Vol. I, October 1998
You and your Guardian Angel
"Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place
which I have prepared for you" (Ex 23,20)
One of the most forgotten and yet most beautiful truths of our faith is that God has given to each one of us a Guardian Angel. This second letter is entitled "You and Your Guardian Angel", but maybe it would have been better if we had placed the Angel in first place and used the expression, "Your Guardian Angel and You". It is by meditating on how great your Angel is, and how much he loves you, that you will begin to understand how precious you are in God's eyes.
The New Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the Angels "surpass in perfection all visible creatures"1. This means that they are more powerful than we humans are. But we should now ask ourselves: in what does this power consist? It consists in understanding and in loving. Their intellectual capacities far outweigh ours. However their capacity to love also surpasses the limitations of the human love with which we are so familiar. Let us concentrate on the second of these two, meditating on the charity with which our Angel accompanies us through life.
We could first ask: How much attention does our Angel actually give us, or maybe we could phrase the question as follows: How much time does he spend thinking about us? The best answer we can give to this question is that he thinks about us twenty four hours a day. As we walk through the streets on our way to work or college, as we study geography or mathematics in our bedrooms or in the library, as we play soccer in the local park, our Angel is with us. His desire on all these occasions is to give us those actual graces which we need in order to fulfill these activities with a truly Christian attitude. As we lie on our bed at night, as we dose off to sleep, and as we sleep our deepest and dreamless sleep, our Angel is watching. He is like the watchman on the lonely lighthouse who faithfully fulfills his task. He watches and protects. Even at night the enemy of God and of mankind wants to perturb Christian hearts. The good Angel has the task of guarding us as we sleep so that we rest with Christ in peace.
The Angel accompanies us in a very special manner when we dedicate time to prayer. Needless to say one of his prime tasks is to bring us to commune with God. Let us therefore be more attentive to the many promptings by which he tries to wean us from the goods of this world and lead us to intimacy with God. And let us also be attentive to the inspirations that we receive during prayer. It is very good to decide to pray, but it is infinitely better to decide to pray well. But to pray well one must constantly begin anew. How often we are distracted during our prayers, how often our mind wanders, and how often we allow it to wander! The Guardian Angel on noticing this reminds us of what we are really doing, we are talking to God. And if anyone deserves our full attention it is God. Here we have one of the most precious tasks of the Angel, the task of constantly bringing us back to deep and interior prayer.
But the task of the Angel reaches a certain climax when we approach the Sacraments. How difficult it must be for the Angels to see the familiarity with which we treat these fonts of grace. When we are going to receive Holy Communion do we call to mind that we are about to consume the True Body of Jesus Christ? Do we receive the Eucharist with due reverence? After having received do we pass time in silence, developing our friendship with Christ? This is precisely what the Angel wants, he wants us to become tremendous lovers of our Tremendous Lover.
The Challenge: Once we have recognized the task of our Angel we must face the challenge of improving our relationship with him. He is one of our greatest friends. He loves us as not even our own mother loves us. He loves us because God wills him to accompany us throughout this life. He did not chose to be our Guardian Angel. He was chosen for us. It was God who decided that we be accompanied by this particular Angel. To ignore the Angel is therefore to ignore God's Ambassador. This is offensive to God. By paying attention to the Angel who accompanies us we honor God, by disregarding the Angel who accompanies us we offend God. Let us dedicate ourselves to developing a deep friendship with our Angelic brother.
Brothers play together, they work together, together they go through life. Likewise we should go through life with our Angel. We are pilgrims. We are on a journey. We need a guide to help us reach our goal. God has given us this guide in our Guardian Angel. Undoubtedly we should converse with him. We should talk to him of our difficulties and our plans. We should also listen. This of course involves spending time in silence. Only the person who is able to walk silently in the company of his Angelic brother will be open to his inspirations.
One of the signs that deep friendship exists between two people is that they are capable of spending time together without feeling the need to exchange words. Likewise we ought to be able to spend time in the presence of our Angels without feeling a necessity to talk to him. By simply being conscious of his presence, and by being conscious that he is there with us, we can rest assured that we are close to God.
Side by side with our Angel, we are face to face with God.
Prayer to ones Guardian Angel:
O Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day (or night) be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Prayer Recommended for the Month of October:
Visit this house, we pray you, Lord, drive far away from it all the snares of the enemy.
May your angels stay here and guards us in peace, and let your blessing be always upon us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.2
1 CCC 330
2 Night Prayer of Solemnities
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