In a recent catechesis in Rome, Italian priest Fr. Fabio Rosini talked about the prayer of the Angel of God to explain what guardian angels are, and what their role is. Here we look at some quotes from his words (edited for brevity) that can enlighten us.
The prayer to the guardian angel is the prayer of children, which you teach to children, which is very sweet, very simple, but it says important things. “Angel of God”: “angel” means envoy, it means one who announces something. An angel is someone who announces something on God’s behalf, someone who needs to tell me something; I need to be told something, I need someone to talk to me. One of the most important things is this dialogue that we have inside: Who is it? With whom am I talking? We need to talk to God, we need an angel to talk to us, because there are other angels and the snake is an angel too, and he talks.
Our guardian angel is our protector because—despite what we often think—we are precious treasures.
So you need God to speak to you through his envoys, and therefore there is “an Angel of God who is my guardian”: your guardian angel. What does it mean that I have a guardian? Two things for sure: first, that I am precious, that I am to be guarded, that I must take care of myself and I must have this guardian help me. This is a very important thing! We have a tendency to trivialize ourselves, to forget how precious and important we are. I am a treasure to be guarded; you are a treasure to be guarded. The other thing is that I face dangers; there are enemies. I must know that I can lose the beauty of my life. I can fade, I can get confused. I must be guarded.
The guardian angel’s task
I can’t get by alone. I need someone to help me, someone to guard me:
I ask the angel of God to guard me, and this already means that I can’t get by on my own, that I need help. What’s a key characteristic of a child? He or she is dependent, he depends on someone else. I don’t know if those of you here have already made the journey of that whole series of groans, of blows that you have to suffer in life to realize that you can’t do it alone… That’s why we pray.
The strength of prayer is suffering
Fr. Fabio continued:
The prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours begins with, “O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.” What does this mean? It means that I’m drowning. In a certain sense we can say that the strength of our prayer comes from anguish; anguish is the sense of our insufficiency. I cannot do it alone. Our strength is not measured only by our own strength, but by the strength of our ally.
Our entangled minds, our confused hearts, need clarity and light. We can do nothing without the light of the Lord.
Enlighten: I need light. My heart produces darkness. I get confused, and I have so many little and big fears that intertwine with the little big lies of my heart and become my darkness. I need to be enlightened. I can’t do anything, not even live in this moment, without God enlightening me.
Our guardian angel is the enemy of our enemies, not like we who often go hand in hand with that which most destroys us.
Guard: guard from what? Your guardian angel, and the Lord himself, is not your companion, your accomplice; he is the enemy of your enemies and the adversary of your adversaries. Very often we are friends with our enemies. We make friends in our hearts with things that are not good for us. Very often when God seems hostile to you it is because he is the enemy of your enemies; it is you who are the friend of your enemies. You want things that are not according to your salvation. Many times God has to challenge you. And your angel, if you let him work, should give you intuitions, inspirations that put you in difficulty. A healthy, good discomfort, which helps you see that you have to review what you have done .
Rules are for our own good. Our guardian angel teaches us to live in reality, to accept the rules that keep life “regular” (“regular” derives indirectly from regula, “rule” in Latin).
To rule: he is the one who gives you the rules, the one who keeps you on the right path. We think that rules are our enemies. Jesus Christ did not come to annul the rules but to make them become life. Prayer needs regularity, rhythms. Spiritual life is made of rhythms, not of occasional prayers but of repetitions. Children must be given regularity; they have their own rituals, they are liturgical, but everything is liturgical. Your guardian angel teaches you to deal with things as they are, to respect life as it is, with its internal rules that are not oppression but reality.
Our guardian angel speaks to us of the Lord:
Guide me: let ourselves be governed. If there is one thing we’re afraid of losing, it’s autonomy. When you let yourself be governed by God, your prayer reaches God and you have intimacy with God and your Angel speaks to you of God, of the face of God. Children know certain things about God that they forget when they grow up, and that are more beautiful than you might think.