On October 2nd the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of the Guardian Angels. As small children our catechism teachers used to show a picture with an angel leading a baby on a bridge, which was a little damaged and further we were taught that God has given each one of us angel to guard and lead us through the course of our life. But as we grew up, we may have failed to understand the existence and importance of guardian angels for our life. Are there really angels to guard each one of us?
They are really present: The Catholic Church did not concoct anything about the existence of the Guardian Angels. There are many references in the Bible to show that God has entrusted us to the watchful care of the angels. For example,
Psalm 34:6-7 says, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.”
Psalm 35:4-6 states, “Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and confounded who devise evil against me! Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on! Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!” (Ref. also Book Job33:23-26).
Matthew 18:10, “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.” (Ref. Acts 12:12-15).
Based on these and other Biblical references, the Catholic Church teaches that the Guardian Angels are given to us by God to help us: “The Existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that the Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 328).
Angels lead us to heaven: Our Guardian angels protect us from evil and assist us to choose good. The Letter to the Hebrews states: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).
Let us believe that God’s care is fulfilled by the angels and so let our Guardian Angel lead us deeper in the fullness of God’s mercy, love and goodness. Here is a short prayer to our 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, to rule and guide” Amen.
Fr. Arul Joseph V.