Whenever an A-list celebrity is photographed or videotaped in public, their bodyguard is often never more than a few feet away ready to protect them from danger. Did you know that each day you too have your own protector? Your bodyguard isn’t a physically towering, muscular person, rather it’s a non-human, non-corporeal being created by God — your guardian angel.
When one thinks of a guardian angel, the image of the affable Clarence from the holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life likely comes to mind. While a guardian angel doesn’t have a face or name, these spiritual creatures are real and according to Pope Francis we should be mindful of their presence and respect them.
The word angel means messenger. Angels are servants and messengers of God, and God in His infinite mercy assigns each one of us a guardian angel to walk with us on our personal journey to help us avoid spiritual dangers and prepare our way to heaven. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, human life “from its beginning until death, is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd...”
Angels in the Bible
There are hundreds of references of angels throughout the Bible. Since creation and throughout the history of salvation angels have been present and referenced:
“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.” (Psalm 34:7)
"In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:10)
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 10-11)
Angels tended to Christ in the desert (Mt. 4:11) and witnessed His resurrection (Jn.20:12-13)
A Simple, Beautiful Prayer
The guardian angel prayer is a simple prayer that asks our guardian angel to help make our paths straight, to guide our steps and to light our way:
The artwork that often accompanies this prayer — an image of an angel walking beside two children as they cross a broken wooden bridge — is a serene reminder of just how close our angel walks by our side.
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.
In a recent homily on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, Pope Francis stressed that: “No one walks alone and none of us can think that he is alone, because ‘this companion’ is always with us.” He went on to say that “whenever we hear a little voice in our head saying, 'Well, do this. That would be better. You mustn't do this ...' Listen! Don't turn against him because it is the guardian angel's voice.”
This prayer is yet another uplifting reminder that God never abandons us! He sends each of us our personal protector who has our best interests in mind.
Remember to pray to your guardian angel often. “Listen to the angel's counsel because he (or she) is always trying to defend us, especially from evil, just like a real friend — a friend we do not see, but we can hear," says Pope Francis.
The Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels is October 2.