“The angels defend us from the wolves, who are the demons, and protect us.” (Saint John of the Cross).
Each night, when I was a little girl, when my mother put me into bed to go to sleep for the night, she prayed a prayer to my guardian angel with me – and my younger siblings. And the prayer went like this…
“Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits you here. Ever this night be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”
It is a simple and familiar prayer that many many people have prayed in the past and will continue to pray in the future. And – having enjoyed the peace of this routine each night – I have continued this tradition of praying this simple prayer with my own children as they go to bed each night.
I have been reflecting on my guardian angel very much over the last few days. After all – on the special feast day of All Souls’ Day we pray for all the departed souls in all the world. And as I pray for all of the souls who have died before me, I meditate upon their guardian angels too and pray for their intercession. For our guardian angels are appointed by God to our souls and remain with us from the moment of our conception to the moment of our Final Judgement by God Himself.
And these precious angels are not merely figurative creatures. They are real and powerful spiritual beings!
Some of the saints saw their guardian angels and spoke with them. Saint Faustina saw her guardian angel and spoke with him as did Saint Frances of Rome. Saint Padre Pio not only saw his own guardian angel, but he saw the guardian angels of others. In fact, when Saint Padre Pio spoke or wrote to his spiritual children, he advised them that in any of their distress, they should send their guardian angels to him so that he would know to pray for them.
Saint John Bosco said, “Be evermore convinced that your guardian angel is really present, that he is ever at your side. Saint Frances of Rome always saw him standing before her, his arms clasped at his breast, his eyes uplifted to Heaven but at the slightest failing, he would cover his face as if in shame and at times, turn his back to her.” (Saint John Bosco).
And I have been reflecting on this too. You see, it is one thing to imagine a guardian angel as a helper and a friend, but quite another to realise that this special appointed spiritual soul is watching everything that I do with a knowledge of God that can cause them to sometimes “cover his face as if in shame…”
For I imagine the shame that such an angel could feel at my wilful disobedience to the Will of God – which is GOOD. And my heart trembles. For love have often ignored the promptings of “…my guardian dear…”
For the angels love God – more than I could ever imagine. When He was in the desert for forty days and forty nights and again in the Garden of Gethsemane, “the angels came and ministered to Him.” (Matthew 4:11).
The angels help us too – in the same way that they helped my Beloved. And they do this because the angels see God inside each of us, and – loving God Himself – they love us, not only for our own sakes, but for His as well. For they would not grieve Him through the loss of any of the beloved souls that He has created.
Saint John of the Cross explained that “Besides carrying our prayers to God, they also bring God’s assistance to our souls and care for them as good shepherds, with gentle warnings and divine promptings. The angels defend us from the wolves, who are the demons, and protect us.”
And in this way, they are our best helper in achieving salvation. Now, it is time to become closer to them. Now. Today. So that they may continue to look upward to heaven with hands clasped in prayer. For my heart trembles to think that such a helper as this would ever cover his face or turn his back in shame – for I wish to make him proud as he stands beside me on the day of my Final Judgement. I wish to make him proud…
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.