From the Pastor
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
October 1, 2017
A Feast Day just to honor Guardian Angels is relatively new; it was first added to the liturgical calendar by Pope Paul V in 1608, and moved by Pope Clement X in the 1670’s to October 2, and raised in rank by Pope Leo XIII in 1883. But Christian images of
non-Archangels go back to the 4th Century, and biblical references of Angels
go back to before the creation of the visible world!
While the term ‘Guardian’ Angel is not found in Scripture, our Lord’s words, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” [Matthew 18:10]
By this Jesus did not suggest, as some say, that only
children have a Guardian Angel! In the context of that passage, Jesus had just placed a child – considered mere property and not a ‘full person’ at that time and in that society – in their midst, and defended that child’s ‘personhood’ and specialness to God. The orations for The Holy Guardian Angels
highlight God’s personal care for each one of us, child or adult, without distinction or exception!
Collect – The Holy Guardian Angels
O God, who in your unfathomable providence
are pleased to send your holy Angels
to guard us, hear our supplication
as we cry to you, that we may always
be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
DEAR ANGEL EVER AT MY SIDE. Since we are surrounded and beset by countless evil spirits and temptations, would not a God of love offer his beleaguered children help from ‘the good side’ as well? If the Father sent Angels to minister to His Son after the devil tempted Him during his forty-day desert fast [Matthew 4:11]
and an Angel to strengthen Him in the Garden of Gethsemane [Luke 22:43]
– would He leave us without angelic help from on high? No; God cares for all His children at every stage of life!
Prayer over the Offerings – The Holy Guardian Angels
Receive, O Lord, the offerings we bring
before you as we venerate your holy Angels,
and graciously grant that
under their constant protection
we may be delivered from present dangers
and brought happily to life eternal.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
EVERY STEP WE TAKE IS WITH AN ANGEL. What a comfort to say or sing the sacred songs of Israel, as we do so often at sacred liturgy, to claim for ourselves the sentiments they express. In the beloved hymn, ‘Be Not Afraid,’ we echo these words: “For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.” [Psalm 91:11]
In the Rite of Commendation we ask the choirs of Angels to bring our beloved dead home to Paradise. And we boldly express our hope that – one day – we will join that celestial choir: “I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; in the presence of the angels to you I sing.”
So we are not alone; God is ever at our side, and so is a personal assistant, an Angel, as the next oration assures us.
Prayer after Communion – The Holy Guardian Angels
As you are pleased to nourish us for eternal life
with so great a Sacrament, O Lord,
direct us by the ministry of Angels
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
DON’T DISMISS YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL! As the Catholic Catechism affirms: “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” [#336]
Don’t loving parents provide everything possible to protect, guide and keep safe their children? Just as Jesus struggled to convince those in His day that God is a loving Father, a shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the lost sheep, who lays down his life for them … many modern ‘learned’ people dismiss Angels as anachronistic, childish, imaginative figments of those with a simple faith. But didn’t Jesus say: “Unless [we] turn and become like children, [we] will not enter the kingdom of heaven?” [Matthew 18:3]
That’s why I say, “Dear Guardian Angel, pray for me!”
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS