Posted by: fvbcdm | October 2, 2014

Feast of the Guardian Angels (2 October 2014)

Catholic Daily Message for the Feast of the Guardian Angels (2 October 2014)

This is the season for angels in our spiritual year. Earlier this week, on September 29, we had the feast of the archangels. This Friday, October 2, we have the commemoration of our Guardian Angels. What are the angels? They are creatures of our Heavenly Father, persons like ourselves in terms of individuality and personality, but unlike us in that we have a body and they do not. If you stop and think of the levels of beings in our universe, as revealed to us in nature and in scripture, you will recognize that at the top of the ladder there is God, the supreme being, the creator and source of all other things that exist. Below God are the various “choirs” of angels as they are called: angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim, and so on. We have no idea how many of them there are, but probably many millions since Our Lord indicates that we each have a guardian angel. Because they do not have bodies as we do, they cannot suffer sickness, injury, or death, but are immortal, that is, undying. However, at the beginning of their existence, they were put to a moral test to allow them the freedom to choose to obey God their creator. Those who did choose to obey him became the good angels whom we honor in our liturgy and our prayers; those who chose to disobey him became the devils or demons who “prowl through the world seeking the destruction of souls,” as we heard in the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel on September 29.

There is an old Dominican tradition that was explained to my classmates and me when we were novices. It encourages each Dominican man and woman to give a name to our Guardian Angel so that we can speak to him by name and thus feel closer to him and more friendly with him. (I say “him,” but since angels have no bodies, they are neither “him” nor “her,” so if you wish to think of your angel as a female rather than a male, you are welcome to do so.) Furthermore, our novice master told us that we should keep secret the name we give our angel. I’m not sure why, but I have honored that part of the tradition all these years. I have no doubt that my angel has helped me many times during my life. Part of my daily Morning Prayers has been, since my young childhood, the simple little prayer,

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

Because the angels cannot suffer physically or die, the letter to the Hebrews says that Our Divine Lord was made “lower than the angels.” Jesus certainly WAS able to suffer physically and die for our redemption; thus in his incarnation he became lower than angels. And why did he do so? As the letter to the Hebrews goes on to say, “that he might taste death for everyone.” By Our Lord’s generosity and humility, he became “lower than the angels”— a human being.  And then, in his human nature he suffered and died for our redemption. “We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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