My memories of very early childhood are rare so sometimes I’m not sure how I learned things that I already knew as I look back at life in kindergarten. I’m fairly certain that the first prayer I could recite was: Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. I’m not sure I knew the meaning of all those words but I was surely aware that, in addition to my parents, God had assigned someone very special to take care of me.
Today the world is full of images, statues, literature and workshops that depict or teach about spirit guides, beings existing in realms other than ours, helping us along our spiritual path. The Judeo-Christian Scriptures and Tradition, where my early images came from, also speak of three Archangels (Michael, Gabriel and Raphael) who figure significantly in the stories of “salvation history.” Today we celebrate a feast in their honor on our Church calendar.
Whatever one intuits or believes about the spirit world, it is comforting to trust that we are protected as we negotiate the challenges and rejoice in the loveliness of the earth. It’s just one more way to celebrate the kindness and magnanimity of our generous God.