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ISSUE OF NAMING GUARDIAN ANGELS: STRONG EMOTIONS ON BOTH SIDES OF HOT-BUTTON DEBATE
The issue of naming one's angel continues to evoke comment. It is seen in the mail. Perhaps it is across blogs and "facebook" (if not, test it out).
Can we? Should we? Isn't it just a friendly, pet name that draws us closer? Don't we underutilize angels?
Or is it disrespectful?
That's all for you to decide!
"Saint Pio with all his God-given, wonderful, spiritual, and mystical gifts, only called his guardian angel 'Angiolillo,' an Italian term of endearment meaning 'little loving Angel of mine,'" noted one viewer. "Saint Pio would lovingly scold his guardian: 'Why did you not come sooner?' only to add, 'Both you and I have to do His Will first above all.' If Saint Pio did not address his guardian angel by first name, how presumptuous are we?"
In both cases, isn't it kind of lighthearted? Terms of endearment?
This is more a hot-button issue than one might suspect!
Said Ryan Hunse of Knoxville, Tennessee: "Among the many reasons that we should not name our angels is because it disrupts God’s hierarchy and is not humble. Naming something is a type of mastery over it. This is why God has no proper name and why the Hebrews were reluctant to use His name; He is He who is and cannot be named. The angels reflect this attribute of God. Adam was given the responsibility for naming the lower creatures in the garden as part of his custody over them. Angels are higher beings than men and it is not fitting or humble for us to name them. We should not have a 'pet name' for a being higher in God’s hierarchy than we are. I think this comes from St. Thomas Aquinas.
"Angels already know more about us than we know ourselves and they understand human frailty as a fact. Subsequently they will not manifest to us with their full intensity; thus we see 'little lights'; sometimes or we see them present through our mystical eyes or in another manner – but their presence is definitely toned down. So, out of humility, in our status as human beings, we should open our hearts and minds to God’s Angels, but not name them - - they are not pets and they don’t need our finite earthly names or personal affections to know who they are, what their relation to God is, or what God has asked them to do. Naming them with an earthly name – no matter how creative – serves only to limit ourselves in that which needs to grow without limit towards God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. As to the bad angels, they love to be identified with a name – and exorcists hear their limited names all the time: ‘Greed,’ ‘Envy,’ ‘Deceit,’ etc., but before they get their final command to get on to hell, uninformed people probably called them all sorts of designer names. Open up any of those New Age channeling books if you want to see some creative names for demons."
"I've never addressed my angel by anything but Dear Guardian Angel although as a child I had an 'imaginary friend' who I called 'Heevie,'" counters Ellen Weigant of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. "I can actually remember when Heevie left. Our family took a walk to the end of our driveway (we lived out in the country). When we got to the main road, Heevie walked down the road to the east and I never saw her again. My mother even commented that the whole imaginary friend thing stopped suddenly. I have since wondered if some children's imaginary friends aren't really the child's ability to see their guardian angel as long as the child's innocence remains."
Meanwhile, we are informed by viewer Rosemary Foust: "About five years ago I was visiting my sister, Margaret, in Idaho. While I was there I read a book about Padre Pio and how he would talk to his guardian angel but he never called his angel by name. So, before I went to bed for the night I asked my guardian angel to tell me what his name was. The name Francis popped into my head. I said, 'Okay, if your name is Francis I need to hear the name Francis three times tomorrow.'
"The next day I got up and went downstairs to the kitchen where my sister was already doing the dishes. We chatted about various things; then she took two steps into her laundry room, did an about face, and said to me, 'There's this man at church, he calls me Francis. I don't know why he calls be Francis, but he calls me Francis.' My jaw dropped and then I told her about my guardian angel.
"What are the odds of that happening?"
from a viewer in Ohio:
"For ten years I was the Pro-Life Director for the diocese. I have a degree in Theology and philosophy from Franciscan University of
Steubenville (1998) and in my time at the diocese I continued my studies. My
specialty is Spiritual Theology, something I gravitated to naturally due to
living in three separate houses that were haunted by something -- at least two by
something not good, and this may be because of a family member. But the point
is, I have a good deal of first-hand knowledge and a lot of study to back it
all up as well. I was further in a position to help a few people while I was
at the diocese in similar situations (through advice, prayers, getting them in
touch with priests to help). I write, however, concerning the naming of
"The naming of Guardian Angels is something not seen in the life of any Saint or Blessed that I have yet come across. Even with St. Gemma Galgani and St. Padre Pio, two great saints who saw their Guardian Angels with great frequency and familiarity, never attempted to name them in any way, nor did they ever seek this; they simply referred to them as 'My Angel,' 'My Guardian Angel,' or 'Angel of God, my Angel.' Not only do we have the example of the saints --and examples held up for our edification and often enough our imitation (according to our own state in life) -- but no where is such a practice supported in Scripture; in fact, Scripture would seem to speak against it: Adam was given to name the animals, but we have been created superior to the animals; angels are superior to us by nature, and the idea of naming them, even with a nickname, seems seriously out of whack. And of course, we only know for certain the names of only three Holy Angels. Then there is a serious danger, which was brought up in the Spirit Daily article today (11/30/2010), of calling on a spiritual being that may or may not be what we want to call -- are we talking to another Holy Angel other than our Guardian Angel? Are we inadvertently talking to a fallen angel? The fact is, we just don't know any of their names. I know that people that do 'name' their Guardian Angels have often asked in prayer for the name, and they seem convinced they have received a name in prayer and there that the name must be legit -- this is probably not the case. As I said, in the Tradition of the Church, in Scripture, there is just no basis for this, and so it is likely that what we are seeing is either a) one's own imagination, or b) a demon popping a name into one's head -- demons can place bad/untenable thoughts and images and emotional feelings into us just as Holy Angels can place good ones. There is certainly the possibility of demonic interference, the more so because it could encourage (this being "given" the name of one's Guardian Angel) a real spiritual pride.
"I submit that the naming, either by a real name or else a 'nickname,' is not a good practice, for all of the above mentioned reasons. But perhaps it would be good to add that when we say 'Our Guardian Angel' or 'Their Guardian Angel' we are not talking in the same sense as 'our dog' or 'our child' -- in those two cases we have authority to name! Not so for angels, we have no authority to do name them, and they do not belong to us. It is more like, perhaps, saying that the Triune God is my God, and yet we do not have authority in to be giving God nicknames. Or perhaps one could say -- to stick to a creaturely example -- since angels are creatures, though superior to us by nature -- that it is like saying the fireman who pulled me out of a burning house is 'my fireman' or that the president of our country is 'my president,' yet in neither of these situations, unless we are close friends, could we presume to give nicknames these people. But even if we were close friends with them, this would be something (naming or nicknames) done among equals, all human beings. Angels, again, are not our equals. They surpass us by nature, and Holy Angels surpass us in purity, intellect, etc."
We report, you decide: do we need to lighten up a bit here or get more serious?
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