My husband and I feel very strongly that our vocation and mission are absolutely connected to our family, especially our children and grandchildren. With that in mind, we decided we wanted to bring back the tradition of holy cards.
We both grew up attending Catholic school and had been influenced by the precious bits of paper that were provided to students who did well in both academics and behavior. We proudly received and pressed the cards between pages of books as bookmarks and read the prayers that accompanied the cards, inwardly promising that we, too, would grow up to be “saintly”. They were inspirations that we wanted to pass on to our grandchildren in this day and age of “do whatever feels good.”
And so, when our grandson Richard, snuggled up next to me at McDonalds, I asked him how his week at Kindergarten had been. He had been filled with mischief initially and was struggling to earn the coveted blue star every pupil desired. Red was for the poorest students, then yellow, green, purple, and finally the joyous blue! He smiled up at me and exclaimed with delight that he had finally managed a blue star this week.
We were all so excited and I reached into my purse to take out the holy cards I had brought for him hoping for the good news. After giving one to him of the Blessed Mother along with a few words of encouragement, I secondly presented him with a picture of a Guardian Angel. I told him how God had given each of us a Guardian Angel to watch over us and be with us and help us to be good.
His eyes got very wide when he said, “They’re invisible right?” I was pleased that he seemed to know a few things about angels and replied, “Yes, they are.” – to which he asked, “But will he watch over me even when I’m NOT in the garden?” Inwardly I giggled, thinking garden instead of guardian and even chose a few words to try to explain this to him. But he would have none of it and proclaimed that his garden angel would watch over him when he was in the garden. I smiled, put my hand on his heart and said, “Yes, the garden of your heart too, because that’s where Jesus lives.” He got very quiet, very serious and whispered, “Oooo, OK.”