Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels! How blessed we are that God has given us each a guardian angel who never leaves us for one moment–even when our actions displease our angel. And no, our guardian angels don’t leave us when we grow up, as if we should need less help against the forces of evil the further along our road to holiness. So, take a moment to thank God for your guardian angel, and thank your angel for all the help and graces God has seen fit to convey you through this angel.
In today’s materialistic world, such a feast strikes many as superstitious. Anything touching upon the supernatural, whether souls, ghosts, miracles, the saints, the sacraments, or even God, is usually treated with distrust or contempt. Sometimes, these responses are quite healthy. After all, even though the Church herself approves certain events as miracles, she only requires us to believe the miracles of Scripture as articles of faith. I am reminded of a Father Brown story where our hero is presumed dead and then rises back to life in the midst of his own funeral. As the people rejoice over a miracle, Father Brown declares that miracles are not so cheap. Hurrying to a phone, Father Brown rapidly explains to his bishop how a criminal drugged him so that he would appear dead and awaken during his funeral.
Unlike most modern men, Amami opens herself up to the existence of the supernatural and readily accepts it. In many ways, being around her would be like being around Padre Pio, whose feast day we celebrated September 23. Once while taking a walk with his spiritual adviser, Padre Pio pointed and said: “Behold, the Blessed Virgin Mary!” His spiritual adviser responded that he did not see Our Lady. At which point, Padre Pio thought for a moment and replied: “You’re saying this out of holy humility.” Such apparitions were so common for this great saint that he imagined everybody saw the supernatural phenomena surrounding him in much the same way as Amami takes talking to ghosts for granted.
The prayerful Catholic also takes talking to spirits for granted; though, only rare individuals are able to carry on a conversation with them. Re-kan imagines there being no separation from the love and good will of the dead: some ghosts help Amami, and Amami helps other ghosts. However, no special power is required for a Christian to do this: only the will. Through His Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection, Christ has united Christians on earth, in heaven, and in purgatory within His Mystical Body. Part of the happiness of the souls in heaven lies in being able to assist us in our needs. The saints are not like the souls Jacob Marley showed to Ebeneezer Scrooge, seeing the suffering of their fellow men on earth and being unable to succor them. No! The saints can help us greatly through their prayers and merits, especially St. Mary.
Conversely, we owe a debt of charity to the souls undergoing suffering in purgatory. Having seen God at their particular judgement, they long to see Him again and be free of every imperfection which hinders them from the Beatific Vision. These imperfections are not like the regrets of the ghosts of Re-kan but are sins insufficiently repented of in life. How dearly Our Lord loves these souls! But, He has decided that the Church Militant should assist them to repent through our prayers and penances. Thus, the soul which prays is perfected in charity, and the soul prayed for rejoices in the approach of his eternal Fatherland. Is it not a shame to think that Catholics who wish to assist the deceased by their prayers are as rare as Amami’s sixth sense?
When one thinks about these parallels, it is surprising to think of how close Re-kan mirrors reality. Though, we cannot rely upon ourselves if we wish to assist the souls in Purgatory, but on the merits of Christ’s Passion, through which all mercy for sin is obtained. And, don’t forget that the saints want to help us so much that they are disappointed when we neglect to ask for their intercession.