Lorna Byrne sees angels. The soft-spoken Irishwoman talks with them too, in conversations she says have been going on as long as she can remember. She didn’t go public about this until midlife, when she published her first book, an autobiography titled Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic (Century, 2008). Byrne has now written eight books (two debuted at the top of The Sunday Times bestseller chart in the United Kingdom), translated into 30 languages and published in more than 50 countries. Her goal is to share the angels’ message of hope and to inspire people to be more loving, toward themselves and others.
Byrne is also an activist—she even attended the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit—and a philanthropist. The Lorna Byrne Children’s Foundation supports charities that help vulnerable and marginalized children around the globe. With friends, she established the nonprofit Seraph Foundation, which is developing a center in County Kildare where people of all backgrounds and beliefs can grow together spiritually. Here, Byrne talks with Unity Magazine editor Katy Koontz about the divine spark that lives within us all and why prayer is vital for transforming our world.
Katy Koontz: You’ve been able to see guardian angels since you were very young, and you’ve described them both as resembling people as well as appearing as a light form. Has their appearance changed over time for you?
Lorna Byrne: I suppose it changed over time because as a child, seeing a guardian angel in its full glory every single day was a bit much for me. So I just saw the light of the angel, and it would be dimmed a little bit so it wasn’t too hard on me. And then whenever an angel wants to show me its appearance, that light opens up, and the guardian angel takes on a human form. It’s not exactly human, but enough so I can describe it that way.
KK: Do you think that all children can see angels?
LB: I believe they all can, yes. It’s natural for children to see angels. Sometimes when I’m giving a talk, families will come up after the talk for a blessing, and the parents will ask, “Can you tell my child its guardian angel’s name?”
I always have to smile and say, “Yes, no problem, if the guardian angel answers me.” When I bless the child, I talk softly and quietly, and when I ask the child if they know their guardian angel’s name, 99.9 percent of the time, the child tells me the name. It’s unbelievable, and I love that. The parents are kind of gobsmacked that the child already knows because of course the child has never said anything to their parents about it.
KK: Does everyone have a guardian angel?
LB: Yes, we each have one. We meet in the sea of souls before we’re born. Our guardian angel is the gatekeeper of our soul, and it’s there to help to protect and guide us. Your guardian angel will always encourage you and it will never ask you to do anything wrong. No matter what, it loves you unconditionally. To your guardian angel, you are perfect and unique. That angel can never leave you, not even for one second, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. People sometimes say they want proof, and I say, “Well, when you start to become conscious of your angel, you will receive your proof. But that proof is for you. It’s not for everyone else out there.”
KK: I’ve heard people say angels can’t help us unless we ask for their help. What about people who don’t know to ask?
LB: Everyone has asked for help at some point in their life, especially as a very young child. A child doesn’t even have to be conscious that it’s their guardian angel they’re asking. But I do say to people, “Ask your guardian angel for help.” The only human words I can use to explain why it’s good to ask is that it kind of empowers the guardian angel. You’re giving it more permission.
Even so, it cannot overstep the boundaries of free will. It’s not allowed to do that no matter what. For example, it can be giving you guidance, telling you not to do something, or telling you that you should do it a different way than the way everyone else wants you to do it. But then if you ignore the guidance, even though in the back of your mind there’s this thought nagging at you, you might think afterward, I knew I should’ve done it the other way. That was your guardian angel giving you the guidance to do it differently.
Some people will tell me they were driving and they suddenly felt as if they should slow down, even though they weren’t driving too fast. But they didn’t slow down, and then their tire blew and it damaged their car. That’s why if my guardian angel were to say to me, “Lorna, pick up your glass of water,” I’d pick it up. I wouldn’t think twice about it, and I wouldn’t ask why. Be careful about asking why or asking what the meaning of something is. I’ve never done that because there’s a million meanings, and another million meanings on top of that.
KK: So the true answer is often more complex than we are able to understand?
LB: It is, yes.
KK: You teach that our human and divine aspects intertwine. How does that work?
LB: From the time I was a young child, God talked about this to me. The only way I can describe it is that you are human and you have a human body, and you also have a soul. Your soul is that spark of light of God and that connects you to God, so God is both within you and out there, as well. That spark is so tiny, but it’s also so enormous at the same time—I can’t explain it.
Even though the body and the soul are separate, as you connect more spiritually to your soul, they come together and intertwine. That will be a stage where you don’t get sick. You don’t get old. You don’t have aches and pains. You don’t have wrinkles. That spark of light of God becomes intertwined with the human being completely. We become one. We’re no longer separate. We are one.
Our souls have this unconditional love that God and our guardian angels have for us, and we have to try to love our human selves a little bit more so we can be more kind, more compassionate, love nature and care for it, and not see differences in other human beings but love them.
I recall once when this man started screaming and shouting at me and saying all kinds of things, and I just smiled at him and told him I loved him, and then he started to cry. I can’t remember what happened after that, but I met him again another time, and he came up to me and said, “I apologize for everything. Can you forgive me?”
I just laughed because I don’t see only the human being. I see the soul and I see God, and so I smiled again and said, “I love you. It’s okay to be thinking silly things like that. I love you.” And he started crying again.
The soul is pure love. It’s like a glass of water that never empties, and in a sense, we have to allow that connection of our soul to our human selves a little bit more than we do, because we’re always afraid of love.
KK: Why are we afraid?
LB: We think we’ll get hurt or that if someone pushes us away, it will make us sad. But if you love yourself even the tiniest bit more, then it’s easier to love others. Love can destroy depression and anxiety, all those things, because the human part of you becomes more spiritually connected to your soul.
All around the world now, we’re trying to teach children about love and empathy. What has happened that we lost so much of that? We shouldn’t be afraid to love. Love hurts, but love also gives us joy. The more you love yourself, the more you can love everything around you, and it’s like things don’t hurt anymore. You have such compassion that all you want is to love.
We have to all come together and also pray together to take away the fear. People are afraid of other people who pray differently. But prayer is prayer. I don’t care if you stand on your head or if you sing or you dance or you spin around or you roll—prayer is prayer, and it is so powerful.
KK: You also talk about the importance of innocence. Where does that come in?
LB: Innocence is a spiritual connection to God. I don’t mean naivety—this innocence allows us to see the good in ourselves and in others. In a sense, the innocent are very pure. As a child, I was very innocent of the world because back then I was considered retarded. I am severely dyslexic. I can’t read, and I think God just kept me that way so that I would be able to become open and see.
I remember seeing a young teenage boy who was being pushed around by other boys. They were about 14 or 15 years old. And I could see his innocence and that spiritual connection he had—he loved these other boys, even though they were bullying him, and he wouldn’t lift a hand to defend himself. It was lovely to see what happened next—the other boys suddenly stepped back, and in their own teenager way, they started to apologize. They said, “You know, we’re friends, aren’t we?” That kind of talk. Then the boy just gave them this radiant smile. It was pure innocence.
We need to get to that stage of unconditional love and compassion for others. We need to get closer and closer to that.
KK: I particularly like your teachings about hope. You say the angels’ most important message is that we’re headed for a time when we will all be one. How close are we to that?
LB: I see that it will happen, but I don’t know how soon. I ask people all the time to keep that light of hope burning, because we are all the light of hope. I know we can do it. No matter what’s happening, I know we can do it.
God has asked me to give people hope and to help humankind to reconnect spiritually, and it doesn’t matter what religion you are. Don’t be killing each other. Don’t be hating each other. If you could all see what I see, you wouldn’t be.
KK: In fact, you talk a lot about the importance of all religions coming together. Can you elaborate?
LB: God has said that all religions come under one umbrella. We will become one. I can’t wait for that day when we won’t be saying, “I have more followers than you.” I never realized there were so many different religions, but they all believe in God. Isn’t that incredible? So come on, let’s get together and love.
I never realized this until God showed me, but we have to all come together and also pray together to take away the fear. People are afraid of other people who pray differently. But prayer is prayer. I don’t care if you stand on your head or if you sing or you dance or you spin around or you roll—prayer is prayer, and it is so powerful.
I saw a church in America where people could come and pray together, and I went in thinking, Oh, this will be great. But when I walked inside, I was disappointed because they had separate sections for each religion. There should be no sections. God said to me, “Lorna, don’t be disappointed. They’re trying.”
It would be lovely to see children of all faiths come together and start to pray because they would not be afraid then. We have to start somewhere.
KK: When you see angels, you talk about seeing Gabriel and Michael and Elijah, all from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Are those just energy forms that are also available to people of other religions who simply call them different names?
LB: I would say we just call them different names. It doesn’t matter the religion whatsoever, and they’re not energies in a sense. God created the angels long, long ago, before anything, and you and I are more than any angel ever could be. We put angels on a pedestal, but the angels have us way up there.
KK: Why is that?
LB: Because of our soul, which is a spark of light of God. When the angels are with us, they are in the presence of God.
KK: That’s a bit of a twist. There must be more to that idea than we’re capable of understanding.
LB: There is so much more. But I never ask what something means, and I say to people, stop asking that. When I was a child, God would show me stepping stones and teach me how to step from one stone to another. Most people who see a goal in front of them head straight for it. Well, if my stepping stones are heading for something like that, I don’t get worked up about it. If God says, “Just head that way,” then okay, I’ll head that way. But if He then turns me away from it, I don’t get disappointed. I don’t ask why.
KK: You just follow your guidance.
LB: Exactly. I don’t have expectations. I don’t always know what God wants. He has me here now, doing this, but if God wants more, it will happen in whatever way. Many will be called. A few will be chosen, and a lot of those will say no, but some will say yes, and that’s the hope.
That’s why we must pray for everyone. I get into trouble with some people when I say we must pray for certain leaders. You have to love them no matter what they have done. You should not judge. And you’ve got to pray for them, because how else are they going to learn to feel empathy and love themselves if they’re feeling only anger? People don’t always understand that, but God teaches us to love unconditionally.
KK: You are a big proponent of caring for the earth, as well.
LB: Yes, we particularly have to work on fighting climate change because we can’t keep on being in denial. We blame God for everything, but God hasn’t done anything. He’s given us this incredible, beautiful planet and what’s around it, our universe, as a gift. Sometimes when you are given a gift for free, you kind of mistreat it, and that’s what we have done. We have to value the gifts God gives us—and God is constantly giving us gifts. Creation is still happening, and I love that.
Lorna Byrne is a bestselling author, peace ambassador, and philanthropist. In addition to writing books, she speaks internationally and leads retreats at Sanctuary, her center in County Kildare in Ireland. To watch her videos and learn about upcoming events, visit lornabyrne.com or follow her on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
This article appeared in Unity Magazine®.