Kathryn Pasker Ineck offers a reminder that your Guardian Angel has been waiting their entire existence specifically for the opportunity to protect … you!
Long ago in ages past, we received magazines and catalogs. In paper.
They would regularly arrive in our mailbox as the seasons changed in all their glossy and colorful glory, much to the delight of Digit and Duke. Their favorites? The Leaflet Missal Company, The Catholic Company, and Autom, all filled with images of the latest in Catholic goodies.
The boys would settle in on the floor, each with a coloring crayon and circle their hearts’ desires. Digit’s wish list items varied month-to-month, but not Duke’s: page after page featured his signature orange lines encircling every single image of Saint Michael the Archangel the pages offered. Statuary, holy cards, books, videos, throw blankets—no Saint Michael eluded his careful study.
We celebrate the Feast of the Archangels, Saint Michael included, each year on September 29th and the Feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2nd. Most religions and spiritual disciplines express a belief in angels, although the definition of an angel differs widely from one belief system to the next.
The Catholic tradition draws from a body of knowledge as offered by the stories in the Old and New Testaments. We know that the word angel means messenger, and we know that angels are created beings, just as animals and humans are. They are pure spirit and have intellect and free will, but because they do not have bodies, they do not have the five senses and they do not die. Interestingly, they also do not grow in intelligence!
There are nine choirs of angels in order from the “highest” (in closest proximity to God) to the “lowest” (in closest proximity to humans), and each choir has its own duties and abilities associated with it. An angel does not move in rank but they do communicate and work in concert with each other. My heart always squeezes a bit when I hear the choirs called upon at Mass as we join them in praise during the Sanctus.
Many people, like Duke, have beautiful devotions to the Archangels in general—and Saint Michael in particular—but the Guardian Angels seem to receive less attention. Guardian Angels comprise the “lowest” choir, whose sole purpose is to pray for and assist humans. Read that again: a Guardian Angel’s sole purpose is to pray for and assist humans. We teach our children at young ages to request aid from our Guardian Angels, but we often forget to ask for assistance as we grow. It’s almost as though we relegate a devotion to our Guardian Angels to the same belief some of us had in the Tooth Faerie!
So, how do we approach developing a relationship with our Guardian Angel?
Talk to them!
- Ask them for guidance and assistance, and ask them to pray for your prayer intentions.
- Ask them to accompany a loved-one if you are particularly concerned about their well-being.
- Ask them to confer with your kids’ Guardian Angels ahead of a difficult conversation.
I often awaken in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. When that happens, I ask my Guardian Angel to tell me who needs prayer at that moment: there is always a response, whether it’s a person I know by name, or a vague “someone needs prayer in [insert location].”
Speaking of names, remember that naming people is a way to exert power over them, so don’t fall into the trap of naming your Guardian Angel. The Vatican’s Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy states:
Popular devotion to the holy angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations . . . 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. (217)
Remember that your Guardian Angel has been waiting their entire existence specifically for the opportunity to protect … you. Your Guardian Angel has deep love for you and delights in guiding and defending you!
Copyright 2023 Kathryn Pasker Ineck
Images: Prayer image copyright 2023 Kathryn Pasker Ineck; all others Canva
About the Author
Married for more than two decades to her best friend, and mom of four teens, Kathryn finds that life is never boring. She pursues the heart of God--led by His gentle Mother--and relies on the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a desire for chocolate, and an insatiable thirst for reading into the wee hours of the morning. She writes to maintain her sanity at Kathryn Pasker Ineck.