“In like manner it must be said that the angel guardian never forsakes a man entirely, but sometimes he leaves him in some particular, for instance by not preventing him from being subject to some trouble, or even from falling into sin, according to the ordering of Divine judgments.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. I, 113, 6
Today’s post is mostly a guest post from Frater Abdiel, an Antiochian Orthodox occultist whom I first met on the Christian_Occultism Yahoo group back in 1998 (do Yahoo groups even exist anymore?).
What triggered this post was something I said in a closed Facebook group, where I was discussing my experiment with the LRP as realigned with the Isidorian System. I made a tongue-in-cheek remark to the effect that “My guardian angel’s a dick. I ask him to help me with stuff, and he just stands there and watches.”
Actually, this was in reference to a particularly tough exorcism case I was doing in 2013, where I’d asked him for help and Grace, who was assisting me with her clairvoyance, described him as standing there looking on like a spectator. (PS: Grace’s book Italian Folk Magic is coming out soon. I’ll be reviewing it here on the blog when it’s released!)
Not only have Abdiel and I been going back-and-forth recently about the Western prohibition against more than three archangel names while Eastern Catholics get to invoke all seven that the Orthodox do, he’s also quick to notice these sorts of off-hand remarks. The following is his response, re-posted with his express permission:
I LOLed at you statement about your GA “being a dick”. In the Orthodox Prayers to the Guardian Angel, we ask him to forgive us of anything that we may have done that offended him first — if you haven’t tried that you might give it a shot. Also, back on those Archangels that your Eastern Catholic brethren happily use — Barachiel is traditionally the Archangel who is in charge of Guardian Angels, so if begging your GA’s forgiveness doesn’t change his approach, perhaps going up the chain of command will help. 😉
I’ve started working with Barachiel and the other Archangels more extensively and am very pleased with the results so far — this morning I had an extraordinary experience. I normally unlock my shop for everyone to get started working and my boss normally comes in several hours later. Well, he had put a new lock on the door and forgot to tell me the new combination — I was dreading calling him and asking for the combination because he most definitely is NOT a morning person. I asked my Guardian Angel for some help with this, and I immediately knew what the combination was (my boss ain’t too imaginative with the numbers he chooses, I’m not complaining since it helped me today. 😉 )
Anyway, thanks Guardian! You are definitely not a ‘dick’. 😉
Here’s an Orthodox Prayer to the Guardian Angel that works well for me:
“Holy Angel of Christ, I fall down and pray to thee, my holy Guardian, given me from holy Baptism for the protection of my sinful body and soul. By my laziness and bad habits, I have angered thy most pure light, and have driven thee away from me by all my shameful deeds, lies, slanders, envy, condemnation, scorn, disobedience, brotherly-hatred, grudges, love of money, adultery, anger, meanness, greed, excess, talkativeness, negative and evil thoughts, proud ways, dissolute madness, having self-will in all the desires of the flesh.
O my evil will, which even the dumb animals do not follow! How canst thou look at me or approach me who am like a stinking dog? With what eyes, O Angel of Christ, wilt thou look at me so badly snared in evil deeds? How can I ask forgiveness for my bitter, evil and wicked deeds, into which I fall every day and night, and every hour? But I fall down and pray, O my holy Guardian: pity me, thy sinful and unworthy servant (Name). Be my helper and protector against my wicked enemy, by thy holy prayers, and make me a partaker of the Kingdom of God with all the Saints, always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.”
[NOTE: I wish I’d known about this prayer. I would totally have included it in My New Everyday Prayer Book!]
Frater Abdiel then quickly added this to his comment:
And while I’m thinking about it, here’s another tip for getting better results with petitions to your Guardian Angel.
My experience has been that if you can phrase things in a way that your request isn’t entirely selfish that you will get a much better reception.
As an example from this morning’s adventure, I saw that the lock had been changed and asked: “Guardian Angel, if you could help me with this, I would really appreciate it. If not for my sake, please help me so that I don’t have to wake up my boss early, he gets really upset with that sometimes.”
Now in fairness, by Guardian Angel does do stuff other that sit there. I’ve previously talked about the head-on accident where I should’ve been dead, and he swooped in to keep that from happening. There have been other life-or-death situations where I’ve only survived thanks to his protection. I think it’s important to understand the Guardian Angel’s job is to be a protector and helper, not a giver of free stuff.
In any case, I found this comment very informative and wanted to share it with you. So the next time you need your Guardian Angel to do a little extra guardian-ing, this gives you an idea what to do!