O God, who in your unfathomable providence are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us, hear our supplication as we cry to you, that we may always be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. — Amen.
Today is the feast of the Guardian Angels. Be sure to greet your Angel and thank him for his sleepless ministry in your service, and call on him often.
It’s a magnificent truth of faith that each of us, from the moment of conception, is assigned by God an angel to accompany us through our whole life journey. The Catechism #329; 336 gives a nice and succinct summary of our belief in this matter:
From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession [of the angels]. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life, [who] “always beholds the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 18:10).
I’ve always thought of this angelic companion as a sign of God’s particular and provident love for each human being from the moment of conception, and as a sign of the intimate link of earth and heaven that every human being is meant to be. That then made me think of the extraordinary beauty, power and magnificence of every human being’s conception, as God not only sends in response an angel from heaven to earth, but creates at the very moment of conception an immortal, rational soul ex nihilo, “from nothing.” In other words, every conception is a new “in the beginning,” a new Genesis when God says yet again: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) and proclaims afresh, “Very good.” Regardless of the circumstances of our conception — darkness or light, joy or pain, welcome or unwelcome — God explodes yet again with the supernal joy of creating, out of sheer love, someone who once was not, but now is and will be for ever and ever.
Those thoughts in turn made me think of these two videos of parents welcoming the news of new life into the world. The first is real life, the other is a lovely commercial. The expression on each father’s face is, to me, a sacrament of God’s unseen joy. In fact, when I sent the second video to a woman I know, she said as she watched it God gave her a grace of feeling His joy in her conception, helping her experience herself as a “welcome gift,” having long known that her own parents had conceived her under difficult circumstances. Watch: