It seems to me that Catholic sometimes tends to sentimentalize certain aspects of our faith. The Guardian Angels, whose feast is today, are generally sentimentalized beyond belief in art and popular culture. Yet few of us realize how powerful their intercession is and how much they can do for us if we would only ask them.
It is a matter of Catholic belief that each person is given a guardian angel. This angel accompanies them for the entire course of their life until their death. The guardian angel is a counselor, guide, and friend. Sometimes, he can also reprimand when we have gone astray and help us to stay on the straight and narrow road that leads to heaven. Indeed, they are some of our best friends on this side of eternity and their help is always efficacious.
There are many stories that I could tell you about guardian angels and their holy charges. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, a Jesuit brother renowned for his holiness, had the habit of praying a Hail Mary at the moment the clock struck an hour. Since he was asleep during some of these, he made a pact with his guardian angel and told him to pray Hail Marys during those hours. The guardian angel carried out his request.
There are also stories of saints, who have been able to converse very familiarly with their guardian angels. St. Gemma Galgani is an example of this phenomenon. But there have been just as many saints, who have not had this singular privilege this side of eternity.
Therefore, why is it that we often disregard our guardian angels and do not pay any heed to them? Part of the answer lies with the age in which we live. It is a scientific age in which belief in angels is not something that is of interest. Since we cannot prove that angels exist, goes the naturalist way of thinking, how are we supposed to know that they exist? Yet it is not only our scientific age that is to blame for this. Blame can also be given to a loss of the sacred that has occurred in our society for centuries.
Indeed, Catholicism is a weak force in many parts of the world due to secularism. The secularist mindset does not believe in such things as angels. Rather, they are ascribed to be something belonging to the realm of ignorant old ladies, young children, and other such people. Angels are not utilitarian enough for the utilitarians since believing in them is something that is more than just being practical.
Yet we should pray to our guardian angels and ask their assistance, when things get rough and tough. Indeed, they are there to help us. Let us ask them to on this their feast day and let us continue to do so from this day forward.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us!