Daily Reflections

(Memorial) The Guardian Angels  •  Matthew 18:1-5, 10

The Christian life is attractive and wonderful at so many levels and understood as a great force for good in the world. Believers all through the ages have fed the poor, clothed the naked, set up hospitals and schools, and reached out to those despised and loathed by society. What is not to like, appreciate or understand about that? However, in the period known as the Enlightenment (1750–1850), the philosophers who spearheaded that movement entered into a conflict with faith which set reason and faith in opposition to one another. According to Christian understanding, faith is a meeting of the two: reason serves faith, and faith leads reason.

This Enlightenment thinking has filtered down through history and, as a result, our belief in the supernatural has waned or faded, even as Christians. Nowadays we are far more comfortable with expressing our faith in practical ways than in spiritual ways – through social action, care and service of our neighbour, and indeed care and service of the environment. However, sooner or later, we encounter a problem and have to face up to the fact that our faith is rooted in revelation and an understanding of the world which embraces that which cannot be seen – as, for instance, today when we celebrate the existence of our Guardian Angels.

Each of us has a guardian angel watching over us. Their existence is not a fairy story or a quaint teaching from our childhood – it is an article of faith. Pope St Gregory the Great taught that there are nine orders of angels, namely, angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim and seraphim. Angels are pure spirits sent to serve and protect those who will inherit salvation – namely the baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that ‘From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading them to life’ (para. 336).

Today thank God for your guardian angel and for his loving care in giving us these mighty protectors. Remember, too, that we can call upon our guardian angel to help us in the problems and challenges we face every day.

‘Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.’

Job 19:21-27  •  Psalm 26(27):7-9, 13-14
Matthew 18:1-5, 10

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