In continuing with our series of reflections on authentic sources of security, we turn to consider the holy angels and their roles in our lives as "ministering spirits sent for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). As God's appointed messengers and guardians, we may gain a real and lasting comfort knowing that the holy angels are with us throughout our lives in times of danger and distress. This is what we mean when we pray to the Lord at our divine services for "an angel of peace, a faithful guide, and a guardian of our souls and bodies."
One of the more remarkable and humbling aspects regarding our relationship with the holy angels is that it is not only we human beings who are provided with the comfort afforded to us by these bodiless powers of heaven. Indeed, the angels were active in the life of Jesus Christ from His very conception with the annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, throughout the trials of His passion and crucifixion, and even after His resurrection, when angels were present at his empty tomb. We know from the Holy Scriptures that when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His arrest, followed by His crucifixion, "there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him" (Luke 22:43). Here, we see the poignant application of the holy angels in their role as comforters and purveyors of peace, even to Christ as a perfect human being. It is these very same holy angels, who provided comfort to Christ in His times of agony, who also provide comfort to us in our own times of human agony, distress, and fear. It is in this regard that the holy angels serve as a very real, authentic, and truly divine source of security in our lives.
Are we truly aware of the holy angels in our midst as our protectors and guardians? Are we aware of the significance between the shared security offered by the angels to us as human beings and to our Savior Jesus Christ? Do we truly believe that they exercise a very real and active presence in our world today, especially in places of conflict? Here are some important questions for us to contemplate daily in our lives as we endeavor as citizens of heaven and as citizens of earth to come to a closer comprehension of a lasting security.
Archbishop of America