Guardian Angels

We can give thanks to God for his loving kindness and his care in assigning such a personal guardian to each of us.

One of the most consoling truths in our faith is that God is not distant from us and never abandons us. Yes, God governs the awesome vastness of creation from the farthest cosmic expanses to the immeasurably small realities of sub-atomic existence. But God is also intimately involved and engaged and concerned for the welfare and well-being of each and every one of us in every moment of every day. It could only be a matter of his great love for us, that he would give each of us a guardian angel, whose mission is to light our minds with the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom, to guard us from the foe, to help us to rule over our foolish passions, and to guide our feet into the way of Christ’s peace. Thanks be to God.

Angels are not the product of fairy tale thinking. We see angels at work throughout the scriptures. In the Old Testament we see things like this: “Thus says the Lord, ‘See, I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him. If you heed his voice and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes,’” (Exodus 23:20-21). Again, in the Psalms, we hear: “For to his angels he has given a command about you, that they will guard you in all your ways. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone,” (Psalm 91:11-12).

And from the New Testament, we see God’s angels at work when Peter was arrested and imprisoned by Herod. We see that an angel suddenly appears beside Peter in the darkness of his prison cell, shedding a bright light over that darkness. The chains fall off of Peter’s wrists and the angel tells Peter ‘to follow him’. In short, the angel frees Peter from that cell, the night before he is about to be brought to trial. We are told by Luke, “Then Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting,” (Acts 12:11).

Angels are always representative of God’s intimate and faithful love for his people. We see that they are clearly protectors and guides sent by God in times of great difficulty. Some are angels of great importance and their mission is of great consequence, like the angel that God sent to protect the Jews in the desert when they were being pursued by the Egyptian army. Or the angel, who comes to Mary with the incomprehensible, mysterious, and infinitely consequential proposal to the virgin Mary, to be the mother of God. If God sends his angels to protect the people, what is there to deny His wisdom that He would give each one of us a personal angel to guide and to guard each one of us? Who knows better, our need for such protectors and guides in this world?

One does not have to believe in guardian angels in order to be a Christian. But, it is a great comfort to believe that God’s love is so intimate and personal. When I look back over my life I have, in retrospect, realized that, on many occasions, there had to have been some angel who was working overtime to protect me from my stupidity, challenging me, like a caring friend, to resist temptation, lifting me up and accompanying me, and guiding me back onto the narrow path when I have gone astray. Though it is not a matter of doctrine to believe in a guardian angel, it is no stretch of imagination to believe that God would, in his wisdom, provide such a being to fight by our side, protecting us from those fallen angels, Satan and his minions. We can give thanks to God for his loving kindness and his care in assigning such a personal guardian to each of us.

“Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here; ever this day be at my side to light, to guard, to rule and to guide.” Amen.

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