By: Sr. Clare Hunter
“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Exodus 23:20-22).
I recently asked a man about his first memory of an encounter with God. He thought for a few minutes and shared an account, that I was to believe or not, of an experience he had as a young child. He was in his room and felt an “evil presence” and got very scared. He started to pray, and he felt someone take his hand. A sensation of peace and security came over him. “As weird as it sounds,” he said, he knew it was his Guardian Angel who took his hand and made him feel safe, and the evil presence disappeared. Not only was I touched by his story, but I was struck that he did not tell me about seeing Jesus, or the Father, Himself, but he knew God, as many have, through a “messenger of God,” an angel.
October 2 is the great feast of the Guardian Angels. In fact, this is “angel week” as we celebrated the great feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael on September 29. Certainly the mystery of angels captivates the world, young and old, of all faiths, yet it is important to make sure we have a proper understanding of the office of angels, and even more important to equip ourselves with the prayers and devotions that bring us into a deeper relationship with the angels and their invaluable protection.
Rooted deep within the Judeo-Christian tradition is the belief that part of God’s creation includes a species known as angels. Their mission is to make God known. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us of the relationship between humans and their angels:
“From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God” (CCC 336).
Angels have no bodies. They are not human, nor will humans become angels. In fact, we are taught that we will be “above the angels” as members of the Body of Christ. This was the very truth that caused Lucifer, a Seraph, to reject God, and, along with countless angels, to be cast into hell. Yes, bodiless beings that can protect and lead us is hard to comprehend and imagine, hence the images of winged “babies” or strong warriors who shield us from evil. When a loved one dies, it is natural to want to know and feel their presence and to believe that one of their souls is close by, guiding and protecting us each day. And God willing, they are, but not as angels.
Today is a perfect day to brush up on your angelology and to pray in deep gratitude for your Guardian Angel. Make sure you have these prayers memorized by the end of the day. Each of us receive our own angel for our time on earth, whose mission is to lead our soul into heaven. That is his only mission! He only has us! We can’t let him fail!
Prayer to your Guardian Angel:
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,
Rule and guide. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel:
St. Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
And do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
By the power of God,
Thrust into hell Satan,
And all the evil spirits,
Who prowl about the world
Seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.