An Evening With the Angels
"Well, James," said a kind-voiced mother, "you promised to tell Maggie all about the Catechism you heard this afternoon at school."
"All right, mother," answered sprightly James, "anything at all to make Maggie happy. Let's begin right away."
"Maggie, you said," continued James, "that you never could find out when the angels were created. Neither could our teacher tell me. And I'm told St. Augustine could only make a guess when they were created.
"He thought the angels were created when God separated the light from the darkness. But that's no matter, anyhow. We're sure there are angels; that's the chief point."
"Are you quite certain?" asked Maggie.
"To be sure I am," said James. "If I met a man in the street I would know he must have a father and a mother, although I had never heard when he was born."
"That's so," chimed in the proud mother.
"Well, then, mother, many angels have been seen on earth, and they must have been created some time. Let me tell you some of the places where it is said in the Bible that angels have been seen, and where they spoke, too."
"Now, James," said the father, "let Maggie see if she can find out some of those places herself. Here is the Bible."
With the help of mother and James, Maggie soon found the history of Adam and Eve, where it is recorded that an angel with a flaming sword was placed at the gate of Paradise.
"Poor Adam and Eve," said Maggie, "they must have felt very sad."
"Yes," answered Father Kennedy, who dropped in just then, and beheld his young theologians with the holy Book before them. "They felt very sorry, indeed, but they were consoled when told that a Savior would come to redeem them."
"So you told us last Sunday," chimed in James. "Then you spoke about the angels at Bethlehem who sang glory to God in the highest."
"And there was an angel in the desert when our Lord was tempted," proceeded the father.
"Oh! did you hear papa say the devil was an angel?" exclaimed James.
"Of course the devil is an angel," said Maggie, glad to trip up her big brother, "but he is a bad one."
"I say yet that there were angels with our Lord after His forty days' fast," insisted James.
"So I say, too," retorted Maggie; "but while only one bad angel tempted our Lord, many good angels came to minister unto Him."
"Very well, indeed," said Father Kennedy. "But let's hurry over some other points about the angels. Your turn; Master James, and give only the place and person in each case."
"Well, let me see; there were Abraham and the three angels who went to Sodom, and the angels who beat the man that wanted to steal money from the temple, and the angel who took Tobias on a long journey."
"Please, Father Kennedy, wasn't it an Archangel?" inquired Maggie, still determined to surpass her brother.
"Never mind that," said the priest. "Go on, James; 'twill be Maggie's turn soon."
"Well, there was an angel in the Garden of Olives, and angels at the Resurrection of our Lord, and angels at His Ascension."
Here Maggie exclaimed, "Please, Father Kennedy, may I have till next Sunday to search out some angels? James has taken all mine."
"No," mildly said the delighted clergyman, "your angel is always with you, and James has his, too."
"Father Kennedy, there's a man dying in the block behind the church," said the servant from the half-open parlor door. "Excuse my coming in without knocking.
They're in a great hurry."
"Good night, children," said the devoted priest, "till next Sunday. May your angels watch over you in the meantime."