Saturday, October 3, 2015


Friday, October 2, was the feast of the Guardian Angels.  The gospel assigned for the feast includes this verse:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father”(Mt 18:10).

The footnote to this verse in the New American Bible sent me to a few places in the Old Testament that showed “the Jewish belief in angels as guardians of nations and individuals … and as intercessors who present the prayers of human beings to God.”

Then, for some reason, the end of the note really caught my attention: “The high worth of the little ones is indicated by their being represented before God by these heavenly beings.”

As a school teacher about to spend the morning with a bunch of highschool boys (on a Friday!), I certainly didn’t need to look far to see how the verse might apply in my life. And in fact I spent some minutes reflecting on my  responsibility to treat my sophomores as individuals each of whom is of “high worth” to God, high enough to deserve his own guardian angel. That was a sobering exercise.

Suddenly, however, I started to realize that in the Old Testament these angels are not sent to watch over little children (the way we think of guardian angels most often), but over adults who are in need of help or protection. And I thought to myself : Then I'm one of God’s “little ones” too, and so I, too, am of “high worth,” and God has assigned a heavenly being to watch over me personally.

I was taught as a child that I have a guardian angel, and that belief  just became part of my personal religious landscape. But now I began to look at the ramifications of the fact that God has assigned a heavenly being to watch over me. What does that say about me? And perhaps more importantly, what does it say about God and God’s attitude toward me?

So the rest of my morning meditation was spent thanking God for his loving care for me, and resting in the healing power of the Lord’s loving kindness. Kindness and care for me that are as focused as a laser beam, focused on me in particular rather than some diffuse kindness that permeates to the farthest galaxies of the universe. It was a very personal, private moment during which I really felt the divine Mercy filling my heart and soul and mind.

Then the bell rang for Morning Prayer, so I stood up and the two of us headed toward my choir stall at the other end of the church -- me and my guardian angel.

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