Tonight, we'll most likely serve angel hair pasta, and maybe some angel food cake for dessert...I tend to get corny with my meal-time catechism lessons. But its all in good fun. We have great devotion to our guardian angels around here. They've been so obvious in their care of us, it would be downright rude not to celebrate them in a special way on their feast day! Tonight, over the angel hair, we'll talk a bit about their feast and how it all began.
In the fourth century at the Council of Laodicia, before the first Ecumenical Council, the Church established the feast we celebrate, even to this day, to honor the holy angels. The council established the fact that, although it is proper to venerate the angels and ask them for their heavenly assistance, we must in no way worship them as gods. The council then specifically chose the date for the feast. It was to be placed in the month of November to commemorate the nine heavenly choirs of angels. We must remember that November was the ninth month back then, their new year having begun in March. The eighth day was chosen because the “eighth day” referred to the Day of the Dread Last Judgment. It was the day which would come after the cyclic "seven days of creation", when we would certainly all see the angels with our own eyes, as scripture tells us when it says “the Son of Man shall come in His Glory and all the holy Angels with Him" (Mt. 25:31).
Have you ever seen an angel? We don't usually encounter the angels because of the fact that, like God, they are pure spirit, having no corporal body, as we do. However, Hebrews 13:2 tells us,
" Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."
This verse proves that you just might have seen one! Each of us has his own guardian angel, a lifelong friend who was created before all time and space. He was there at your birth, your baptism, your first Communion and Confession. He saw your most joyous moment and was there to comfort you on your saddest day. He saw each sin you ever committed, and most likely, he cried. We must not forget that he was also present at the fall of Lucifer, and was most likely tempted to pride as he was, but your angel overcame it. He saw his brother angel fall from heaven “as lightning” like Jesus said. He did not follow. He remained steadfast. Thank him for his faithfulness to God. Let him know that you appreciate his loyalty to God, and his loyalty to you! Pray to your angel often, because most often people forget them, ignore them, and even insult them by their thoughts and actions. Do not forget that they see all you do. They must, for that is precisely their job. If you establish a relationship with this angelic friend, he can more effectively guide you and gain for you, through his intercession with God, all kinds of graces, so that you can most speedily and surely gain the perfection of spirit that God intends for you.
The following is an excerpt from a book I have written, compiled over the years to teach my children about salvation history. It is called The Jesse Tree: A Family Guide Through the Season of Advent and Philipovka, where for 40 days we read excerpts from the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, and discuss them. Then we make a little ornament to commemorate the story and hang it on our tree. We begin with creation, and end on Christmas day with the birth of the Savior. On the second day, we hang lights and perhaps some paper snowflakes on our tree and discuss these heavenly beings of light.
"When I was a little girl, my younger brother went home to live with Jesus one day. Although he had been sick from birth, on the day he left us we were surprised and unprepared for the loss. The next morning, my sisters and I woke to find our mother grief-stricken and we ran to her to console her and remind her that she had not lost everyone. But we knew too well that none of us could replace that one who was lost. We could only try to fill the hole in her heart with our love and let her know that we were still there with her. This must be something like the sadness that God must have felt at the loss of His precious angels on that sad but fateful day. He had created each and every one of them, knew them and loved them, and intended them to be with Him in heaven forever. They deserted Him. At least my family had the comfort of knowing that we would joyously meet my brother again someday, but the Heavenly Father’s loss would be eternal. We must rush to console Him every time we, or those we observe in the course of our day, have chosen to disappoint the Father by choosing sinful behavior. "
"I love to contemplate the angels during an especially beautiful snowfall. I think of how each snowflake is crafted by God and like the angels, and like us, no two are exactly alike. I think of the vast number of snowflakes that fall and how it must resemble what it looked like the day the disobedient angels fell from heaven. Your own guardian angel was there that day. He saw the whole thing. Be grateful to him that he remained to defend and console God. Tell him in prayer how proud of him you are and how happy you are that he remained faithful to take such good care of you! "
Make a Natural Angel
Collect a pine cone, two milkweed pods, an acorn, a chenille pipe cleaner, and a golf tee. Using a hot glue gun,(Moms need to be on high alert here...older children may be quite experienced at using these, but little ones will need to understand that this is DEFINITELY not a job for them!) arrange the angel as follows. The pine cone becomes the body; the acorn, the head. The milkweed pods are glued to the back as wings. Wrap the chenille wire around the pine cone to form arms and entwine them around the golf tee as if he was holding a trumpet. Last but not least, spray paint the whole thing silver or gold, and using gold thread, add a loop for hanging.
~From The Jesse Tree: A Family Guide Through the Season of Advent and Philipovka,
by Lynne Drozdik Wardach
Available at ByziMom.com