Matthew 18: 1-5, 10
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.“ Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
A favorite childhood prayer is the poem to our guardian angel: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love entrusts me here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide.” Today we honor those spiritual beings, our friends and constant companions, who light, guard, rule, and guide our lives.
The traditional prayer to our guardian angel is packed with meaning that is perhaps obscured by its simplicity.God entrusts us to a guardian angel out of love for us. They are a concrete manifestation of his love, given to us for our own good and for our salvation. Our guardian angels are true angels, endowed by God with power and knowledge, who see God, praise him continually, and seek his glory in his service. The particular service of our guardian angels is to participate in God’s plan for our salvation. As such, they bring us light, giving us understanding not only of timeless truths, but also how to live them in a particular, practical moment.
They guard us, not only from physical evil but also from moral evil, fulfilling what we ask the Father for when we say “Deliver us from evil.” They rule us—like God by the force of persuasion rather than compulsion—as superior beings both morally and intellectually. Finally, they guide us, helping us to find our way in a world that is often dark and confusing. Beyond this, they are simply our friends. Our guardian angel is always at our side, a simple and steadfast companion, a friend in the Lord to help us on the way to Him. Let us thank them today for their service and resolve to cooperate with their guidance on our path to salvation.
—Fr. Matthew Monnig, S.J.
Lord, we pray for ourselves this day. Where there is doubt, deepen our faith to embrace the spiritual realm of the angels. Help us to never underestimate their power “to light, to guard, to rule and guide” us. Please be with us when we reflect on our day and acknowledge our feelings of gratitude, lessons learned, and a humility about working with people from various socioeconomic backgrounds. And finally, Lord, if we have not yet named our angel, enlighten us when we take a moment to do so today.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team