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anangelOne of the first prayers I (and many others) learned as a child was about angels. (Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.) It was great comfort to know that there was a being just over the border of our universe who was God’s gift to me personally. I didn’t have to theologize about it since it was a given and there were three great “Archangels” that we knew by name from Scripture, each with a mission: Michael protected, Gabriel announced and Raphael guided. (See visions in the Book of Daniel and stories from the Book of Tobit.) Why wouldn’t God give me someone to do those things for me? I never needed to name my angel as some children did. It was enough that God knew who was taking care of me.

Although devotional life has diminished in some cases in the face of scientific research, angels are still popular in more ways than as decorations on knick-knack shelves. Of the angels, Fr. Don Miller comments that “[B]elievers still experience God’s protection, communication and guidance in ways that defy description.” A frequent presence at the Spiritual Center in Windsor, NY where I live is Jayne Howard Feldman, called by many “The Angel Lady.” Her loving ways and guidance as well as her books on the angels have inspired many people in workshops and personal sessions. Jayne’s inspiration has led her to create “Be an Angel Day” and she is the best example of how to achieve that goal!

On this day when we are reminded of the “angels” in our lives, some of human description and some more ethereal, let us be grateful and imitate the ways in which we have been blessed by their inspiration and presence to us.