Parenting becomes much easier if you get in the habit of offering prayers to guardian angels for the whole family. Let me explain.
WE EACH HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL?
Psalm 91:11-12 in the Bible seems to say we each are given a guardian angel. “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
That passage is the most explicit in describing the unseen reality that God entrusts each of us to our own guardian angel.
As a result, it is a part of Catholic Tradition to promote the teaching that each person has a guardian angel.
ANGELS CONCERNED FOR OUR WELL-BEING ARE FOUND IN SCRIPTURE
The Book of Tobit, also found in the Bible, has a unique story. The archangel Raphael takes on the appearance of an old man. He accompanies Tobit’s son, Tobias on a long journey to collect a debt for his father. Saint Raphael protects Tobias along the way.
Catholic tradition has it that St. Raphael also makes an appearance in the New Testament. Saint Raphael’s Feast Day is October 24th.
Examples of angels protecting humans are found in many places in Scripture. Angels are very interested in human affairs, doing God’s will here on earth. The Bible even says we entertain angels in our daily lives, without ever realizing it (Hebrews 13:2).
WHAT DO I MEAN BY A “DEVOTION?”
When I say you ought to have a “devotion,” I mean you should have a habit of asking for that person in heaven’s intercession.
Faithful Catholics have devotions to a wide variety of saints. Saints are those who are in heaven, enjoying the beatific vision. We know that those in heaven know what is going on here on earth.
Faithful Catholics have a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking for her powerful intercession. Many have a devotion to Saint Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church. The archangel, Saint Michael is another popular one. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine, Saint Peter, Saint Jude, and many other remain popular saints for Catholics around the world.
When we as Catholics pray to saints, we mean something different than how modern ears hear that phrase. We are not asking the saints to grant us our requests like genies. We do not pray to them, as if they are God.
Instead, when we say we pray to them, we mean we ask them to pray for us to God. It is sort of like making a “prayer” in a courtroom. “Your honor, the defense prays you grant our request to add this piece of evidence to the trial.”
Take the example of Saint Blase. He once saved a little boy choking on a bone in his throat. Now he has been dubbed the Patron Saint of Throats. So, if we pray to Saint Blase to keep us from getting sick, we are really asking him to ask God to keep us healthy.
Catholics get in the habit of asking the same saints for their intercession. When God gives them a consolation by answering a couple prayers, the devotion to that saint is likely to grow.
DEVOTION TO GUARDIAN ANGELS
All that by way of background to get to my suggestion today: You ought to develop a habit of making prayers to guardian angels.
This applies to everyone, but it is especially helpful to parents.
By having a habit of praying your own guardian angel, you can thank him each day for his help. You can ask him for help. You can ask him to pray for you.
I count on my guardian angel to wake me up on time for certain things. For instance, in college sometimes I would take a nap in between classes. I would ask my guardian angel to wake me up fifteen minutes before my next class began, so I would have time to walk there. He did so, every time.
God assigned you your own guardian angel. You would do well to let him help you, in accord with God’s will.
HELP WITH PARENTING
Knowing all this, hopefully you can see the value in offering prayers to guardian angels, especially for your children.
Here are 5 ideas of how to grow in this devotion.
1. Your “Motherly Instinct” Will Be Enhanced
Ever notice how mothers just “know” when something is wrong for one of their children?
Possibly your guardian angel already helps prompt this response. Even still, you can ask the guardian angels in your family to prompt you to investigate your child’s whereabouts, when necessary. You can ask your children’s guardian angels to alert you, if they are in danger.
2. You Have an Extra Babysitter
Don’t take this as permission to not be attentive to your children. But rather, take this as permission to breathe a sigh of relief. Your child has a guardian angel watching him 24/7. You can ask him to keep your child safe.
3. You Can Send Your Guardian Angel
Angels are not tied down to a particular space and time, as they are pure spirits. Thus, your guardian angel can be present in multiple places.
Knowing this, you can ask your guardian angel to go accompany your children elsewhere. This will double their protection and give you a little more peace of mind.
4. You Can Greet Your Child’s Guardian Angel Each Time
A neat tradition I recently learned about I will recommend to my readers, as well.
Each time your son or daughter enters the room, mentally greet his or her guardian angel. You can do this with anyone you meet, including your spouse. After all, when your daughter comes into the room to ask you a question, a second person is with her.
5. Ask Your Angel to Go Ahead of You
Something else you can do is to ask your guardian angel to go ahead of you to important events. Specifically, you can ask your angel to speak to the guardian angels of those you will interact with.
By doing so, you can ask for your guardian angel to help that upcoming presentation at work to go well. Or if you have a family vacation planned, you can ask all the guardian angels in your family to prepare everyone. Your children’s angels could help the little ones to be more docile and agreeable. Perhaps you and your spouse will have a much more enjoyable plane ride or car trip.
GUARDIAN ANGEL PRAYER
Oh, angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God’s love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
To light and to guard, to rule and to guide.
I hope you can see the benefit of offering prayers to guardian angels, especially your family’s guardian angels.
Please leave a comment below if you think any of my suggestions will prove helpful to you.
If you have any other recommendations for how to grow in appreciation of our guardian angels, especially as a parent, please let us know!