Friday, August 1, 2008


I aspire to walk an exercise mile each day either before going to 7 a.m. daily Mass or at 9 p.m. with flashlight and cell phone. (Not in winter! That's treadmill time!) I know most of the neighborhood Labs, Retrievers, German shepherds and small yappers by name, and they know me by scent. Bark ferociously as they will, I pay no attention. I know they will keep their distance although no fences surround the five acre wooded lots in our subdivision. Their owners have installed invisible electric fences underground, and the dogs wear special collars that give the animals a nasty electric charge if they step over the invisible fence.

In a corner of the living room in my home I have a large glass top coffee table with dozens of framed photos of all my sons, their wives and children and children's children. I am blessed that it is very crowded! The photos are not merely for display but as daily prayer reminders for me. As I pass by their pictures multiple times a day, I commit each one by name and face to God's protection and favor and ask that their Guardian angels not doze off or go on extended coffee breaks.

As a birthday gift to several of my great-grandchildren and grandchildren, I recently gave them large ornately framed color copies of the classic picture of the Guardian angel overshadowing a little boy and girl crossing a rickety bridge over churning white water with lightning flashing over the woods in the background. A copy hangs on my own wall above the family photos.

On the back of the frame I personalized the picture with the child's name and a copy of the following relevant Scripture verses to remind them of God's love and care as they grow and learn to read the Scripture for themselves. And to remind them of my prayers for them while I'm on earth and which I expect to continue after I reach heaven.

"God will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone." (Psalm 91:11,12)
"Jesus said, 'See that you never look down on one of these little ones. I assure you, their angels in heaven constantly behold My heavenly Father's face....Let the little children come to Me. Do not hinder them. The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.' And He laid His hands on their heads in prayer." (Matthew 18:10; 19:13-15)
"God will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not fall asleep....The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." (Psalm 121:3,7,8)
"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God in whose promise I glory, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?" (Psalm 56:3,4)
"The angel of the Lord encamps around those who trust in Him and rescues them." (Psalm 34:7)

When my sons were young, my care was more hands on. After they were grown and left our family nest and established nests of their own, my role was more hands off and hands lifted in prayer. Then their fledglings grew up to do the same, now repeated into the third generation. How blessed I am to see my children's children and their children! I have even greater prayer responsibility and privilege for "the rest of the way." Both my husband's grandmother and my grandmother were known to have prayed forward through the generations that their progeny yet unborn would come to know God in future generations. They left a spiritual legacy of prayer that did not diminish with time. My family and I are heirs of their prayers. And I am a spiritual debtor to likewise pray forward for my family!

My extended family members are all blessed with free will given lovingly by God. They are not like the neighborhood canines wearing electric collars that zap them if they step over the line and wander off. According to Jesus' own words, each of us does have a Guardian angel assigned by Him for our lifetimes, not just while we are infants. We will always be children in God's eyes. I must pray without ceasing that the angels God promised will "encamp around" my family and that His Holy Spirit will guard them from all evil and guide them ALL into God's revealed Truth.


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