Jesus too thinks littleness is great!

Jesus too thinks littleness is great!

And great too is your God-appointed “body guard”!

St. Therese of Lisieux is not alone in thinking, as I wrote yesterday, that littleness is a good thing.  Jesus says so Himself in today’s Gospel reading: 

The disciples approached Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?’  He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.’ (Mt 18:1-5, 10)

JesusMark10-14Children-s

You see, in the Kingdom of God to serve is to rule.  The greatest must become the smallest… the smallest become the greatest… the first become last… the last become first… God’s logic and management style are all His own!  And it may seem backwards to some, but to us it should come as no surprise.  The Lord himself has told us:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
 
As we celebrate the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, it is good to be reminded that we are to become like little children, and trust confidently in our Father’s care for us and in His every provision for our good and well-being.  That includes welcoming and availing ourselves of the “body guard” or “life guard” our heavenly Father has given us to assist us from womb to tomb.
 
Call upon the “spiritual life guard” the Lord has given you– your Guardian Angel! Ask him to assist and aid you in all your endeavors; to guard your every step and action; to guide every movement of your heart and mind, will and tongue.

I hope that in pondering these words of Professor Peter Kreeft and of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, you will better understand who and what your Guardian Angel is all about.

Happy Memorial of the Guardian Angels!

The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them

 (From “Angels and Demons” – Peter Kreeft)

  1.  They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.
  2. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.
  3. They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.
  4. They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.
  5. They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.
  6. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.
  7. There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons, or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions, and exorcisms, are real.
  8. Angels are aware of you, even though you can’t usually see or hear them. But you can communicate with them. You can talk to them without even speaking.
  9. You really do have your very own “guardian angel”. Everybody does.
  10. Angels often come disguised. “Do not neglect hospitality, for some have entertained angels unawares”—that’s a warning from life’s oldest and best instruction manual.
  11. We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity.
  12. Angels are sentinels standing at the crossroads where life meets death. They work especially at moments of crisis, at the brink of disaster—for bodies, for souls, and for nations.

 

 
 
 

 

Guardian Angels

This excerpt from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the memorial of the Guardian Angels on October 2.

St. BernardHe has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. Let them thank the Lord for his mercy; his wonderful works are for the children of men. Let them give thanks and say among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. O Lord, what is man that you have made yourself known to him, or why do you incline your heart to him? And you do incline your heart to him; you show him your care and your concern. Finally, you send your only Son and the grace of your Spirit, and promise him a vision of your countenance. And so, that nothing in heaven should be wanting in your concern for us, you send those blessed spirits to serve us, assigning them as our guardians and our teachers.

He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.

So let us be devoted and grateful to such great protectors; let us return their love and honor them as much as we can and should. Yet all our love and honor must go to him, for it is from him that they receive all that makes them worthy of our love and respect.

We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father. We are God’s children although it does not seem so, because we are still but small children under guardians and trustees, and for the present little better than slaves.

Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear? They, who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven.

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