Angels walk with us. Thank God! Thank God!
This morning, as I prayed for all the intentions of my heart – and yours – I prayed The Prayer to my Guardian Angel, which my mother had taught me when I was a little girl...
“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.”
It is a simple prayer. Child-like. My own children learned it by rote when they were only a few years old – barely old enough to speak.
And yet, through those simple, child-like words, there is unimaginable comfort... For, in that prayer we speak to ANGELS!
And who are those angels?
They are the messengers of God – and His helpers.
When God wished to speak to His people in the Old Testament – Abraham and Sarah, Lot, Daniel, Zechariah – He sent His angels.
When God wished to speak to His beloved virginal spouse Mary, and her chaste spouse Joseph, or the Shepherds or the Wise Men – He sent His angels.
In 1916, before the children of Fatima – Lucia, Francesco and Jacinta – ever saw the Blessed Virgin, the Angel of Peace appeared to them three times to teach them to pray…
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.”
But Angels do not only appear to the weak and vulnerable – children or shepherd or new parents – they appear to God as well.
When Christ was alone in the wilderness being tempted during the forty days and forty nights, “…the angels ministered to Him.” (Mark 1:13).
When Christ sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane “An angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.” (Luke 22:14).
And after His death… Then too, the angels appeared, “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (Matthew 28:2).
There is something paradoxical in these angels assisting Christ. Christ – after all – is perfect God and perfect Man. Surely – should He have chosen to – He could have cast off His Humanity and relied upon His Divinity to achieve the strength that the angels brought to Him from the Father, without their help at all. And yet – through infinite humility, through perfect act of perfectly infinite humility – for LOVE of us – Christ did NOT! He relied on His human strength and accepted the ministrations of these messengers of His Beloved Father.
Christ – God Himself – ALLOWED the angels to help Him. Not because He needed help – because as God He needed nothing that He could not provide to Himself – but because love, true love, is BOTH the reflection and the absorption.
Not only does Christ REFLECT the Love of God to us – but He Humbly ABSORBS our own feeble Love for Him – no matter how flawed, imperfect and sinful its delivery.
I imagine for God, the absorption of our love is about as charming as a mother carrying her grubby little toddler in her arms, while the child rubs its snotty nose, sticky fingers and saliva all over her face and clothes and hair after a long day playing in a bucket of manure…
Most mothers can endure the grossness of such an experience because they love the child – but surely it is not too honest to admit that any mother would prefer a cuddle after nice warm bath?
And yet, for LOVE of us, God allows us to rub our sticky fingers, and our snot and saliva our gunk and our mess all over Him. He allows our offending nature near to Him – not because we deserve Him for we do not – because He loves us and as the perfect expression of Love, God not only reflects His perfect love out to us, but absorbs our imperfections back in.
There is great love both in the giving and the receiving of love. Christ shows us that!
And how else does God show His love for us?
Through our Guardian Angels, who guide and inspire us and who direct us to good works when evil ones are at hand.
Saint Padre Pio used to tell his spiritual children, “If you need me, send me your guardian angel.”
For every worthless lowly human soul, God provides an angelic one to minister to it. If only we could really understand how surrounded we are on this road to Calvary – even when we are most alone!
What intimacy God has provided to us! What companionship! What a terrible snare of the Evil One is this feeling of loneliness that overwhelms us at times.
If only we could truly see it for the lie that it is…
For we walk with angels all the days of our lives. And perhaps – if we try to pray very very hard – we can learn to dance with them too… all the way to Calvary!
For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.