Thursday, October 2, 2014

Of Saints and Guardian Angels

With what humility should we assist at Mass, if we realized that our Guardian Angel was kneeling beside us, prostrate before the majesty of God! With what eagerness should we not ask him to offer our prayers to Jesus Christ ! (St. John Vianney)

If you live locally, consider going to the 7:00 PM Mass at Assumption Grotto on this Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.  Exposition begins immediately after Mass (around 7:45) and leads into the Passio Domini - a Holy Hour for the Sanctification of the Priesthood, led by a priest of the Holy Cross.

Here is a brief sermon by St. John Vianney discussing the guardian angels:

Although the good God is sufficient to Himself, nevertheless He makes use of the ministry of the angels to govern the world... When we see God taking such care of our lives we conclude that our souls are something truly great and precious if He is to employ all that is greatest in his court for its preservation and sanctification. He has given us his Son to save us; this same Son... gives to each of us one and even several angels, who are solely occupied in asking on our behalf the graces and helps to our salvation that we need... Oh, how little people know what they are and what they were made for! In Holy Scripture we read that the Lord said to his people: “See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way” (Ex 23,20)…

We should often pray to our guardian angels, carefully respect them and, above all, try to imitate them in all our actions. And the first thing we need to imitate in them is the thought of the presence of God... Surely, if we were completely penetrated with God's presence, how could we do evil? How much more pleasing to God would be all our good deeds!... God said to Abraham: “Would you be blameless? Walk in my presence” (Gn 17,1). How could we possibly forget God so easily when we have Him always with us? Why are we not full of respect and gratitude towards our angels, who accompany us day and night?... Perhaps you will say: “I'm too unworthy to merit it.” My brethren, not only does God not lose sight of you for an instant but He gives you an angel who never ceases to guide your steps. Ah, happiness too great, yet too little known!  (Source)

Here are some additional quotes by St. John Vianney
  • After thanking our Guardian Angel who has remained by our side during our sleep, we should ask him for his protection during the day.
  • Ah! if we had the eyes of angels with which to see our Lord Jesus Christ present on the Altar and looking at us, how we should love Him! 
  • The first thing about the angels that we ought to imitate, is their consciousness of the Presence of God. 

You can find those and many other quotes by saints on the angels on this page at the OA site.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux.  You can read here about this saint and her devotion to her guardian angel.

Last year, I shared with you one of Padre Pio's letters from 1913 which showed his devotion to his guardian angel.

On this day I would like to also draw attention to a book newly released, "The Angels in the Diary of Saint Faustina Kawalksa."  It is authored by Fr. Titus Kieninger, ORC, who is well known to many Grotto-goers.  Those local can get the book from the Grotto Gift Shop, but you can buy it online direct from the OA site.  

Saint Faustina (1905-1938) bestowed upon the Church a wonderful spiritual legacy, her Diary. It is significant that there are more than a hundred references to the holy angels and at least seventy to the fallen angels in this work. This rich source offers an introduction into the world of the angels, both faithful and fallen.

*I took the photograph at top on a visit to St. Sava Orthodox Church in Merryville, IN


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