A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 18:1-5, 10 The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Fresco: Elmalı Kilise (or the Apple Church), 11th century, in the Göreme Open Air Museum, Turkey.
Spiritual Meditation on Guardian Angels, From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot “He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways.” (Ps 90:11). These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need. So let us be devoted and grateful to such great protectors; let us return their love and honour them as much as we can and should. Yet all our love and honour must go to Him, for it is from Him that they receive all that makes them worthy of our love and respect. We should then, my brothers, show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father. […] They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven. (Sermo 12 in psalmum Qui habitat, 3. 6-8: Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc. 4 , 458-462) Bernardino Luini (c.1480-1532), Angel.
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