Thursday, October 2, 2008

Guardian angels

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.

The belief that everyone has a guardian angel is not in any strict sense a doctrine, but the fact that we have a day on the liturgical calendar celebrating guardian angels says a lot. After all, lex orandi, lex credendi- the law of prayer is the law of belief, or, stated more pastorally, what we believe is derived from how we pray. At the very least we know that such a belief, while not obligatory, is consonant with our faith as we profess it. So, it is what might be characterized as a gratuitous belief, which makes it all the better in my opinion. If nothing else, this feast, building on our quote yesterday from that great Doctor of the Church, the Little Flower, reminds us of the great care, borne of love, that God has for each one of us individually. I like what I read elsewhere, looking at it from the side of the angels: "What a bore and a burden to them some of us are. May we one day be a cause of rejoicing for them also." Precisely because it is kitsch, I like the painting of the Guardian Angel in all its variants. I just hope mine, too, looks like Bernadette Peters.

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