Guardian Angel
Image: Pixabay, free for use

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here.

Ever this day be at my side, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

I pray the Guardian Angel Prayer often – definitely daily, and sometimes multiple times a day. The words “to light and guard, to rule and guide” are like a mantra to me. It gives me peace and solace, especially when facing spiritual danger from exterior circumstances or when sinful thoughts and feelings tempt me. I feel very close to my guardian angel and talk to him frequently, even though now and then I forget about his presence and loving care for me. One thing I never forget to do is thank my guardian angel for protecting me from a harmful situation. I lost count of the number of near-miss car accidents he prevented or the household calamities that could have resulted in injury. I know he was beside me when I faced threatening situations with another human being.

My most vivid memory of having been protected by my guardian angel was during a sudden late-winter snowstorm. I had embarked on the five-hour drive home from a speaking engagement in what the weather forecast predicted to be light-to-moderate rain. Instead, it was heavy snowfall and high winds, causing whiteout conditions. I was driving a featherweight hatchback that didn’t do well in heavy precipitation to begin with and was on a backwoods, two-lane highway after dark with no streetlights. Suddenly, I was caught in a swirl of snow and unable to see the road. I couldn’t tell where I was on the highway and in the distance could see faint headlights, the distance of which I could not determine because of the whiteout. Then my car began spinning in rapid circles and I lost all control. I had no idea where I was on the road – or whether I was on the road at all. As I spun, I caught flashes of the headlights of oncoming vehicles. My life literally passed before my eyes and I saw the faces of each of my loved ones.

I began screaming out to my guardian angel for help and asked him in cryptic words to let my family know of my ardent love should I not make it home alive. It likely was only several minutes, but it felt like I had been spinning for an hour. I was frantic. Then, my hatchback came to a stop. I was relieved but still had no idea where I was in relation to the road and still with the vehicle headlights in view ahead of me. All I could do was wait and pray that the other driver would see and avoid me. I sat there, begging my guardian angel to save me and bracing for the worst. I watched the headlights coming closer and closer until finally I could tell that it was a semitrailer! I grasped the steering wheel, held my breath, and… the semi drove slowly past me on the left. Its headlights illumined the road and I could see that I was on the road, in my lane, and facing forward.

I had no doubt that my guardian angel had stopped my car, placing it on the right side of the road in the right direction. Only divine intervention could have made that happen! I made my way slowly home, crawling along on the road, offering prayers of thanksgiving, and leaning hard on my guardian angel for guidance the rest of the way. Eventually, I got on a major highway where the plows already were in action the the streetlights gave me visibility. What should have been a two-hour drive turned into a nearly six-hour drive! As you can imagine, I was badly shaken by the ordeal and it took me quite a while to calm down once I was home. For a couple of years after, I had flashbacks of that incident and to this day I get quite nervous driving in snow or rainstorms. Yet I know with certainty that my guardian angel protected me then and will protect me in the future.

Our guardian angels are real, love us dearly, and are ever-vigilant in fulfilling their God-given missions. This isn’t the stuff of pop culture and fantasies; it is the teaching of the Church.

‘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. ‘ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 336.)

In his providence, God has given us valiant companions whose sole occupation is our protection, both physically and spiritually. Too often, we forget about them, myself included. How vastly the world would change if all human beings came to know and love their guardian angels and heed their guidance!

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