Earlier this summer, as I was struggling with some particularly difficult events, I received a card of encouragement from one of my friends. Also, in the envelope was an angel pin. I was touched by my friend’s care and concern for me but a little amused at the angel pin. Though I grew up with the idea of guardian angels as a part of my faith, I relegated them to childhood religious piety as I grew older.
As I contemplated today’s readings and the feast of Michael,
Gabriel and Raphael, I reflected on the role of the angels at the Annunciation,
the news of Jesus’ resurrection and the struggle of the good and bad angels
in heaven. However, I also recalled that as a child I daily recited
the ‘Angel of God’ prayer. Truthfully, I couldn’t recall the whole
prayer, short as it is, but was able to locate it through the wonders of
a ‘google’ search! I found myself drawn to the simple,
yet powerful words of the prayer:
Rather than a mythical, sappy image of virtuous, adorable cherubs (to which I relegated the idea of angels as I grew up), the scriptural idea of angels is an integral and important part of our Judeo-Christian tradition. They appear many times in the Jewish and Christian scriptures…as God’s presence, helper, rescuer, messenger and consolation.
Perhaps angels are really not as childish as I once thought. Today’s readings emphasize the constant presence of angels attending to God. Yet, our tradition reminds us that angels are our companions, messengers of God, and a holy-calming God presence to us.
Today may be a good time to turn our attention to the angels
in our lives…both those that we can see and those that accompany us, sight
unseen. Are we able to respond/recognize God’s special presence among
us so that we can intentionally become God messengers/companions to others?
Possibly God’s angels are here to help us better sacramentalize – “make holy-make
God real” in our day, the events, and for/with the people in our lives.
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