Feast of the Guardian Angels
Today has to be one of the most beautiful feast days in the church year—the feast of the Guardian Angels. For most of my life I had no interest in them or gave them a second thought then last year Fr Angus began to talk about his angel. He was in his nineties and said that as he got older and approached death his Guardian angel was becoming very important to him.
Cardinal Newman in his poem, the Dream of Gerontius, says that the angel leads the old man to meet God and that the angel is joyful that his task is done and the old man is going to heaven. These two things, reading the poem by Newman and listening to Fr Angus, led me and my wife to begin saying the prayer to the Guardian Angel every morning after we finish our prayers. Over time I have begun to really enjoy the prayer and have grown fond of the idea that I have an angel all to myself.
We tend to think of the prayer to the Guardian Angel as a childish or child’s prayer, but the doctrine has a long and sacred history. The first reading for the feast is from Exodus 23 and it says ‘I shall send my angel before you to guard you as you go and to bring you to that place that I have prepared. Give him reverence and listen to what he says. Offer him no defiance…for my name is in him.’
As I grow older I have come to see the gift that God has given us in his church; every aspect of our life is covered by its teaching and the teaching is always for our comfort and edification.
We are so blessed to have the church as our home.