Merridith Frediani is thankful for protection during a fall, but knows that her guardian angel also works to protect her soul.
I fell off a ladder last weekend. I was painting my kitchen reaching above the cupboard and somehow I lost my balance and fell. It seemed to happen in slow motion. I turned around somehow in mid-air, managed to not crash into the granite counter next to me or land on top of the table nearby. There must have been noise either from the ladder, my landing, or out of my mouth because my husband dashed in looking concerned for his wife who was now on the floor with a dazed look.
I was grateful to notice that I hadn’t broken any bones or hit my head. All told, it was a small miracle that I walked away with a few scratches and bruises. I was thankful also for my amazing guardian angel because I’m convinced he/she guided me safely to the ground. I should have been more injured.
Falling is always alarming. None of us plan to fall. I’ve painted many rooms in my house this past year and I’m cautious when I’m on the ladder. Our ceilings are nine-footers so I have to go up to the step that the ladder company has suggested one not go on (which makes me wonder why it’s there but that’s for a different day to ponder). But, because I, like many of us, consider myself fairly invincible, I venture up there carefully. Until I’m not careful and am tired because I’ve been painting trim for four hours. I was nearly done and I wanted to be done and after I fell I was done. I was also angry.
Since much of what happens in the natural life has a lesson in the spiritual life I had some thinking to do. I became extremely grateful for my guardian angel. It is testament to God’s genius and love that He gave us each a guardian angel. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that their existence is not merely a nice story.
“In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.” (CCC 334). And more specifically, “From infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (CCC 336; italics mine)
They are real and I’m convinced my guardian angel protected and shepherded me to the floor as I fell. Over the week as I watched some bruises bloom and gently shaved around the cut on my right knee, I considered this angel. I was reminded that my angel is here to protect my body but also to guard my soul. My angel’s job is to shepherd me to life -- eternal life. Yes, there is this earthly life and it’s important, but my angel’s end goal is to help me get to heaven -- and that’s my deliverable too.
But sometimes, I fall. I reach for something I shouldn’t. I take a risk and I fall. It hurts. I don’t like it when I separate myself from God. I know it’s my own fault. I also know that just because I strayed doesn’t mean God strayed. He is constant. He is enduring. He is steadfast. There’s much comfort in that. We read in Psalm 136, “Praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.”
When we fall we can remember this. We can give thanks for His mercy and thanks for the angel He sent to help us. We dust ourselves off, head over to confession, and keep going. God’s mercy is big. He wants us with Him in heaven. He sent His Son to die for our sins. He welcomes us back time and again. He knows very well that we are going to fall. It’s more surprising to us when it happens than to Him. Yet He never gives up. He doesn’t wash His holy hands of us. He knows we are trying and He forgives us.
I really don’t want to fall off a ladder again. More than that, I don’t want to fall spiritually again. I suspect I will, though. I’m glad I have a rockstar guardian angel to help. I’m glad I have a heavenly Father who understands that I am trying. This life can be challenging. There are potholes in the road I’m travelling.
I have hope, though. The end is going to be glorious.
Copyright 2020 Merridith Frediani
Image: Pixabay (2016)
About the Author
Merridith Frediani’s perfect day includes prayer, writing, unrushed morning coffee, tending to dahlias and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three teenagers. Her favorite part of the day is family dinner which sometimes doesn’t happen until 8:30 pm. She enjoys hanging out on the front porch and laughing with family and friends. Good Italian wine is a must.