Today, on the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, I have to thank God for mine. I know, beyond a doubt, that I have one - and I am grateful.
It was on All-Saints Day, 1991 that I first met mine. I had gone to a noon holy day Mass at a local parish, picked up a fast-food lunch and was driving back to my office, on a 4-lane busy street in Rockford when I started across a major intersection, with the green light, in my small Hyundai Excel, traveling at around 30 mph. A semi-trailer truck had just cleared the intersection and the woman in the car behind him making a left turn had not been able to see around it. Not seeing me, she turned, right into my path.
In that moment, everything went into "slow motion" as I realized impact was unavoidable. As I braced myself, I sensed a distinct presence in the back seat of my car and a voice inside my head said clearly: "Relax. Go through this. You're going to be all right." Then, all heck broke loose as the slightly larger oncoming car hit my front quarter-panel, propelling me into a second impact with a concrete median strip on the other side of the intersection. I was physically jerked sideways, first one way, then the other.
Dazed, but unhurt, I managed to get out of the car with the help of some passerby who pulled the smashed drivers-side door open for me. The window next to me was completely shattered - the safety-glass now a spider-web.There were no air-bags in those days. Only later, when my left arm turned purple with bruising did I realize that I had instinctively thrown my arm up to protect my head, which meant the arm had broken the window, not my head. My injuries were minor, but could have been much worse.
In the aftermath, I recalled that presence and that voice. And I knew. I had not been alone in that car.
As a convert, I had never been taught about having a guardian angel as a child, nor had I specifically or consciously known it as an adult. However, I am convinced God has a plan for me - and that a head injury was not part of it at that point. My guardian angel did not stop me from being in that accident, but was there to reassure me that I was being protected.