In honor of our Guardian Angels I wish to share some handwriting sheets with various prayers to the Guardian Angels. You can find them under downloads - Catholic Homeschool - handwriting. Look under the month of October for a variety of Angel handwriting projects.
We should often think of them, place confidence in them, and pray to them. We owe to our guardian angels reverence, confidence and gratitude. It is God himself who commands us to show reverence for our guardian angels. "Behold," said our Lord to Moses, "I will send my angel who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned, for my name is in him." (Exod. xxiii, 21.) Of such excellence and dignity is the guardian angel, that he is the vivid expression of the Divinity. He is the first ray of God's beauty, the first work of his hands, the first production of his omnipotence, the first masterpiece of his wisdom. St. John, upon seeing him, fell prostrate to adore him, thinking he was the Son of God himself.
St. Anselm assures us that, if an angel could make himself visible in all his glory in place of the sun, the light of the latter would altogether disappear in the light and splendor of the angel. The majesty of a mortal king impresses respect on all those who approach him: with what reverence, then, should we not be filled in the presence of this prince of heaven ! Now, the best manner of showing this reverence in presence of our guardian angels is, as the catechism says, often to think of them, often to remember their presence. "Wherever you may be," says St. Bernard, "in the church, at home, on a journey, in public or private places, your angel is near you. Do not do before him what you would not dare to do before me."
To reverence, we must join confidence in our guardian angels. We should show confidence in their protection. If we had a friend who appeared to us the most enlightened, the most faithful, and the most powerful of all men, what confidence would we place in him ! Now, such friends are the guardian angels, says St. Bernard: "They are wise, faithful and powerful." They cannot be deceived, drawing, as they do, their light from God himself. Much less can they deceive us. They are friends of tried fidelity. Their power is beyond conception. One of them alone can do more for our salvation than all the demons can do to ruin us. One of the chief duties towards the guardian angels which is neglected almost by all men, is the duty of gratitude for the numberless blessings, spiritual and temporal, which God bestows upon us by his holy angels.
After the angel of the Hebrew people had divided the waters of the Red Sea; to make a dry passage for them, he continued to assist them, by the order of God, until he had introduced them into the land of promise. It is thus that our guardian angels act towards us. After we have escaped, by the waters of baptism, the powers of hell, these zealous and charitable protectors accompany us through the dreary desert of this life which we must traverse to arrive at the abode of eternal happiness. Sometimes, like a refreshing cloud, our guardian angels temper the ardor of our passions sometimes, like a column of fire, they enlighten us in
the night of sin. If necessary, they let fall the manna of heavenly consolations, to sweeten the bitter waters of penitence and afflictions of our lives. They make us hear the law of God, and endeavor to engrave it on the living table of our hearts. It is to the Lord, it is true, that we are indebted for all these blessings ; for we would not have guardian angels, had not our dear Lord given them to us." He hath given his angels charge over thee." Glory to God who gave them this command ! But we owe, also, much to those who execute it, especially as they unite to their obedience an admirable charity. If they had a life to offer, and blood to shed, for our salvation, they would willingly give up all. Let us never be ungrateful towards such friends. How should we be grateful to them ? By listening to their words and following their inspirations ; by avoiding what would wound the sanctity of their presence ; by practicing the virtues so dear to them : purity, humility, zeal, charity, and conformity to the will of God. "If thou wilt hear his voice," said the Lord to Moses, "and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and I will afflict them that afflict thee." (Exod. xxiiii, 22.)
Finally, we should also pray to our guardian angels. The good angels often intercede for us, and obtain for us many graces through their prayers. The Patriarch Jacob entreated most earnest the angel with whom he had wrestled, that he would give him his blessing (Gen. xxxii, 26) ; and on his death-bed he prayed the angel who had conducted and protected him, to bless his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasses. (Gen. xlviii, 16.) The Prophet Daniel was informed in his visions how vigorously the guardian angel of Persia interposed in favor of that country, and what good offices St. Michael and other angels did for the Jews, in removing obstacles which retarded their return from the captivity. The Angel Gabriel told Daniel that he had exerted his efforts for this purpose in Persia twenty-one days, and that St. Michael, the prince or guardian of the Jews, came to his help (Dan. x, 13), so that they conquered the impediments. The Angel Gabriel added : "From the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up that he might be strengthened and confirmed" (Dan. xi, 1), viz.: to promote the deliverance of God's people. The
same prophet, speaking of the cruel persecution of Antiochus, says : "At that time Michael shall rise up, the great prince that standeth for the children of thy people." (Dan. xii, 1.) This implies that St. Michael would support the Machabees, and other defenders of God's people, whose protector he was, by standing up for them, that is, by praying for them.
The Prophet Zacharias was favored with a vision of angels, in the seventieth year of the desolation of Jerusalem. The prophet saw an angel (probably St. Michael), in the shape of a man, standing in a grove of myrtle trees ; and several angels, the guardians of other princes, came to him and said : "We have walked through the earth, and behold, all the earth is inhabited, and is at rest." Then the angel made this prayer : "Lord of hosts ! how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Juda, with which thou hast been angry ? This is now the seventieth year." (Zach. i, 12.) The Lord answered his prayer: he told the angel that he would return to Jerusalem in mercy, and that his house should be built in it. From these examples, and other passages of Holy Scripture, it is clear that the good angels pray for us. The Church has always invoked the holy angels and paid religious honor to them ; and teaches that it is an article of faith that their patronage is piously invoked.
Let us entertain a great devotion to our guardian angels. We read, in the lives of many saints, that their lively faith and tender devotion towards their guardian angels obtained for them the grace of seeing and conversing familiarly with them. We find this especially in the lives of St. Camillus, St. Philip Neri, St. Frances of Rome, St. Rose of Lima, St. Lidwina of Holland. If we recommend ourselves often to them, we shall experience their ardent charity, their wonderful protection, and the miraculous effects of their prayers on many occasions. The great Prophet Isaias had no sooner complained that his lips were defiled, than a seraph purified them with a burning coal from the altar. (Isa. vi.) If the blessings which God has bestowed upon every one through his guardian angel were to be written down, they would fill a large volume. These blessings will become greater and far more numerous from the time that we begin to be more grateful and more devout to the guardian angel. Often repeat this prayer, indulgenced by Pius VI and Pius VII : "Holy angel, to whose care I am committed, enlighten, protect, direct, and govern me this day !"
Source: The Apostles Creed, by Father Michael Muller, Imprimatur 1880
October 2nd - Guardian Angels
Your Guardian Angel is your companion and your friend. He is given to you at the first moment of existence and stays with you to the end. He inspires you with good and holy thoughts. He protects you from many dangers and accidents, and assists you in a thousand ways throughout your life. The Angels are most desirous to be our friends and they love us with all the intensity of their angelic natures. "He hath given His Angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Psalm 91).
The Angels are pure spirits, mighty Princes of Heaven who stand before God. They are burning fires of love, filled with the plenitude of happiness. No two Angels are alike and there are too many to be numbered. All of them are indescribably beautiful. "Thousands and thousands ministered to Him and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him" (Dan 7:10).
St. Frances of Rome saw her own Angel. She said the splendor of her Angel dimmed the light of the sun and moon and stars in comparison. Often she could read her prayers by the light of her Angel. When the Angel rolled back the stone from the holy sepulcher, Sacred Scriptures says that the countenance of the Angel was like lightning and his clothes white as snow. His appearance was so full of majesty that the soldiers at the tomb were terrified and could not look at him. "For an Angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow" (Matt 28: 2,3).
Angelic intelligence is immeasurably superior to our own. We plod from truth to truth, studying, steadily investigating in order to understand a topic, but they understand the entire subject at a single glance. In that same glance, they immediately see all the nuances and consequences of a particular action. It is easy to see how important their assistance would be for us, who need help in making decisions each day of our lives.
There are angels in Heaven and also on earth, each with different jobs to do. Nations, cities, families, towns - all have their special Angels. St Thomas Aquinas teaches us that there are Angels that guide the stars, the moon, the sun, and the planets, keeping everything in harmony according to God's plan. Scripture tells us of the Angels that perform duties that some attribute to chance.
It was an Angel that gave its medicinal quality to the pool at Bethesda; an Angel generated the fires on Mount Sinai; the thunder and lightning were the work of Angels; and in the Apocalypse we read of the Angels restraining the winds. Thus, we learn that the course of nature, so marvelous and at times so fearful, is moved by these unseen beings.
Angels act as messengers as in the Annunciation when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary, or as protectors as when Archangel Raphael helped to guide young Tobias on a dangerous journey, or as avengers as when God sent an Angel who killed 70,000 Egyptians in one night as a punishment for the Pharaoh not releasing the Hebrews from slavery.
They are also powerful protectors against the tricks of the devil. They will fight by your side and inspire you on how to resist the temptations of the devil. "Be sober and watch: because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet 5: 8). The Angels protect us from falling into temptations and avert natural disasters from befalling us - often the person never even realizes the tragedy he narrowly missed.
It is interesting to note that at the time of the Renaissance, Angels began to be portrayed as fat, sweet babies with wings. This artistic style continues to our day. It is a shame for such militant warriors to be reduced to these weak, infantile representations. In the mind of the viewer, the role of the Angel as protector and avenger fades away, replaced by a different idea. It is a subtle way of gradually changing the notion of the principle that life is a war between good and evil with the agents of each side fighting to win the souls of men. There is no spirit of fight in the fat baby angels - in fact, they are so smiling and happy that it appears nothing is amiss in their world.
And yet, there are many incidences in the lives of the Saints that show the militant, protective mission of the Angels toward men. St John Bosco, for example, was a man who fought vigorously against the Waldensian heresy. Many of the heretics hated him for his unrelenting fight and tried to kill him many times. During this dangerous period of his life, a large grey dog appeared and would accompany him as he walked the streets of the city, fighting off any attackers. When the danger passed, the dog disappeared. In his writings, Don Bosco called this dog Grigio [Grey], and he believed that it was an angelic intervention protecting him so many times over a period of 30 years.
Angels also reflect God's goodness, kindness, and generosity. He gave us these Angels to "level out the playing field." Man by himself is no match for the wily Devil, a fallen angel that still retains all his intellectual prowess and powers. Without some kind of supernatural help, we would be certain to make many mistakes, some irreparable.
God in His goodness gave us Angels. Knowing this, wouldn't it be foolish to ignore our Guardian Angels and not ask often for their help?
"Ask us and we will give you a share of all our treasures, all our graces, all our happiness," they seem to say. The only thing standing between us and these benefits is our forgetfulness of these wonderful beings.
A prayer to one's Guardian Angel by St. Gertrude:
O most Holy Angel of God, appointed by Him to be my guardian, I give thee thanks for all the benefits which thou hast ever bestowed on me in body and in soul. I praise and glorify thee that thou didst condescend to assist me with such patient fidelity, and to defend me against all the assault of my enemies. Blessed be the hour in which thou wast assigned me for my guardian, my defender, and my patron. In acknowledgment and return of all thy loving ministries to me from my youth up, I offer thee the infinitely precious and noble Heart of Jesus, and firmly purpose to obey thee henceforth, and most faithfully to serve my God. Amen.
God is so very good to give us His Guardian Angels to help and guide us! What a loving Father he is!!!
O HOLY ANGEL, whom God, by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favors, I return thee profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech thee, O most amiable protector, to continue thy charitable care and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions of sin. Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to thy holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice, In particular, I implore thee to obtain for me the relief and deliverance of all the Souls in Purgatory, the ones who prayed for the Souls themselves while still on earth; the forgotten and abandoned Souls; the souls of my relatives and friends; the souls of priests and religious; the souls of all those to whom I am obligated by charity to pray for and may have neglected by laxity in memory; and most especially for the Soul I here name in this novena.
[Mention the person or think of him.]
Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life. but most especially at the hour of my death, and do not leave me until thou hast conducted me into the presence of my creator in the mansions of everlasting happiness. Amen.
In honor of our wonderful Guardian Angels feast day we have uploaded some lovely coloring pictures. We hope you enjoy coloring them. Don't forget to thank your Guardian Angel for all that he does for you.
All coloring pictures are copyrighted by Crusaders-for-Christ.com
Holy Mother Church dedicates the month of November to the Holy Souls in Purgatory
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