Sunday Morning Storyland
by Father Wilfrid J. Diamond
Bruce Publishing, 1946
"Behold, I send my angel before thy face."
Not so many years ago, a priest named Father Frank Smith died in New York. Father Smith's story is a very sad one. Before he was ordained a priest while he was still in the Seminary, he was helping to decorate the hall for the feast of Our Lady. He slipped and fell while climbing a ladder. He hurt his back a little but thought nothing of it at the time. Several years passed. He was already ordained and had been working in a city parish for a while. One morning he felt very weak and asked to have a doctor. And the doctor told him that he had the beginnings of paralysis. His fall from the ladder years before was only now making trouble for him. From that day onward, for more than ten years, Father Smith was confined to the sick room. One by one his limbs began to lose their power. For a while he was able to say Mass by himself, then he had to be supported, and finally he had to stay in bed all the time. Priests used to come in and say Mass for him in his bedroom. He would prepare the Chalice for them, but after a while he could not do even that. Father Frank Smith lay helpless and he died, just a few years ago.
Here is the point of the story: Someone once asked him what he thought about all day long alone. He replied, "My Guardian Angel and I are very good friends. I talk to him all day long." Sometimes the book he was reading would slip from the bed or he would be unable to reach something which he needed. His Guardian Angel would pick up the book from the floor and put it within reach, or get him whatever else he needed. Time and time again, Father Frank Smith was found with something that he could not possibly have reached by himself.
This is an example of the power of our Guardian Angel. Most children neglect their Guardian Angels very much. You all know that when we were born, God gave us an angel to be our guide and guard beside us day and night. Where we go, he will go. He will be with us―not like our shadow which disappears when the sun goes down, but all the time from the day we were born to the day we die. It is very rude to neglect him. We could very easily say "hello" to him now and then and ask him to watch over us. He doesn't take up any space but he is there all the time.
A little girl used to leave a space on the bench beside her. "This is for my Guardian Angel," she would say. She didn't have to do that. Guardian angles have no bodies. They don't need space but it is a good thing always to remember that you have an angel of God beside you. He goes wherever you go. He is forced to listen to the things you say. He sees what you do. Don't force him to look upon things which displease him. Rather treat him like a friend. Have a little chat with him now and then about yourself and your worries. Ask him to wake you early in the morning if you want to get up. Ask him to help you during the exams, ask him for whatever you need.
Do remember this little prayer. It is good to say every morning.
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, to rule and guide