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Angels and Daddy Beards

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

I don’t know why, but my newborns refuse to look me in the face. They will look at their siblings, they will look at our animals, and of course they look ever so lovingly at their mother, but when it comes to my face, to the dad who has been there since the beginning, I am as they say, just another piece of the furniture.

These moments have become so common, so predictable even, that numerous theories have arisen over the years as to the cause. “Perhaps it’s your beard,” numerous friends and relatives have suggested. “It’s definitely your deep, daddy voice,” others have put forward. But for my part, I have come to believe quite deeply in another theory, one that quite frankly, has little to do with me at all.

There is a tradition (with a very small ‘t’ of course) that our children in their youngest years are still able to see what you and I will only come to see if we become much holier. And though I never paid much attention to these stories before becoming a father, I have to admit that my early days observing the newest and cutest additions to our tribe have given me a whole new perspective.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12

For while I was focused on the fact that my kids wouldn’t look at me, I was missing what they were looking at, which—judging by their faces—was far more interesting. Some would sneak glances over my shoulder, some would be captivated by something high above us both. But regardless of where they looked, it was becoming more and more apparent that the sight brought them much joy.

And it got me thinking. We know from the Scriptures that a child’s angel sees the face of God the Father in heaven, but is it possible that children (especially when new to the world) might be given the grace to see the face of their guardian angels?

Essentially, they choose to hide.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

I think so.

Life has already been quite traumatic for this little one. And the comfort of a friend, perhaps one the child has already known from the womb, is precisely what he needs to get through what surely must be a most terrifying transition. After all, Mommy cannot always be present to calm the noises and soften the deep voices. There are bearded daddies around and sometimes they look right at us.

in Christ,



Patrick Sullivan is a Catholic Speaker and the President of Evango, a Catholic Media Organization that seeks to build a culture of Catholic evangelization and missionary discipleship. Patrick travels internationally to speak at Catholic events, parenting conferences, and to lead retreats and parish renewal missions. He is the creator and host of Me & My House, the Catholic parenting program that is transforming how we minister to parents in our dioceses, parishes, and communities. Patrick lives in beautiful Barry’s Bay, Ontario with his loving wife, Kyla, and their nine children.

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