VATICAN CITY (CNA) In his homily for the feast of the Guardian Angels, Pope Francis told those gathered for daily Mass on Oct. 2 to be like children who pay attention to their “traveling companions.”
The doctrine of the angels, the Holy Father stressed, is not imaginary, but “reality.” He cited what Jesus said: “I send an angel before you to protect you, to accompany you along the path, so that you do not make mistakes.”
According to the Tradition of the Church, each of us has a guardian angel who protects us and helps make us aware of things, the Pope said at the Santa Marta residence. Oftentimes, we have the feeling that “I should do this; this is not right; be careful.” This, he said, “is the voice of” our guardian angel
Our guardian angels will “carry us” throughout our entire lives. For this reason, he said, we should “listen to his voice; don't rebel against it.”
“No one walks alone, and none of us can think that he is alone,” the Pope said, because “this companion” is always with us.
Not listening to our guardian angel's advice, the Pope said, is like telling him to go away. “It is dangerous to chase away our traveling companion,” he said. “The Holy Spirit advises me. The angel advises me; this is why we need him.”
Turning to the readings of the day, Pope Francis noted how there are two images presented: the angel and the child.
God has given us angels to protect us, the Pope said. “If one of us were to believe he could walk along [alone], he would make many mistakes,” the Pope said. Such a person would succumb to “that most ugly mistake, which is pride,” focusing on one's own greatness and “self-sufficiency”.
Recalling the Gospel scene in which “the disciples argued over who among them was the greatest,” the Pope describe this “internal dispute” as “careerism.”
In contrast to the “careerist” mentality, Jesus teaches the disciples to have the attitude of children: “docility, the need for guidance, the need for help.”
Those whose attitude is more like that of a child are “closer to contemplation of the Father.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis put forward the following question: “How is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I wish him good morning? Do I say: 'Protect me during sleep?' Do I speak with him? Do I ask his advice? He is at my side.
“We can respond to this question today, each and everyone of us: How is my relationship with this angel who the Lord has sent to protect and accompany me along the way and who always sees the face of the Father who is in the heavens?”