There is certainly something added to man’s functional organism to play in it the role of a counterweight to the leverage of vicious inclinations and habit which have become established since the primordial Fall. This is the guardian Angel.
The guardian Angel accompanies as a faithful ally the divine image in man, just as vicious inclinations have made their way into the human functional organism which was, before the Fall, the divine likeness. The guardian Angel undertakes the functions, destroyed by original sin, in the likeness, and fills the breach wrought by them. He substitutes himself for functions destroyed through the Fall.
In praying to God “to deign to send from heaven his holy Angel to guard, cherish, protect, visit and defend all those who are gathered together in this place,” the Angel acquits his charge in five ways: he guards, cherishes, protects, visits and defends. He is therefore a “flaming star”, a luminous pentagram, above man.
He guards memory, ie, the continuity of the great past in the present, which is the preparation for the great future. It is the guardian Angel who takes care that there is a connection between the great “yesterday, today and tomorrow” of the human soul. He is a perpetual “memento” with regard to the primordial likeness, with regard to the eternal mission assigned to the soul in the cosmic symphony, and with regard to the special room for the soul “in my Father’s house, where there are many rooms” (John xiv, 2).
If it is necessary, the guardian Angel awakens recollections of the soul’s previous earthly lives, in order to establish continuity of endeavour – of the quest and aspiration of the soul from life to life – so that particular lives are not merely isolated episodes but constitute the stages of a single path towards one sole end.
The guardian angel cherishes the endeavour, quest and aspiration of the soul engaged on this way. This means to say that he fills in the breaks in the psychic functional organism due to the disfigurement of the likeness, and makes up for it failings – given the soul’s good will towards it. For support never signifies substitution of the Angel’s will for that of man. The will remains free, always and everywhere. The guardian Angel never touches on man’s free will and resigns himself to await the decision or choice made in the inviolable sanctuary of free will – in order to lend his assistance immediately if it is just, or to remain a passive observer reduced alone to prayer if it is not.
Just as the guardian Angel is sometimes constrained not to participate in the soul’s activity – this activity not being in accord with the divine image of the soul – so also he can sometimes take a greater part in human activity than usual – this activity being of a nature not simply permitted but also called for. Then the guardian Angel descends from the point of the ordinary post into the domain of human activity. He then visits the human being.
Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIV, Temperance