Today’s Gospel contains some beautiful teaching on God’s special love for His children and how as a Good Shepherd He will go looking for His little ones when they wander astray.
It also contains the verse that most typically is cited in support of the Church’s teaching on guardian angels–namely, Our Lord’s words in Matthew 18:10: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” The context is that He loves His little ones so much, that He even has angels looking out for each one of us!
Several Church Fathers taught that God assigns everyone an angel to watch over him or her throughout one’s life. In fact, the guardian angels are commemorated in the Church’s liturgy on October 2nd each year.
Guardian angels are also discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 336:
“From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life’ (quoting St. Basil). Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.”
Other biblical passages in support of this beautiful teaching include Luke 16:22; Psalm 34:7, 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech. 1:12; and Tobit 12:12.
As for the Church’s teaching on angels in general, paragraphs 328-54 of the Catechism provide an excellent overview. If you don’t have a copy of the Catechism, it would be a good investment. Click here for more information.
Whoever becomes humble like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Perhaps one aspect of that humility is not becoming too “grown up” and self-sufficient to turn to one’s guardian angel for assistance.