Just at the time in which it was relevant, I noticed my little book of homilies of Fr Daniel Sysoev, wedged into a gap between stacks of books in my cell – and it opened to a little homily on spiritual kinship.
In confession, I constantly encourage the faithful to labour to build their relationship and kinship with their guardian angel and the saint whose name they bear. Both are heavenly protectors who wish to be spiritual kin, and not ritual static figures in Orthodox spiritual identity.
As even a cursory glance at the canons and prayer to the Guardian Angel makes clear, our angelic companion has REAL influence over not only our actions, but also our minds, with all of their complications and problems, especially when we are afflicted by mental trials and temptations.
Just as God respects our freedom and will, and does not force or coerce us in the events and actions of life, neither do our guardian angels, but rather ever-vigilantly await our cries and calls for help, wanting us to align our will with that of God, who created both them and us. It is in this alignment and obedience to the Lord, and in knowing and pursuing our need for angelic assistance – the gift of God – that we are able to build bonds of kinship, regardless of time and space, physicality and immateriality.
Our Guardian Angel wants to be part of our life; to share in each hour day, as a sign of God’s love and care for us. But… we must want this for it to become an actualised reality.
Fr Daniel – a martyr for the Faith – wrote,
“The angels of God can be people’s friends, and, as we know, we share a friendship with our guardian angel, be it only to a small degree. I hope that we will all feel warmly toward our guardian angels, that we may try to greet them and pray to them, and that they will look after us. If we try to do good things with their help, it will give rise to that friendship that can blossom beyond the limits of time… Each person must find spiritual friendship which transcends both time and the difference between beings, between people and angels, so that we may enkindled together and glorify the Trinity, from whom we draw this strength.”
So… make sure that WITHOUT FAIL, you pray to your guardian angel EVERY day.
If you have time, don’t simply turn to the Canon to the Holy Guardian Angel when preparing for Holy Communion, but as often is possible.
If you have time to pray it every day, do so… and let each of us be mindful that we mistakenly turn to all manner of people first, in need, emergency and trouble, rather than turning to our guardian angel.
We need to correct ourselves and start reacting spiritually to the trials of life.
Our guardian angel is waiting to hear us – waiting to help in every trial and adversity.
O Holy Angel, who standest by my wretched soul and my passionate life: do not abandon me, a sinner, neither depart from me because of my lack of self-control. Leave no room for the evil demon to gain control of me through the violence of this mortal body. Strengthen my weak and feeble hand, and instruct me in the path of salvation. O holy Angel of God, the guardian and protector of my wretched soul and body: forgive all the sorrows I have caused you, every day of my life. If I have sinned in this past night, protect me during this day. Keep me from every adverse temptation, that I may not anger God by any sin. Pray to the Lord for me, that He may establish me in His fear and make me, His servant, worthy of His goodness. Amen.
O Angel of Christ, my holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me all wherein I have sinned this day, and deliver me from all opposing evil of mine enemy lest I anger my God by any sin. Pray for me, a sinful and unworthy servant, It that thou mayest show me forth worthy of the kindness and mercy of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, and of all the saints. Amen.