What You Don't Know About Guardian Angels
Many of us remember as children learning the prayer to our guardian angel asking him to light and guard, to rule and guide us. The devotion to one’s guardian angel should more deeply felt than a simple recitation of the prayer and more as a reliance on close, personal friend who is faithful and always reliable. While it is not specifically laid out in doctrine that each of us, baptized or not, has a guardian angel from the moment of life it is taken for granted in Tradition and is well supported by Church theologians. The benefit these ministers of God’s have for us are many.
Angels aid us in so many ways. Angels act as messengers from God and communicate His will for us and our lives such as when angels were sent to the Virgin Mary, to St. Abraham and to countless others men and women in our history. Church history teaches us that at times angels are given power to perform greater acts such as when St. Peter was released from prison by an angel. Our angels can even relay messages to others such as when people of great need were able to communicate that need to St. Padre Pio through their own guardian angels. Our angels pray for us at the feet of God and intercede for us as we are taught in our most basic catechism. In the book of Mathew, chapter 18, we are told that while with us on Earth, our angels still possess the Beatific Vision. They have the ability to act upon our will and intellect and guide our thoughts and actions in the most subtle ways, according to St. Crystosom. At moments when we experience a profound sense of loneliness and abandonment, we can take comfort in the fact that our guardian angel is with us at all times and we are never left alone. Mothers and fathers should make a frequent practice of praying to their children’s guardian angels who are with their sons and daughters when the parents cannot be. These guardian angels are good friends to have.
What is perhaps less well known is that it is also the Tradition of the Church that individual parishes, chapels and towns have their own guardian angels who are no less devoted or powerful. While sadly neglected in the new order of the Mass, the Tridentine Mass includes prayers to the guardian angel of the church or chapel at which the Mass is being said and invokes his protection. It is a great solace to know that the parish is under the careful watch and protection of a powerful guardian angel when the world is so at odds with Catholicism. While parishioners may remember to pray for their priests and perhaps the sisters and other parishioners, how often do they remember to pray to the guardian angel of the parish to protect these people as well as the physical building itself? It is a powerful protection that is offered by these guardian angels and which is perhaps unrecognized and unappreciated.
October 2nd is the feast of the guardian angels, the day when the Mass itself points to the beautiful witness of our guardian angels in our lives and when we may thank them for their service. It is a good day to attend Mass and to inculcate a love in our children of their own angels and those which protect their parish and the city or town in which they live. May we always be grateful for the devoted care of our guardian angels!
By Melissa Naasko