Guardian angels are real. Jesus speaks of them in Matthew 18:10, remarking that each of us has an angel assigned to us. The Bible mentions angels at other times as well:
“He commands his angels…to guard you wherever you go.”Psalm 91:11
The Catechism affirms guardian angels too:
“Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.”Catechism 336
Contrary to popular representations, they are probably not the gown-wearing ladies that adorn many Christmas trees. They’re most likely not the chubby, winged babies that have become so familiar. Interestingly, most angelic descriptions in the Bible regard angels as masculine figures. They are warriors. These beings lead armies. They stand off hostile mobs. Using highly symbolic language, the book of Revelation describes angels in an even more imposing manner:
. . .there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes.Revelation 4:4-8
If your guardian angel follows the pattern described in Scripture, he is more than likely an imposing figure indeed.
It should be noted, however, that while typically appearing in the masculine form, angels do not have gender like we do. Human gender is related to our physical reality. We are spiritual and physical beings. On the other hand, St. Thomas Aquinas describes angels as creatures of pure spirit. They may have masculine or feminine qualities. They cannot, however, be male or female.
A Real Spiritual Battle
You may wonder, “Why do I need such an imposing figure assigned to me?” Well, your life is a battlefield. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us this:
“This dramatic situation of ‘the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one’ makes man’s life a battle.”Catechism 409
The demons rebelled against God. They hate him, but they cannot hurt him. You, made in the image and likeness of God, they can come after. They hate you because you are like him in a way they can never be. Christ became man. Our struggle is real, and it is not an easy one. That is why the Lord has given us an angel as a strong ally.
Jesus tells us that they
“look upon the face of my Father.”Matthew 18:10
That means your guardian angel is simultaneously present to you and the Father in heaven. Our angels are immersed in the awareness and presence of God as they watch over us. That makes them angels, as opposed to demons, who look away from God to focus their nefarious will upon man.
Guardian angels act to defend us from evil. Most spiritual attack is aimed at the will. Demons often strike by trying to undermine our resolve, often through deception or enflaming pride. They work subtly, a nudge here, a whisper there. Your guardian angel can support you by directly opposing any attack the demonic may try to throw.
Praying to Your Guardian Angel
It is a good idea to formally enlist your angel’s help against any regular attack you may come under: “Guardian angel, I have been coming under much cynicism lately. I am asking you to fight off any attack in that.” He is your teammate. Ask him to shore up areas of weakness in your will.
Your angel may assist through inspiration. When heading down a familiar path of sin, have you ever found yourself humming a song from Mass or thinking about a Scripture verse? That very well might have been the inspiration of your guardian.
Guardian angels are with us constantly, ever watchful against attack. They focus on the Lord, worshiping him even as they defend us. It would be a great folly to ignore such a tremendous ally.
Take a moment today. Consider the areas of sin where you may be coming under spiritual attack or have given the enemy a foothold. Renounce any claim the devil may have made on your life and invite your guardian angel into the struggle.
When faced with temptation, remember the Guardian Angel Prayer:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
To light and guard, Rule and guide.
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