Sunday, April 13, 2008

What Is A Guardian Angel?

by Bob Miller

The concept of the guardian angel is one that has been present for centuries across a number of different cultures and belief systems. From the Ancient Greek civilization to modern day, theologians across the world are faced with the problem of identifying whether or not guardian angels exist and, if so, in what form they are present. While there is a wealth of empirical, anecdotal evidence of the presence of guardian angels, how can the idea of a guardian angel be defined?

Trying to define a guardian angel is an awkward process, the process of finding a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is tricky to say the least. The starting point for the definition must come from stories and personal accounts from those claiming to have encountered some form of spiritual guidance in the form of a protective angel or some other celestial being. Generally in Western belief systems, guardian angels are interpreted and indeed depicted as human-like beings sent from heaven to protect and guide their pupils.

The Bible draws reference to angels on a number of occasions, particularly in the Old Testament – some 299 references, in fact. On that basis, it is easy to understand that the concept of the angel or the guarding force makes up a part of the Christian faith. But what about other belief systems, and do guardian angels exist in other cultures?

Since the ancient civilizations, angels have been depicted as winged figures, and generally acknowledged to exist within their respective belief systems. Through the ages, there have been occurrences of guardian angels and similar bodies, and there is evidence to support the appearance of angels in Eastern culture prior to the development of any of the main religions. Evidently the guardian angel is not solely a Christian concept.

So what is a guardian angel? Is it some spiritual, winged body on a mission to guide us through life? Or does it come in more ‘down-to-earth’ forms? Could you be a guardian angel? Is it a metaphor for the way we should lead our lives? Why are we not all closely acquainted with our angels? Or perhaps we are, and we just don’t realize it?

Unfortunately there is no real way to fully define a guardian angel, and determining if they exist and to what extent is bordering the impossible. For some people, an angel may be a loved one, or someone who has helped them survive a rough experience in their personal lives. For others, it may be something more spiritual, in the traditional religious sense of the term. It may even be something as simple as a wider metaphor for how we should interact with others and how we should develop our sense of morality and justice. But for all those who have personally experienced a presence or some spiritual guidance, there’s no debate as to what a guardian angel actually is and the role they play. An Angel Named Zabar

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