN, I was concerned about him living alone, even though he was in good health. I remember a conversation I had with him where I told him that I didn't worry too much about him because I somehow knew that if something ever happened to him, that I would know something was wrong...somehow I would just know. And, my father said he didn't doubt it for a minute. I think he had the sense that if something ever happened to me, he would know it too.

Hmph. Makes one wonder what is really going on that we can't see. But, I am also of the opinion that God has things set up this way (that we don't know all that goes on behind the scenes) for a reason. I guess we'll have to wait for God's "big reveal" at Judgment Day.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken. - Isaiah 40:5


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I think our Guardian angels are very important. We ask for their prayers as part of our family morning rosary every day and the children (and us) have named their angels, so they can talk with them a little easier.
They are there for the little ones in the dark and scary times-and for me too :)

swissmiss said...

My Guardian Angel and my children's have names. For me, it just makes it easier to "relate" to them. When I was pregnant with my kids, I talked to their Guardian Angels and asked them to look out for my little ones. We are certainly blessed to have our Guardian Angels!

gemoftheocean said...

I've heard of quite a few occasions where death or an accident happened thousands of miles away, and at the same time someone very close to them "knew" something was wrong. Too often for it to be mere ooincidence.


Hidden One said...

I've long longed to meet my guardian angel. Have a nice chat. At least. Padre Pio had it good on that sort of thing.