The Thinking 

The Guardian Angels

October 2, 2017


THE BELIEF in Guardian Angels can be traced back to ancient times. Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, said: “He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed.”

This awareness of angelic beings was clarified through the ages by divine revelation and by apparitions, such as that of the Guardian Angel of Portugal who appeared to the children of Fatima 100 years ago and the Guardian Angel who appeared to Tundale the 12th century Irish knight after he fell into unconsciousness. Tundale was never the same again.

Angels, far more intelligent than the smartest human beings, are pure spirit and can travel as speedily as our thoughts. They number in the millions, both on earth and in heaven, where they ceaselessly adore God. Muslims have Guardian Angels. Jews have Guardian Angels. Protestants of every sect have Guardian Angels. Rastafarians have Guardian Angels. Even cool intellectuals, for whom all supernatural phenomena are silly superstitions and who yet cannot explain the existence of even natural phenomena, have Guardian Angels. They are our best friends but most people today don’t know it. No human being is alone in this world. With this in mind, we should rely less on our own powers.

From by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan’s book All About the Angels (TAN, 1945):

The great St. Thomas tells us that the moment a child is born God calls one of his glorious Spirits and gives the newborn babe into his special care. It is not when the soul is created and united to our bodies — which takes place before our birth, for then the child is still on with its mother and protected by the mother’s Angel — but it is when we are born into the world that the Angel begins his care, even before Baptism.

Every man, whether pagan, heretic or Catholic, has a Guardian Angel. Though one Angel would be powerful enough to take perfect care of a thousand souls, yet God in his infinite goodness has given to each one of us a special Angel, an Angel who is all our own, whose great duty henceforth will be to watch over us day and night, asleep or awake, alone or in the midst of company, in our homes, in the street, working or resting, everywhere, every moment of our lives, in joys and in troubles. He never abandons us for a single instant; he sees our every moment; he is ever at our sides.

Today is a special day for it is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, an occasion to express gratitude for our angelic patrons:

O God, Who in Thy inexpressible providence, hast deigned to send Thy holy Angels to guard us; grant, we humbly pray that we may ever be sheltered and shielded by them here, and rejoice in their fellowship hereafter. Through our Lord.

(Roman Breviary)

Our Angels obviously do not spoil us, despite their tender love for us. Fr. R.F. Clark, S.J. wrote:

The Holy Angels are very jealous over anything that in any way affects the honor of Almighty God. As they love men only for God, so their only care is to maintain His honor and promote His glory. Those who are His enemies are their enemies also. They are the ministers of His vengeance as well as of His love. How terrible a thing it would be to think that we had the Angels as our enemies!

The Holy Angels are also very jealous over the interest of their clients. Any one who gives scandal to those committed to their charge incurs their anger. When we set a bad example to others, or rouse them to anger, or tempt them to sin, how little we think there is one by their side whose swift vengeance will fall on us, because we sought to lead into sin the client committed to his charge.

The Holy Angels are especially jealous over the innocence of the young. Woe be to those who teach them evil or do not respect them as they ought! Woe be to those who through their culpable neglect or carelessness allow children committed to them to mix with bad companions or to run into peril of sin. “Beware,” says Our Lord, “of giving scandal to one of those little ones; for their Angels always behold the face of My Father Who is in Heaven.” He will hear their cry for vengeance on those who harm their little clients. (Source)

Here is a nightly prayer to one’s Guardian Angel:

“Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love, commits me here, ever this night, be at my side, to light and to guard, to rule and to guide.” Amen.

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