“Angel of God, my Guardian Dear, to whom God’s love entrusts me here. Ever this day (night) be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen.” How many of us learned this beautiful prayer in childhood? How many of us still pray it in the morning and at night? We might unconsciously equate this with a young child’s prayer, along with the traditional holy card of a guardian angel and two small children crossing a bridge (Lindberg Heilige Schutzengel) and therefore think that mature adults have no need of the prayer and perhaps no need of a guardian angel.
All of us are God’s beloved children and priceless treasures; created in God’s own image and likeness; reflecting in our own way a dimension of God’s infinite goodness; and redeemed by Jesus’ life, passion, death and resurrection. God would no sooner think of leaving us unprotected throughout our lifetime here on earth than would someone owning the world’s most priceless diamond carelessly leave it on the sidewalk to be stolen. Our true home is in heaven, and we need all the help possible to arrive there after passing through this life.
Sometimes people trying to console grieving parents on the death of their small child will tell them that now their little one is an angel in heaven. Although a beautiful thought, when a human being dies, s/he does not become an angel, since angels are pure spirits without a body, and we, as human persons, are created with a body and a soul. All human beings who are in heaven are saints, even though the majority of saints are known only to God. Just a relatively small number of persons in heaven have been canonized, meaning that the Church, after having conducted extensive reviews of their lives and of miracles attributed to their intercession, confirms that they are indeed in heaven and worthy role models for us, as we try to live some of their virtues.
Do angels even exist? Who and what are they? Should we even believe in them? Throughout the Bible we find many references to angels. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph No. 328 “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith.” St Augustine distinguishes between the nature of angels and their office. They are spirits (nature) who are servants and messengers of God (office.) Jesus says “their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:10) God created angels before creating our world, and they have been actively helping throughout salvation history. God gifts each of us with a guardian angel to protect and guide us, interceding for us from the beginning of our life until death and helping us on our way home to heaven. So, then, the answer is a resounding YES! They do exist and we should believe in them, since they are our faithful friends and guides. Although the “Guardian Angel” prayer might not be appealing, it is good to speak to them daily, asking their help and protection, and thanking them for it.
For your family:
*Have a “Family Scripture Search” for angels throughout the Bible. In preparation, each person finds different Scripture passages and prepares questions for the others to answer. With hundreds of angelic references, there is room for great creativity. Example: Luke 1: 26 – 38. 1. What is the name of the angel? 2. To which town and to whom was this angel sent? 3. What was the message God wanted this angel to deliver? 4. What was the answer the angel received?
*For further information on angels, visit paragraphs #328 – 336 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
*Find fun crafts for your children by typing “guardian angel crafts” in the search bar of your computer or other device.
*To help develop a closer relationship, you might want to name your guardian angel.
*Celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels on Oct. 2nd with an “angelic” dinner including angel (opposite of deviled) eggs, angel hair pasta, angel food cake and/or homemade decorated angel cookies, with an angel statue, picture or Christmas tree topper as a table centerpiece, and praying the Guardian Angel Prayer before or after.