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Patrick's guardian angel

Maria Cunningham

When our seven year old was born, my husband and I decided to name him Patrick. A dear old man we knew from weekday Mass warned me.  He told me his Patrick (now in his 30's) had been a challenge from day one -  I should have listened -  this child, whom I love dearly, has never failed to make each day an adventure! 

Patrick has been missing countless times.   Our neighbors are used to hearing one of us yelling “Patrick!” around the neighborhood during our routine searches for him.  They automatically check their homes, because he’s been known to just walk in and start playing with their toys.  Once we found him trying to climb onto the roof to retrieve a ball he had thrown up there.  Another time, we caught him trying to start the car so he could go to the park!  He’s been known to stick his tongue out at old ladies in church during the Sign of Peace.  One Saturday we were greeted with this message left on our answering machine by a neighbor: “We were driving by your house today and a little boy jumped out of the ditch and threw a rock at our car.  I think it was your son Patrick!”  Humbling to say the least!

I know, I know.  It’s normal to automatically think, “What a bad boy!  Haven’t his parents taught him right from wrong?”  Before having a child like Patrick, I would have been likely to think the same thing; after all, the facts speak for themselves.   As his mother, though, I can tell you he is a loving little boy with a whole lot of energy that is sometimes misdirected by impulse.  My job, as his mom, is to teach him to redirect that energy. 

One day in confession, despairing of how I had utterly failed Patrick and how I felt so helpless, the wise priest asked me if I had sought the help of Patrick’s guardian angel.  Dumbfounded, I responded, “No, I hadn’t thought of that!” 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their (angels’ ) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.”

What a blessing it has been for my husband and me to have been reminded of the helpmate we have in this journey with our son!  No matter what the challenge, Patrick’s guardian angel will be there to help him; his patience will never wear thin.

Patrick’s guardian angel has been working over time ever since!  Last week we ended up in the emergency room with a chin that needed stitches. After describing this latest escapade to the doctor, he exclaimed, “This boy is lucky to be alive!”

Amen to that!  Thank you, Guardian Angel!

Topics: Faith , Family , Motherhood , Parenting

Maria Cunningham lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband Chuck, and their ten children.   Maria provides a look into her life as a "mom-of-many" at her blog Home Sweet Heart.

View all articles by Maria Cunningham

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