angels-for-kids-cover-oboyleNeed a friend?

Never forget that God so loved the world that he gave us his only begotten son. And he so loved his children, that he gave us each an angel.

I recall scooting to one side in my desk during second grade at St. Albert the Great school to make room for my angel to sit next to me. Our teacher Sr. Annette had just talked to us about our angels and made the suggestion that we could leave room in our seats for our angels to sit next to us. Since angels are spirits without physical bodies, it might seem silly, but I think my angel really did fill in that space next to me.

How many kids these days grow up basking in the presence of their guardian angels? And how many parents comfort themselves with that knowledge? “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

There have been saints throughout history with the gift of seeing the angels. Some have reported seeing a multitude present at every Mass. And everyone has heard at least one angel story where a mysterious visitor gives much needed help to someone and then vanishes. “Are not the angels spirits in the divine service sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14).

As an adult, I don’t think enough about my angel but reading Angels for Kids by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle has renewed my awareness and appreciation of them. “God created the angels before he created the physical universe and before he created human kind,” Donna-Marie writes. “The Angels shouted for joy when God created the earth (Job 38:4,7).

Throughout the ages people have denied the existence of angels yet Donna-Marie points out that scripture abounds in references to them. “Jesus himself spoke of the angels,” she says. “When he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he referred to twelve legions of angels. ‘Do you think I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?’” (Matthew 26:53).

Donna-Marie explains that Scripture reveals a hierarchy of angels and the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being” (CCC 352).

“Wouldn’t you like to keep company with the incredible angelic friends who unceasingly glorify God and who have always been an important part of Salvation history?” Donna-Marie asks. She encourages us to talk to our angels often and begin our day praying to them. I share in Donna Marie’s daily habit of praying:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me near.
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard and rule and guide.

Perhaps the best part of reading this book with my kids is the strong reminder that angels are our friends. “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up so that you will not dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91: 11-13). Although Donna-Marie wrote this book for kids, everything in it relates just as much to adults, perhaps even more so. For as the toil and responsibility of our lives weighs us down at times, it is good to remember that we are not alone; God gave us angelic companions.

It is so easy for kids to imagine and believe in angels, so grounding them in this reality is a blessing to last a lifetime. And for adults, contemplating the angels helps ignite a child-like faith in us to bask in the care of our own Guardian Angel. Perhaps it will even inspire us to scoot over just a bit to leave room for our angels today.

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