Angels in the Life of Venerable Anna of Saint Augustine

Angels in the Life of Venerable Anna of Saint Augustine

~1555 – 1624

Anna was born in Valladolid on December

11, 1555. In 1577 she was accepted at the

Carmelite Monastery of Malagón where in

1578 she professed her final and solemn vows.

She was favored by extraordinary

mystical experiences and these were examined and authenticated by St. Teresa of Avila herself. She charged her with the foundation of the monastery at Villanueva de la Jara and made her its Prioress. She was later sent to the monastery of Valera of Abajo. In 1616she returned once again as Prioress of the Monastery at Villanueva where she spent her remaining years.

From her infancy, Venerable Anna

was favored by extraordinary communication

and mystical graces with God. Particularly

unique was her rapport with the Infant

Jesus, her teacher and her consolation.

Thanks to her autobiography, written in

obedience to the wishes of her spiritual

director, Father Joseph of Jesus and Mary, we

know of all these supernatural experiences,

including all those with the Angelic orders.

When, for example, she was nominated

Prioress of the Monastery at Villanueva

against her will, Our Lord appeared to her

accompanied by two angels of unsurpassed

beauty. Our Lord then asked her: Why are

you so troubled? I am giving you these two

angels to assist you! They were her own

Guardian Angel and an extraordinary one.

One day, this extraordinary Angel appeared

to her, carrying an immense cross upon his

shoulders. The cross signified the trials

awaiting her. Seeking some consolation, she

then paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament

where Our Lord appeared to her, standing

and surrounded by Angels in adoration,

radiant with such light that the entire

Chapel was completely illuminated.

These two Angels assisted her for

the duration of her term as Prioress. And

they continued to visit her long after her

term of office as Prioress was over.

Anna was born in Valladolid on December

11, 1555. In 1577 she was accepted at the

Carmelite Monastery of Malagón where in

1578 she professed her final and solemn vows.And they continued to visit her long after her term as prioress was over.

Guardian Angels

Each person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation. It has been a common theological opinion that this angelical guardianship begins at the moment of birth; prior to this, the child would be protected by the mother’s guardian angel. But this is not certain, and since we now know that the soul is infused at the moment of conception, it may be that the angelic guardianship also begins at that moment. In any case, this protection continues throughout our whole life and ceases only when our probation on earth ends, namely, at the moment of death. Our guardian angel accompanies our soul to purgatory or heaven, and becomes our coheir in the heavenly kingdom.

Angels are servants and messengers from God. “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.

The idea that each soul has assigned to it a personal guardian angel has been long accepted by the Church and is a truth of our faith. From the Gospel of today’s liturgy we read: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10). The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith (328).” From our birth until our death, man is surrounded by the protection and intercession of angels, particularly our guardian angel: “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life (336).” The Church thanks God for our helpers, the angels, particularly on this feast day and September 29 which is the feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, archangels. Today’s feast appeared in Spain during the sixteenth century. It was extended to the universal Church and made obligatory in 1670.

Be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways, for that mission has been enjoined upon them. In whatever lodging, in whatever nook or corner you may find yourself, cherish a reverence for your guardian angel. In his presence do not dare to do anything you would not do in mine. Or do you doubt his presence because you do not see him? Would it really help if you did hear him, or touch him, or smell him? Remember, there are realities whose existence has not been proven by mere sight.

Brethren, we will love God’s angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day, these spirits who now are sent by the Father to be our protectors and our guides. With such bodyguards, what are we to fear? They can neither be subdued nor deceived; nor is there any possibility at all that they should go astray who are to guard us in all our ways. They are trustworthy, they are intelligent, they are strong — why, then, do we tremble? We need only to follow them, remain close to them, and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. So as often as you sense the approach of any grave temptation or some crushing sorrow hangs over you, invoke your protector, your leader, your helper in every situation. Call out to him and say: Lord, save us, we are perishing.

~St. Bernard

Apparition of St.Michael in Rome

In the year 590, when Saint Gregory the Great was elected pope, Rome and all of Italy was in the midst of a deadly plague. In fact, Pope St Gregory was elected because his predecessor, Pope Pelagius, himself died of the epidemic on Feb 7th, 590. On April 25 of that year, the holy pope St Gregory requested a public procession through the streets of Rome to beg for an end to the epidemic. An icon of Our Lady that was painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist was carried at the head of the prayerful entourage.

As the procession wound along the Tiber River, the Litany of Saints was intoned. At the conclusion of the litany, Saint Gregory’s gaze was drawn upwards and he suddenly saw the heavens open. Saint Michael the Archangel along with numerous other Angels descended above the crowd and a heavenly perfume seemingly filled the air. The angels began singing the “Regina Coeli” to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was seated on a throne above Michael and the Angels.

Completely overwhelmed by the incredible sight, Saint Gregory concluded the angelic chorus by singing out the closing lines of the Regina Coeli: “Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia! Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia! Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.” (Pray for us to God, alleluia! Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!).

At the conclusion of the vision, the great pope witnessed Saint Michael sheathing his sword, and to the great joy of all the inhabitants the horrific plague came to an end. The beautiful Church called Castel Sant’Angelo (pictured left and also above) stands at the site where Saint Michael and his fellow angels had appeared on that day along with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From then on, the date of the apparition  (April 25th) marking the end of the plague thus became the fixed date for the annual procession that would come to be known throughout the Catholic world as the “Greater Litanies”, since it was St Michael along with the Angels who joined in reciting the Litanies on that day. Nowadays the “Greater Litanies” processions are sometimes called “St Mark’s processions” because the date also coincides with the feast of St Mark.

Guardian in The Tower

It started as an ordinary day for Genelle Guzman, a then twenty-nine-year-old nine-year-old administrative assistant for the New York Port Authority. For the past nine months, she had been working at a computer on the sixty-fourth floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. She would have liked a more stimulating job, but,born and raised in Trinidad, Genelle was in the United States on a nonimmigrant visitor’s visa, which had expired. This certainly limited her job choices; if anyone found out, she could be deported. Genelle was the youngest daughter of thirteen children, three of whom had died as babies. The family was poor, and her father was strict, and by the time Genelle was eighteen, she had left home to work in Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad. “I wanted independence,” pendence,” she explains. Although Genelle is naturally shy, there was something about the nightlife there that made her feel confident and alive, and she even became a “party girl.”

Later, Genelle gave birth to a baby daughter, Kimberly. In 1998, more adventure beckoned, oned, and Genelle gave custody of Kimberly to the baby’s father and moved to New York. She had relatives there, and she would live with a sister in Queens while she looked for a job. However, the shabby neighborhood and the noise of the city disturbed her, and soon she returned to Trinidad. A short time later, Genelle’s mother died of ovarian cancer. “I had always said I believed in God, but when Mom died, I wondered where he was.” Genelle was angry with the God she barely knew, wondering why her mother, so faithful to him, had had such a difficult life. Eventually, though, anger turned to indifference. Religion seemed superfluous, even an impediment to the life Genelle was now living. She resumed her “party girl” lifestyle and was often out until dawn.Genelle met Roger McMillan at a carnival in Trinidad, and it was instant attraction. She went back to New York in 1999 to pursue sue a relationship with him, and they lived together in Brooklyn. They assumed they would marry eventually, but as Genelle says, “I was still busy partying. I didn’t want too much pressure on my relationship.” Genelle was aware, however, that her lifestyle was missing something indefinable but vital. Twice she and Roger had attended services at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, an evangelical congregation. Genelle was intrigued by one of the lessons, which emphasized “If you let God lead you, he will.” What would that be like? To stop searching and just follow the lead of someone who loved you more than anything? This God had taken her mother away, though, and to join Brooklyn Tabernacle, she and Roger would have to change the way they lived. She decided that change wasn’t worth the price. Neither she nor Roger had joined the congregation.

One morning at work, as she booted up her computer, Genelle stuck her head into a few cubicles to greet some of her coworkers. One of them, Susan, admired Genelle’s gold braids, which Genelle and some of her cousins had done that Saturday. Just as Susan turned away to answer the phone, everyone in the office heard a loud hang, and the building shook. “What was that?” Genelle murmured as she hurried to the window. Stunned,she watched as bits and pieces of paper and debris fell through the air. The fire alarm rang, and a moment later the public-address system announced that an airplane had hit the upper floors and that people should stay put and not panic. Everyone was stunned. What kind of plane? How? Most ignored the instructions, grabbed their belongings, and fled. In a moment, just fifteen employees were left.

Again there was an announcement that those in the building should stay where they were. Another friend of Genelle’s, Rosa, had just phoned her sister, and Genelle followed suit. She left a message on Roger’s answering machine: “Honey, I’m staying in the building. I guess we have to wait until someone comes to get us out. I love you.” She also phoned her cousins. They were bordering on hysteria. “Get out of there! Leave now!” they told her, describing the scene on television. But the stairwells were filled with smoke, and the elevators had stopped. How could she get out alone?

Meanwhile, firefighters had arrived at the base of the north tower, their hoses putting out flames on some of the people who were exiting. Crews headed into the building and a moment later heard the sounds of a second plane approaching. Within seconds, that plane hit the south tower. Thousands of people were trapped, but the firefighters were ordered out of both unstable buildings. Most of them turned back.On the sixty-fourth floor, Genelle and her fourteen colleagues also heard the second crash. The ceiling shook, the air around them was getting hot, and smoke seeped ominously under the closed doors. “That’s it!” one of the men shouted. “We’re walking down!” Rosa and Genelle grabbed each other’s hands and followed the group to stairway B. It was less smoky than they had anticipated, and a wave of optimism filled them. Genelle phoned her cousin again and then Roger. This time he answered. He was waiting on a corner just a few blocks away, hoping that Genelle had managed to get out. “I’ll meet you there!” he told her. “Hurry!”

It was just ten o’clock in the morning, more than an hour since the first plane had struck.At first the trek went well. Rosa and Genelle clung to each other, and by the fortieth floor, when they met some firefighters taking a break, their confidence grew. On the thirtieth floor another rescue worker reassured them that they would be fine. (These men either had not heard or had not heeded the order to retreat and would die in the building’s collapse.) Genelle recalls counting the flights of stairs with Rosa: “Twenty, nineteen, eighteen. I was wearing a new pair of high-heeled shoes and my feet hurt. When we reached the next landing, I stopped to take my shoes off.” Just then there was a roar-like a locomotive coming straight at them. The floor shifted, and part of a wall fell toward Rosa and Genelle,separating the women from each other. Dust filled the air, steel beams crashed, and cement was pulverized as people hurtled down flights of stairs. Then the lights went out. An eerie calm descended. Genelle, attempting to crawl downward, had been trapped by falling chunks of cement. Now her head was pinned between two concrete pillars, her arms above her head, her legs under debris. “Help!” she cried out. “Is anyone there? Rosa?” No one answered. Genelle did not know it, but her building had collapsed and she had been the only survivor in this area. Slowly, Genelle took stock. “My right leg was buried up to the thigh in rubble, and my toes were numb.” Perhaps worse was the worry over what had happened outside. Had New York City been hit by a bomb? Were her loved ones alive? Would she die here, never being able to tell them that she loved them? As panic edged closer, she closed her eyes. For the first time in many years, she thought about God. She hadn’t been a very faithful daughter of his, she knew. But from what she remembered from her mother’s faith, she wasn’t alone in this terrible place. God knew where she was-and and he was here too. She began to pray.

Time passed; as the dust settled, Genelle saw a thin shaft of light somewhere ahead. Was that an exit? If so, where were the rescue workers? How would anyone find her if they didn’t check this area? She heard nothing. As the light slowly faded, Genelle prepared to spend the night in complete darkness. She pleaded to God for him to stay by her side. Genelle couldn’t know that the scene somewhere above her was one of pandemonium. Smoke billowed from the pile of rubble that was once the World Trade Center; gigantic beams lay everywhere, and sirens screamed. Shocked and bleeding people wandered aimlessly, while others ran for their lives. “There was a sense of crazed panic, people fighting to save lives, firehoses cascading all over the place,” said one eye witness. Thousands of people remained missing.Genelle was one of them.Eventually, in the collapsed stairwell, the little ray of light returned, and Genelle knew morning had arrived.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, she also knew that her life was ebbing away. “All feeling in my right leg was gone now, and I didn’t think I could go too much longer without water.” Still, she sensed the presence of Someone who truly cared about her. “God,” she prayed, “please send me a sign that I’m going to get out of here. Or that if I don’t, you’ll be there to meet me.” Suddenly-was it true?-Genelle heard a muffled sound. “Hello!” she cried out, her voice hoarse and raspy from the dust. “Is anyone there?” There was movement, as if other people had entered the area. “I’m here!” she cried. “Can you hear me?” No one answered. Genelle’s hand was still stuck above her head, but maybe she could attract some attention. Frustrated, she tried to wave, and suddenly denly she felt someone take hold of her hand, holding it in a warm and reassuring grip. “You’re going to get out of here,” a male voice told her. “Don’t be afraid.” “Oh, thank God!” Genelle could hardly believe it. “Where did you come from? What’s your name?” “I’m Paul,” the gentle voice answered. “I’m just ahead of the rescue team. They’re coming to get you. I’ll stay here with you.” Holding on as hard as she could,Genelle tried to open her eyes so she could see Paul’s face. “But for some reason, my eyes just wouldn’t open.” However, Paul was right-soon she could hear men’s voices. “I’m shining a light down,” someone called. “Can you see it?” “No!” she called back, still unable to see anything. She used one hand to knock the staircase above her with a piece of concrete.

The rescuers were definitely getting closer, but whenever they moved wreckage, fear surged through her-would there he another collapse? lapse? Paul seemed to know how she felt and would give her other hand a squeeze. Sensing her terror, he soothingly told her more than once:”It’s going to take a while, but I will stay with you. You’re going to be fine.” An eternity passed, and finally she heard two firemen above her, digging debris away from her leg, calling for others to send down a stretcher. “We’ve got her!” one shouted. As they reached her, in the confusion and joy of the moment, Genelle let go of Paul’s hand, letting the others lift her onto the stretcher. It was 12:30…She had spent twenty-six hours buried underground, and she would be the last survivor pulled from the wreckage.

Crowds cheered as she was carried to an ambulance. “I noticed that it was a sunny day, and I could open my eyes now. I wondered why I had not been able to open them and look at Paul.” She had not seen him yet and didn’t want to forget his name. When Roger arrived at the hospital, the very first thing she told him was to write it down. She would never be able to repay Paul for the care and comfort he brought to her during this terrible time, but she would try. Roger had assumed he was being summoned to the hospital to identify Genelle’s body. When he realized that he had not lost her after all, he suggested (through tears) that they get married. Genelle agreed. She had been given a new chance at life, she told him, and this time she would do it God’s way.

Since then, Genelle has faced many challenges. She endured several surgeries on her crushed right leg (however, she no longer needs a leg brace, despite the medical prognosis that she would always use one). Psychologically, Genelle may not have completely worked through her fear and loss yet, but she is not depressed. Her legal problems lems have ended; the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has decided not to prosecute illegal immigrants who were victims of this attack against America. Genelle is now a wife and a faithful member of the Brooklyn Tabernacle-she was baptized there shortly after she and Roger married. She is remarkably humble, quick to point out that she is not anyone special, just a child who has given her life to God-and she knows that this commitment does not mean a perfect life but one brimming with the “peace that passes all understanding.” She does not believe that her rescue was about luck. “It’s about God having a plan. And he will reveal it to me someday.”

Only one loose end remains. At Christmas time, some of the firemen men who rescued her came to visit her at home. She thanked them all, and then asked which one was Paul. “Paul?” the men looked at one another. “Paul,” Genelle said. “The one who found me first, the one who held my hand. He was just ahead of the rescue team.” The men shuffled and shook their heads. They knew every member of that squad, all the firemen who were currently searching ing for survivors. There was no one named Paul in any of those groups, and there had definitely been no one ahead of them when they rescued her. Genelle believes that God did indeed send her a sign that all would be well, a sign in the form of an angel. For that reason, she is determined to make the most of her life and to regard it as a gift. “Those hours in the building turned out to be a wake-up call so I could get my life in order. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

~Source:”In the arms of Angels”

Spiritual Warfare Revelation to Venerable Mary of Agreda

Maria was born in Agreda (Spain) in 1602. Her parents, of noble origins, had 4 children.In 1618, when Maria was only 16 years of age, the entire family decided to embrace the religious life.The father and 2 sons entered the Franciscan Order; the mother and 2 daughters entered the Order of the Immaculate Conception which was under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor (Franciscans).

From the beginning of her religious life, Maria was blessed with many extraordinary graces. In 1627, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and recounted her life and charged her with putting it in writing. The book was entitled “The Mystical City of God”. The first printing was burned by her confessor who did not believe her divine revelations. The nun was at the point of giving up when in 1655, the Lord appeared in the company of two Seraphim and, promising her His special protection, urged her to begin the work again. As soon as Maria sat down at the desk to begin again, the devil appeared to pester and annoy her by spilling the ink on the desk. Patiently, the nun put everything in order and began to write, confident in the divine help. As soon as she began again, the devil appeared again to distract her. But the Seraphim immediately intervened and cast him off. Sister Maria was thus able to complete her work.

One of the interesting chapters in “The Mystical City of God” has the Madonna instructing her about the powers of hell: “My daughter, be careful and very cautious – because you must be aware of the sinister forces that surround so many people, unaware of their eternal salvation and not knowing the danger they find themselves by the constant harassment that the demons wage for their destruction. Men and women sleep, rest and carry on without any awareness of these powerful and restless enemies. This frightening ignorance is a result of two conditions. The first is that people are so concerned with earthly affairs that are physical and sensuous that they concern themselves only with dangers to their physical well-being. They think that anything concerning the spirit or interior life will not harm them. The other reality is that the powers of darkness are invisible and defy the physical senses. Since the senses do not touch, see or hear them, they forget to fear them. It is precisely because the enemy is so invisible that they should be more attentive and aware. The enemy is thus so much more cunning and capable of such treachery. This danger is real and more subtle; the harm that is inflicted is more deadly than can possibly be imagined.Be aware, then, that no intellect, no words, human or angelic, can express the rage and the furious anger that Lucifer and his demons harbor against humans simply because they are made in the image of God and thus capable of eternally enjoying His presence. A few years after her death in 1665, Maria was declared Venerable in 1679.

A Message From Beyond

Sister Mary Dolores Kazmierczak was planning the trip of a lifetime: Rome, then on to Poland. Her elderly father wanted to accompany her, but Sister Mary Dolores was unwilling to extend the invitation. “First, my mother wouldn’t fly, and because one of them never went anywhere without the other, I didn’t think Dad would be happy on a trip without her,” she explained.

The second reason was more awkward. Mr. Kazmierczak had a physical disorder that caused him to lose his equilibrium. This shakiness would come on without warning. How, Sister Mary Dolores wondered, would she manage him on an extensive trip? What if he fell and hurt himself? Her decision was logical, she knew, but she still felt guilty.

However, two months before the trip, in May 1979, Mrs. Kazmierczak died. Now Sister Mary Dolores’s father was terribly lonely, and Mary’s feelings of guilt worsened. Her father would so enjoy traveling. But her reluctant answer was still no. Taking him anywhere would be too risky. A few days before she was to leave for Europe, Sister Mary Dolores and her father visited Mrs. Kazmierczak’s grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois. On their way home, they passed a small roadside produce stand. It looked deserted, but Mr. Kazmierczak wanted some fruit, so they pulled in to see if anyone was there. Two men were running the stand. One, wearing a blue shirt, was behind the counter; the other, in brown pants and a hat, was arranging the tables. Sister Mary Dolores and her father were the only customers there, and none of the four exchanged any comments or greetings. Mr. Kazmierczak wandered around looking at the displays while Sister Mary Dolores, keeping him in view as always lest he lose his balance, selected some produce. She gave her money to the blue-shirted worker at the cash register, then started toward her father, just a few feet away. It was then that the man in the hat approached her. “It’s okay to take your dad on the trip,” he told her without any preamble. “What trip?” What was he talking about? “The trip you’re going on,” the man replied. “I just spoke with your mother, and she said it was okay to take your dad. Nothing bad will happen to him.”

“How could you have spoken to my mother?” Sister Mary Dolores demanded. “She died this past May.” “Yes, I know,” he said. Sister Mary Dolores looked around in astonishment. She and her father were still the only customers in view. Had her father complained to the man that he was being left behind? Yet the lot was so small—surely she would have seen or overheard a conversation. She could confront her father in front of the stranger, but Dad might be embarrassed or upset. It was better to wait until they were alone. “Well . . . thank you,” she said to the man, who was still standing calmly in front of her, and then she hurried her father to the car. Once they were on the highway, she broached the subject. “Dad, what did you say to the man at the fruit stand?” “I didn’t talk to him,” Mr. Kazmierczak said. “You paid him.” “I’m not talking about the man at the cash register, Dad. It was the other one,in the hat.” “But . . .” Her father looked troubled. “I didn’t see a second person. There was only the one man in the blue shirt, behind the counter.” “You saw me talking to the second man. You must have—you were right there the whole time, just a few feet away.” “But I didn’t. There wasn’t anyone else there.” Sister Mary Dolores stopped talking. She didn’t want to upset her father. And slowly she was realizing that something supernatural had just taken place. During subsequent summers Sister Mary Dolores took her father with her on airplane and auto trips to Arizona and all through the state of Michigan—and he never had a fall. He thrived on the change of scenery and died a fulfilled man at age ninety-two. “I never worried after the incident at the fruit stand,” Sister Mary Dolores said. She knew her mother was looking out for both of them and had sent an angel to tell them so.

~Source:”Where Angels Walk” by Joan Wester Anderson

The Light of Love

It was Thanksgiving weekend, and Andrew Koval, an avid sportsman, decided to take advantage of the weather.

“I’m going hunting,he called to his wife. “I’ll be back at five-thirty.” Andrew knew his limits; due to an old baseball injury, one of his knees was good for about two hours of walking before pain set in. In addition, darkness ness would fall at about five o’clock, and since it was already late in the day, his time was short. Andrew drove to his favorite hunting spot a few miles from his home in rural Cambridge, Ohio, just down the road from a farm where he bought hay every spring. He parked in a familiar hilly area near a field.

He walked awhile, flushed a few grouse out of their hiding places, but never got close enough to try a shot. And, as he slowly realized, his heart wasn’t really in the sport today. “My nephew John Grimes had died of cancer the past summer,” Andrew explains. “We had been very close, working and golfing and socializing together, but most of all, hunting grouse together.” Andrew had grieved deeply for the younger man, and now, in this place where they’d spent so much time together, doubts crowded his mind. Was there really a God? If so, did Andrew believe in him? Was there a heaven? Was John there? Did life, another kind of life, go on after death? As a self-described lukewarm Catholic, Andrew “still had that little doubt.” How could he know for sure? Andrew had been lost in thought for some time, but it was getting ting dark, and his expedition was over for the day. He started back to the car. “On the way, I flushed a grouse and decided to follow it to get off at least one shot. The bird flew in the opposite direction, but being in familiar territory, I wasn’t concerned.”

As the sun began to set, Andrew lost sight of the bird. No problem, he told himself. The terrain was wooded, but he knew about where he was. If he walked back in a straight line, he ought to reach the car in about fifteen minutes. And that’s what he did, or thought he did. But soon Andrew realized he had passed the same marker twice. He was going in a circle. What to do? “I was wearing a light hunting vest, and it was getting ting colder,” he says. “My knee had started to hurt. I kept walking west, trying to reach an area that I recognized.” Surely he would hit a road soon and be able to flag down a vehicle. He walked and walked, only to realize that he was again traveling in a circle. He thought again of his resourceful young nephew, who would surely have found the way out of this maze.

Cold and tired, his knee throbbing, Andrew knew his wife and son were going to be very worried. How long would it be before they alerted the sheriff? If only he had a cell phone. Should he try to build a temporary shelter and wait to be found? Could he withstand a winter night with a vest as his only warmth? There was another option, although he didn’t think of it right away. He could pray. It had been a long time since Andrew had really talked to God. But if God were everywhere,even here in this lonely forest, he would surely hear.

Andrew sat down under a tree. “God,” he whispered. “I don’t know if you’re listening. But if you are, I need help.” More minutes passed, and a plan came to him. He should climb the highest hill, look for a light, and head straight for it. It was almost as if God were whispering in his ear, “Look for the light.” Andrew didn’t know if it was God’s voice or not. But there was a high hill nearby. Gathering the last of his failing strength, Andrew staggered to the top. At last! He ought to be able to see a lot of the countryside from here. But he could hardly believe it. There was no light visible, not in any direction. No distant signal blinking from a house or store, not even car headlights distant signal blinking from a house or store, not even car headlights moving in the blackness. It hadn’t been a heavenly message, after all. Yet the feeling of comfort and guidance had been so real. Look. for the light. Andrew understood just then that the real light in his life ought to be God, no matter what happened to him now or in the future.

His leg ached, and his fear of freezing was strong. But he had felt the light, just a little, and he wouldn’t let it dim again. Slowly, he turned away. He would go back down the hill and wait. Andrew gazed into the blackness once more, his eyes narrowing. ing. Was it a mirage? No, there in the distance … It was a light! Not in the same direction as his car, but Andrew had run out of choices. He would go toward it. Whoever owned it might have a phone, or warmth, or some way to help him. “I must have walked at least another mile, but I was able to keep the light in view the whole time, despite the trees,” Andrew says. Unexpectedly, he came upon the road where he had parked his car. It was sitting right there! Astonished, Andrew scrambled inside, turning on the engine and the heater full blast. Soon he was blissfully warm and content, as if this terrible experience had never happened. He should get home now, to relieve his wife’s fears. But oddly, he could still see the light streaming from a field about three or four hundred yards down the road, near the farm he visited each spring.

He was so late already-it wouldn’t make much difference if he drove down and looked to see exactly what had brought him safely out of his ordeal. So he decided to go take a look. “There in the field was a two-story house, every room brightly lit, with two floodlights on each corner,” he says. “There were people working all around, both inside and out.” Andrew remembered then that this land was owned by a real estate agent and was for sale in five-acre lots. He had no idea that a house had already been built here. “I thought it was strange that I hadn’t known, and also that every room was blazing with light and there was so much activity.” But he had his answer, and he turned around in the house’s driveway and went home.

It was almost nine o’clock by the time Andrew arrived, and his worried wife was preparing to call the sheriff and arrange a search party. But he assured her he was none the worse for wear, and told her about the house. “I haven’t heard about any construction over there,” his wife mused. “But wasn’t it fortunate that you saw the lights?”

Andrew didn’t grouse hunt for the rest of the season. But when spring arrived, he decided it was time to visit the local farmer and buy his straw. Andrew turned onto the same county road where he had seen the house, and he began to look for it. Now he would see if it was as big and beautiful-and busy-during the day as it had looked on that memorable night. Maybe he would even pull into the driveway, ring the doorbell, and tell the owner how his marvelous lights had probably saved Andrew’s life. Andrew approached the lot where the house had been. But there was no building there, or anywhere around it. The area looked just as it had last spring when Andrew had come to buy his straw. Completely deserted. He was certainly looking at the same spot where he had been that night-he remembered the familiar markers, the hills beyond, and the driveway where he’d turned around. Had the people who built the house belatedly discovered that their well was inadequate? This had happened before, and when it did, an owner would occasionally sionally have his house moved to another lot. Andrew went past the lot and pulled into the farm driveway. The farmer’s sister came out to greet him. After purchasing his straw, Andrew paused for a moment. “I was wondering what happened to that big new house down the road,” he asked. The woman looked puzzled. “What house?” “The one with all the lights. In the new subdivision. Did they have to move it because of a bad well?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about. The builder never sold any of those lots. There has never been a house there.” “But …” Andrew felt a shiver. The woman was looking at him as if he were a bit odd. He didn’t say any more, but he knew what he had seen.

Andrew has never found any evidence that a house was on that lot, or anywhere around there. But he is as sure today as he was that night that it was there. “I have come to believe that God was responsible for it,” he says, “because the whole experience completely resolved any doubts I may have had about him, and about the continuance of life after death on earth.” And perhaps his nephew was involved, too. One never knows, when one is willing to ask, just what marvels the Light will bring.

~Source:”Guardian Angels” by Joan Wester Anderson