One of the first prayers some Catholics are taught as children is directed to their guardian angels: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen.”
This was true for me. Perhaps some of you even had a prayer card or picture on the wall with those words. Unfortunately, our guardian angels are often forgotten as we grow older. I will admit this happened for me. Yet, rediscovering my guardian angel has given me a new appreciation for what these angelic spirits do.
Everyone has a guardian angel. But, sadly, not everyone calls upon the angel gifted to them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states clearly, “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by [angels’] watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth, the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God” (CCC 336). Wow! With this acknowledgment, we can examine three ways our guardian angels can help us in our recovery.
Getting Us to Heaven
Admittedly, this first way is for all of us. But for those of us in recovery who struggle with and face relapse and sin, our angel’s protection should give us comfort. From conception to death our guardian angel prays and cares for us. Scripture confirms this, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Jesus said that even the smallest of us (children) have angels assigned to them who “look upon the face of [Jesus’] heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10).
My brothers and sisters, this first way offers us another resource to turn to in the midst of temptation when it comes to our addiction or unhealthy attachment. Since our guardian angels’ main purpose is to get us to heaven, they desire our holiness, healing, and sustained recovery. Our angels are with us, always offering protection and giving us a way to safety in our darkest moments of temptation and suffering.
Protecting and Shepherding Us
Our angels may also help us avoid physical dangers or circumstances of temptation. Let that give you pause. When we are tempted, our angel is with us, waiting to give us aid and show us a way out of it. We can remember that our angels are willing and able to give us a path out of our darkest moments and most dangerous situations if we open ourselves to listening to them. They may keep us from saying yes to an untrustworthy friend about going to a party with free-flowing alcohol or from watching a questionable TV show that leads to viewing pornography.
People sometimes reference a “sixth sense” or “gut feeling,” and while this can often be the Holy Spirit, it can also be our guardian angel shepherding us away from relapse and other physical dangers to our lives and souls.
Interceding to God on Our Behalf
Our angels stand in God’s presence in heaven and so they are able to communicate our needs directly to God. In Greek, the word “angelos” means messenger—think about how many times in Scripture there is an angel in the role of a messenger! Therefore, we can trust that our angels act as messengers from God to us as well as from us to God. In this way, we can ask our angel to pray for us—for our continued healing in recovery.
To conclude, our guardian angels stand by our side, ready to assist us in our recovery and every other area of our lives. We likely know of many emotional, physical, and spiritual aides to help in our recovery journey but let’s not forget about this powerful spiritual aid as well! I urge you to consider renewing your unique relationship with your guardian angel so this powerful spirit can help you get to heaven, protect and shepherd you, and, finally, intercede to God on your behalf.
Aaron Walter is a lifelong Catholic and former porn addict whose ministry, NewMenRising, is dedicated to pornography addiction recovery. He is a coach, mentor, and accountability partner and is passionate about helping husbands kick their addiction and transform their lives and relationships. You can connect with him at calendly.com/aaronwaltercoachingsessions.