Monday, September 29, 2014

Angels, Our Heavenly Messengers

Today is the feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael the Archangels in the universal church. This day brings a smile to my face as my name also reflects the angels.

I believe we are all at one time or another in each others lives angels. We send heavenly messages to each other. On the flip side, and I don't wish to dwell on this now, we can often times be messengers from the opposing team.

But it is the heavenly messengers that bring light, love and hope. Last night, my new friend Michelle brought a heavenly message to me. The truth of our hearts we can most assuredly deny and do our own will. But God is the author of our hearts and of love and HIS will will be done or it is to our detriment. We must simply open, surrender and agree.

As my friend and I were discussing, to love is not an easy call. For both man edify's woman and woman teaches man how to love. A man and a woman love on a superficial realm in the beginning. He loves with his eyes and the emotions that flow from his heart based on that and the woman's qualities. The woman loves what she hears and receives from the man. She loves his words and his gifts of love and service.

This is all wonderful and necessary but the call to love is deeper. It reaches into the heart of truly putting the other before yourself. This means that other important relationships and  other things that are important to you take second place. For it is really how a new creation is born. It is a hard call. We all have things we hold dear to our heart. And I dare say those same things is what is an obstacle in our relationship with God.

We are to love God first and then everyone else and everything else. It is not based on conditions or in certain circumstances, it is absolute. But we put our work, our  hobbies, our money, our children, our parents, our passions, our intellect, our pride or our self preservation first. Our treasures are all unique and not necessarily just one. 

I know the one story many people have a stumbling block with is the story of Abraham and Isaac. (Genesis 22:1-9; For an interesting analysis God had promised Abraham many things thru Isaac and yet was now asking to slay him.

In Abraham's view he had faith that God would reconcile the act somehow because of God's earlier promises and so he was going to follow through having full faith that God would vindicate him. It was a test of faith. As we know an angel came and stopped Abraham from slaying Isaac.

Which brings us to tests. God tested Abraham. Whether we like it or not tests help ferret out loyalty and trust. It is not conditional or based on the circumstances.
How many of us would pass this test? I dare say not many even if God had earlier promised blessings predicated on Isaac living. We would rationalize that God does not work this way, that it must be satan giving this suggestion and we are mistaking it for God. 

The thing is God wants us to surrender and trust him. Of course He does not want what is bad for us but what is good. And sometimes what is good is disguised in what we think we don't want. None of us want to suffer, to give up what is dear to us, and yet loves call is that and it is for our greater good. 

Abraham's acts of faith gave him even greater faith and his honor multiplied. He is the Father of the faithful and by Jesus referred to him as "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Obviously the sacrifice of his son was also a symbolic of God's love for us where by Jesus his only begotten was sacrificed for us. And yet again the glory and triumph  of Jesus resurrection and to whom every knee will bow was the reward.

We have to trust. I have to trust that God's will will be done and I must just surrender my heart to him and trust that the love he has put there will be for my greater good.

Which bring me back to my friend Michelle and the call to the vocation of marital love which obviously happens before the marital vows are spoken. For God brings two souls together for His purpose and those two can not have any other person or thing before that love or it can not be. It does not depend on the circumstances or conditions. Love is a gift from God and we either surrender to it or impose our own will when the trials get to hard or the tests are too great.

Love is not a legal contract or dependent on where the relationship is at. It is all encompassing and a purging. It purges us of our pride, our other interests, our work and other attachments. In our Catholic ceremony the priest is just a witness to the public profession of love before God. God brought them together and what God brought together no man should try to divide. That love was there before the vows and the vows simply make it formal and the bodies then reflect what the souls already know, the self surrender to one another and in that self surrender open to the gift of God love and sometimes children.

Marriage is a symbol or a sacrament that mirrors our relationship with God. The new creation puts God first. It is not two individuals putting God first but a new creation of one with two members putting God first and by natural extension each other.

Do we naturally love this way? Yes and no. Yes I think God call's us in every stage of our life to love but our fears which breed our pride often times cloud the right thing to do in love.

And this brings me back to angels. We can invoke their help in prayer and supplication. We can pray to the others guardian angel for help in helping them guide their way.

And we must trust that those angels have very special heavenly messages for us and it is up to us to listen and surrender and follow because we trust God and His plan. Thank you God, Our Heavenly Father, for Angels, Our Heavenly Messengers.


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