Friday, October 14, 2011


     I was quoted in an article written about Mary Pat as saying that her guardian angel “must be St. Michael the Archangel himself.”  Do you believe in angels? I suppose I always have. A young man came to live with my family when I was nine or ten. His family situation was difficult and my parents took him in. He was a gifted musician and directed our church choir. He read the Bible to us every night, and I came to know Jesus that year. I am eternally grateful.

     I learned about angels and the whole order of God’s creation.  Sometime in high school I read a book by Billy Graham about angels. It was very good. I think most of you are familiar with the story. God created the angels with free will. Perhaps they caught wind of God’s plan to make man in His image, or that God would come to the Earth as a man, or that one day man would be higher than the angels. Lucifer rebelled and took a third of the angels with him. They were cast to Earth and became demons. I am sure that it sounds ridiculous to some, but then, a friend recently commented that it takes more faith to be an atheist…

     Imagine, even if you don’t believe in them, that they are real. That they really do care about us, that one is assigned to each of us and cares about us. I think mine would be pretty sad when I choose to do some of the dumb things I do. There is a joke about God sending lots of help to a man caught in a flood, in the way of a boat and a helicopter, but he drowned because he did not recognize God’s form of aid. Perhaps we don’t recognize the help we can receive from God’s angels.
     There are a lot of stories in our town about haunted houses. We’ve had people drive up our lane and ask if our house is haunted. One ghost hunter stayed for an extended chat. I gave her my copy of St. Faustina Kowalska’s diary. Faustina saw visions of men and women suffering who were in need of mercy, both in this life and in the next. She had a beautiful relationship with Jesus and had the image of Him from her visions painted. He taught her “The Divine Mercy Chaplet,” a beautiful prayer of mercy for all man.

     I am not fascinated like the ghost hunters. I believe it’s quite possible that the fallen angels who have been here for a longer time than all of us--can imitate pretty much anyone. Confusion and fear are from Satan. Not God. 

     I think if there were spirits hanging around our house, they’re some pretty good ones. Many good men devoted to God and his creation spent a lot of time on this farm. They'd make up a pretty sweet cloud of witnesses. I don’t claim to have it all figured out. Maybe I just like to see things from a more positive perspective.

The Priests and Brothers at The Abbey Farm in the early 1900's

     We do celebrate Halloween--”All Hallow’s Eve.” And “All Saints Day.” And “All Soul’s Day.” We avoid focusing on the too-scary or creepy. We may have a token Princess or Winnie the Pooh costume, maybe even a superhero, but we try to gear the rest after angels and saints. Their examples and lives offer so much more history and inspiration.

The boys with our living saint: Renata

     We like to pray the “St. Michael Prayer” after each Mass. The boys pray the Guardian Angel prayer at night. A few months ago Gus said that he would call his angel ”Joseph.” It made me think of  ”Clarence” and his head angel “Joseph” in “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  In “The Bishop’s Wife” I love the angel “Dudley,” played by Carrie Grant. Another movie about angels that comes to mind is” Der Himmel Uber Berlin” (English title, “Wings of Desire”), 1987. Perhaps not theologically or angelically accurate, but inspiring nonetheless.

Wings of Desire

The Bishop's Wife

Clarence: It's a Wonderful Life

It's A Wonderful Life

     If we are to emulate someone, be intrigued, shocked,  fascinated and delighted , then it might as well be someone who can inspire us to do more for God’s creation—our world and all people. And how wonderful that God protects us and blesses us with His Angels.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

         Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
            to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
            to light and guard and rule and guide.

God bless you,


The Abbey Farm

Link to Mary Pat’s article: