Our spiritual protectors do not fly from our sides when we reach adulthood; in fact, that’s when we need them more than ever.
How can I develop a relationship with my Guardian Angel? We have this powerful intercessor so close to us it seems like a waste not to build that relationship. What do you recommend?
Our Guardians Angels are great. It’s a shame they’ve come to be thought of as a childhood devotion. You’re hard-pressed to find imagery or iconography of these helpers that does not also feature a small child, but our spiritual protectors don’t fly from our side the minute we reach adulthood, so you’re very smart to want to develop a relationship with yours.
And they are mighty! Guardian Angels are fierce heavenly creatures. Remember that when angels were referenced in the Bible it was noted that their appearance brought a reaction of fear and awe from people.
Children are almost inherently faith-filled and born with the capacity for belief. Adults struggle with belief when their views have been clouded by cynicism and doubt. You could argue that it’s in our adult lives that we need our Guardian Angels’ heavenly aid most, to protect us from ourselves.
Treat your relationship with your Guardian Angel like you would with anyone else. That means, Communicate! When we tell people that want to grow in holiness and become closer to God we ask them to pray, which is a supernatural form of communication. Your angel is simultaneously with you and before God, so yes, ask for angelic prayers to help you grow in holiness. There are plenty of prayers out there to use and plenty of ways in which our Guardian Angels can assist us.
But you don’t need formal prayers. Just talk to your angel. I often head into a meeting asking my Guardian Angel to nudge me if I’m about to say something stupid, or I ask my angel to meet with the angel of a co-worker if we’re having disagreements, in order to assist us in working together in peace.
Many people think of Guardian Angels as only (only!) the beings that keep us protected from physical harm and out of trouble, but they are also guardians of our spirituality and can help us fight off temptations. When I think of the word “guardian” and “angel” I have to remember that there’s strength and might in their very definitions.
To get a fuller understanding of the capacity of their might and the range of their supernatural abilities examine the Novena to the Guardian Angels. They comfort us, protect from evil, console us in Purgatory, and carry our prayers to the Throne of God.
My Abuelita said that mothers would often send their own Guardian Angels after their children’s angel to carry prayers and messages. She believed the angels talked to each other, too, and why not? Some people even say that they will finish our prayers and rosaries if we fall asleep mid-prayer, if we ask them to.
I like to ask for my Guardian Angel’s help before confession while making my examen. When I feel particularly tempted toward sin I ask my Guardian Angel for help. I often ask my Guardian Angel to look after my son or tell my son’s Guardian Angel thank you for watching him. On my small altar at home sit Mary, Jesus, Joseph, my patron saint, my son’s patron saint, and a icon of a Guardian Angel.
I don’t always remember the exact prayers dedicated to them or remember to pull up the full litany or novena on my phone, but I can remember to acknowledge their role in my physical and spiritual life and thank them for their assistance. It’s in those small ways that our relationships with our Guardian Angels become more intimate. END QUOTES
What Does Our Guardian Angel Do after We Die?
A guardian angel’s mission does not end with death; it continues until we achieve union with God
Regarding guardian angels, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in number 336 that “from infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.”
It is clear from this text that we enjoy the protection and vigilance of our guardian angels even at the moment of death. These angels don’t only accompany us in this earthly life; their action extends into the next life.
In order to understand the relationship that continues to exist between angels and human beings during our passing from this life to the next, we must understand that angels have been “sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Similarly, Saint Basil the Great teaches that no one can deny that “beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life” (CCC 336).
That is to say the primary mission of guardian angels is the salvation of mankind: that each of us enters the life of union with God. This mission includes the assistance that guardian angels give to souls at the moment when they present themselves before God.
The Fathers of the Church speak of this mission when they say that guardian angels are present with the soul at the moment of death, and protect it from the last attacks of demons.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) taught that at the moment when the soul leaves the body, it is accompanied and consoled by its guardian angel so that the soul can present itself confidently before the Judgment Seat of God. The angel, according to this saint, presents the merits of Christ so that the soul can find support in them at the moment of its particular judgment. Once the Divine Judge has pronounced his sentence, if the soul is sent to purgatory, it will be visited frequently by its guardian, who will comfort and console it, bringing the prayers that have been offered for it, and assuring the soul of its future liberation.
In this way it is understandable that the help and mission of the guardian angel does not end with the death of those the angels protect. This mission continues until the soul reaches union with God.
Nonetheless, we must remember that after death we must face a particular judgment in which the soul in God’s presence may choose between opening itself to God’s love or definitively rejecting his love and forgiveness, thus renouncing joyful communion with him forever (see John Paul II, General Audience, August 4, 1999).
If the soul decides to enter communion with God, it joins its angel in praising the One and Triune God for all eternity.
Nonetheless, if it happens that the soul is “in a condition of being open to God, but still imperfectly, the journey toward full beatitude requires a purification, which the faith of the Church illustrates in the doctrine of ‘purgatory’” (John Paul II, General Audience, August 4, 1999).
In this case the angel, which is holy and pure and lives in the presence of God, neither needs nor can participate in the purification of its ward’s soul. What the guardian angel can and does do is intercede for its protected soul before the throne of God and seek help among the people on earth so as to bring prayers to its ward, in order that it may thus leave purgatory.
Those souls who decide to reject definitively the love and forgiveness of God, thus renouncing joyful communion with him for all time (John Paul II, General Audience, July 21, 1999), also renounce and reject the joyful friendship with their guardian angel. In this terrible situation the angel praises God’s divine justice and holiness.
In any of these three possible scenarios (heaven, purgatory or hell) the holy angel will always rejoice at God’s judgment, because the angel is perfectly and totally united to the divine will.
During these days, let us remember that we can join the guardian angels of those we love who have died, so the angels may take our prayers to God, and he may show his mercy. END QUOTES
5 Amazing facts about Guardian Angels
We owe much to our Guardian Angels, wh1o most of the time guard and protect us without our knowledge
“See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
October 2 is observed in the Catholic Church as the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. In 1670, Pope Clement X established this day in the universal calendar as a day to honor the angels who protect us each day.
While most of the attention this day is given to personal Guardian Angels, it is a tradition in the Church (taught by theologians such as Saint Thomas Aquinas) that all countries, cities, dioceses, and parishes have their own Guardian Angel.
They are fascinating creatures of God, shrouded with great mystery. On occasion newspapers will report on miracles when someone is saved from an accident by a mysterious figure, often never seen again.
We owe much to our Guardian Angels, who most of the time guard and protect us without our knowledge. They intervene quietly, fulfilling their task as humbly as possible.
To help us appreciate these “heavenly helpers,” here are 5 amazing facts about our Guardian Angels:
1) Every person in the world has a Guardian Angel (whether Christian or not)
It is believed by theologians and is confirmed in the YOUCAT that “Every person receives from God a Guardian Angel” (n. 55). This is consistent with Sacred Scripture, the teachings of Saints Thomas Aquinas, Basil and Jerome as well as experiences from non-Christians who believe they were helped by a Guardian Angel.
Mike Aquilina writes about such an experience from a friend he knew in his book Angels of God:
“A friend of mine, a noted Harvard-trained philosopher, was an unbeliever as a young man. One day he was swimming in the ocean, and the undertow swept him away. He knew he was drowning, with no hope of rescue, when suddenly a strong arm grabbed him and towed him to shore. His rescuer was a big muscle-bound guy. When my sputtering friend tried to thank him, the guy laughed at him—and then vanished. This marked a milestone on my friend’s road to conversion.”
2) Guardian Angels are appointed at the beginning of life
As the Catechism explains, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession” (CCC 336). This statement leads some to believe (Saint Anselm for example) that angels are appointed at the very moment of the union of body and soul in the womb. If true (it is not dogmatically declared and is therefore up for debate), it would follow that women who are pregnant have two Guardian Angels watching over them and their child.
3) Guardian Angels have names, but God gives those names to them
The Catholic Church has instructed us that,
“The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.” (Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, The Directory of Popular Piety, n. 217, 2001)
The reasoning behind this is that a name contains a certain amount of authority over another person. If I know your name I can call you whenever I want and can feel a certain amount of authority over you. We do not have authority over our Guardian Angels. They only report to one commander: God Himself. We can ask for their assistance or help, but we should not feel like they are at our beck and call.
The Church then discourages us from naming our Guardian Angels as we may receive a name in prayer, but it may not be divinely inspired. It could be influenced by the devil or by our own human thoughts. We have only three names of angels confirmed in Scripture and so any other name we receive is difficult to confirm as inspired by God.
4) We do not become Guardian Angels when we die
Contrary to popular belief, there is no way for us to transform into an angel after death. When we die, we may be separated from our bodies for the moment, but will be reunited with them at the end of time. We don’t become an angel while we wait. All Guardian Angels were created at the beginning of time in a single moment of creation.
Remember the words of God to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).
God had a Guardian Angel in mind for you when he created the world.
5) Guardian Angels are here to help us
The Catechism describes a Guardian Angel as a “shepherd” who is meant to protect us and lead us into everlasting life. Their chief goal is to help us get to heaven, and we are encouraged to pray to them on a daily basis, asking their help in every need.
The Church provides an excellent prayer that can be prayed by the young and the old:
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen. END QUOTES