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2 October 2018

Having celebrated the Feast of the Archangels on Saturday, today it’s the turn of guardian angels. October 2 is a Memorial in their honour.

Our Gospel today includes this intriguing quote from the Lord Jesus:

‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.’

This is a key text for building a case for the reality of guardian angels. Speaking of children, Jesus insists that the marvellous beings who are continually in the presence of the heavenly Father are their angels. The angels are attached to humans!

In our scientifically advanced Western culture, belief in the existence of a spiritual realm populated by intelligent non-corporeal beings, either good or evil, can invite derision. Yet the teaching of the Church is clear:

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 328)

Call me simple-minded if you like, but I draw great comfort from the thought that I have ‘invisible friends’ looking out for my wellbeing. Don’t be fooled by the popular imagery in this area, however. Real angels are not like the chubby cherubs with tiny wings who appear in the paintings and murals adorning churches around Europe. They are beings of incredible beauty and, perhaps more to the point, immense power. And if you take the unanimous witness of Scripture and Tradition seriously, there is (at least) one very close to you right now.

Heavenly Father, I welcome the presence of your angels in my life today.

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