St. Clare of Assisi
The Second Rule
The Second Rule
And he [Jesus] said to him [Nathanael] , "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." John 1:51
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (nos. 328-336) teaches that Angels are God created spiritual, non-corporeal (bodiless) beings. Each angel has intelligence and will, and each is a personal and immortal creature. In other words, each heavenly angel is a unique being who has chosen to love and serve God, its Creator. It is a being who will never die. The Church also teaches that not all angels chose to do God's will. Therefore, there are two kinds of angels:
-heavenly angels-who have chosen to love and serve God, its Creator. They protect and guide us to love and obey God. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (St. Basil the Great, ca. 330-379, father of the Church)
-chose not to do God's will. The Catechism says, Satan or “the devil and other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing," (CCC, no. 391) Since the beginning of humanity's time on earth, the devil— immortal and powerful, but not all-powerful like God—has been encouraging human beings to reject their Creator. No human being has been spared this tempting, not even Jesus (Mt 4:1-11).
In the spiritual exercise of St. Ignatius, the Second Rule deals directly with discernment of spirit, making the distinction between the good and the bad spirit. The second rule states “in persons who are going on intensely purifying their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, the method is contrary to that in the first rule. For then it is proper to the evil spirit to bite, sadden, and place obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, so that the person may not go forward. And it is proper to the good spirit to give courage and strength, consolations,
tears, inspirations and quiet, easing and taking away all obstacles, so that the person may go forward in doing good.” (https://www.ewtn.com/series/shows/living-the-discerning-life/download/14rulesofIgnatius.pdf) “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Watch out! If it’s too good to be true, pray for guidance!
St. Cecilia, a humble young girl who lived in the early years of the Church during the third century, offers us a beautiful testimony of these spiritual beings. “Cecilia was a Roman girl of patrician family, who had been brought up as a Christian. She fasted often, and wore a coarse garment beneath her rich clothing. Although she wished to remain a virgin, her father betrothed her to a young pagan named Valerian.
“When the wedding day came, Cecilia sat apart from the guests, repeating psalms and praying. After the ceremony, when the guests had departed and she was alone with her husband, Cecilia made known her great desire to remain as she was, saying that she already had a lover, an angel of God, who was very jealous.
“Valerian, shaken by suspicion, fear, and anger, said to her: “Show me this angel. If he is of God, I shall refrain, as you wish, but if he is a human lover, you both must die.” Cecilia answered: “If you believe in the one true and living God and receive the water of baptism, then you shall see the angel.”
“Valerian assented, and following his wife’s directions sought out a bishop named Urban, who was in hiding among the tombs of the martyrs, for this was a time of persecutions. Valerian made his profession of faith and the bishop baptized him. When the young husband returned, he found an angel with flaming wings standing beside Cecilia. The angel placed chaplets of roses and lilies on their heads.
“The brother of Valerian, Tiburtius, was also converted; and after being baptized he too experienced many marvels.” (Lives of the Saints; Crawley)
Prayer To Your Guardian Angel
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God's love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent Vuong Nguyen
Sent by Fr. Vincent Nguyen on Friday, September 29 at 6:40AM