Thursday, October 02, 2008

Guardian Angels

O my good Angel,

whom God has appointed to be my guardian,
enlighten and protect,
direct and govern men,
who have been entrusted to you by the divine mercy.
Amen

Angel of God, my Guardian dear,

to whom God's love commits me here,
ever this day, be at my side,
to light and guard,
rule and guide.

Amen.

The prayers above should be quite familiar. We all know them since birth childhood. Yes, they're prayers to our guardian angels.

Today is the feast day of the guardian angels. In the pages of the Biographical Memoirs, Don Bosco's biographers, Fr. John Lemoyne specifically, highlighted the devotion of Don Bosco to his guardian angels. I'm not sure now, but as far as I remember, he would devote Tuesdays to pray to his guardian angels. When his work for the young further developed, he even named one of his youth centers the Oratory of the Guardian Angels.

I think Don Bosco's Salesians got this practice from him in running youth groups, youth centers, and even oratories. Hence, in the context of the Preventive System, guardian angels are not invisible, for we see them in our midst, and we feel their presence.

I was 12 years old then when I joined the Knights of the Altar in our Parish. Fr. Roger Miranda, then a student of theology and our moderator, asked the boy who recruited me to follow me up. He was given the name "my guardian angel."

Eight years ago, when I had my three-day orientation in Canlubang, I was given a 'guardian' who was tasked to orient me with regard to the rules of the seminary. A seat was reserved for me beside him in the study hall and my designated bunk was positioned near his in the dormitory. I assisted him in chores and work; and from my short encounter with him, I kind of learnt the routine of the seminary life.

Unfortunately, he did not persevere. He left before that school year ended. But the thing is, he was able to help me learn the ropes of living inside the walls of the seminary.

When I returned to the seminary after being out for some years, I was fortunate to have Br. Melo, a former batchmate and one of my pals in the congregation, as our brother assistant.

In the seminary, he enjoyed the fame of catching aspirants, me included, in the act of committing a misdemeanor. He would be right there when we would be on the wrong place. In one of our casual talks, he told me that he had the intuitions whether someone was up to something or something would go wrong.

I don't know how t end this piece, but I thought of blessing my guardian angels—both seen and unseen—whose presence in my life have been concretely felt.