THE GUARDIAN ANGEL PRAYER
Do you know you have a special angel? No, not just someone you love! The Guardian Angel Prayer pays tribute to a wonderful divine being! God in His great love for us gives each of us our own unique guide, a guardian angel, at birth to keep us going in the right direction on our path towards heaven.
Guardian angels watch over us, pray for us, and help guide our thoughts and inclinations. They can even protect us from physical as well as spiritual harm! The Guardian Angel Prayer sums this up quite nicely:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day [or night] be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Christ Himself made reference to Guardian Angels when he said once referring to children that “their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 18:10). St. Jerome marveled in reference to this passage “How great is the value of the (human) soul that every single person has from birth received an angel for his protection.”
One of his 4th century contemporaries, St. Basil, once wrote that “every one of the faithful has an angel at his side as educator and guide, directing his life.” (Doesn’t this statement remind you of the Guardian Angel Prayer?)
Other theologians including St. Clement and St. Gregory the Great noted that every country, city, town, village, and even family has its own special Guardian Angel!
Angels are pure spirts. They often delivered important messages in Biblical times, such as when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). (Indeed, the word “angel” is derived from the Greek word “angelos,” meaning messenger.)
Angels carried out other important tasks in Scripture as well, like keeping three youths safe who were thrown into a fiery furnace after they defied the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (as depicted in the painting at left) (Daniel, Ch.3); and rescuing St. Peter from prison (Acts 12:6-10).
The Guardian Angel Prayer, much like another famous
prayer to St. Michael,
helps us remember not to take these blessed spirits for granted.
St. Bernard exhorted the faithful to “make the holy angels your friends [and], honor them by your prayers." He added “never do in the presence of your Angel what you would not do in my presence.”
We must treat our Guardian Angels with respect and love while having confidence in their protection, which we all sorely need at times!
This is due in no small part to the actions of their counterparts, the fallen angels better known as demons. While you might say that misery loves company, these evil spirits have no love for us, and certainly not for God (or for anything else for that matter)!
They want to drag us down to Hell with them by goading us into all kinds of sinful and malicious behavior. Fortunately, our Guardian Angels can help us follow in our Lord's footsteps on the road towards Heaven instead.
As mentioned earlier, angels can help protect us physically as well as spiritually. There have been numerous stories for example, of people being rescued from harmful situations by mysterious strangers who seem to depart just as suddenly as they first appeared!
Although these accounts are anecdotal, they nonetheless point out how important angels can be in our lives and encourage us to call on them for help in our prayers.
We can also imitate our angels, much as we imitate our Lord, in the little (and not so little!) things we do to help each other, especially those most in need.
The Guardian Angel Prayer at first glance might seem like just a childhood nursery rhyme but it can inspire us to be receptive to our Angels’ Heavenly guidance.
With God's help and theirs, your words, prayers, and actions can help other people navigate what at times can be a convoluted road towards Eternal Life. And your Guardian Angel is happy to help you help them in sharing God’s love!
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