On our evening walk we usually stop at a school playground along our route. One night, our three year old ran up to the swings and started pushing an empty swing, and called to her sister: “Come on, Liz! Let’s give our guardian angels underdogs!” And both girls had great fun giving their angels underdogs in the empty swings.

A few days later, during the intention portion of our bed-time prayers, the same three year old offered this prayer: “And please God help our angels, who watch over us and protect us when no one else can.”

I told my Mom about these angelic events, and she commented: “Sometimes I think those little ones have one foot in heaven, they’re more connected than we are.”

Maybe so, at least it’s definitely a good impulse to want to do something for our guardian angels, and one that I never had until my daughter prompted me to think about it. We should do something for our angels. They do so much for us—probably more than we can imagine. Even for those who have been blessed with very tangible experiences of their guardian angel’s aid and intervention (for some examples see Mike Aquilina’s book Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts, and the story of St. Frances of Rome, who could see her guardian angel), I’ll bet there is a lot more going on behind the veil than could ever be understood on this side. In the Genesis, the patriarch Jacob praised his angel as “[t]he Angel who has delivered me from all harm . . .” Gen 48, 16.

So it’s only proper and right that we do something for them, to say thank you in whatever little ways we can. And when it comes to that, Jesus Himself told us the very best thing we can possibly do for our angels: turn to God ourselves.

Jesus said: “. . . I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Lk 15, 10.

The job of the angels is to get us to heaven. So if we want to help them, we can lighten their load a bit by doing our part to help get ourselves there. What the angels want from us more than anything else is that we turn to God. They want to see us straighten up, fly right, and try again. No matter how many times we might have failed or fallen, our angels want us to put our feet back on the road to heaven once more.

That’s what it takes to be a saint: being a sinner who tries one more time than he fails. When we do, we uncork the champagne for the angels’ great celestial party. That’s the way we can thank them—maybe they’ll even toast us! And with God’s grace, one day we may even be able to join them! (I hear they have great music.) Then we can return the toast and raise a glass in honor of them for all they have done for us—and maybe even give them a proper underdog, on the Big Dipper, or whatever it is that angels use for a swing when they let their hair down, call to their sisters and brothers, and just have fun.

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Copyright 2015 Jake Frost
Photo: Hippie Tree in Tiburon (2015) by QuimGil (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons