Most of us grow up believing as children that we each have a guardian angel. But what exactly is the angel guarding us from—Demons? Our own sinful inclinations?
Yes, yes—and so much more. It turns out that guardian angels not only protect us from ourselves and others, they also do everything from pray for us to help us better understand divine truths. Indeed, if all life is a journey towards God in heaven, Aquinas says we can imagine guardian angels are assigned to protect us along the path, in much the same way that guardians might protect a medieval pilgrim on a country road.
Here’s just a few things that guardian angels do for us:
1. Moral guidance: While it is up to God to fill us with grace and virtue, it is left to reason to “discover the proper methods to make perfect the good of virtue,” according to Aquinas. It is in this regard that guardian angels assist us by bringing us the precepts of God.
2. Enlighten us: Aquinas says that angels can enlighten us to divine truths. There are several ways our guardians can do this: they can cause an imaginative vision or dream and they can also affect how our senses perceive the world around us.
3. Affect our will: Changing the will from within is God’s sole prerogative, but angels can still indirectly affect our will through our intellect, according to Aquinas.
4. Intercessors on our behalf: Guardian angels also act as intermediaries between us and God. As the Baltimore catechism puts it, “they offer our prayers, good works and desires to God.”
Truly, guardian angels are not something to be taken for granted. Rather, they are our “special servants and faithful friends” assigned to guard us throughout our lives. So make sure you take a moment today to thank God for such a great gift he has bestowed upon us out of the endless bounty of His Love.