Guardian Angels (Memorial)
Today is the memorial of the Guardian Angels. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession” (No. 336). St. Basil asserted, “Beside each believer stands an angel protector and shepherd leading him to life.”
The truth that each and every human soul has a Guardian Angel who protects us from spiritual and physical evil has also been shown throughout the Old Testament, and is made very clear in the New Testament.
It is written that the Lord Jesus is strengthened by an angel in the Garden of Gethsemane and that an angel delivered St. Peter from prison in the Acts of the Apostles.
But Jesus makes the existence and function of guardian angels explicit when He says, “See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10).
In saying this, Jesus points out that all people, even little children, have a guardian angel and that the angels are in Heaven, always looking at the face of God throughout their mission on earth, which is to guide us and protect us throughout our pilgrimage to the house of our Father. As St. Paul says, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
However, they guide us to Heaven only if we desire it. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that angels cannot act directly upon our will or intellect, although they can do so on our senses and imaginations – thus encouraging us to make the right decisions. In Heaven our guardian angels, though no longer needing to guide us to salvation, will continue to enlighten us.
It is important to pray to your guardian angel and become friends with your angel. Ask for your guardian angel’s help when you’re stuck in traffic, when you need a parking place, and when you need help with your computer or the Internet. Call upon your guardian angel in times of temptation or weakness and he will assist, enlighten, and protect you.
The prayer to the guardian angels has been present in the Church since at least the beginning of the 12th century.
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard,to rule and guide. Amen.
Traditional German Catholic children’s prayer:
This night I lay me down to sleep, I give the Lord my soul to keep;If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.Four corners of my bed,Four angels over head; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Bless this bed I lay upon. I lay my head on Our Lady’s knee, Jesus come this night and save me. Heart of Joseph I adore thee, Heart of Mary I implore thee; Heart of Jesus pure and just, In those three hearts I place my trust. Amen.
You can find the Litany of the Angel Guardian and more prayers to your guardian angel at this beautiful website.
Sermon on the Holy Guardian Angels by St. Bernard of Clairvaux
My Favorite Guardian Angel Quotes:
“The servants of Christ are protected by invisible, rather than visible, beings. But if these guard you, they do so because they have been summoned by your prayer. “
“Let us affectionately love His angels as counselors and defenders appointed by the Father and placed over us. They are faithful; they are prudent; they are powerful; Let us only follow them, let us remain close to them, and in the protection of the God of heaven let us abide.”
~St. Bernard of Clairvaux
“God’s universal providence works through secondary causes . . . The world of pure spirits stretches between the Divine Nature and the world of human beings; because Divine Wisdom has ordained that the higher should look after the lower, Angels execute the Divine plan for human salvation: they are our Guardians, who free us when hindered and help to bring us home.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas
Humperdinck Evening Prayer Guardian Angels (beautiful images and calming music with prayers)