How is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I bid him good day in the morning? Do I tell him: ‘guard me while I sleep?' Do I speak to him? Do I ask for his advice? Is he beside me?”. We can answer these questions today. Each one of us can do so in order to evaluate “the relationship with this angel that the Lord has sent to guard me and to accompany me on the path, and who always beholds the face of the Father who is in heaven.”
- Pope Francis, morning meditation in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, October 2nd, 2014.
By Father Gilles Jeanguenin, exorcist in Albenga-Imperia diocese, Northern Italy:
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father" (Matthew 18,10), affirms Jesus in a gospel proclaimed during the guardian angels feast, on October 2nd. Every one of us indeed has a celestial spirit affected to his/her guard (hence his qualificative of guardian).
As John XXIII emphasized, one of the teachings of our faith is that none of us are alone. As soon as the soul is created by God for a new human being, especially when the grace of sacraments wraps it in its ineffable light, an angel, part of the holy phalanx of the celestial spirits, is called to stay at the soul's side during all its earthly pilgrimage.
The angel's mission must not be confused with multi-peril insurance, which would deal with all the inconveniences in our life. No, the angels are not here to prevent every stumble, especially those imputable to my carelessness or neglect, because we are free beings. To restrict the angels' ministry to a defensive and protective role, especially on the material plane, would be erroneous. My guardian angel is first and foremost my educator and my spiritual guide; he offers my prayer and my good deeds to God, inspires me to do what is well and pleasing to God, helps me renounce the material goods and become worthy of the lasting riches of heaven. He is as a brother who prays for me and assists me in moving forward despite life's trials. If I'm open to his influence, he will grant me:
- Light in my spiritual journey.
- Counsel in time of decision-making.
- Strength to resist temptation.
- Courage in trial.
- Consolation in sufferings.
- Protection in danger.
- And the hope of Heaven at the last moments of my life.
Living with our invisible companion requires three approaches, according to Saint Bernard: "respect for his presence, devoted affection for his benevolence, and confidence in his good watch."
The awareness of living under a kind watching eye was very strong in Saint John XXIII. In 1968, he encouraged one of his nieces to maintain a familiar relationship with her guardian angel, and with all guardian angels of the people she knew and loved. He even confided in her that, when he visited someone important for Holy See matters, he would ask his guardian angel to agree with the angel of the person he was to visit and exert a positive influence. Of course, John XXIII did not keep his devotion a secret, as he used to publicly express his wish that the devotion to guardian angels would increase among the faithful.
"Let us converse often with the celestial friend God granted us, did he exhort during his speech on November 29th, 1960. Let us not close our eyes to rest and not begin our day without asking for our angel's protection, let us always turn to our angel when in trial and adversity, and when we are tempted by the enemy."
As for himself, John XXIII used to say the Angele Dei prayer (see below) at least five times a day, and often conversed with his angel, in calm and peace.
Angel of God
My guardian dear,
To whom his love commits me here;
Ever this day/night, be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
This prayer is called the Angele Dei prayer (Angel of God). In many families, it was part of both morning and evening prayers. It may also be prayed during the Angelus, which is recited in the morning, at noon and in the evening.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6