Do We Remember the Angels?

We are never abandoned. Ever.

You do not have to be Opus Dei to appreciate this work of faith in the angels:

The struggle between good and evil—the sad inheritance of original sin—is a constant reality in human existence on this earth. Therefore, as an ancient prayer says, we want to ask our guardian angel: Sancti Angeli Custodes nostri, defendite nos in proelio ut non pereamus in tremendo iudicio.Holy guardian angels: defend us in battle, so that we do not perish at the final judgment.

From his earliest youth, our Founder cultivated a deep devotion to the angels, and especially to his own guardian angel. Later, from the moment of the foundation of Opus Dei, his biography is filled with a strong and trusting piety towards these worshippers of God, and our good companions on the path to heaven. His writings as well contain abundant references to the ministry of the angels on behalf of mankind. As Scripture says, Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?[17]  So great was his faith in the intervention of the angels, that he taught us to consider them as important allies in our apostolic work. “Win over the guardian angel of the one you want to draw to your apostolate. He is always a great ‘accomplice’,”[18]  he wrote in The Way. And on considering that often the environment in which one finds oneself for professional or social reasons, etc., may seem far from God, he assured us: “You say there are many occasions of going astray in such surroundings? That’s true, but aren’t there any guardian angels as well?”[19]

The pealing of the bells of the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, which never died out in our Father’s heart, should resound in our own, as a reminder that our entire life has to be adoration for God, in union with our Lady, the angels, and the whole Church triumphant.

Our Father also cultivated a friendship with the archangel who—according to some Fathers of the Church—assists each priest in his ministry. “There is a very probable opinion that priests have an angel especially devoted to their care. But many years ago I read that each priest has a ministerial archangel and I was moved. I composed for myself a sort of Alleluia as an aspiration, and I recite it to my ministerial archangel in the morning and at night. At times I have thought that I do not have sufficient motive to believe in this, just because it was written by a Father of the Church whose name I don’t even remember. But then I think of the goodness of my Father God, and I grow certain that, by praying to my ministerial archangel, even if I didn’t have one, our Lord would send me one, to give a basis for my prayer and my devotion.”[20]

Let us often stop to think about these and other teachings regarding the holy angels and strive to put them into practice, each in one’s own way. Let us go to their help with confidence and trust. Internal difficulties that seem insuperable, exterior obstacles that look like real walls, are overcome with the help of these friends who are so powerful and to whose care God has entrusted us. But, as our Founder taught, drinking from the fountain of the Church’s spiritual tradition, we need to foster an authentic friendship with our guardian angel and with those of the people we are trying to reach in our apostolate. For “the guardian angel is a Prince of Heaven whom God has placed at our side to watch over and assist us, to encourage us in our trials, to lighten our suffering, to guide and uphold us if we are about to fall.”[21]

We find another reflection that can give us a lot of consolation in St. Josemaría’s book Furrow: “The guardian angel always accompanies us as our principal witness. It is he who, at your particular judgment, will remember the kind deeds you performed for our Lord throughout your life. Furthermore, when you feel lost, before the terrible accusations of the enemy, your angel will present those intimations of your heart—which perhaps you yourself might have forgotten—those proofs of love which you might have had for God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. That is why you must never forget your guardian angel, and that Prince of Heaven will not abandon you now, or at that decisive moment.”[22]

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