The Archangels and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Yesterday, I wrote about how excited I was for the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  What I didn’t mention was the lesser excitement displayed by my son, the day prior.

On Wednesday, my son was asking what we were doing that day.  Because our chapel hosts Adoration on Wednesday evenings, I told him we had to wait for the Internet Guy, and then I figured we would go spend some Jesus-time at the chapel.  He disagreed with the idea of attending Adoration, so I warned him if his dad didn’t make it home from work in time, M and E would have to go with me.

Then, I told him we were most likely going to the chapel for Mass on Thursday.

In response to his query as to why we would be going to Mass the following day, I exclaimed excitedly, “Tomorrow is the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael!  So, I am thinking maybe we will go to church tomorrow!”

His response, dripping with disdain for my apparent lack of knowledge, was less enthusiastic, “But, Mommmm, Raphael is a turtle.”

All I could respond with was a chuckle, and an acknowledgement that God’s celestial creature shares a name with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

My preschooler expressed some consternation over Gabriel and Raphael missing from the line-up, asking me where they were.  He also wanted to know why Michael had a sword, and why Michael was wearing a belt around his waist (not the “seat belt” I thought he may be referencing).

The conversation he and I shared, followed by an article by another blogging mama at Little Bits of Grace, made me begin asking myself – how can I begin to teach my four year old about the concepts that even adults sometimes have difficulty grasping?

Similar to the challenge I internally battle when teaching my son prayers, how do I tell the stories of angels, demons, saints, and God Himself in a way that is real, tangible, and understandable to my preschooler?

Pope Francis recently stated in his address on Vatican Radio about angels, “We must be aware of their invisible presence.”  And, most of us adults know the whole story of doubting Thomas, where seeing doesn’t always mean believing, and believing doesn’t always require seeing.

However, a four year old wants to see.  They want to know why and how.  They want to be able to follow the story line from point A to point B.

Yet, I feel as though I lack the skills to make the colorful picture in my head of angels battling demons come to life for my children.

So, instead, I think I will rely on the visual of the Archangels as some sort of angelic, perfect celestial teenage mutant ninja turtles, who come together to fight for a higher purpose – for the love of God, humanity, and to defeat the evil Shredder (Satan).

And, at some point, I figure I will start to search for stories with pictures which I hope inspire my son’s imagination – of heroic angels casting demons into the depths of hell.

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