Daily Reflection
October 2nd, 1999
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
The Memorial of the Guardian Angels
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29
Psalms 69:33-37
Matthew 18:1-5, 10 

The readings today invite us to simply and completely turn to God in our need, particularly in times of distress.  This is so wonderful to reflect upon today.  Throughout the scriptures the angels are painted as larger than life personifications of the love and protection of God for us.  Sometimes a "messenger," sometimes the "challenging poser of questions," always awe inspiring, the angels of the Lord give us a taste of how incarnate and faithfully present to us our God desires to be.

I remember as a child being so comforted with the thought that each of us had our own guardian angel to watch over us.  We were taught to kneel by our bedside each night and pray to our guardian angel to protect us from fear.  I also remember how I saw my guardian angel as somehow protecting me from doing bad things - for if my guardian angel was so close to me, to be able to protect me, then my guardian angel was there to see me being tempted to do something bad.

I also remember losing a sense of there being a guardian angel.  I don't know exactly when it was, but I suspect it coincided with the general loss of innocence that occurred in that period between not believing in Santa Claus, going through the trauma of distrusting authority and government, and the development of an overall sense of awe at my own power.  I'm quite sure that the more I became more "sophisticated," able to "think on my feet,"  "handle situations on my own," and "face problems like a man," the less I thought of even turning to God to guard and protect me.

It has only been since my independence and youthful infatuation with my own power has been broken down by a growing sense of my power-lessness and in-ability to cope with everything I must face, day to day, that I have turned to God in a more child-like way.  Failing humility by my own effort, I have found humiliation to be a profound source of revelation of what has been "hidden from the learned and clever."

Oh, Lord, with your Guardian Angel love protect me today.  This adult heart needs you, depends upon you, wants to rely upon your protection today.  Let me know your special care for me today.  Awe inspiring.  Comforting. By my side.  Guarding and guiding.  

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