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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A: Winged Advent

We have arrived at the penultimate entry before Christmas and about to, also, complete the traditional Christmas novena associated with this Advent preparation for the celebration of the birth of the Christ child. While figuring out which possible item of reflection/sharing to choose for the letter 'A', I have gone through a whole gamut of ideas but kept coming back to this same item.

I thought that it was an overused theme and would not bear a decent consideration or reading here. Yet, the series would not be complete without any mention of them and despite being overused or sometimes made to be overly fantastical or exaggerated, they do bear great tidings for they are...

Angels we have heard on high! Yes, angels are spiritual beings acting as intermediateries between God and men. Our Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) has entries which run from paragraph #328 - #336 and #350 - #352 that speak and teach about angels. In particular, the Church affirms its long tradition of belief that each of us is assigned a personal guardian angel: "From infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchfulness and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd..." (CCC, #336). So, our belief in angels are not without merit and has always been a part of our faith. The Bible, right from the first chapters of Genesis right on till the very end of the last book of the Bible in Apocalypse (or Revelations), have angels in different forms interacting with God's people. The most well known one, during this period to reflect on, is none other than Gabriel, who was sent to a little town in Nazareth to announce to Mary the news that would eventually change the whole world.

Despite our spiritual and faith understanding of angels, this did not stop the secular world from appropriating angels into a manner that would serve their look and feel in the entertainment business or whatever that suit the circumstances. That is where we get these exaggerations and fantastical ideas and rendition of the hows, whats, whys and powers of the angels. Apparently one can even think of wanting to turn into a human! (after falling in love, that is). Whatever stories that center around angels in this entertainment industry, their depiction or portrayal usually have them with wings, like here and here, just to name a few dramatic ones. This perception may follow that which are already depicted in the arts. Whether they have wings or not, it is important for us to realize that their role and presence in our faith lives cannot be underestimated nor trivialised. A piece here by Joanne Turpin ought to help us get a better grip on who these angels really are for us.

Finally, while I was a hesitant to use this reflection on angels earlier, I was won over by a bookmark, from Blue Mountain Arts, given by a friend recently . On it has a poem by the Blue Mountain resident author and artist Douglas Pagels, entitled "May You Always Have an Angel By Your Side".

There is one already by your side...

1 comment:

SuMmeR_Ra|n said...

hi frAl~ it's a beautiful entry on the angels... love it very much! merry christmas! :D

 

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