Adrienne von Speyr’s Prayer for the time of fatigue
Dear Lord, I am too tired to pray. And you certainly know from the Cross how great fatigue can be. I ask you to let all your angels and saints so adore you that no break in adoration results. Amen.
A fitting prayer on today’s feast of the Guardian Angels.
The teaching we hold dear about the Guardian Angel is that an angel is (a created, non-human, non-corporeal being) that has been assigned to guard a particular person, with concern for that person to avoid spiritual and physical dangers and work out one’s salvation. The Directory on Piety and the Tradition of the Church says serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels.
In sacred Scripture, the Prophet Daniel speaks of Michael as “the great prince who has charge of your [Daniel’s] people” (Dan. 12:1). Michael is depicted as the guardian angel of Israel.
Saint Matthew’s Gospel speaks of Jesus talking about are guardian angels for all persons, particularly little children. He says: See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven (Matt. 18:10).
‘A prayer to the good angel’
O sweet angel, to me so dear,
Who night and day standeth me near
Full lovingly, with mild mood, [gentle mind]
Thanks, honour, love and praising,
Offer for me to Jesu, our king,
For his gifts great and good.
As thou goest betwixt him and me,
And knowest my life in every degree,
Telling it in his presence,
Ask me grace to love him truly,
To serve my Lord with heart duly,
With my daily diligence.
Keep me from vice and all perils,
While thou with me daily travels
In this world of wickedness;
Cause my petitions to be granted
By thy prayer daily haunted,
If it please thy holiness.
O sweet angel, who keepest me,
Bring me to bliss, I pray thee!
From the manuscript from which this prayer comes we can note that it was in a volume owned by Margaret Beauchamp, the Duchess of Somerset, mother of Margaret Beaufort, and grandmother of Henry VII.
Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century, ed. Carleton Brown (Oxford, 1939)
The Lord provides for our guidance, protection and connection with Himself. It is true, I believe, that there are few aspects of Catholic piety that can be perceived as comfortable to parents as the belief that a guardian angel protects their child from dangers real and imagined. My parents and grandparents taught me the famous prayer to the Guardian Angel.
The guardian angels aren’t just for children. They are not merely the domesticated spiritual figures that Hallmark perpetrates. By definition an angel does what its name means: it delivers a message. The angel has a role: to represent person before God, to watch over them, to aid their prayer and to present the souls to God at death. A Guardian angel is assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture. The Guardian Angel is not named.
Recall the words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Saint Matthew (18:10) about this doctrine: See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
Monks and nuns have a tremendous relationship with the angels. In fact, the monastic tradition with angels is based in Scripture and the devotion they had with Divine Presence and God’s promises. Saint Benedict speaks of the angels, e.g. RB 7 & 19, and later the 12th century Cistercian Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, spoke in favor of the guardian angels.
The Church knows a particular feast day, however, in honor of the guardian angels only in the 16th century.
Ps. 90 (91):11
The offertory antiphon, First Sunday in Lent
The belief that the guardian angels exist and help humanity has a long genealogy coming from the Jewish tradition and the witness of the saints.
“Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to “here” and “now.” Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature [angels]” — St. Thomas Aquinas, ST I.50.1
I recommend being friendly with your guardian angel.