We usually associate Guardian Angels with children. In the gospel reading for the Feast of Guardian Angels, October 2, Jesus says we can’t get to heaven unless we become like little children whose “angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18,1-5,10)
Artists, like the above, usually picture Guardian Angels with children, protecting and guiding them as they go on their way in a dangerous world.
Yet, the angels we read about in the Bible are more than protectors of children; they’re signs of God’s involvement in the whole world. They bring God’s message to Mary and Joseph and the prophets. They bring bread to Elijah in the desert and save Daniel in the lion’s den. They’re part of God’s providential hand dealing with the world. They guide nations, the human family and creation itself. Angels are everywhere instruments of God’s power and love and justice.
However smart or independent or grown-up we think are, God knows we’re still little children. We never outgrow God’s guidance and care: we have “loyal, prudent, powerful protectors and guides. They keep us so our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray.” So that’s us in the picture above.
I think of the “principle of subsidiarity” on the feastday of the Guardian Angels. God spreads his power around. I also remember that sometime ago I nearly hit a truck ahead of me but something suddenly stopped me. “Thanks.”
O God, in your infinite providence you deign to send your holy angels to be our guardians. Grant to us who pray to you
that we may be defended by them in this life
and rejoice with them in the next.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Thank you for your post, Father Victor. Something to tell the “grown-ups.”
Mary Oliver and others believe our deceased loved ones are angelic! Reminds me of the angel ornament we put at the top of our Christmas tree.
About Angels and About Trees
Where do angels
fly in the firmament,
and how many can dance
on the head of a pin?
Well, I don’t care
about that pin dance,
what I know is that
they rest, sometimes,
in the tops of the trees
and you can see them,
or almost see them,
or, anyway, think: what a
I have lost as you and
others have possibly lost a
and wonder, where are they now?
The trees, anyway, are
miraculous, full of
angels (ideas); even
empty they are a
good place to look, to put
the heart at rest—all those
leaves breathing the air, so
peaceful and diligent, and certainly
ready to be the resting place of
strange, winged creatures
that we, in this world, have loved.
by Mary Oliver. From Evidence: Poems, Beacon Press.
Dear Father Victor, Thank you for your reflection. It brings out the kid in me and reminds me of what a priest once told me as a child. He said, don’t hurt anyone because you will have their Guardian Angel to answer to. Good advice, still!