Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Lesson, The Preparations, A Shadow Dispelled.

Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Lesson, The Preparations, A Shadow Dispelled.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Lesson, The Preparations, A Shadow Dispelled.

[THESE Memoirs are a gallery of paintings in which is brought into view the Catholic doctrine on the ministry of Guardian Angels.
An Angel here tells what were his duties and his impressions from the moment in which a soul was intrusted to him, to that in which she took her place at his side in glory.
We see at a glance, what this best of friends has done for us in the past, is doing for us now, and will do for us in the future.
May the reading of these pages excite the gratitude of hearts that receive so many benefits, and lead them to correspond with these more faithfully! This is the end which the Author had in view. ]

MEMOIRS OF A GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Lesson.

I led him to the priest, who was giving, in the temple, instruction to youth.[1]
The good pastor was seen surrounded by little children. The affection he showed them brought to my mind that of the Saviour. He knew all intimately, he called them by name, and treated them with respect. He saw in them the infant Jesus, and used, in correcting their faults, the zeal and delicacy he would have shown in assuaging their sorrows.[2]
“Dear little children,” he would say to them, “I give myself all to you, to teach you to know and to bless God; but ask first your guardian angels to obtain me light and love.”
The children offered with joy a prayer, that a heart full of sweetness dictated them. We accepted it at once, and like doves, we mounted to heaven, whence we brought precious graces. The humble catechist thus made our presence at his lessons useful.
From the beginning to the end my goodwill was shared between the master and pupil. The master captivated me by the skill with which he brought down to the capacity of a child treasures gathered by long study. The disciple touched me in receiving with open trustfulness the highest mysteries. I was not idle. I seconded the zeal of the priest, and his pupil was always mine. I chased away the mists from the mind of the child, and gave his understanding more clearness and extent. I gave truth brighter colors, and made more transparent the veils through which its light came. I placed in relief the beauties of faith, the charms of virtue, the magnificence of religion. I ceased not from fighting against sloth, the perfidious demon that kills in their germ the richest qualities and the purest talent.[3]
With such aid, fervor had advanced with knowledge, and the heart had acquired the admirable sensibility a lively faith gives.
One day his feelings could not be restrained. A pious voice was telling of the sufferings and death of the Redeemer. The child felt his soul rent with grief, and a tear moistened his eyelid. How beautiful he seemed to me! how touching was his look! More than one seraphim in his heavenly country envied this tear of a child in exile.

The Preparations.

With his longings he bade the beautiful day come. Like him, I awaited its coming with impatience. From the eve, angels and children were together at the foot of the altar. The souls of the future communicants had just been purified. The imperfections that remained were thrown into the bosom of mercy or disappeared like straws in the furnace.
A God was to be received: it was a heaven that we had wished to prepare. In those souls we had made shine the precious stones of faith, of charity, of modesty, of humility, of devotedness.[4] We contemplated their beauty, and we showed to each other the crowns we held over their heads. Our own did not seem to us to shed a sweeter perfume.

A Shadow Dispelled.

One angel had remained silent and sorrowful: his hand carried no crown. He said to us, weeping:
“Happy angels, your portion is joy; your brother’s, grief! Yet a few hours, and the soul that God has intrusted to me will be covered with profaned blood, and will have in reserve for her only anathemas. Sin is in her heart, and with sin the bonds, the reed, the scourges, the thorns, the cross, the nails, the lance, death!”[5]
We joined our prayers with those of the angel: no effect. In the midst of the light that flooded us there was that sinister shadow.
A thought came to me. I gave the child I loved above all, a secret presentiment of what he did not know. Under the stimulus of grace he became recollected. His countenance expressed alarm. I suggested to him these words:
“No, my God, I will never betray Thee. I am firmly convinced of this. But this frightful misfortune! ah, if it were to happen to one of my companions. . . . I [beg] Thee, O Sovereign Master of hearts, work a miracle of Thy mercy, rather than permit any one of us to give Thee into the power of the devil and crucify Thee!”[6]
While our Lord was receiving this prayer, a crown fell from heaven into the hands of the angel in tears.
The young sinner had risen; he had trampled under foot false shame; his fault had been remitted. All hearts were pure, all countenances serene.[7]
But two angels seemed more joyful than the rest, and felt themselves mutually drawn toward each other by the liveliest sympathy: the angel of the child that had been converted, and the angel of the child that had prayed.

[1] St. Gregory Thaumat., Eulogium of Origen.
[2] Lives of St. Lactinus, St. Infant, and of St. M. Magdalen de’ Pazzi, Boll.
[3] St. Nilus, On Prayer. St. Sophronius, On the Angels. St. Denis, On the Celestial Hierarchy. St. Bernard, Comment. on Canticle of Canticles. Evagrius of Pont. Euxin., Letter to Anatolius. Life of St. Andrew Salus, Boll.
[4] St. J. Chrysostom, Sermon 21. Odo of Cluny, Comment. on Job.
[5] Pierre le Chantre, Verbum Abbreviatum, 30.
[6] Life of St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, Boll.
[7] Life of St. Paul the Simple, Boll.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

_______________________________________________

October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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