Angelology has been a subject for theologists of different religions for millennia. Various lines of thought have been generated and a Guardian Angel is generally understood to be the particular angel who looks over each of us; from the day we are born1 to the day we die. There are lots of us, billions in fact, and assuming a one-to-one relationship, there must be an awful lot of Guardian Angels out there2, waiting for our prayers and act as interface with God.
Also generally accepted is the existence of a hierarchy3. Superior to the Guardian Angels are the Archangels. These guys tend to be the guardian angels for nations, and their numbers run into the hundreds rather than the billions. Above them are the Cherubim, who look after the planets and stars. Several other levels of angels exist and at the top are the Seraphim, such as Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and maybe others, who encircle God's throne.
Do angels really have names8? Well, humanizing or anthropomorphizing is what we do with all sorts of things - animals, plants, even cars, so why not angels. For sure, in Jude 1:9, we even have angels talking to each other (in English? Angelish? Angelese?)
There's an obvious flaw in trying to understand angels in human terms. They are devoid of physical nature yet often depicted with wings9. Wings would make perfect sense if, as messengers of God, they needed to travel to us from the sky. And when religions such as Christianity were founded, God was indeed perceived to be up there, somewhere, in the sky. This idea was a relic of the superstitions that people had in those days. Now, of course, we base our religions on reason rather than superstition. But the angel wings remain in art, literature and of course, movies.
Angels are not chubby cherubs4 and the danger of imagining them as such is that they appear relevant only to 6-year-old girls. Angels can then disappear along with Santa Claus - until we start delving into New Age mythology at the age of about 14. Angels should not be dismissed as mythical beings; they are very real spirits and there is plenty of evidence to support this.
Angelology is too complex to discuss on a short page such as this; it is, after all, a subject that has been studied for thousands of years. Here, we restrict ourselves to the lowest order - the worldly Guardian Angels of we humans. And we're narrowing the topic down even further to talk about just the Guardian Angel Cross
Angels are spirits7, and unlike Jesus, they have never been nailed to a cross - indeed, they have never been human. Therefore depicting an angel on a cross is nonsensical. (Even so, companies that manufacture church furniture often advertise statues of "Life-size angels"!) Attempting to 'Christianize' an angel ignores the point that is was Christ who came to this world and was crucified to save the souls of humans. (Could an Angel Cross be an attempt to show a particular angel as Christian rather than Jewish, Kabbalistic, Muslim, Pagan, Zoroastrian or perhaps a fallen angel?)
Angels are not to be worshipped10 and the Angel Cross could easily become an idol. (Angels earnestly caution against idolatry11.) So whilst not revering them, people might have a Guardian Angel Cross to remind them of their Guardian Angel. But what do these angels do?
Although we call them 'guardians', at first sight they don't seem to be very effective. As we all know, we have troubles, we are exposed to evil and we too often succumb to it. Life is not all a bed of roses and it's not our Guardian Angel's job to make it so. We are human, and we have freewill. If Guardian Angels made sure life was all happiness and joy, this would take away the freewill. In other words, we would no longer be human.
Guardian angels are there to guide us through our lives here on earth. Angels are messengers and tools used by God. They are in a position to see what is right and what is wrong. They guard us from what is wrong by showing us what is right; through our conscience, our intellect and our imagination. Whether we choose the right path is entirely up to us. They reveal opportunities for us. Again, whether we take those opportunities is entirely up to us. We are responsible for our own souls.
As it says in Heb. 1:14: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" The main function of our Guardian Angel is to show us the way to salvation and heaven.
Whether we follow that route is entirely up to us.
Was it your guardian angel who suggested you read this page? Was it my guardian angel who suggested I write it?