(Feast Day on November 8th- for Sunday 3.11.2019)
In the Nicene Creed (Creed of Faith) we confess our faith in God as “maker of heaven and earth and of all things, visible and invisible.” Among God’s invisible creatures are the Holy Angels. As the Holy Scriptures tell us, God created the Angels before creating the earth, the sun, the stars and the rest of the material world. In the book of Job we read that “When the stars were made, all My angels praised Me in a loud voice” (Job 38:7). The Angels do not have physical bodies, as we do, but spiritual ones. That is why we cannot see them with our own eyes. There have been times, however, when the Angels have taken on human form to fulfill a mission that God had given them.
One of the Angels’ missions is to protect human beings from being attacked by evil spirits, giving them strength as they guide them on God’s path. This is so that they may ultimately enter the Kingdom of God (see Hebrews 1:14). At Baptism, the priest recites the following prayer: Lord, “Unite his (or her) life with a bright Angel, protecting him (or her) from any insidious assault of the opponent, from any encounter with the evil one, from any demon from the left side …” From Baptism, a person has a Guardian Angel always with them. We should never forget this. When we are asleep, our Angel is awake. Wherever we go, He is there with us. When we are in danger, He is our protection. When the devil tempts us, he is there to give us strength and help shield us. When we are facing a problem, He inspires us to find the right solution.
Do we realize what a great blessing it is from God to have our Guardian Angel to help and protect us? Have we ever thought about how much more beautiful our lives would be, if we would feel our Guardian Angels next to us at every moment? Would it be possible to do evil? Criminal acts such as theft are usually done in secret, hidden and in the dark. If we knew our Holy Angel can see us, would we dare do such things? If I give in to my evil passions and lie about others, say filthy words or slander and accuse others, will I not feel ashamed saying these things before my Angel? In fact, our Angels not only see and hear us, but as a spirit of God knows what we are thinking about. We know from experience that charismatic, holy men of God like St. Paisios and St. Porphyrios can discern what is in our minds. The Holy Angels even more so. With this in mind, it would be better for us to keep our souls pure by not letting dirty or evil thoughts pollute it.
In addition to such protection from ourselves, our Holy Angels also protect us from outside dangers, both physical and spiritual. We know that Satan, who is characterized by Holy Scripture as “a killer of humans” and “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8), is in a constant war against us. Remember the devout Job, who suffered so much at the hands of the Evil One. It is from this kind of attack that our Guardian Angel protects us from. If we had spiritual eyes, we could see how much work our Angel does to protect us from the traps and dangers Satan sets for us. It is for these reasons, that we the faithful should be grateful to our Guardians and all the Holy Angels for their love and work for our salvation. This is why at the end of Compline (the After Dinner Service), we have a special prayer to our Guardian Angels. With this, we thank him for his protection and beg his forgiveness for all the sorrows we cause him due to our sins. We ask him to never leave our side and unprotected. In all the holy Services of our Church, we ask God to give us “An angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies”.
My brothers and sisters, let us make sure that we live our lives in a way that is pleasing to our Guardian Angels, and not a cause for sadness. In so doing, may their mighty protection be with us until the end of our lives, when our Angel leads us to the heavenly kingdom of God. Amen.