#007: Your Guardian Angel [Podcast]

Your Guardian Angel has been with you since you were conceived in your mother’s womb. We should always revere these angelic beings and even ask their prayers. Today we discuss everything you need to know about your Guardian Angel and whether you’re allowed to name your Guardian angel.

{The original blog post “You’re not allowed to Name Your Guardian Angel” was shared yesterday 3,674 times! I thought I had better record something more on it! Here it is.}

Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my Guardian Dear

Click to Listen:

“Should You Name Your Guardian Angel?”

If audio player does not show up in your email or browser, click here to listen.

1) Proverb of the Week:
Proverbs 17:12

2) Tip of the Week: 
Don’t prioritize or overstuff your “critical task” list in your daily Molskine pocket journal.

Here’s the link to the Moleskine notebook that I use and that I highly recommend to you.

Here’s a photo of my tasks in my Moleskine journal for today:

photo (12)

Here’s my “Critical Tasks” for today. It’s really this easy. This is how I do lots of big stuff every day.

I do a heck of a lot more than just this. But these items MUST be done or the day is a failure. These are non-negotiable.

3) Featured Segment:
“What You Should Know about Your Guardian Angel”

According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 216 (under the heading about Devotion to the Holy Angels):

The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.

4) Latin Word of the Week:
amicus
sociennus
amator

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A huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who has written amazing 5-star reviews. Y’all are the ones that pushed it up to the top. I’m grateful to you all. Again, thank you so much. If you’re new, you can rate this podcast on by clicking here and then “View in iTunes.” From there you can leave a review.

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  • cbult

    I really enjoyed this podcast, but when I shared this with family members (who advocate the naming of guardian angels), I was met with great resistance. They rebutted with these points 1) Many were instructed by Fr. John Hardon to name their guardian angels (and he was a pretty intelligent and holy man) 2) There is no DOCTRINE stating that they can’t name their angels 3) They don’t consider naming their angels to mean that they have authority over them – they do it as an act of endearment. (My mother says she thinks it is offensive to just call her angel “Angel” when she prays to him). Any replies to these objections?

    • Dear cbult,

      Let’s think about each of these.

      1. I love Father John Hardon and have a devotion to him. His holy card is displayed in my office. Fr Hardon died in AD 2000. This direction discouraging naming angels came out in AD 2001.

      Apparently people were naming angels and the Church responded negatively. Fr Hardon (if he taught this, I’m not sure) would have been speaking before a judgment had been made. I love Fr Hardon, but I don’t think he trumps documents from the Holy See.

      2. There’s no doctrine but there is the voice of the Church. It’s discouraged. If you mother discourages something and you do it any way, what does that communicate? Does it “honor thy mother”?

      3. They don’t consider it meaning they have authority over them. That’s a good thing, but objectively that’s what it does mean. Certain acts have objective meaning. Naming signifies authority over another.

      If someone says, “When I say “Oh my God!”, I don’t mean for it be taking God’s name in vain.” That may be, but objectively that’s what it is. When we name another, we denote authority. That’s what it means in the Bible.

      “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names.” (Phil 2:9)

      4. If referring to your angel as “Angel” in prayer offensive, then the prayers and liturgies of the church are offensive. I probably wouldn’t go into this one with your mother, but it’s an unusual thing to say.

      I hope this is helpful and doesn’t sound smug. I’m just writing really quick during lunch.

      Godspeed,
      Taylor

      • Hi, Dr. Marshall–I don’t know if you’ve read my comments on the original post about not naming one’s guardian angel, but I think it would be helpful to first point out that the 2001 Directory statement you are referring to does not actually discourage the specific practice of using a name privately to refer to one’s own *guardian* angel but rather states that “assigning names” to the “Holy Angels” is to be discouraged as regards *devotional* practices involving the Holy Angels. And earlier passage in the document defines its use of “devotion” to mean certain *external* practices.
        That is, in context, the Directory is indicating to bishops and other leaders of the Church that external practices (devotions) that involve assigning names to the “Holy Angels” other than Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael should be discouraged.
        There’s just no mention in the Directory at all of the specific “interior” practice of addressing one’s guardian angel by a personal name rather than the “office” of angel. And there’s no indication in the context of the Directory that those writing the Directory had this specific “interior” practice in mind when “discouraging” clearly *external* “devotions” from assigning names to the “Holy Angels”.
        Is there other evidence that one should consider from the Holy See other than this? I’ve looked at the Vatican web site and have found none to date.
        As such, I see this interior practice as remaining completely in the realm of prudential judgment–that we Catholics may–or may not–according to our consciences select the manner of address that we may wish to use in prayer/interior communication with our guardian angel. Any thoughts you might have in addressing my comments are most welcome, and God bless you.

      • Paul Wiswall

        Also, and maybe this is nothing important, but your reply to #3, Dr. Marshall, brings to mind the creations stories. God gave man dominion over all the animals of the world and he was given the task to name them. No mention anywhere ever that we were given authority to name angels. Just animals. Probably just a silly thought, though.

        However, a while back, when I was growing stronger in my faith and understanding of the Catholic Church, someone had suggested to give my angel a name. I chose a word that has meant something very special to me for many years. Of course, I knew this wasn’t my angel’s real name, but being human there’s something about things having names that makes it seem more tangible and believable (probably something to do with the fall). At that time, thought, I really needed it. It opened a door of communication and friendship. Much the same way that I did not given one of my best friends his name Jeff, but I do sometimes call him “Cheesecake” because of the stronger bond I have with him than with others.

        I can understand the Churches decision on this topic and do not argue against it, but I do enjoy having a closer connection to my angel. So, one day while in prayer, I said to my angel “I do not wish to dishonor you by calling by some nick name that only means something to me. Do you have a name? Something I can call? Will you tell me your name?”
        In that moment, a word (I’m assuming my angel’s name) was burned into my memory. It could see it spelled out and hear it, but only in my mind. I have no idea really how to say it aloud or even write down what I can see clearly in my mind, but I guess I don’t really have any need for that anyway. Do I? We speak together in my heart. It brings me great comfort to be able to call my angel by a name that I truly believe is his because it’s nothing I gave to him, but what I feel was revealed to me. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe it’s heresy (I hope not). All I know is that when I visualize and call that name in my heart, I feel it through my whole body, like a warm breeze.

  • Tony Palmisano

    I understand the danger in arbitrarily naming our guardian angel, but what I would like to know is whether my angel already has a name that was assigned to him/her by God. I have friends (wife included) that have sincerely prayed to have the name of their angel revealed to them.

    • Gil Michelini

      Tony, I have had that experience as well.
      Many years ago, I heard a priest teach on guardian angels. During that teaching, he encouraged asking our angel through God for a name. He said that follows with Jesus example of asking the name of demons because of the great power in a name. He told us–as Taylor did–that we cannot name what God has already named.
      I did this and got the name Joyce. I don’t know anyone with that name and that name implies a female. Still being a young arrogant manly man, I could imagine that God would send me a female guardian angel. I know as a spirit, angels do not have gender but name to meant a female spirit.
      20 plus years later, Joyce has been a wonderful guardian guiding me in raising four daughters and in learning to understand my wife.

      • Tony Palmisano

        Thanks Gil. That is a beutiful story. I have to study more on this fascinating subject.

  • Melissa H.

    We’ve had, well, too many miscarriages. is it assumed that the angel guides them back to heaven and stays there? I do kind of love the idea of an extra angel with us when I’m pregnant!