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One Angel

August 22, 2010

Young Catholics learn a prayer to their guardian angel as part of morning prayer:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

To whom God’s love commits me here,

Ever this day, be at my side,

To light, to guard, to rule, and to guide. Amen.

The next section of the Meg’s Rule is a short reflection on the presence of the single angel that God places within each of our lives.

We are never forgotten by God,

yet sometimes we feel crowded

in the presence of God who loves everyone.

Can He truly remember one among so many?

It is a great mystery!

To protect us from the impression of crowding

in the mystery of a Lord who loves everyone

and not only ourselves,

God sends to each of us a particular angel,

whose care is for just this one of His children.

To this angel God specially commits our care,

and from this singular holy one

we receive guiding love every day.

Who has not felt, one time or another, that God cannot care about “me,” because he has billions of other people to take care of. It does not seem possible; nobody in our experience is able to keep track of, much less maintain sympathy for, more than a few dozen, or possibly, from a great heart, a few hundred, people. The rest are forgotten from day to day.

That God does care is part of the mystery of his infinitely loving nature. We don’t know the meaning of “infinite,” do we? We are finite; it is beyond us. It simply seems impossible and it is an act of faith to believe that he cares, particularly when things go very wrong and the mess seems to be completely out of control.

But “finite” is not beyond the understanding of God, and he does give to each one of us a particular angel, whose sole concern is to guide us into heaven, always respectful of our freedom, of course. Not that God can’t guide us without help. But His choice, all through creation, is to involve all sorts of persons with each other — to spread the love abroad. Our guardian angels are part of this plan.

And first off, they do protect us from the feeling that heaven is too large to be concerned with our care. Your guardian angel is just for you. The saints speak of sending their guardian angels on errands of various kinds; I guess that must be possible, at some level of intimacy. And I remember that St. Catherine Laboure’s angel brought her to visit Our Lady in the chapel in the middle of the night. But basically, your angel is just to help you with your life and your path to God, in a practical, daily manner.

So when we come to the part of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Thy Kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are invited to remember that it’s the angels who do his will in heaven, and we’ve got one of our own right here to help out.

So ask.

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