ANGELS: Servants Of Love by Martin Shannon

June 13, 2017

From: All God’s Angels Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.  He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24) According to the Book of Job, the angels – referred to as “the morning stars” and “the sons of God” – sang and shouted with joy when God laid the foundations of the Earth (Job 38:2-7).  This means that, [...]

POETRY: About Angels And About Trees by Mary Oliver

May 3, 2017

Where do angels fly in the firmament, and how many can dance on the head of a pin? Well, I don’t care about that pin dance, what I know is that they rest, sometimes, in the tops of the trees and you can see them, or almost see them, or, anyway, think: what a wonderful idea. I have lost as you and others have possibly lost a beloved one, and wonder, where are they now? The trees, anyway, are miraculous, full of angels (ideas); even empty they are a good place to look, to put the heart at rest—all those leaves breathing the air, so peaceful and diligent, and certainly ready to be the resting place of strange, winged creatures that we, in this world, have [...]

STATIONS OF THE NATIVITY: Shepherds And Angels by Raymond Chapman

December 20, 2016

From Stations of the Nativity: Meditations on the Incarnation of Christ Before the Stations Almighty God, whose blessed Son took our human nature so that we might regain our lost innocence and be restored to the divine image that was disfigured by sin, grant that as we meditate on the mystery of his humanity we may share the glory of his divinity, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. A hymn may be sung: the familiar Christmas hymns tell of the wonder of the Incarnation and the following is particularly suitable (click on hymn title to be directed to the YouTube video of its performance): I Wonder As I Wander 7: Shepherds And Angels V: We adore thee O Christ and we [...]

POETRY: St. Peter and the Angel by Denise Levertov

September 14, 2016

Delivered out of raw continual pain, smell of darkness, groans of those others to whom he was chained— unchained, and led past the sleepers, door after door silently opening— out! And along a long street’s majestic emptiness under the moon: one hand on the angel’s shoulder, one feeling the air before him, eyes open but fixed . . . . And not till he saw the angel had left him, alone and free to resume the ecstatic, dangerous, wearisome roads of what he had still to do, not till then did he recognize this was no dream. More frightening than arrest, than being chained to his warders: he could hear his own footsteps suddenly. Had the angel’s feet made any sound? He could not recall. No one had missed him, no one was in pursuit. He [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Lucifer—Soulless Evil

August 19, 2016

I’ve always thought of myself as the weirdest person on Earth. One of the reasons for that is how, when I began the study of evil from its soul-structure point-of-view, one of the first things I wondered was, If evil has to do with the soul, and Lucifer doesn’t have a soul because he’s an angel, is he really evil?  And if he is, what kind of evil is it? This question has been like a slowly drip of water at the very back of my brain ever since. In fact, whenever faced with another lesson on evil, I wondered where Lucifer was. Reading about Lucifer never helped me. Pride. Fall. Battle. Hell. Is one who battles God by definition evil? Isn’t evil something that affects human on Earth? If evil is only in the realm of [...]

FALLEN ANGELS: Our Other Side by Harold Bloom

August 11, 2016

From Fallen Angels We want demons and devils to entertain us, at rather a safe distance, and angels to comfort or look after us, again at a safe remove.  But fallen angels can be uncomfortably close, since they are ourselves, in whole and in part.  Our Frankenstein movies have given us a famous monster who simply does not exist as such in Mary Shelley’s Romantic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.  In that book, Frankenstein is the Promethean scientist who creates not a monster, but a daemon, who makes a remarkable appeal to his morally obtuse maker: “Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitable to every other, and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice, and even thy clemency, and affection, is most due.  Remember [...]

POETRY: The Angel With The Broken Wing by Dana Gioia

August 10, 2016

I am the Angel with the Broken Wing, The one large statue in this quiet room. The staff finds me too fierce, and so they shut Faith’s ardor in this air-conditioned tomb. The docents praise my elegant design Above the chatter of the gallery. Perhaps I am a masterpiece of sorts— The perfect emblem of futility. Mendoza carved me for a country church. (His name’s forgotten now except by me.) I stood beside a gilded altar where The hopeless offered God their misery. I heard their women whispering at my feet— Prayers for the lost, the dying, and the dead. Their candles stretched my shadow up the wall, And I became the hunger that they fed. I broke my left wing in the Revolution (Even a saint can savor irony) When troops were sent to [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Fallen Angels by Ignatius Brianchaninov

August 9, 2016

From Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave The evil spirits are fallen angels.  God created them along with the other angels, and at first they all were pure, good, and holy, and generously endowed with many gifts, both natural and given by the grace of God.  But some of the angelic spirits became darkened by pride and began to attribute their profusion of various gifts, their excellent qualities, and even the gifts of grace to themselves.  They no longer considered themselves created beings.  Instead, they began to think of themselves as self-sufficient, and forgot that they had been made by God.  Such was the disastrous cause of their disregard of their sacred obligations to God their Creator.  Among the most eminent angels, there was [...]

DEMONS: How Angels Fell by Vinita Hampton Wright

August 9, 2016

From A Catalogue of Angels I watched Satan fall from Heaven like a flash of lightning.  See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. (Luke 10:18-19) No matter which holy text, legend, or theory you believe, all versions of the angels’ fall have one thing in common: the angels’ relationship to human beings.  The Christian story is possibly the most kind, in terms of the beginning of the strife.  The first we hear of the devil, or Satan, he is in the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden, convincing Eve that all is not as God says it is.  We get hints of the devil’s beginning – Satan had once been an angel – in one or two [...]

FALLEN ANGELS: A War In Heaven by David Albert Jones

August 8, 2016

From Angels: A History Now war arose in Heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the Earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  And I heard a loud voice in Heaven, saying, “Now the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. Rejoice then, O Heaven and you that dwell there!  But woe to you, O Earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is [...]

PRAYER: Fallen Angel’s Prayer 

August 8, 2016

Author unknown Lord, may I go back to being an instrument of your peace. Where there is loathing in me, fill me with devotion. Where there is accusation in me, fill me with forgiveness. Where there is discord in me, fill me with harmony. Where there is doubt in me, fill me with faith. Where there is error in me, fill me with truth. Where there is despair in me, fill me with hope. Where there is sadness in me, fill me with joy. Where there is darkness in me, fill me with light. Lord, help me to console the wounds I have caused. Help me to understand the consequences of my pride and ignorance. Teach me to sow love where I have planted hate. And in this way make me worthy to return to the bosom of your Holy Spirit. Amen. [...]

ANGELS: The Grave Angel by John-Ray Johnson

August 6, 2016

From Angelic Healing I got kicked out of high school for good when I was almost eighteen for gambling.  The fact is I had my own private casino in my school locker – portable roulette wheel, cards, dice, and all.  I used to get a group together and we’d go out behind the school, cutting classes, and shoot craps or roll the wheel or even play a hand or two of poker.  I was crazy about gambling, and I was pretty good at it.  When I wasn’t so good I’d cheat.  Either way, I made money.  I suppose it would seem really penny-ante today, but in 1966, $100 in a week’s time for doing very little seemed pretty attractive. Of course I didn’t get much out of school – when I showed up.  The reason for that [...]

HEALING: Singing The Soul

August 5, 2016

The world says that I am wrong about this. But I know I’m not. In the world of Earth there are people without souls. It’s not that impossible. There are people without legs. People without eyes. I even heard of a baby born without a brain. And there are people without anger. Or emotion altogether. So it is not, if you think about it, impossible that there are people without souls. But the world, in general, is very protective about this concept. Everyone must have one, because everyone, inherently, is good.  And in order to be good, you have to have a soul. Ergo. But not everyone has a soul. Not everyone is inherently good. Because if you don’t have a soul, you have little ability to be good. The soul is your path in [...]

ANGELS: On The Nine Ranks Of Angels by John A. Peck

August 4, 2016

From The Preachers Institute The nine orders of the angels are divided into three hierarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower. The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of: Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Maker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: And the seraphim stood around him, each having six wings. (Isaiah 6:2) They are fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29) His throne was a flame of fire. (Daniel 7:9) The appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire. (Exodus 24:17) Standing before such [...]

ANGELS: Angels as Messengers by David Albert Jones

August 4, 2016

From Angels: A History The word angel (malach) is simply the ordinary Hebrew word for a messenger.  The same is true in Arabic and in Greek.  It is the Greek word angelos that is the source for the English word, angel.  Philosophers such as Ibn Sina, Moses Maimonides, and Thomas Aquinas were interested in what angels were made of, or what they were not made of.  Thomas understood angels essentially as pure intellects, minds without bodies.  This is in contrast to human beings, who are, as it were, common, composed of spirit and body. (Creed of Lateran IV)  However, the tradition of angels does not begin with this question of what they are made of.  It begins with an encounter, with the coming of angels as messengers. [...]

POETRY: Gabriel’s News by Hafez

August 3, 2016

Come, come, this Pantheon of desire is set On wobbly stones. Bring some wine, For the joists of life are laid on the winds. The man who can walk beneath the blue wheeling Heavens and keep his clothes free of the dark Of attachment–I’ll agree to be the slave of his high will. What can I tell you? Last night at the tavern, when I was drunk and ruined, what glad news Did Gabriel bring from the invisible world? Your perch is on the lote tree in Paradise, Oh, wide-seeking hawk, what are you doing  Crouching in this mop closet of calamity? People on the battlements of Heaven are Blowing the whistle to bring you back. How does it happen that you tripped the noose? I’ll give you this advice: Please learn it And practice it well. [...]

POETRY: The Annunciation by Edwin Muir

August 3, 2016

The angel and the girl are met. Earth was the only meeting place. For the embodied never yet Traveled beyond the shore of space. The eternal spirits in freedom go. See, they have come together, see, While the destroying minutes flow, Each reflects the other’s face Till Heaven in hers and Earth in his Shine steady there. He’s come to her From far beyond the farthest star, Feathered through time. Immediacy Of strangest strangeness is the bliss That from their limbs all movement takes. Yet the increasing rapture brings So great a wonder that it makes Each feather tremble on his wings. Outside the window footsteps fall Into the ordinary day And with the sun along the wall Pursue their unreturning way That was ordained in eternity. [...]

ANGELS: How To Recognize Archangel Gabriel by Whitney Hopler

August 2, 2016

From the website About Religion Archangel Gabriel is known as the angel of revelation because God often chooses Gabriel to deliver important messages to people. If the angel Gabriel visits you, you can be sure that God has a significant message for you. Here are some signs of Gabriel’s presence: Guidance for the Future When you get sudden insights that give you valuable guidance for the future, Gabriel may be delivering those insights to you. As the angel of water, one of Gabriel’s specialties is sending clarity, and this great angel may send you clear insights about how to make the best decisions about your future – those that will help you fulfill God’s purpose for your life – especially after you pray for [...]

ANGELS: Gabriel The Herald by David Albert Jones

August 1, 2016

From Angels: A History In general, in the Hebrew scriptures, when an angel speaks, the angel becomes transparent, as it were.  The voice of the angel is the voice of the one who sends the angel, and the personality of the angel itself is not visible.  It was only in late books such as Daniel that angels were given names.  According to the book of Daniel, Gabriel is a figure having the appearance of a man who explains the meaning of Daniels’ vision.  He comes in swift flight to give Daniel knowledge and understanding.  The name Gabriel means mighty man of God (from the Hebrew Gabar, mighty) and has the connotation of a ruler or warrior. The Archangel Gabriel is a popular figure who pops up in several other Jewish books [...]

HOMILY: Towards Holiness by Josemaría Escrivá

July 31, 2016

We are deeply moved, and our hearts profoundly shaken, when we listen attentively to that cry of Saint Paul: This is God’s will for you, your sanctification.  Today, once again, I set myself this goal and I also remind you and all mankind: this is God’s will for us, that we be saints. In order to bring peace, genuine peace, to souls; in order to transform the Earth and to seek God, our Lord, in the world and through the things of the world, personal sanctity is indispensable.  In my conversations with people from so many countries and from all kinds of social backgrounds, I am often asked: What do you say to us married folk?  To those of us who work on the land?  To widows?  To young people? I reply systematically that I [...]

ANGELS: Saint Josemaría And The Guardian Angels by Alvaro del Portillo

July 30, 2016

From the website Saint Josemaría Escrivá Opus Dei was founded in 1928 on October 2 – the feast of the Guardian Angels. Saint Josemaría’s devotion to the guardian angels, whom he saw as celestial protectors and messengers, went back to his childhood. Here Bishop Alvaro del Portillo recalls some aspects of this devotion. The Father learned from his parents to have recourse to his guardian angel. Then later on, as a seminarian, he read in a book by one of the Fathers of the church that, in addition to a guardian angel, priests have a ministerial Archangel as well; and so, from the day of his ordination to the priesthood, he turned to this archangel with great simplicity and confidence. In fact, he said he felt certain that even if [...]

MICHAEL: Helper And Defender Of Christians

July 28, 2016

From St. Michael the Archangel (author unknown) Besides the protection which the glorious Archangel Michael extends to the church at large, he is also the protector of every individual Christian and of all Christian nations.  How fortunate we are in having so powerful an advocate!  Surely, never so urgently as at the present time have Christians needed Saint Michael’s help to remain steadfast in their faith.  Unbelief has carried its insolence to the very limit and boldly proclaims that there is no God.  Blasphemy against Jesus Christ, against his mysteries and his doctrines has increased in the most frightful manner.  It is our duty to be faithful Christians, to confess our faith openly and energetically, and to preserve a [...]

ANGELS: Michael by Rami Shapiro

July 26, 2016

From The Angelic Way The Hebrew name Michael means “Who is like God.”  Judaism and Christianity consider Michael the chief of the angels, though perhaps not the most powerful of all angels. In Judaism Michael first appears as a named angel in the book of Daniel, alongside the angel Gabriel, to defeat the Persians.  As we have seen, Jewish tradition identifies him as the angel who announced to Sarah that she would give birth to a son.   In addition, he is said to have recorded the sale of Esau’s birthright to Jacob, rescued Abraham from the fiery furnace, accompanied God to Mount Sinai, instructed Moses, was sent – but failed – to take Moses’s soul at his death, stood by Moses’s side after his death, [...]

ANGELS: Saint Michael, Archangel by Jacques Le Goff

July 26, 2016

From In Search of Sacred Time: Jacobus de Voragine and the Golden Legend Saint Michael presents an exceptional case in the Golden Legend [a collection of writings on the lives of the saints] because, even though he has certainly played the role of a saint in Christian devotion, he was in fact an archangel.  As Alain Boureau notes, Saint Michael is the only one of the three archangels mentioned in the Old Testament (the two others being Gabriel and Raphael) to whom Jacobus de Voragine devotes a chapter.  The principal reason for this, I believe, is that Michael plays a particularly important role in the sacralization of time, which, I am attempting to show, is the underlying theme of the Golden Legend.  Unlike Alain Boureau, however, [...]

ANGELS: Michael by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

July 25, 2016

From Encyclopedia of Angels Michael is the most prominent and greatest angel in Christian, Hebrew, and Islamic lore.  His name in Hebrew means, “who is like God,” or, “who is as God.”  Michael is Chaldean in origin.  In angelologies, his chief roles are many: He is warrior, protector, healer, guardian.  He holds numerous offices in Heaven: He is chief of the virtues and archangels, a prince of the presence, and the angel of repentance, righteousness, mercy, and salvation.  Some of his roles overlap with those of the other two great archangels of Christian lore, Gabriel and Raphael.  In Christian art, Michael usually is portrayed in warrior garb, holding a sword and scales and trampling Satan. Biblical [...]

SATURDAY READING: The Virtue Of The Angels by Gabriel Bunge

July 23, 2016

From Dragon’s Wine and Angel’s Bread: The Teaching of Evagrius Ponticus on Anger and Meekness The image of man, as presented by Evagrius, would remain one-sided were one only to present it against the dark background of those vices that pervert it, without also showing its luminous, “angelic” dimensions.  Furthermore, hardly anyone could muster the courage and endurance to do battle against a vice such as anger if he did not have an appealing image of real humanness before his eyes – an ideal which perhaps he is not able to develop, but which nevertheless widens the narrow horizon of our Earthly existence.  A good deal has already been mentioned in the preceding chapters, but here we shall attempt to form a [...]

PRAYER: Praying With Our Angels For Healing by Eileen Elias Freeman

July 21, 2016

From Angelic Healing Then, if there should be an angel, a mediator, one of a thousand, one who declares a person upright, who is gracious to the person, who prays for that individual. (Job 33:23, 26) If forgiveness is often the basis of healing, then prayer is its fuel.  Prayer is speaking to God with words, whether aloud or silently, conversing with the loving Source of all we are and have.  And because God is conscious, aware, purposeful, caring, and not some celestial clockmaker, God speaks in reply to our prayers. Meditation, insofar as it is related to prayer, is the process by which we try to free our minds of words and concepts, so that we can listen with all of our attention to what God says to us, either directly or through [...]

ANGELS: Healing, Truth, And Jesus by Susan R. Garrett

July 21, 2016

From No Ordinary Angel The angel of the Lord and the angel Raphael are preeminent among the Biblical figures who heal blindness and set people on a new and better course.  But they are not the only ones who do so.  In the New Testament, it is Jesus who commands our attention as healer and source of truth.  Jesus represents both God’s presence or immanence and the fullness of God’s transcendent glory.  Luke tells us that Jesus spoke words of the prophet Isaiah to announce the shape of the mission he was about to undertake: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the [...]

POETRY: Crivelli’s Pietà Angel by Katherine Soniat

July 20, 2016

In life it was just another spring plunging with trees and noon-dark weather. Things went on from there, betrayal aside. But this angel’s sopped eyes are beyond consolation, stopped with a brokenness the living feel about the dead. And Crivelli must have known it, with each gray, each plum daub to the sockets. Somewhere this angel must have a furious double, red eyes rolling from so much wandering and confusion in the desert before they settled into a sadness like winter— all there is. Long ago I watched birds arc back and forth over iron tracks outside a city, and departing that life, I could not see my hesitation as natural the jerking toward change and death the charm of all that is natural. This angel [...]

POETRY: The Fear Of Angels by May Sarton

July 20, 2016

It is not what they intend, But we are light-struck, Blinded by their presence, When all they want is to see us. We have to turn away, Cannot look at the huge, deep Unknown That speaks through their eyes. They strip us down to the infant gaze Still deep in the sky, Still rooted somewhere we cannot remember. Angel, look away. I cannot afford to yield the last defense, To go back— “Not back, but deeper,” Said the angel, folding his wings To [...]