Now, we know that there are angels. Holy Church teaches that there are; and we believe everything that the Catholic Church believes and teaches. And we know they were created by God, because God made all things. We know that they were created before Adam and Eve were made, and we know that they are more excellent than men. They know many things that we don't know and can do many things that we can't do. But they cannot tell the future and they cannot read the secrets of the human heart and they cannot work miracles, unless God tells them or lets them do these things in His name, and they cannot make something out of nothing. God alone can do that. We know, too, that angels are pure spirits without a body. Of course, they are always represented with a human body and wings. That is just to help us think of them and to remind us of how good they are to us and how ready they are quickly to do what God wants them to do. They fly to do His bidding. In this way also we should all be like the angels. The next thing is the number of angels. Who can say how many there are? Well, in the Prophecy of Daniel, in the Holy Bible, we read, "Thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him." Ten thousand times a hundred thousand is 1,000,000,000 (one billion). So we know at least that the number is exceedingly large.
Once I asked a little girl this question, "Who made the devil?" She answered, "He made himself." She surely was a bright girl. Yes; all the angels were created good. They were to merit Heaven and the sight of God by obeying a certain command that He gave them. Many think that the mystery of the Incarnation was revealed to them and they were asked to adore the Babe at Bethlehem. But some, about one-third of them, in fact, were too proud to adore a little Babe, even though He was God as well as man. The leader of these rebellious angels was Lucifer. By disobeying they made themselves devils. They were at once cast into everlasting fire; like lightning they fell from Heaven into hell. We must always look out for the devil. "Be sober and watch," says St. Peter, "because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour." But we need not be a bit afraid of him if we remain near God, if we make good use of prayer and the Sacraments, the two mighty and unfailing weapons that Holy Church gives us to fight the devil with.
But I'm not going to say another word about the bad angels. It's good angels that I like to think of. They are not strangers to us: they are our friends, full of beautiful charity, ministering to us. As you know, Holy Church teaches that angels are appointed to guard men. They are called guardian angels. Yes; from birth to death each one of us has a guardian angle. With his powerful protection he watches over us day and night. When we do good he rejoices and is happy; when we sin he turns away is sorrow and in shame.
Our guardian angels like to watch over us. When they think of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity becoming Man, a little Babe, for us men and for out salvation, they are urged to do simply everything for us-for us who are destined to be their companions forever in Heaven. Oh, my boys and girls, there never was a more loving and careful guardian in the world than the guardian angel.
Do you know why God has given us guardian angels? I know. He has given them in order to show us how much He loves us and how much He has our welfare and salvation at heart. He has appointed angels to watch over us in order to exemplify the communion of saints: how all angels and men should form one supreme Lord of all. In thus giving us guardian angels God shows how very much He really thinks of us, since even the angels are employed in protecting us.
And do you know how the guardian angels show their loving care for us? They do so in many ways. They pray for us and they offer our prayers to God. They exhort us to do good, whispering to our hearts, always urging us to do the right and to avoid the wrong. They protect us in many ways against many dangers of soul and body. We don't know all the ways; but almost everybody can tell numerous accidents and can say, "My guardian angel must have helped me then. My guardian angel saved me that time." And now, my young friends, I'll tell you what you must do to pay those faithful guardians back. You must always be respectful, recollected, and full of confidence, because an angel of God is ever at your side.
You must always be as good as gold: your angels are always present, you know. Whatever you are, in what ever out-of-the-way place you may be, remember that you are never alone. Always show due reverence for your angel companion. He is watching! And remember, too, that if the good angels, who are sure of their own salvation, are so much concerned about ours, we ourselves ought likewise to be always thinking of how we can best save our souls.
Now, here's something that the guardian angels teach each on of us. They teach us to be the guardian angels of others. How do they do that? Why, if the angels, who are so much higher than we, burn with zeal for our salvation, then, surely, we ought to be very good to each other, give each other only good example, try in every way to help each other gain Heaven.
That's all I'm going to say in this little chat. Be sure to do what I want you to do: always think of the Beautiful guardian angel at your side. Pray to him often. Ask his help. Each morning and evening at least be sure to say this little prayer to him:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
Too whom God's, love, commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
to light, to guard, to rule, and guide.
Source: Talks to Boys and Girls, Imprimatur 1931
TO MY GUARDIAN ANGEL
The Angel: My dear little child, i come from heaven. The good God sent me to guard you. I shall be with you always, I shall watch over you, and I shall show you the right path. Would you like that?
The Child: O my dear Angel, I wish to be thy friend. Remain by me to watch over me. Tell me what I am to do to please thee. I will listen to thy wise counsels. I will follow thee everywhere, for I know that thou lovest me. Never leave me, dear Angel.
A printable file and a coloring picture of a boy with his angel and a girl with hers.
May you all have a blessed feast of the Guardian Angels and may they watch over and keep you and yours always.