Don't Feed the Angels

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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!

Originally published in the the Bright Maidens series.

J.R. Baldwin

J.R. Baldwin

J.R. Baldwin is the Editor-in-chief at Ignitum Today. A former statehouse reporter, she teaches history for a classical school and writes for The Imaginative Conservative. She blogs at The Corner With A View, and tweets from @thejulieview. A Midwesterner by birth, she lives out East with her husband and bebes.

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10 thoughts on “Don't Feed the Angels”

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    I understand that you want to emphasize respect and reverence for our angels. Indeed modern culture has made them too cutesy at times. But I’m troubled that you don’t think they are our friends. Our guardian angels love us and care for us out of their great love for God. Apart from God and Mother Mary, our guardian angels are the closest friends we have. Why shouldn’t we be friends with them? My guardian angel has always been there for me, especially in times of loneliness. And when I remember to listen, her advice has really helped me grow closer to our Lord.

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      Perhaps it is a different view of friendship, then. I think it is wonderful that your guardian angel has been there for you, listening and helping you grow closer to the Lord – but that is why I believe angels are loyal to God above all. It is not that she does not care for you and love you, but friendship is a two-way street, and the angel is taking care of you because that is her purpose! That is one avenue to God. I am not trying to understate her importance in your life; my purpose in saying so was to not undermine the angel’s importance in the fight for souls.

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        Yes, they are very important in the fight for souls. I understand your emphasis better now. Thank you! God Bless!

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    Around the year 1999, I had an interesting dream that certainly helps my imagination regarding these things.

    I dreamed I was in the holy land, near a line of elderly Israelis waiting for a bus. A van driven by terrorists came reeling by, overturned, and crashed into a wall near the line of commuters. I somehow knew that the van contained two chemicals that were essentially harmless in themselves, but when mixed together would release a deadly gas. For some reason, I was not much worried either for the commuters or for myself, but I was very worried about a little girl I saw playing near the site of the crash.

    I tried to warn the little girl, but she told me not to worry; just as Michael is the angel of protection for the Jewish people, she was their angel of death, and she was there to escort the elderly commuters I had seen to their final destination. At that moment “my eyes were opened” and I noticed that she and her clothes were not, as I had thought, normally colored but perfectly white, and glowing like a fluorescent bulb. The sensation was quite odd — it was like what has happened on occasions when I have seen a sign but not read it, but can remember its image and read my memory. I knew I had been seeing her glow white all along, but somehow simply failed to notice or understand.

    She was an angel, not a demon. As frightening as death may be to us, she was just doing her job. I wondered what the final destiny of the commuters would be, but I did not ask, because the question seemed impertinent, and to ask an impertinent question of such a being simply Is Not Done. At the same time, I was not afraid. I am not Jewish, so I was not part of her responsibility. I felt I could reach out and touch her, but that if I did, it would burn my hand — not like a fire burns, but like liquid nitrogen burns.

    Please understand that I had never thought of an angel of death in these terms: never as female, never as a child, and never as being different for different nations. I did, however, eventually recognize where the image from my dream had originated: the little colorized girl in Schindler’s List.

    About a year later, I mentioned to a Jewish friend that I had had a very strange dream about the angel of death for the Jewish people. His question sent chills down my spine: “What did she look like?” It turns out that in Jewish folklore, the angel of death is a beautiful woman.

    Like I said, it was just a dream, but a dream that has exercised my imagination and given me a good deal to think about.

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