Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Angel Day

The wings of angels are often found on the backs of the least likely people. ~Eric Honeycutt

Day 17
I went to mass yesterday and found out that it was the Feast Day of the Archangels. I've always known there were different "classes" of angels but I was a little confused about which angels did what so I went in search of Divine Knowledge. I googled it. I already knew that angels were messengers of God but it seems the Archangels, of whom we only know Michael, Gabriel and Raphael by name, are in charge of delivering the big important messages while countless thousands of other nameless, lesser angels are in charge of the post-it note variety of messages. It was interesting reading about these messenger angels, I bet they've built up some powerful thigh muscles running up and down Jacob's Ladder with reports to my Co-Writer about me. I've always had a question about Jacob's Ladder. When Jacob awakes from his dream about the ladder to heaven on which he see angels ascending and descending, he says, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I didn't know it. This is none other than the house of God and this must be the gate to heaven." I would have asked, "If angels can fly, why do they have to take the stairs?"

Anyway…I was more interested in my favorite sect of angels, the Guardian Angels.

I had actually forgotten I had one. But then one night a couple of weeks ago when I was going through my withdrawals and I had already gone through the whole litany of saints and all my dear departed family members in my quest for redemption and salvation from night sweats and recrimination, I remembered that once upon a time I had a Guardian Angel. In desperation I tried to recall that sweet little prayer I recited every night of my childhood.
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God's love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
As I recall, the image of a benevolent being fretting, clucking her tongue and watching over me did give me some solace that night and I was finally able to drift off to sleep. By the light of day I might have classified angels right up there with all other ephemeral winged creatures like fairies and unicorns but on those lonely, scared nights I'll cling to any belief that makes me feel not so alone.

I googled Guardian angels and was a little surprised to see that the Catholic Church is pretty literal in its belief in them. I don't know why I was surprised, I've always been aware of the church's belief but what had happened to mine? I guess I thought I outgrew my need for a Guardian Angel. In my mind's eye I can still see the little plastic holy water font that hung to the side of my bedroom doorway. It was plastic and molded in the shape of an angel hovering over a little boy and girl with their school books under their arms crossing a street. I do pretty good crossing streets these days (unless I'm stumbling drunk) so what did I need an angel for? And if she was supposed to rule and guide me, where the heck has she been? Why didn't she keep me away from the booze all those years? (Why doesn't she keep me out of this bag of mini-Heath bars, right now) Oh yeah. There's that thing called free will that my Co-writer gave us.

The more I googled and read the more I started to wonder. Why was it as I discarded my childhood beliefs of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, I simultaneously shed all of my beliefs in anything magical? Ever since I can remember, I had been told that God had given me one angel all for my very own. This angel would be with me always. She would protect me from evil. She would know my every thought. She would love me. And she would never leave me. Even in my loneliest moments of despair, she would stay by my side. Cool! I had my own invisible super hero. What happened? When did did the stories stop? Why did my parents and teachers and priests quit reminding me of her? It was like they bundled her up with my Barbies and Easy Bake Oven and said, "You're too old for these things. You don't need them anymore."

But the other night, I got a little tap on my shoulder and my angel whispered in my ear, "I'm still here."

This morning as I was walking along the river, I caught a glimpse of my angel up ahead of me, she was urging me to catch up. I heard her say,

"Come on. I can't wait to show you everything you've been missing,"

So today I'm just out there doing my best to catch up to my angel and give her a few days off from worrying about me. She deserves it. The feast day for Guardian Angels is coming up on October 2. I think she deserves a feast day of her very own for putting up with me.

P.S. While I was researching angels on the internet yesterday I found another site about Angels, Guide Angels . It's kind of weird but fascinating. On this website you can put in your birthdate and it will give you info on two of your "Guide Angels". One of my Guide Angels' name is Vehuaiah and if I meditate on his name the site claims it will bring about "Time Travel: Awaken remorse in your heart for prior misdeeds. Accept the frank spiritual truth that problems in your life are the result of past actions. Uproot the negative seeds that you have already planted and in doing so transform your past, reshape the present, and create a future full of joy and fulfillment." Sounds good to me. My other Guide Angel's name is Lelahel and under his influence I will gain fame from my talents and actions. "Oh Lelahel, from your lips to my Co-Writer's ear." On a wing and a prayer!

P.P.S. Before you have me labeled for the looney bin with my ramble about invisible, winged super heros let me tell you about another weird coincidence. I went to mass again this morning and it was the Feast of St. Jerome. The priest said that St. Jerome translated the Hebrew Scripture into the Latin Vulgate. I had never heard of the Latin Vulgate until yesterday. Each of my Guide Angels has their own little resume and right there at the top is a passage from the Latin Vulgate that best describes them. So there.


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