This month’s read aloud, Pascual and the Kitchen Angels, by Tomie de Paola, provides a perfect opportunity for us to ponder these celestial beings we call Angels.   According to most traditions, angels are considered to be messengers or guardians and are usually depicted in human form with wings and a long robe.

As a small child, one of my first prayers that I learned was the Guardian Angel prayer that ends, “Ever this day be at my side to light to guard to rule to guide.”  Like most children, I loved imagining that I had my very own special angel who was guarding me and watching over me throughout the day.  What’s not to like about having your own special invisible bodyguard – and/or “soulguard!”

While I seldom now think about having my own guardian angel, I do think that there have been times in my life where people have appeared, unbeckoned, in the midst of my trials and tribulations and ministered to me: the friend whose phone call came at just the moment I needed it most, the stranger who stopped to mend my flat tire, the child on a school visit who boosted my flagging spirits with his grin and his hug, or the neighbor who came to my rescue and found my lost dog.  We’ve all had those kind of “angels” in our lives – those people who come to our aid when we need it most.  And I dare say that most of us have been Angels to others – we bring a cooked meal to the friend whose recovering from surgery, we send flowers to the neighbor whose mother has died, or we offer to babysit for an overwrought mum.

So, as we approach Thanksgiving, a time for giving thanks, maybe we can start by giving thanks for all the Angles in our lives – the ones without the wings or robes or halos!

Another favorite book of mine that features ANGELS – Good Griselle – great choice for Christmas story time.