Both Scripture and Tradition attest to the existence of angels in general and in particular to each of us possessing a guardian angel.
The mission of a guardian angel is clear from the name. They are to guard our life, particularly our spiritual life. They accomplish this primarily through guarding us from spiritual harms of temptation and sin that harm our chance of salvation. They also can save us from physical dangers as well if God permits them to do so.
Our guardian angel further acts as an intercessor in our life. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). While our guardian angel journeys with us through life, our angel also goes before God the Father. There, they make petition to the Father for the things we need.
With these aspects of their vocation, it would seem best that our guardian angel would know our thoughts. In this way, they could know exactly what we needed when we needed it and present our need to God. They could also guard us better from any thoughts that could lead us to sin. If they knew we were being tempted, they could suggest a different course for us or stop the temptation altogether. Such help would keep us from sinning which would bring us closer to heaven.
While it would be helpful to our guardian angel to have such knowledge, God has not imparted it to them. Only God has access to our inner thoughts and life.
This may not seem to make sense when we hear stories of angels working at a moment someone needed them the most. While our guardian angel may not know what is going on inside of us, they do see our external behavior. From these observations, they can very accurately infer from our behavior what is going on inside our mind and heart and work to help us.
Just as it is not enough for a friend to see another friend so it is in our relationship with our guardian angel. Our guardian angel wants us to communicate with them so they can better know and help us. Praying to our guardian angel through our vocal prayers or mentally speaking in prayer to them is a good idea in the spiritual life.
Father Mayo is pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in St. Louis.