“You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
~ John 1:51
This is something I wrote two years ago on the Feast of the Holy Angels. I reflect on these words once more.
One of the most comforting thoughts from my childhood is that of my Guardian Angel. As a child, I was able to overcome my fear of the dark and of the uncertain by relying on my Guardian Angel to protect me and keep me from harm. One of the earliest prayers I learned is the prayer to my Guardian Angel. In my tender mind, I constantly had a pretty clear picture of my Guardian Angel always hovering around me, with his wings outspread as my mantle of protection.
As I grew up so did my Guardian Angel and my understanding and recognition of him. I saw less of his wings and his long lily-white robe. Often, he would now come in different guises. When I feel low and discouraged, he comes as a loved one to give me a shoulder to lean on or a helping hand to nudge me forward. When I am ecstatic with joy and he comes as a friend to share in my happiness. When I start becoming cynical and pessimistic about things and events around me, he comes as an innocent child to remind me of my own innocence and idealism. And when I stray, he comes as a subtle reminder from persons I truly respect.
Today is the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. This passage is from one of today’s readings:
War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
That sounds like a great cosmic battle between good and evil out there in space right out of a Star Wars movie. And indeed that is what life is all about. Angels are literally God’s messengers to remind me “to choose constantly for the light in the midst of a dark world and for life in the midst of a death-harboring society.” When I am afraid or tired to venture forth into the unknown and uncertain, an angel comes along to prod me on. When I am too angry to see the bigger picture, an angel comes to restore my vision. When I am full of hate and bitterness, an angel comes along to draw me out of my self-centeredness. When I am too greedy or selfish to share, an angel comes along to remind me of the joy of giving.
Yes, I believe in angels.
To Whom His love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen”