One of the great joys of the icon is that it has served to remind me about the importance of Angels.
"So many projects, except for one's own sins, but many, many projects for mankind’s dehumanization are his work, simply because he hates mankind. He is astute: the first page of Genesis tells us so, he is astute. He presents things as if they were a good thing. But his intention is destruction. And the angels defend us. They defend mankind and they defend the God-Man, the
"The task of the people of God - the Pope said - is to safeguard man: the man Jesus” because "He is the man who gives life to all men". Instead, in his plans for destruction, Satan has invented "humanistic explanations that go against man, against humanity and against God":
"This struggle is a daily reality in Christian life, in our hearts, in our lives, in our families, in our people, in our churches ... If we do not struggle, we will be defeated. But the Lord has given this task mainly to the angels: to do battle and win. And the final song of Revelation , after this battle, is so beautiful: Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night”.
Pope Francis concluded urging those present to pray to the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and "recite the ancient but beautiful prayer to the archangel Michael, so he may continue to do battle and defend the greatest mystery of mankind: that the Word was made Man, died and rose again. This is our treasure. That he may battle on to safeguard it".
Today, on the feast of the Guardian Angels, also at Santa Marta, he said:
"Guardian angels exist, they are not [the fruit of] imaginative doctrine, but companions that God has placed beside us on our life’s journey . Pope Francis said that the readings of the day present us with two images: the angel and the baby. God placed an angel by our side to watch over us: "If anyone believes that they can walk on their own, they would be greatly mistaken”, they would fall “into that terrible trap of arrogance: Believing we are great", self-sufficient. Jesus taught the apostles to be like children. .."
“Those who are closest to the attitude of a child, are "closer to the contemplation of the Father". They listen to their guardian angel with an open and docile heart:
"According to the tradition of the Church, we all have an angel with us, who protects us, helps us hear things. How often have we heard: 'I should do this, I should not do this, that’s not right, be careful ...': so often! It is the voice of our travelling companion. Be sure that he will guide us to the end of our lives with advice, and so listen to his voice, don’t rebel against it…because rebellion, the desire to be independent, is something that we all have; this is arrogance, the same arrogance of our father Adam in paradise: the very same. Do not rebel: follow his advice”.
"No one journeys alone and no one should think that they are alone" - continued the Pope - because “this companion” is always there:
"And when we do not want to listen to his advice, to listen to his voice, it's like saying, ‘Go away!'. It is dangerous to chase away our travelling companion, because no man no woman can advise themselves. I can give advice to others, but not to myself. The Holy Spirit advises me, the angel advises me. This is why we need him. This is not an imaginative doctrine on the angels: no, it is reality. It is what Jesus said, God said: 'I send an angel before you to guard you, to accompany you on your journey, so you will not go wrong’".
Pope Francis concluded his homily:
“Ask yourself this question today: How is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I say good morning to him in the morning? Do I ask him: Watch over me when I sleep?'. Do I speak with him? Do I ask his advice? He is by my side. We can answer this question today, each of us: how is our relationship with this angel that the Lord has sent to watch over me and accompany me on my journey, and who always sees the face of the Father who is in heaven. "
The Catechism (336) tells us that:
"From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God."
So, as we journey deeper into the mysteries of the love of God, as expressed in the heart of Jesus, we should, as the icon reminds us, always remember that we are not on our own : our Angel is really by our side. We should listen to our angels with an open and docile heart.
A long forgotten prayer of my childhood comes to mind:
O my good Angel, whom God has appointed to be my guardian,enlighten and protect me, direct me and govern me during this day/night. Amen
Must return to this simple and beautiful prayer.!
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