Our Guardian Angels
October, as well as being the month of the Holy Rosary, is also the month of the angels, and we celebrated the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels last Monday. People today seem to have forgotten how important and how involved these angels are in our lives.
Angels are spiritual beings which means they don’t have a body. One of the most common misconceptions people have is that if you die in a state of grace and get to Heaven you become an angel. No you don’t! What happens is that you become a disembodied spirit – your soul is in Heaven but you’re not an angel. But we get our bodies back at the final judgement.
It is the common teaching of the Church that every human being is given a guardian angel at birth. St Padre Pio (1887-1968) saw his guardian angel all the time, and he was quite surprised when at the age of 10 he realised this wasn’t the case for everyone else. But it’s not only people who have Guardian Angels. Countries, churches, parishes, dioceses and important buildings have them too. So there’s a lot more going on in the angelic world than we realise. People often say their guardian angel doesn’t help them very much. If that’s the case it’s probably because you don’t ask for his help. The more you pray to him, the more you empower him to help you out. If you never speak to him he’s not going to be able to do much for you. If you have particular weaknesses, you can ask your angel to help you. Good inspirations can often be from your guardian angel.
When God created the angels, they immediately grasped who they were, and that God had created each one with a specific task which is engrained into their very nature. So what this means is that your guardian angel was created specifically for you. God created something above you, but specifically for you. When the angels were created, they all had a choice to either do God’s will or not, and those who didn’t became demons. They either accepted what God wanted of them or they rejected it. The angels, being much more intelligent than we are, could foresee the consequences of their choice, and so their will was fixed or locked forever. So this means that the first choice your guardian angel made was to love and look after you. Imagine that! He chose you above everything else. So on his side of things there is only love and desire for your salvation. From the very beginning of your existence your guardian angel has been concerned about you. He would have rejoiced the day you were born, and on the day of your Baptism he would have rejoiced further as you became a child of God. He would have grieved when you committed sin, but would have rejoiced again when you were restored to God’s grace by making a good Confession. Imagine his happiness as you receive Holy Communion in a state of grace, and when you were made a soldier of Christ at your Confirmation.
Therefore, it must follow that he’d like to have a much more intimate relationship with you, but you have to make it happen by giving yourself over to him and allowing yourself to be guided by him. And he’s doing more for you than you realise anyway. He’s certainly always praying for you and wanting you to become more holy. If you’re sensitive to it, he’s whispering to you good and wise counsel, and he protects you from danger and evil attacks.
After your death it will be your guardian angel who will present you before the Throne of God and plead on your behalf. If you require purification in Purgatory, your angel will visit and console you there. And when that time of purgation is ended, he will take you from the flames of Purgatory and lead you up to the eternal bliss of Heaven. May we know the protection of our angel, and may they intercede and pray for us.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC