Guardian Angels: What my child taught me
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for in heaven their angels behold the face of My Father.” (Matthew 18:10)
One night, as I was saying goodnight to my daughter Anne, she asked me to say the guardian angel prayer. I recited a prayer from my childhood:
"Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here,
ever this night be at my side to light, to guard, to rule and guide."
It seems like a child's ditty, so I hadn't said it in a long time. In fact, although I was sure I had spoken to Annie about her guardian angel at one point, I didn't actually remember doing so. Her asking for the prayer out of the blue was a surprise. Then she surprised me again.
"Do you want to hear MY guardian angel prayer?" Annie asked.
"She has her own prayer?" I thought to myself. "Sure, Annie," I replied.
Annie's voice floated out in the dark, and the room was filled with her sweet little voice:
"Guardian angel from heaven so bright,
Watching beside me to lead me aright,
Fold thy wings round me, and guard me with love,
And softly sing songs to me from heav'n above."
I was flabbergasted. "Annie, where did you learn that prayer?"
"Oh. I saw it on a bookmark and I memorized it," replied my then 7 year old. "I say it every night. My guardian angel watches over me when I am afraid, and he folds his wings over me and stays with me all the time. Everybody has a guardian angel. You can ask your angel for help too."
I was humbled. My little girl was teaching me about our Faith. I had neglected to teach her much about her angel since I was "too busy." Yet here she was instructing what I hadn't taught, ably giving me a sweet and theologically-sound description of her guardian angel.
Faithfully listen to your guardian angel.
A few months later we found ourselves traveling abroad. Providentially, we came upon a Catholic church just as Mass was beginning. After a beautiful, simple service, an older lady approached me. She gently placed her hand on Annie's head and looked me in the eye.
"This child's guardian angel loves her very much." She told me with slow and deliberate words. Then she walked away.
I knew that her words were true. But I also understood that this special love existed in part because Annie was faithful in her communication with her angel. I was a tiny bit jealous. Of course, all of us have angels who love us dearly. They want us to be perfect, they want us to go to heaven. But unless we continually invite them to work in our lives, their ability to help us is limited.
Invite your angel to work in your life.
My third child, Bernadette, has recently been asking me to say a different guardian angel prayer. Every night she reminds me to pray:
"Dear Lord, by the intercession of the guardian angels of this household, please keep every member of this family free from bad dreams, thoughts or anxieties."
I haven't thanked Bernadette yet, but at the time when she started insisting that I pray this prayer I had been suffering from terrible night anxieties due to pregnancy hormones, sleep paralysis and insomnia. Since praying this prayer to our angels, the anxieties have ceased and my chronic sleep paralysis and insomnia have been manageable.
Few of us allow our guardian angels to work in our lives as we could. Each guardian angel’s specific job is to watch over and help the person he has been assigned. Your guardian angel is especially suited to help you, and has watched you develop from the moment of your conception. Let’s remember to not only to ask constantly for their help, but also to thank them for their faithful service. That's what they're here for: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
Thank you, my dear guardian angel, for your incredible love for me, and for being my faithful protector even when I have paid no attention to you.
"My guardian, to whom the goodness of the Heavenly Father entrusts me, enlighten, protect and guide me, now and forever. Amen." - St. Pio de Pietrelcina
Rebecca O’Loughlin is a Byzantine Catholic mother with 5 children (newborn to tween). She enjoys running her shop (Brushes2Halos), writing, and adventuring with her children--whether on a flight with their airplane pilot dad, or through the pages of Narnia.
Looking to teach your child the Guardian Angel Prayer? Liam the Lion Lil’ Prayer Buddy is here to help.