Saturday, August 08, 2009

Q113 A4: Whether angels are appointed to the guardianship of all men?

Yes. Each soul has an angel appointed to guard it because, as guardians are appointed for men who have to pass by an unsafe road, so an angel guardian is assigned to each man as long as he is a wayfarer.

Unaquaeque anima ad sui custodiam habet Angelum deputatum quia sicut hominibus per viam non tutam ambulantibus dantur custodes, ita et cuilibet homini, quandiu viator est, custos Angelus deputatur.

Just as the foreknown, the infidels, and even Anti-christ, are not deprived of the interior help of natural reason; so neither are they deprived of that exterior help granted by God to the whole human race--namely the guardianship of the angels. And although the help which they receive therefrom does not result in their deserving eternal life by good works, it does nevertheless conduce to their being protected from certain evils which would hurt both themselves and others. For even the demons are held off by the good angels, lest they hurt as much as they would. In like manner Antichrist will not do as much harm as he would wish.

Sicut praesciti et infideles, et etiam Antichristus, non privantur interiori auxilio naturalis rationis; ita etiam non privantur exteriori auxilio toti naturae humanae divinitus concesso, scilicet custodia Angelorum. Per quam etsi non iuventur quantum ad hoc quod vitam aeternam bonis operibus mereantur, iuvantur tamen quantum ad hoc, quod ab aliquibus malis retrahuntur, quibus et sibi ipsis et aliis nocere possunt. Nam et ipsi Daemones arcentur per bonos Angelos, ne noceant quantum volunt. Et similiter Antichristus non tantum nocebit, quantum vellet.

On the text, "Their angels in heaven," etc. (Matthew 8:10), Jerome says: "Great is the dignity of souls, for each one to have an angel deputed to guard it from its birth."

Hieronymus, exponens illud Matth. XVIII, "Angeli eorum in caelis," dicit, "magna est dignitas animarum, ut unaquaeque habeat, ab ortu nativitatis, in custodiam sui Angelum delegatum."