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DO WE KNOW OUR CONSTANT COMPANION?

Father Francis's picture
Guardian Angels

The truth that we have a Guardian Angel is one of the loveliest of our Catholic faith. But perhaps parents do not talk to their children enough about it. Sadly, some people even doubt their existence, but we have the evidence in scripture and tradition.

In the book of Exodus the Lord says, "I myself will send an angel before you to guard you as you go and to bring you to the place I have prepared for you"; and the psalmist wrote, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.” (Ps 91:11-14)

In the time of Jesus the Jews had a firm belief in the part angels played in their daily lives. Every nation had its angel. Every natural force, such as the wind, thunder, lightning and rain had its angel. Each person had an angel who informed and guided him or her. So when Jesus spoke about children having guardian angels this was nothing new.

Every single human being, Christian or non-Christian, whether in grace or in sin, remains during their entire life under the care of a Guardian Angel. And it is generally believed that each human being has his or her distinct Guardian Angel not assigned to anyone else. It is the words of Our Lord that point to this conclusion, "See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in Heaven are continually in the presence of My Father in Heaven."

Angels come in many guises. When Saint Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem the jail door was suddenly opened for him and he was led to freedom. Surely, that must have been his Guardian Angel? I think we have all had similar experiences in our lives. We have been in difficulties, unable to see a way out and having almost given up hope, when someone suddenly arrives with just the help we need. We may even have said, 'Oh, you are an angel!' So often when we feel desperate God sends that special messenger at the right moment.

It is comforting to remember that we have our own personal ally throughout life. We can hold conversations with our Guardian Angel, asking for his help at the beginning of each day or at the start of a journey. He can guide us through our daily problems and he can give us the strength to fight temptations and keep Satan at bay. We can beg for his guidance when we need counselling over important decisions we have to make. He can help us to prepare well for Holy Communion and Confession, and of course we thank him at the end of the day for being our constant companion.

You can be sure that our Guardian Angel helps us when we come to die. He is the one who conducts our soul to the Judgement Seat of God and will console us in Purgatory. They see in their charges souls of priceless value since they have been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

We shall never know from how many dangers our Guardian Angels have saved us, nor how much of our salvation is actually due to him. His work is a work of love. How can we ever be able to repay him for the love that he has shown us? Loving God and our neighbour is the only reward he desires.

So let us love our Guardian Angel with sincere affection, and try to be more aware of his presence in our lives. Let us often say the well-known prayer to our Guardian Angel:

Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
To light, to guard, to rule and guide.