Yesterday while driving back from court I was involved in an automobile collision that totaled my vehicle. The other driver was not hurt, and the semi that he was driving suffered no damage. I got out without a scratch. I thank the interecessory prayers of my sainted father, my sainted mother who taught me how to drive, a truly thankless task considering how slowly I learned, and my guardian angel.
The Angelic Doctor instructs us about guardian angels:
113. ANGEL GUARDIANS
1. It is fitting that changeable and fallible human beings should be guarded by angels, and thus steadily moved and regulated to good.
2. St. Jerome, in his commentary on Matthew 8:10, says “The dignity of human souls is great, for each has an angel appointed to guard it.” God’s providence extends, not only to mankind as a whole, but to individual human beings. Each human being has, by God’s loving providence, his own guardian angel.
3. It seems that the office of being guardians to men belongs to the lowest order of heavenly spirits, that is, the ninth order, the order of Angels.
4. Each human being, without exception, has a guardian angel as long as he is a wayfarer, that is, during his whole earthly life. In heaven a man will have an angel companion to reign with him, but not a guardian; no guardian is needed when the guarded journey has been successfully completed. In hell, each man will have a fallen angel to punish him.
5. Each human being has his guardian angel from the moment of his birth, and not, as some have taught, only from the moment of baptism.
6. The guardian angel is a gift of divine providence. He never fails or forsakes his charge. Sometimes, in the workings of providence, a man must suffer trouble; this is not prevented by the guardian angel.
Pope John XXIII had this meditation on the feast of the guardian angels on October 2, 1959:
According to the teaching of the Roman catechism, we must remember how admirable was the intention of divine Providence in entrusting to the angels the mission of watching over all mankind, and over individual human beings, lest they should fall victims to the grave dangers which they encounter. In this earthly life, when children have to make their way along a path beset with obstacles and snares, their fathers take care to call upon the help of those who can look after them and come to their aid in adversity. In the same way our Father in heaven has charged his angels to come to our assistance during our earthly journey which leads us to our blessed fatherland, so that, protected by the angels’ help and care, we may avoid the snares upon our path, subdue our passions and, under this angelic guidance, follow always the straight and sure road which leads to Paradise…
Everyone of us is entrusted to the care of an angel.
That is why we must have a lively and profound devotion to our own Guardian Angel, and why we should often and trustfully repeat the dear prayer we were taught in the days of our childhood.
May we never fail in this devotion to the angels! During our earthly pilgrimage we may often run the risk of having to face the natural elements in turmoil, or the wrath of men who may seek to do us harm. But our Guardian Angel is always present. Let us never forget him and always remember to pray to him.
I thank God for my deliverance, and I have said again one of the first prayers my mother taught me so many years ago:
O Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits thee here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen.