By Ann Schneible
Vatican City, Oct 2, 2014 / 08:37 am (EWTN News/CNA)
In his homily for the Feast of Holy Guardian Angels, Pope Francis told those gathered for daily Mass to be like children who pay attention to their “traveling companion.”
The doctrine of the angels, the Holy Father stressed, is not imaginary, but “reality.” Citing what Jesus has 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 Oct. 2. Often times, 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 “traveling companion.”
Our guardian angel will “carry us” throughout our entire life. For this reason, he said we should “listen to his voice, don’t rebel against it.”
We all have this tendency toward rebellion and the will for independence, the Holy Father continued. “It is pride,” the same which “our father Adam had in the earthly Paradise.”
“Do not rebel: follow his advice.”
“No one walks alone and none of us can think that he is alone,” 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, “because no man, no woman can advise themselves. I can give advise to another, but I cannot give advise to my self.”
“The Holy Spirit advises me, the angel who advises me. This is why we need him.”
Turning to the readings of the day, Pope Francis noted how there are two images which are 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, he would make many mistakes,” the Pope said. Such a person would succumb to “that most ugly mistake which is pride,” into the belief in 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.”
These first bishops, he said, were tempted toward careerism. Their behavior set a bad example, “but it is the reality.”
In contrast to the “careerist” mentality, Jesus teaches the disciples to have the attitude of children: “the docility, the need for guidance, the need for help.”
The child is the symbol of docility and helplessness, he said, adding that this is way forward – not the question of “who is greater.” 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?”