The spiritual world is very alive, very real!! Let’s not forget these angels and the role they have in our lives!
Long before our little children learn to know Peter Rabbit, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh, they must be made familiar with their most faithful companion–their best friend, their guardian angel.
The beauty of telling stories to little ones lies in their ready acceptance.
They believe that their guardian angel is around all the time, day and night, and they will talk to him, greeting him in the morning, discussing things with him during the day, thanking him in the evening.
When children grow up with a strong sense of a spiritual power at their service, instituted by God for the very special and sole purpose of being their very own helper and protector, such children need never be afraid, need never suffer from the modern ailment of insecurity.
It is up to us mothers to bring about this early and very personal friendship with their guardian angel. The feast of the Holy Guardian Angel on October 2nd should be a big event in our nurseries.
Once children are familiar with the world of the angels they will eagerly listen to other “angel stories” such as the one about the great hero Michael (whose feast day is September 29th) and his battle with his brother-angel Lucifer, who refused to serve God and had to be thrown out of heaven into the abyss where there is “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
A beautiful story is the one about the Archangel Raphael (feast day, October 24th), who was the friend and companion of young Tobias. Johannes Brahms set a lovely song about St. Raphael to music; we always sing it on that day.
And as we tell the children about the good angels, we shall also have to mention the bad ones who turned into devils. If the highest of them,
Satan himself, dared to tempt Our Lord, who are we to think that it “can’t happen to us” or that such stories belong to the Middle Ages and do not apply to modern times?
What St. Peter says to all of us we must tell to the little ones as well “Watch and pray, for the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”
OUR ANGEL GUARDIAN
One of the most marvelous dispensations of God’s Providence is the fact that He has given to each one of us a special Angel to watch over us.
At the moment of our birth God calls one of His glorious Princes, one of His mighty Angels, and bids this Angel guard and guide, defend and protect us. From that moment, this mighty Angel gives us all his loving care. He never leaves us, night or day. His duty after loving God is to love us. He devotes all his intelligence, all his strength, all his care to shield us from hurt and harm.
We can form no idea of the evils and dangers he saves us from, the countless great favors he has done us and is doing us every day. Not content to use all his own power to help us, he is constantly praying for us to God.
Reading the story of St. Raphael in the Sacred Scriptures, we marvel at the infinite goodness of God in sending this great Angel to accompany the young Tobias on his long journey. The Angel proved to be a trusty friend.
He not only accompanied him on his journey, protecting him from every danger, but he also obtained for him a most happy marriage and abundant wealth. He brought him home safely, to the delight of his parents, who were anxiously awaiting his return.
As a final gift, he cured Tobias’s old father, who had been blind. Before leaving the now happy family, he revealed himself to them as one of the seven great Angels who stand before the throne of God and bade them bless and thank the Good God who had sent him to them.
This is certainly one of the most consoling and wonderful stories in the Bible, revealing to us the infinite sweetness and goodness of God. Yet each one of us has a glorious Prince of Heaven with us, not for weeks or months but for all the long years of our lives, loving us most affectionately, defending us from countless evils and snatching us from dangers that we do not even see.
This dear Angel came to us at the moment of our birth and has been with us ever since. He will console us in Purgatory if we go there and will then accompany us to Heaven, where he will be with us forever and forever.
We marvel when reading this story of Raphael, but it is a much greater marvel that we have a glorious Angel ever at our sides and yet know and love him so little. Have we ever even thanked God for this astounding proof of His goodness?
The culpable neglect of our dear Angel is one of the most lamentable and shameful faults of our life.
WHY IGNORE OUR BEST FRIENDS?
“Make friends with the Angels” is the advice which the great Pope, St. Leo, gives every Christian and it is advice that everyone should follow.
If we make friends with the Angels —and nothing is easier— we shall receive innumerable and great favors which otherwise we shall never obtain.
Our Angel friends, too, will shield and protect us from countless dangers, evils, sickness and accidents which, without their help, we could not possibly avoid.
In a word, these all-powerful and loving protectors will secure for us a degree of happiness that, without their assistance, we could not hope for in this vale of tears! Another reason we should make friends with the Angels is that they are our dearest and best friends. A good friend, a friend who is able and always ready to help us, a friend to whom we can have recourse in all our troubles and sorrows, is one of the greatest blessings God can give us.
Our human hearts thirst for love and sympathy. Among men we rarely or never find such a friend, but this is not so with the Angels. They are most desirous to be our friends and they love us with all the intensity of their angelic natures.
Since they are all-powerful and generous, we can have the fullest confidence in their help and friendship.
The one friendship on this Earth that gives us any idea of the love of the Angels is the affection of a mother. This is the purest, the most generous, the strongest of all human loves.
The mother loves her children with unbounded affection. God has placed in the mother’s heart an instinct of love so great that it almost borders on the supernatural. She forgets herself and thinks only of her children. She works for them, sacrifices herself for them, and gives them her all.
If one of them should fall sick or be plunged into some great sorrow, to that one she devotes a more special gentleness and a more loving care.
We sometimes see a frail woman watch by the bedside of her sick child— eating little, resting little, consumed with a poignant anxiety —for ten, twenty or even thirty days, never complaining, and never faltering. When these days of anguish and bitterness are past, this almost superhuman effort, these long, weary vigils,’ seem to have cost her nothing. The mother’s love sustained her.
Yet, strong men who lose their sleep for two or three consecutive nights complain that they find it hard to work the following day.
If a poor frail mother— she may be young or old, rich or poor, full of weaknesses and imperfections— can rise to such a height of love and abnegation as this, what may we not expect from God’s Angels, who have no defects, no imperfections and who love us with all the mighty power of their glorious angelic natures?
The teaching of the Church about the Angels is most beautiful and consoling, but unfortunately many Christians have scant knowledge of the great world of the Angels. They know little about these blessed Spirits, love them little and seldom pray to them. Worst of all, they do not realize their presence.
They show no confidence in them, and they do not call on them for help when dangers and difficulties press around.
As a result they forfeit a thousand blessings that they might easily enjoy and fall victim to a thousand accidents that they might easily have avoided.
HOW COMES IT THAT THE ANGELS ARE SO LITTLE KNOWN AND SO LITTLE LOVED?
Simply because many, whose duty it is to teach this most important doctrine are gravely negligent in fulfilling their obligation.
First of all, Christian Mothers should instill deeply into the minds of their children a clear, vivid and abiding sense of the presence of their dear Angels.
It is not sufficient to give them vague, hazy, insufficient notions of these Blessed Spirits, nor is it enough to teach them to say a short prayer at morning and at night to their Angel Guardians.
They should devote much time and much attention to this all-important subject.
Children must be taught constantly from their tenderest years to have a real love and friendship for their Angels, to have boundless confidence in them. They must be accustomed to feel and realize the personal presence of their Angels, to call on them in all their fears and troubles.
How much better this would be than that the children should have their heads filled with foolish fear of ghosts and hobgoblins as so frequently happens.
Mothers who impress on their children this great lesson confer on them inestimable blessings during all the long years of their lives.
On the other hand, if they neglect this duty or make light of it, they do a great wrong to their dear ones for they deprive them of the best and most powerful friends.
Catechists, too, and teachers of the young in schools, colleges and convents are frequently remiss in teaching those in their charge all about the blessed Angels. The minds of their pupils are developing, and the teaching of the mothers in the home, no matter how good it might have been, must be perfected and developed.
Professors of older students, boys and girls, are perhaps greater offenders. They rarely mention the subject of the Angels in their classes.
Why? Do not the Angels exist? Are they not our best friends? Is there not much to be said about them?
Priests of course can do much to remedy the neglect of parents and teachers by preaching at times on the Angels, by wise counsels in the confessional and by exhorting the faithful to read books on the Angels. Priests who do so receive most striking graces.
We need to awaken in our hearts a real love and friendship for the Holy Angels, an abiding confidence in them, and above all to realize and feel vividly the presence of these loving Spirits ever by our sides.
A coloring page for your children:
“God has thus put into the hand of the parents at their own hearthstone, a power greater than that which kings and queens wield, and which must issue in either the weal or the woe of their children. It would surely seem to be worth while to make any sacrifice of personal comfort or pleasure—to transmit a legacy of holy memories which shall be through all the years, like a host of pure angels hovering over those we love, to guard and guide them.” J.R. Miller
Now that the weather is cooling, it is a good time to steep some tea, cuddle up to the fire and grab a good book. Visit My Book List for some good reading recommendations….
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