Sunday, October 5, 2014

Means to Divine Care

From Ignatius House

Guardian Angels/The Vineyard Allegory

Dear Friends,

Let's consider this together:  the feast celebrated on October 2nd, the Guardian Angels, and the story of the vineyard told by Jesus.  There is a relationship that exists for us today as well as in the times Jesus speaks about ... Old Testament and very early New Testament days.

Jesus speaks about the vineyard as the Kingdom of Israel.  Throughout the olden days there was much sin and unethical practice that marred God's kingdom on earth.  Prophets were enlightened by God to give notice, one might say, to the people to restore order and do away with evils that were bringing damage to the people of God.  Likewise there is a foretelling of Jesus' own life story:  the son of the vineyard owner is murdered by those entrusted with the care of the vineyard.

Because there was a rejection of the message of many of the prophets and ultimately a total rejection of the Son of God by a number of people, God's reaction brought an end to those who brought damage and harm to his kingdom.  Last week we were given stories that made some question the fairness of God in the way some people were treated, some groups of people.  It was a reminder that all of us need to examine our lives to see how we are living out the Ten Commandments.

Now God did not leave us alone in this world.  As early as the 3rd and 4th centuries there was preaching that God had placed angels to watch over his people.  Through the centuries a number of Popes and religious orders worked to instill in the hearts of the faithful the reality of this divine gift, the angelic care of each person in this world.

As the years progress in what we might call the contemporary, modern era, the importance of the Guardian Angels seems to have faded among the followers of Jesus Christ.  I can recall the serious efforts of the Sisters who taught us throughout the first eight years of our learning experience to instill in our hearts a special trust in the Guardian Angels.  Unfortunately, I believe, that little treasure of our Catholic religion has diminished to the point where many young Catholic children have not idea what a Guardian Angel is.  Even adults seem to have forgotten about these God-given protectors.  Some may still recall St. Michael and his God-given responsibility to be a defender for us in the struggles that we encounter, usually as a nation.

In my own time of reflection on Guardian Angel day, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a question:  has the forgetting of the special blessings of these very special angels removed something of the protection these divinely created angels were ready to provide for us.

As I reflected on this, I realized that a daily prayer to the special angel charged with my care was remembered rarely.  However, there have been a number of times that I personally felt the protection and care of an angel in my work.  I even gave my angel a name so that I felt I did have a personal relationship with to angel God wanted to watch over me.  I know for the last two months, since taking over the administrative responsibilities of St. Matthias Parish, I have turned many days to my angel with petitions for guidance.  Let me assure of this much.  There are days as I walk back from my office in the Hughes Center (formerly the Rectory) to Ignatius House, I felt that my angel had been with me in special ways.  Because of that I felt I was truly blessed by God and his care for me because my angel was interceding for me.

Would our world, our Church, be different today had devotion to the Guardian Angels been maintained?  It is a question worthy of every Catholic person's attention.  Perhaps the "misery" that seems to have infiltrated the hearts of so many in all the advancement of our times might be so much less had we not forgotten:
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