Archive for the ‘angels’ category

GOING BLUE: COSMIC CONSIDERATIONS – 2

July 8, 2018

 

A story of motion,  of moving,  of constant movement . . . . a journey.

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I guess I really did need that ambulance ride last week.  I guess my body really was bad off for a while.    It’s still reverberating with the physical stress, and I’m not quite in command of the way my body is acting.    Yet.

So —   “cosmic considerations”  are very much in  order.    Part of achieving good health is  proper, targeted,  strong,  even intense meditation.    (Sounds like a battle zone.)

BLUE HOLE

So I’m doing that.    I wake up to this scene in the mornings.    Blue summer sky behind deep green trees, lit up by the silvery light of the sun.     (I can’t tell right now if the colors in the photo are as vivid as I see them  because it’s nighttime and the Blue Light Filter is “On” on my screen. )

I don’t have to get up right away.  It’s a good time to think and pray and . . .  meditate, inspired by the blue  green, and silver lights.    Natural colors.

And perhaps inspired by all the space and cosmos programs I watched while at Son’s house recently,     I  imagine   Movement.   That little hole in the middle of the photo is a glimpse of the sky above,  the  heavens.

I imagine myself moving up towards that patch of blue,  higher and higher into the heavens.     If you go high enough, into the blue,  you will reach the uppermost part of our atmosphere, and it will eventually turn darker and then black,  about the level of the ISS.

Those blue heavens will have become a deep velvety black and you’ll begin to see the stars.    Still moving upwards and outwards,  the stars will take on distinctive colors and sizes.

If you   keep  moving   out,  you may be lucky enough to graze past some of our beautiful planets, all so real and “alive” with patterns and colors . . . .

Stars,  then  nebulae,  beautifully lit clouds of gases,  colors and light,    galaxies.

Still moving on outwards, your spirit passes unnamed, undiscovered objects and shapes and “colors.”

And then — far enough away from our home planet —  it seems as though your spirit loses hold of its connection to Earth,  the connection is stretched and thins out, and still you move . . .  approaching the boundary into the spiritual realm.

You can leave the physical behind,  and perceive glorious and beautiful powerful intelligences there,   surrounding the Source of Love and Beauty and Goodness.   You can begin to see the Holiness of Heaven.

Intuition tells you this is a place of pure Holiness.

Angels and archangels are there.   Cherubim.  Seraphim.    The Mother of God is there.  A multitude of (human)  saints,  named and unnamed.   Life and the Source of Life that cares deeply for all other  life in the universe,  including you.

You can go no further.   You perceive  the Creator is there,   the Maker and Sustainer of all things;   you can feel  your neediness and you can make your petitions there,  you can ask for help,  and health,  and above all,  you can ask for Mercy.

At that point,  you know deeply that Mercy is the only thing you need.   Ask for the little things like help and health —  but in the end it is Mercy that you know  your soul needs.

Petitions made,  you can begin a retreat, back to Earth where you belong for a little while more.    Back down through the beautiful cosmos,  down through Earth’s heavens,  down to  Earth.

And you will understand with St. Augustine who wrote so long ago that “Every beautiful thing is meant to draw you to Heaven”   from which Mankind’s Redeemer came so that heaven can be our true and everlasting Home.

Every beautiful thing.

Marble Caves of Patagonia

Blue marble caves of Patagonia

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I cannot travel anymore.   For the time being it would mean the formation of more blood clots.

But we  don’t need to travel.   We don’t really even need the Internet.

We just need to look around us.    We can look up  into the morning sky as we wake up,  or  look around as we water our lawns,  or see things as we take a walk.   There is Beauty all around us —

— and we can go traveling upward.

Anytime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AN ODONATA COMES TO VISIT

September 6, 2013

I had a visitor the other day, and I’ve been staring at his photo ever since.

Dragonfly on Screen

I was passing by this window and jumped back, in an  understandable  primeval reflex upon seeing an insect with a four-inch wide wingspan at about eye level.    Fortunately, he was outside, on the screen,  so my second reaction was to run for the camera.

I pondered first what it was.    I learned it was a dragonfly,  an insect of the order called Odonata.

I pondered his size.   When I sit outside on my deck I am regularly buzzed by bats and bumblebees,  hummingbirds and  dragonflies, but I’ve never seen one this size before.  Just an accidental landing on my screen.   But, yet, my attention is still captured by this creature.  A message?   A foreboding?   An opportunity to awaken?

Pretty fanciful for the way I usually think, but life is more than physical science of size and order and species.

I think back to the time my daughter and I enjoyed the story of a little girl who passed by a fence in a field and noticed a dragonfly was stuck on the fence, struggling to get out.

dragonfly on fence She felt sorry for the dragonfly, but it seemed so delicate that she could think of no way to help the poor thing without damaging it.  She stood by, offering encouragement and compassion as best she could, but not daring to touch.   She thought of the times in her young life when she had struggled and struggled to achieve something – and the joy at her eventual success.

After a very long time the dragonfly seemed to be coming out of its trap, and a transformation took place.   dragon silver angel

The little girl seemed to be able to see the dragonfly appearing as a little angel,  a tiny little being who looked upon her with gratitude and love.      With a tiny smile, it said,  “Thank you for the compassion you gave me.   You were saddened by my struggle yet you didn’t abandon me, and that gave me courage.  I can now go on with my mission in this world.”

And then the little girl’s heart opened up to the Counsel of Heaven and to the Wisdom of the Creator and understood that she cannot prevent severe trials that come to those she loves,  but that she must stand by them in love and compassion, suffering alongside.

This is the way of our existence in this Fallen World –  this is the Way of the Cross, the way that leads to Life.

 

 

INVISIBLE BUTTON, INVISIBLE HELP

December 6, 2012

(Domestic Duties today)

SAMSUNG

Well, I had a lot of things to do today,  and mending my rain jacket was on my list.   I had needed a rain jacket last Fall, and I found a nice blue one that was waterproof,  had a hood,  was selling at half price — and  the color matched the new car  I had to buy a year ago.    What could be better?

The hood was held on by a row of buttons.  That’s good, better than a zipper that could catch or break,  but the buttons were “clear” – that is,  invisible.    And one day I noticed one of them was missing.    How does one find a clear, transparent button…anywhere?

 

Buttons in a row

I didn’t solve the problem of the missing button for many weeks  —   actually, I wasn’t even working on the problem —  but of all the unexpected, chance, charming coincidences,   one day when I was out raking the leaves, a neighbor happened to come by, and I walked over to him so we could have a pleasant chat.   When he left, I began raking that area, although I had pretty much raked it a half hour before.    And there, between strokes of the rake,  was the “invisible’  button,  perched on the top of a wide blade of grass!

I doubt if I had ever even walked over that area of the lawn when I was wearing that blue raincoat.

The burden was on me, now,  to take care of that button before I lose it again, because I just know there’s a message in that chance find.   It’s beyond human doing.   (If you know what I mean.)

Not daring to ask too many questions, and not daring to put this off any further,  I did my morning mending.

 

Grandma and me

Grandma and me

I did my morning mending thinking about my grandma, who was always so busy and efficient,   my father, who always did his duty and got the job done;  all the angels and saints before us who teach us to “redeem the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16);   of all the heavenly helpers who look down on us with care and concern and probably a great deal of wry amusement. . . .

Angel Notices 285

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,

To rule and guide.

In our short stay here on earth,  we are not alone, we are not without guidance.     There is so much more to life than just the material world that we can see.

Deo gratias.

 

THE GAZE OF ANGELS

June 5, 2011

I’ve been neglectful of Sundays’ Readings these past several weeks of storms, travel, and weddings.    I’ve not been unmindful of them,  just haven’t gotten them over to The Spruce Tunnel.    So,  Mosquito Season in the Tunnel notwithstanding,   here is this Sunday’s consideration – “The Gaze of Angels”:

Gaze:   “to look upon intently with one’s whole attention;  to open up one’s being to the glorious qualities of the object that is before one’s eyes.

I don’t mean to imply here that Cooper is “an angel,”  ( heh heh), but I use his photo to demonstrate what a gaze is.

Intent, with one’s whole being focused on the glorious qualities of the object of one’s attention….

Today is the Sunday after the Ascension.    (No such thing as “ascension sunday,” as you know.)  

Here’s another famous picture of Christ ascending into Glory.    From our point of view, He is leaving us to go into Glory.    However, from the point of view of the angels in Glory,  He is returning to them!

They see Him slowly reappearing, more and more clearly,  up into Glory with them — but now with a difference!!!    The angels recognize Him, but He comes this time additionally clothed in His Humanity.   And from His head,  His hands, His side,  and His feet are streaming rays of Mercy with a magnificent radiance!

What heavenly words of praise come from the angels who continue to gaze on their Majestic Creator as He arrives at His throne…until at last they must change their posture and cry out a New Song!    “And all the angels stood round about the throne and the ancients and the four living creatures;  and they fell down before the throne upon their faces and adored God, saying:  Amen!  Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving, honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”  

(Apocalypse 7:  11, 12  –  The book also called Revelation of St. John the Divine)

Ascension Day!   What a wonderful “day” in Heaven that must have been!

GOING TO CHURCH

October 17, 2010

We go to church every Sunday (and other times) to adore and worship and praise Our Savior, and in a specific way, to enter into the Act by which he procured our salvation.  

Our “going to church”  is a cosmic event, in that it gets the attention – and audience – of Heaven itself.   For this reason, there is a presence during the Mass of far more than the humans in the area.     (A closer view above the altar):

Men conduct themselves with reverence and lead their households in  worship by their example and by their watchful care.    Women conduct themselves reverently and modestly, knowing that Jacob’s Ladder, Who is Christ Himself, is before them and is filled with Heavenly beings, moving upwards and downwards for our aid — until that specific time, when the bells ring, and even they come to a stop and bow and adore Christ . . 

 

In 2,000 years very , very few humans have been granted the privilege of seeing our heavenly helpers above the altar.   Nearly everybody must use their God-given imagination, informed by our Teachings  ( “whether written or by mouth”  as St. Paul says);  and believing doesn’t depend upon seeing.

But artists have helped!   The first image above was painted by John C. de Miranda of Spain, several hundred years ago. 

Today…

This is a church in New York City, Manhattan, I think.  Back in the days when all churches who called themselves “Christian” still retained Christian teachings and symbols,  the best efforts of our artists enhanced our imaginations and directed our attention to the realities behind what we merely see.   (See the steps ascending to Mt. Sion – Calvary ?)

The activity we see at the altar and the heavenly Reality that we know to be present is the  Act of Sacrificial Love, willed and accomplished by Our Creator, a Love so great we can only begin to know it and experience it here, while on Earth.  

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (Oct.17)

The image in the vision above came to St.  Margaret Mary Alacoque about 300 years ago  as a remedy for Christians who need to be reminded of the depths and riches of the Love of God.    In the modern world, of the last 300 years,  the “heart” has been designated to represent the seat of love.  And so, this image of Jesus shows for us His Sacred Heart, the “Seat” of His Love.

As this period of human history winds down, amidst all the difficulties and confusions and the weakening of faith in general,  this image was given to our imaginations to help us cling to our Faith in Our Savior and to visualize His Love for us.    

In te credo,  in te spero, te amo, te adoro…..

ASCENSION THURSDAY – WITHIN THE OCTAVE

May 17, 2010

                         Monday Within The Octave of the Ascension

The Church gives us eight days to think about the Ascension of Christ.  

An Octave of Days

The same tone, the same “vibration,”  eight days apart, until you reach an even higher perception of the original. 

Eight days.    Seems like a long time, but, knowing us, we forget to get serious about the Ascension for most of those days, and then it doesn’t seem long enough when we do begin to meditate, and if possible…to even contemplate….

We know the simple facts of the Ascension of Christ, how, after He appeared here and there to His disciples for forty days after His resurrection – teaching, instructing, strengthening – then at the Mt. of Olives in the presence of His disciples, He began to rise, into the air…He ascended.

But He didn’t go up into some  lonely place high above all His friends….into some vague sort of paradise.    Rather, He went into His glory!    It’s wonderful to think of the Ascension of our Jesus from the point of view of Heaven itself.     Heaven, that abode of blessed spiritual beings who surround the Throne of God and serve His Holy Majesty with worthy praises and joyful adoration.

You’ll just have to close your eyes to read the rest of this, because no pictures from Earth, no words or  paintings, would be able to describe the scenes of Heaven.

I’m going to paraphrase a few words from Dom Prosper Gueranger, that great man who helps his readers to fully participate in the entire Liturgical Year.     (Vol. 9)

Christ is our King, we know, but He is also exalted and loved and glorified  above all and by all the  principalities and powers and  all the angel choirs  named in Heaven.   His Incarnation into human flesh was revealed to them,   and they were the first there on that  Christmas night to joyously proclaim  His arrival at Bethlehem.    

By looking down on earth as  their Exalted Lord redeemed mankind, “they were lost in astonishment at seeing how Flesh could so reflect the plenitude of grace ..and they now could  see further into the depths of the Uncreated Sea of Light” and glory that is God-Most-High.   “Angels and Archangels, the Powers and Dominations, the Cherubim, and Seraphim, praise the Majesty of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. ” 

Yes, on Ascension Thursday,  Christ Jesus, the God-Man, was welcomed Home with great eagerness and joy and love by the Angels of Heaven who worship and adore Him forever.

I think we can understand their Joy.   Jesus said to us:  “If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father;  for the Father is greater than I.”        (“Greater” than I”?   Jesus speaks in His human nature before Calvary, but you can hear the Joyful anticipation in His voice for the glory that is to follow.)

He ascended into Heaven and He was received into Heaven.

NO QUESTIONS – NO ANSWERS

April 21, 2010

The week following Good Shepherd Sunday always has me feeling a bit quieter inside.     “We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture….”  the psalmist says.    There is a stillness in a safe pasture, peace beside still waters;  the activities and uncertainties  from outside the pasture fall silent when the Shepherd is present.

In keeping with this Sunday’s meditations, I’ve been spending more time just sitting quietly on the back deck.   Godlfish in the pond down there near the edge and turtles drifting nearby.     Squirrels playing up and down the tree trunks.   Birds all over,  up above.   Deer walking slowly through the woods, snapping twigs as they pass.   

Once I put the camera away, and once I get used to the noise that all the critters make,  then I begin to think about the peace and stillness of this place.   And then I wonder what I can hear in that stillness.

I thought of Knock, which I made reference to a couple postings ago.  I asked:  “Remember this place?”   but I  shouldn’t have asked that of many who have never heard of what happened there, a little over a hundred years ago.

So, imagine another “still place” — a faraway place in Knock, Ireland, and some people are walking past their familiar church, going from one place to another, in a quieter, slower age.     There is a fine misty rain coming down, and a feeling of something pending in the air…something holy….something religious.

The  people sense a  light or a glow beneath a gable  of the church.   They walk more closely to the church, and they begin to see some figures there, not against the wall of the church building itself, but at a  litle distance in front of the wall.   They are in white, and being well-versed in their religion and in the knowledge of the people in the Gospels,  the fifteen witnesses recognize the figures.  

Although the tableau was a little off-center, according to the witnesses,  the figures were focused on the Lamb on the Altar, standing in front of a cross.  There were small angel figures, bowing in adoration.  To the side was St. John, with a “Gospel” in his hands, as though ready to teach the Gospel truth about the Lamb of God.   The Virgin Mary was there, and St. Joseph was there, inclining his head slightly, in respect.   

It was an apparition, plain and simple.  It looked and felt heavenly.  But there was no explanation to them , not from any of the figures before them, neither in their ears,  nor in their thoughts.   No words.  The figures appeared in silence and remained silent.

Why?  What does it mean?   Where is the message?   What are we supposed to learn  from this?  What are we supposed to do?   What is the point?   What is the lesson?

The questions themselves shatter the stillness and bring a kind of utilitarian complexity to the event.

And yet, throughout the 130 years afterwards, the apparition draws many millions, and teaches those who can learn in the silence of their hearts.

I may not write about Knock again, not anytime soon, but I think I can say I know how the meaning can begin to come.

The figure that the people recognized as the Mother of the Lamb appeared in a white gown with four flowing folds, graceful and full of dignity.   But it was her hands that they noticed most.  They were extend slightly and about to be folded together in prayer, but they seemed to be reaching out first, to invite all people to prayer, deep prayer, pure, holy, dignified prayer to Our God.  

If ever we can achieve this, we will have also achieved a state of profound stillness in our soul.   This is when we’re ready to learn what the apparition at Knock came to tell.

ASH WEDNESDAY (S.R.O.)

February 17, 2010

I discovered something:

For a Sure-Fire Whiz-Bang  Kick-Start beginning to your Lenten fast, try a two-hour stint in the dentist’s chair.    In the morning.

What not to eat will not be a problem for the next couple of days.

And for a reminder that we are Dust and we will crumble up  to Dust once  again….your teeth are happy to oblige for the lesson.

Afterwards:I went here….or under there, actually.      Got out of the dentist 25 minutes before I needed to be there;  it’s a 15 minute drive….I thought I had “plenty of time.”

Well,. I didn’t.  By the time I got there it was Standing Room Only.    In fact, the Standing Room Only was Standing Room Only.   I think there were people having trouble getting all the way in through the doors.   That’s a good thing, I think.  A good sign.

It was good to see our bishop there too.   I’m not really un-tall, but there were a lot of men in front of me.   But by a coincidence of  heads and shoulders placement, I had a direct view straight up to the front, so I could see the bishop.   

That was nice, too, although it was a little disconcerting seeing him walk around …things…up there.    No altar, really.    I could not stay for the whole “service.”      

I’ll have some serious missal-time later.   Did you know you could send your Guardian Angel to the Altar, when you cannot go? 

(more…)

NIGHT WATCH

December 24, 2009

They went to work this night, as usual.    Checked the time of day.   Checked the weather.    Checked the gossip; nothing unusual happening.     Packed some food, a little to drink; and heavy blanket for a cloak.  

They locate the flocks in the dim twilight.   And they sat, and waited.   Waited for any sign of trouble, which rarely comes in the cold countryside.   Waited as the last traveler passes by, and the little town across the fields drifts into  silence.     The sheep calm down into drowsiness, and the night deepens into still darkness.

It was an ordinary night at work.  That’s all that was expected.

The sheep they were attending each night were destined for the big city nearby, where they would be brought to the Temple for religious sacrifices.  The rulers of the Temple would decide which sheep had value, which did not.   These shepherds who knew each of their sheep would have no say in their final destiny.   Shepherds had no status, no importance in the world around them.  

Only the sheep, and the little lambs, cared whether the shepherds showed up each night.

Then unexpectedly….suddenly….. . .It was to this countryside that the Lamb of God appeared, outside of Jerusalem, in nearby Bethlehem.  Luke tells the story:   And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.  And, behold, the Angel of the LORD stood by them, and the glory of the LORD shone round about them, saying….Fear not, I bring YOU tidings of great joy!   For this day is born to YOU a Savior which is Christ the LORD.

And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:   Glory to God in the Highest!  Peace on Earth to men of good will!

Simple shepherds.   Simple work.    Simple men of good will.

 

GUARDIAN ANGEL ON THE JOB

November 21, 2009

It’s been a day of pleasant errands, but the lesson to keep in mind is:  Sometimes you can be so busy with your To Do list that you forget your Must Do list!First stop:   the thrice-yearly Used Book Sale at our local library.  Very successful!   Saw friends there and….and the books.  I can explain every one that came home with me….anyway, it doesn’t matter how many….I’m the one who collects book cases….

Next stop, The Wooden Skate Antique and Jewelry Shop.  It really looks like that cute little village in the upper left corner.   They’re having a sale and I was hoping to find an old rosary.  They were made so much more durable back when.   No luck…but “success” I suppose –  I didn’t buy anything else.

Next a trip to our friendly butcher who has now reserved an “organic, free-range, non-injected, locally grown” turkey for us.    Thanksgiving Dinner successfully planned.

Next, a stop at the annual Christmas Craft Show.   So much fun!   I got a few little gifts here  (photos NOT shown!) and I got a couple little fun things for me.These are pretty little zippered bags to put my cell phone in and my camera and my digital recorder so they won’t bash into each other when they’re all in my purse.    The Black Shiny Things are lumps of coal!   I’ll use them when I teach the parents’ group during Advent…..I mean, just for the sake of “history” – what we used to do to our naughty children on St. Nicholas Day.  But there’s a cute little poem that they came with.  It starts:  “Shame, shame, you’ve not been good!  No fancy gifts for you!”  

The big blue bag is for notecards in my purse.  I write good little quotes on notecards as well as conjugations of Greek verbs, etc., etc.  You know, stuff you want to keep looking at so you don’t forget them….

Speaking of forgetting…another ear-splitting reminder from the one who “is committed to ruling and governing me”  today.  (aka the Guardian Angel)This is where the craft sale was.  I forgot it was High Noon, and as I was walking   on that sidewalk  on my way to the Little Red Car, the Angelus Bells suddenly start ringing.    Ringing Out!   About 30 feet over my head.    With a smile, at first:  “In nomine Patri, et filii…”      But the bells kept getting louder and louder…by the time I got to “Ecce ancilla Domini”  I couldn’t think any further….Aaaargh!     Ecce me already!     I’m doing it!   I’m saying the prayer…Stop those bells!

But I really do like hearing those bells from my own home, a half a mile away.    I guess I’m the kind that needs a (loud) reminder of what they’re for, once in a while.  

I guess I’m really thankful for them.

And now…on to the Game!   It’s still Saturday!

CHIMES OF ANGELS

November 16, 2009

I’m so lucky to have this drawing.    It was drawn by hand by a friend of my son’s more than ten years ago.   It has an honored place by my music things.   The “timing” was wrong for her and my son to get together, and someone else has the pleasure of being her mother-in-law,  but we are friends, now, just two women-friends.  

Neither of us believe angels look like this, but the picture has some beautiful elements in it.   

I thought of it today after my Monday afternoon class.  It was a small class today, and perhaps that helped us “open up” a bit.   We were discussing Gabriel and the specific things he said to the Blessed Virgin when she was learning about the Son she was to give birth to.   (Luke 1:31-33)   

The class then began to discuss how we “know” things from the heavenly realm, whether it be an angel or the Lord Himself.    I listened in astonishment as these conservative, unassuming people began telling about the times they definitely knew that a “communication” or an “answer” had been given to them.

Oh, there was nothing sensational in their stories, just quiet confirmations of their faith in a variety of ways.    I thought, if  ordinary people like us can have gentle communications from Heaven, then how wonderful it would be to fully comprehend  that we are surrounded by such loving care and attention! 

Each little story I heard today about these angels felt like a sweet little chime that sounded, just below our ability to hear, but musical and lovely just the same;  heavenly music notes.

Now,  I have far fewer CDs than anyone else I know, but I do have two kinds of instrumental music CDs.  One is bagpipes, of course, but I also have a  CD of just chimes.     Soft, sweet, and hardly audible in places;  just a hint of tiny musical notes, not very much stronger than the hint we have of the heavenly realm watching over us.

I’m also not known to care for “modern music” very much, but I do really like the Glass Harmonica.     It too plays lovely ethereal music that sends one’s senses heavenward.  Here is a picture of one in a nice wooden case.   It’s unfortuante that the orchestras took a turn towards heavy strings and brass, but I suppose this instrument is more suited to a private home and to private thoughts.

It is said that the rascal Benjamin Franklin was quite good at it.