Great question, CB!
According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, we are told that “The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.” (No. 217)
Jim Gontis, Director of Religious Education at the Diocese of Harrisburg posted this explanation of the policy on the diocesan website:
“We should not try to name our Guardian Angels. God knows their names; we don’t and won’t, at least until heaven. Assigning a name to someone implies a claim of authority by the one doing the naming over the one being named. Parents name their children. People name their cats. Children don’t name their parents nor do cats name their people (as far as we know!) We don’t have authority over our Guardian Angels; rather God has given them a certain authority over us.”
Furthermore, there is really no need to give our angel a name. He is always at our side, ever watchful, always listening. In moments of difficulty or danger, we need do nothing more than pray, “My dear angel, help me . . .” and he will hear us.
It’s important to cling to the teaching of the Church on the subject of angels because of how thoroughly this subject has been hijacked by New Agers. People who are not well educated on the subject can easily fall prey to those who are selling them dangerous imitations of the real thing. These practitioners range from “angel intuitives” who claim to be able to converse with our “angelic, elemental and ascended master realms” to “angel readers” who rely upon psychic powers or cards to reach entities they claim are angelic.
Angels exist solely to do the will of God – not to be at the beck and call of psychics or the turn of a playing card.
We’re told in the Catechism that “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and protection. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (CCC #336)
In addition, the Bible is filled with proof of their existence and documentation from some of the Church’s greatest saints proves that they are not only real, but are possessed of enormous power and limitless love for their charges here on earth.
Angels are a great gift of God and should be treated with the respect and dignity that is due to them – and to the One Who so generously gave them to us!