To thank God that to each one of us He has given a particular guardian angel to conduct him unharmed through the dangers of this world.
To inspire us with gratitude to the angels who do us such great good, and to incite us to efforts to render ourselves worthy of their guardianship.
- What is the office of a guardian angel?
- To guard men against dangers of soul and body. The Psalmist says: "He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways; in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Psalm 90:11); that is, that thou mayest neither fall into sin nor misfortune.
"Oh, what great regard for us," hereupon exclaims Saint Bernard, "what wonderful love! Who is it that has given charge? God. To whom has He given charge? The angels, those noble spirits, His own household. What charge has He given them? To guard and defend us, poor men. 'O Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him'?"
- Saint Paul calls the angels "ministering spirits" sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). In innumerable other places in the Bible they are represented as friends of children, guides of youth, defenders of innocence, promoters of good deeds, monitors against evil, guardians of the pious, protectors against misfortune, comforters in need, deliverers in danger, helpers in combat, companions of the souls in everlasting joy.
- What should we do every day, but particularly this day?
- We should thank God for having given us guardians so holy and powerful, and our guardian angel himself for the help he has rendered us; should think of and call upon him often, especially in the hour of temptation; finally, we should promise fidelity and obedience to his admonitions. Whatever in this regard is at any time binding upon us should especially be done to-day.
PrayerO God, Who by an unspeakable providence dost vouchsafe to send Thy angels to guard us, grant to Thy suppliants to be ever defended by their protection, and to rejoice eternally in their society. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Epistle: Exodus 23:20-23Thus saith the Lord: Behold 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 he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and My name is in him. But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee. And My angel shall go before thee.
Gospel: Matthew 18:1-10At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come, but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.
Prayer to the Guardian AngelAngel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
(100 days' indulgence each time)
Goffine's Devout Instructions