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Feast of the Guardian Angels
When was the last time you thanked God for your guardian angel? When was the last time you thanked your guardian angel? When was the last time you asked your guardian angel for a favor? … I can hear you stammering for an answer halfway across the globe. Your recent note makes it painfully clear that you are falling into the non-Catholic mentality that sees God as a miser. God is not a miser. He does not reserve every good deed to himself. He is abundantly generous, like the most lavish of kings. His court in heaven is bustling with saints, angels, and who-knows-what-else all busily and joyfully going back and forth as they take care of the projects their Lord has assigned them. He is surrounded by a “countless host” of those who love him, and he is glad to keep them all busy building his Kingdom (and they are glad to be able to do something for him). To ask your patron saint to pray for you, to beg St John Cupertino’s assistance in your midterms, to talk to St Cecilia about the song you’re working on… This is part of the great glory of being members of the Christian family, a family whose ties extend beyond the boundaries of time and space. Catholics are family people – even the hermits, the holiest of which have the steadiest stream of visitors.
If this overwhelms you, maybe you should just start with a simple prayer to your guardian angel. The Church has long believed (and Scripture supports it) that God has assigned each of us a kind of heavenly bodyguard, a “guardian angel.” They help lead us along the path to heaven by defending us from evil (and from the evil angels, also knows as demons, which are equally real), helping us in prayer, and making little suggestions about doing good deeds. They never actually make us do anything (neither does the devil – that would constitute a violation of our free will, which God will not tolerate), but God allows them to influence our imagination and our senses (memory, interior perception…) in order to encourage us to do what is good. They are pure spiritual beings, much more powerful than ourselves, and they are at the service of God for our benefit. Therefore, to ignore them would be foolish, not to mention ungrateful.
I have to go now, but I want to leave you this new translation of an ancient Latin prayer to the guardian angel, in case you haven’t seen it before. It’s a great way to keep plugged in to your extended family – I always say it when I go on a trip, long or short (which hasn’t happened for quite some time now):
“Angel sent by God to guide me;
be my light and walk beside me;
be my guardian and protect me;
on the paths of life direct me.”
I will ask my guardian angel to give yours a hand today (which is their feast day), and jumpstart your relationship. I really have to go.
God bless, Uncle Eddy
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I used to teach Kindergarten at a Catholic school in the Rochester NY area. I taught my children this version of the Angel Prayer. I talked about our Guardian Angels often and taught them to meditate.