Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't Feed the Angels

TBM Topic 23: Angels

"Don't Feed the Angels" by Julie Robison
Trista at Not a Minx, Moron, or a Parasite
Elizabeth at Startling the Day

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We're here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion on Facebook and Twitter!

An important thing to remember about angels is that they are terrifying. I am not sure when angels started to be domesticated, but nearly every time one appears in the Bible, the humans are frightened. So much so that angels had to start saying phrases like, "Fear not!" and "Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God."

Angels are celestial beings, created as beings between God and Man. They are warriors, messengers, servants and worshipers of God.

Hebrews 1:5-14 reads:
For to which of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you”? Or again: “I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me”? And again, when he leads the first-born into the world, he says: “Let all the angels of God worship him.”  
Of the angels he says: “He makes his angels winds and his ministers a fiery flame”; but of the Son: “Your throne, O God, stands forever and ever; and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You loved justice and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions”; and: “At the beginning, O Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment. You will roll them up like a cloak, and like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”  
But to which of the angels has he ever said: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
With a modern twist, does not that last sentence remind you of Clarence in It's A Wonderful Life? Clarence, an angel who had yet to get his wings, was sent to help George Bailey see all the good in his life and how his life changed other people's lives for the better.

Clarence looked like a kindly old man, but still he put shock and awe into the bridge attendant and George himself, who could hardly believe it. Yet, Clarence was an angel. He was a warrior for George's life, saving him before he attempted suicide; he was a messenger, showing the eternal truth that each man plays his role in this world and thus matters; he was a servant for God, sent from above to talk to George; and he was a worshiper of God, receiving his wings when the bell rang for a job well done as God's good and faithful servant.

The world is a battlefield between Good and Evil; we must never forget that. Thus, angels move among us humans- be it our Guardians Angels, the one who sits on our shoulder, the ones singing above us during Mass, or the one protecting you in dark times. Angels are not our friends; they are our protectors. They have loyalties to God alone and approach us in His name.

The Bible is filled with stories involving angels; so is your life. How can you tell? Perhaps never, if you're not inclined towards the mystical. Nevertheless, the one thing a person should never do with angels is to lessen the reverence for them by seeing them purely as shiny halos and fluffy wings. Angels are not so docile. They say, "Hark!"-- not "hello" or "hey" when greeting or proclaiming. They demand attention. They demand reverence and respect, because they come directly from God.

So don't feed the angels; they already share in the Heavenly banquet!


  1. "Hark!" Not "Hey! Unto You a Child Is Born!" What book was that from? I read it as a kid...

  2. That sounds like it would be from 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'... what a great book!

  3. Great post! I love the images of angels that are spiritual warriors, rather than floofy cupids..

    Its a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie of all time. <3

    For Love of Cupcakes

  4. Love this topic!! So much I could say...but below is one of my favorite stories that I have little reason to doubt involved my Guardian Angel, to entertain Elizabeth, if no one else :)

    On 12/2/06, 15 friends & I headed back after a night of dancing at a local Latin dance club here in Madison. It was the 1st snowfall, causing slippery conditions. While walking along the sidewalk at about 1am, a car approached & some friends noted that it was going quite fast (much more than the 25 mph zone). I was at the very end of the group, talking with a delightful Frenchman & had only vaguely heard the comment from up front.

    A split second later, I heard a loud crash of metal on metal & felt something impact the right side of my forehead. My initial reaction was to shut my eyes & put my right hand to the source of this impact. When I opened my eyes, I saw a small white sedan that had jumped the curb & crashed into the tall Dead End sign at the corner of the intersection I had just passed & the sign was angled, almost lying on the ground. I'd also like to point out that I was wearing heels & skirt - and DIDN'T FALL or pass out! Proud of myself to this day- strong stock here!

    This story is WAY more fun to tell in person (with other fun details), but suffice it to say, there was a lot of confusion in my group & I was the one asking to get help from a nearby house, if anyone was calling 9-1-1 and telling someone to go get the cops at the other end of the street. I learned a lot about how I handle unexpected circumstances that day - it was awesome!

    Sadly, the car backed up & drove away - coward! - and I thought some friends were getting its license plate. Alas, they did not. So to this day, I don't know who hit me or how drunk they were - but God knows. ;)

    Much blood loss later, the cops & ambulance came. They wrapped up my head & as a history major and an optimist, I was sort of amused that I looked like a WWI head-wound victim after a vicious battle at the Somme. Part coping mechanism, part just the way my mind operates. And my love of the Ace of Base classic 'The Sign' also made for some excellent revelry post-accident. ("I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes...")

    When all was said & done, I had a 3 inch long major laceration above my right eye that went down to the bone. I asked if my friends would take a picture of the wound (I really wanted to see!) but they were all too chicken. :) The scar almost perfectly mirrors the shape of my right eyebrow (holla!), so when it was very new & pink, my friends would joke about my 3rd eyebrow. It's now almost invisible & many people don't often even notice it until attention is brought to it. There was initial nerve damage that is completely healed.

    I was deeply aware of how my Guardian Angel had likely had a hand in this outcome. My situation was bad - but wow, could it have been worse! Had the sign hit me 1 inch below, it would have lacerated my right eye and destroyed the nerves that lead to the right side of my face. Or any number of infinite, tragic possibilities.

    As I mentioned, every year on the anniversary of this epic day, I bake a cake in honor of my Guardian Angel & bring it to work (I work at the Catholic Center here so it's full of hungry students and co-laborers). And I don't mean a Betty Crocker cake. I bake something ridiculous and decadent! My love of celebrations of life and our faith has been well utilized since becoming Catholic in 2003! But it's a great opportunity to thank God for my life and also to let people know that their Guardian Angels are 1) real 2) powerful and 3) ready to fight for them.

    Gratias tibi Deo!

  5. Also...let's all hear it for God's great humor and the fact that a Dead End sign was indeed, not my dead end. *rimshot!*

  6. Great post! I think sometimes we forget that just because we cannot see this hidden spiritual world does not mean it doesn't exist. You are right, it is awe-inspiring how God sends His warriors to come help us!

  7. I always think of Tobit and Sarah falling flat on their faces in terror when Raphael reveals himself to them as "one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One." (Tob 12:15-16). Can hardly think a Rubenesque child with wings could inspire that kind of fear.

  8. Wow, I really loved this post, Julie! It is a great reminder of exactly what angels are and what they are not. What a truly amazing gift we have in the angels!