Our guardian angel
According to St. John Climacus, in his Ladder of Divine Ascent, when we feel sweetness or compunction at some word of our prayer, we should dwell on it, for then our guardian angel is praying with us. This angel, who is always with us, becomes distressed and indignant when, without being constrained by some necessity, we deprive ourselves of the ministration of the holy mysteries and of reception of holy Communion. The hour the priest offers up the sacrifice of the body of him who gives us life, and the Holy Spirit descends and consecrates the body and blood and grants remission to creation, is particularly a moment our guardian angel stands with us, in great awe, fear, and joy.
The cherubim and the seraphim and all the angels rejoice over the holy mysteries while experiencing inexpressible astonishment. Our guardian angel is particularly consoled, because he also partakes in that dread spectacle and is not deprived of that perfect intercourse, according to St. Isaac the Syrian. St. Anthony the Great tells us:
When you close the doors to your dwelling and are alone, you should know that there is present with you an angel whom God has appointed for each man… This angel, who is sleepless and cannot be deceived, is always present with you; he sees all things and is not hindered by darkness. You should know, too, that with him is God, who is in every place; for there is no place and nothing material in which God is not, since he is greater than all things and holds all men in his hands.
In the prayers for the making of a catechumen, the priest says, “Yoke unto his/her life a radiant angel…” From this point onwards, we certainly have a guardian angel who protects us in ways we cannot fully understand. Without doubt, our Orthodox Church believes that we all are given a guardian angel, and we dare not put him away from ourselves by an impious life. In the Church, a communion is brought about not only among her visible members, but with the angels as well. The spiritual community of the Church takes in the angels too.
Evagrios the Monk says, “Know that the holy angels encourage us to pray, and stand beside us, rejoicing and praying for us.” This is from “On Prayer,” in The Philokalia, Vol. 1, (p.65). And he says, “If you pray truly, you will gain assurance; angels will come to you as they came to Daniel, and they will illuminate you with knowledge of the inner essences of created things.”
This is a good prayer that we can say to our guardian angels:
O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me of everything I have done to offend you every day, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. May I never offend you by my sin. Pray for me to the Lord, that he may make me worthy of the grace of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Most Blessed Theotokos, and of all the saints. Amen.