Tag Archives: guardian angels

Holy Guardian Angels

Today is the liturgical memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. Do you ask your Guardian Angel to help you, to guide you, to protect you at least daily if not more than once during the day?

The following text is from a sermon of St Bernard of Clairvaux, “That they might guard you in all your ways”:

He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. Let them thank the Lord for his mercy; his wonderful works are for the children of men. Let them give thanks and say among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. O Lord, what is man that you have made yourself known to him, or why do you incline your heart to him? And you do incline your heart to him; you show him your care and your concern. Finally, you send your only Son and the grace of your Spirit, and promise him a vision of your countenance. And so, that nothing in heaven should be wanting in your concern for us, you send those blessed spirits to serve us, assigning them as our guardians and our teachers.

He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instil confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.

So let us be devoted and grateful to such great protectors; let us return their love and honour them as much as we can and should. Yet all our love and honour must go to him, for it is from him that they receive all that makes them worthy of our love and respect.

We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father. We are God’s children although it does not seem so, because we are still but small children under guardians and trustees, and for the present little better than slaves.

Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear? They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven.

Praising God as the angels, really

Earlier this month we the Church liturgical recalled the Guardian Angels and in late September we did the same for the Archangels. I have been thinking of the presence of the angels of late and came across this line from St. John Chrysostom who tells us of our angelic calling:
 
“On high the armies of the angels are giving praise. Here below in the Church the human choir takes up after them the same doxology. Above us, angels of fire make the thrice Holy hymn resound magnificently. Here below is raised the echo of their hymn. The festival of heaven’s citizens is united with the inhabitants of earth in a single thanksgiving, a single upsurge of happiness, a single chorus of joy.”
 
On Ozias, Homily 4,1(PG 56,120)
 
Olivier Clement, trans. Roots of Christian Mysticism: Texts from the Patristic Era with Commentary, second edition. (New York: New City Press, 2013), 118.

Prayer for the time of fatigue

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.

A prayer to a guardian angel

guardian-angel2October 2nd is the day to commemorate the Guardian Angels. While it is a Sunday, the feast gets trumped by the Sunday observance.

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)

Guardian Angels

holy-guardian-angel-iconThe 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.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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