To pretend angels do not exist because they are invisible is to believe we never sleep because we don't see ourselves sleeping.
- Thomas Aquinas, philosopher and theologian
If you’re familiar with the New York Public Library, even from photographs, you know the animal angels who guard it. Two marble lions sit regally in front of the famous Beaux-Arts building, right on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
This afternoon on my lunch break I took a walk to visit them. Apparently they’ve enjoyed many nicknames in their 101-year tenure. But in the 1930s Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia called them Patience and Fortitude, imagining the qualities he believed New Yorkers would have to exhibit in order to get through the economic depression. The names stuck.
I like to spend a little time with Patience and Fortitude every now and then. They represent qualities I can fall short of, and to me send an angelic message. They remind me of the way I’d like to be, ideally. At least the lion’s share of the time!
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.