Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Holy Guardian Angels

"For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways.” - Psalm 90: 11

"No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone" - Psalm 91: 10-12

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession”(No. 336). St Basil asserted: “Beside each believer stands an angel protector and shepherd leading him to life. ”

The truth that each and every human soul has a Guardian Angel who protects us from spiritual and physical evil has also been shown throughout the Old Testament, and is made very clear in the New Testament.

It is written that the Lord Jesus is strengthened by an angel in the Garden of Gethsemane and that an angel delivered St Peter from prison in the Acts of the Apostles.

But Jesus makes the existence and function of guardian angels explicit when He says: "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18: 10).

In saying this, Jesus points out that all people, even little children, have a guardian angel and that the angels are in Heaven, always looking at the face of God throughout their mission on earth, which is to guide us and protect us throughout our pilgrimage to the house of our Father. As St Paul says: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?"(Hebrews 1: 14)

However, they guide us to Heaven only if we desire it. St Thomas Aquinas wrote that angels cannot act directly upon our will or intellect, although they can do so on our senses and imaginations – thus encouraging us to make the right decisions. In Heaven our guardian angels, though no longer needing to guide us to salvation, will continue to enlighten us.

It is important to pray to your guardian angel and become friends with your angel. Ask for your guardian angel's help when you're stuck in traffic, when you need a parking place, and when you need help with your computer or the Internet. Call upon them in times of temptation or weakness and they will assist, enlighten, and protect you.

The prayer to the guardian angels has been present in the Church since at least the beginning of the 12th century.

Guardian Angel Prayer:

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, to rule and guide. Amen.

Guardian Angel Quotes:

"The servants of Christ are protected by invisible, rather than visible, beings. But if these guard you, they do so because they have been summoned by your prayer. "

~ St Ambrose

“Let us affectionately love His angels as counselors and defenders appointed by the Father and placed over us. They are faithful; they are prudent; they are powerful; Let us only follow them, let us remain close to them, and in the protection of the God of heaven let us abide.”

~ St Bernard of Clairvaux

"God's universal providence works through secondary causes . . . The world of pure spirits stretches between the Divine Nature and the world of human beings; because Divine Wisdom has ordained that the higher should look after the lower, Angels execute the Divine plan for human salvation: they are our Guardians, who free us when hindered and help to bring us home."

~ St Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was buried in the Lisieux municipal cemetery on 4 October 1897. She was the first to be buried in the new plot her monastery had purchased in response to the city's new legislative directives prohibiting interment inside the cloister. In view of what took place after St Thérèse's death, it can now be said that the new directives were providential, since they enabled hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to visit her grave over a period of twenty-five years. Had St Thérèse been buried inside the cloister, this would never have been possible. Only in 1923 on the occasion of her beatification were her mortal remains transferred to the Carmelite chapel where they are kept to this day.

When people stand in the presence of the mortal remains of St Thérèse of Lisieux, or have some contact with her relics, as with petals from an unpetalled rose, God, who received through her humanity so many signs of love, is pleased in turn to manifest his love through her bodily remains.

From these poor signs, God's salvific power reveals and unfolds itself. It is enough to read the many volumes recounting favours and cures obtained through contact with St Thérèse's relics, as well as the abundant correspondence that arrives daily in Lisieux. 

We are indeed blessed at the Holy Grail retreat to be able to display numerous first class relics of St Thérèse at a dedicated shrine created for the purpose of veneration. Alongside her holy relics are those of beloved St Francis and St Clare of Assisi.