A week ago today I attended an unscheduled retreat at the Littleton Hospital. The cause was a myocardial infarction, in laymen’s terms a heart attack. The retreat master was a Dr. Pain, an excellent teacher who reminds us when we are getting a little too involved in our day to day concerns just what is truly important.
Pain shakes us out of our little comfort zones enabling us to see another, deeper reality beyond material existence. It lifts the veil on an entire spiritual universe of which our material universe is but a small subset. But because we all tend to be such distracted creatures most of the time, it is not until we are forced out of our comfortable routines that we really give any serious attention to that incredible spiritual realm that surrounds us, influences, and directs our lives. The real benefit of pain is that it grabs and directs our attention to spiritual realities. And if accepted in a spirit of humility, pain will guide one into a deeper understanding of that spiritual realm. Of course, there will always be those who will reject the wisdom that pain imparts and turn all their attention towards medicating it rather than learning from it.
So let me share my own experience from last Thursday. As I was being wheeled in to the Cath Lab for an emergency angiogram and stent placement it became apparent that the room was buzzing with angels. All I could see was the team of doctors, nurses, and technicians busy making preparations for my procedure but I suddenly realized that they were not alone. These medical professionals seemed elegantly orchestrated as they went about their various tasks, smoothly and efficiently undertaking the operation. But this was something more than just a trained team going about its job. As I gazed around I strongly sensed the guardian angels of every person in that room, my own included, skillfully guiding each and every hand in the lab in the performance of its duty.
Although I have the deepest respect for the considerable skills and abilities of my providers, it occurred to me how critical angelic protection also would be to a successful outcome. And so it proved to be. As I silently prayed to all those assembled guardian angels the doctor confidently threaded a tiny fiber through my veins, located a 100% blocked artery, and implanted the life saving stent. As they wheeled me out, happy, alert, and pain free, my wife said I looked like a different person from the man they had wheeled in 40 minutes earlier.
I feel profound gratitude for all those wonderful caregivers, including the nurses on my floor who looked after me pre-op and post-op in their pleasant and optimistic way. But I would not neglect to thank their guardian angels whom I could almost see at times standing by their sides. You must understand that angels, being purely spiritual creatures, are more real than the material objects we are used to. As such they also exercise real control and power over all things material. Never underestimate their power nor doubt their presence, even in the midst of danger or pain. Call upon them often, and don’t just wait for some moment of crisis.
These are God’s special ambassadors to the human race, so show them the respect that their dignity deserves. When we are in need they will be at hand to lend assistance. How do I know that? Well, when my short pain retreat ended on Friday the doctors sent me home with evidence that there had been no apparent permanent damage to my heart ~ despite more than 14 hours of intense seizure activity! I know the skeptics are out there. In today’s world we are sadly surrounded people who will reject angelic power even as they accept and celebrate the foulest demons. But our guardian angels are real spirits whose primary job is to protect us from the demons. Pray and listen to them, and let them do their jobs, which is not only to ward off evil spirits but to protect us bodily as well. But this requires our active cooperation.
The spiritual warfare never ends, and our material world is its battlefield. So don’t let a little crisis or the experience of pain turn you away from your angelic protector and advocate. Instead, turn to your guardian angel so that, with its help, the pain you may be experiencing will become a source of great learning and profit to you. God may be sending you an impromtu “pain retreat,” so take advantage of it, and remember that whatever you suffer, you are not alone. Your guardian angel will be right there doing whatever necessary to lend all necessary aid and comfort.
Francis J. Pierson +a.m.d.g.