Friends, today we celebrate the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels.
Well, is it reasonable to believe in angels? Look at the wild variety in the visible universe—the millions of species of animals, the billions of galaxies, the myriad shells that wash up on the seashore, the incalculable number of cells in each human body. Is it likely that, between this staggeringly variegated physical dimension of creation and God, there simply yawns a great ontological abyss? Isn’t it likely to hold that God has manifested at least an equally great creativity in regard to the purely spiritual order?
But why would God send these spiritual messengers to help us? Why wouldn’t he just take care of us himself? Those questions, of course, are born of a frame of mind that sets God and his world in competition.
On the Catholic reading, God delights in using secondary causes, so that his creatures can participate in his active providence of the universe. Aquinas says that each of us, due to our changeable and fallible nature, has been assigned a heavenly guide. Once we’re in heaven, we won’t require a guide anymore, and our angel will become our friend.