Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God's Abiding Presence (Reflections on the Feast of the Archangels, September 29)

It isn't easy for many today to still believe in the reality of angels. In an age which has seen humankind walk on the moon, explore the deepest parts of the ocean, split the atom, and find cures for all sorts of diseases, angels have become more and more, characters and figures belonging to myth and legend, fairy tales and children’s stories.

For many of us today, the world has become a material, mechanical, technical and scientific world which has very little room for the spiritual or anything else that can’t be proven by our senses or our scientific instruments.

It is in the midst of this kind of world and this kind of mindset that the church continues to celebrate the feast of these heavenly creatures who are believed to be not only the servants of God, but also the protectors and guides, defenders and advocates of men and women; unseen beings whose purpose is to safeguard us against the evils and dangers of this world.

More than anything else, the angels are meant to remind us of God’s unceasing care for our well-being. They are meant to remind us that the Providence of God is real. It’s something we need to remember, especially when we sometimes lose hope as we experience disasters, human destructiveness, evil and sin.

Today’s feast is a reminder of God’s abiding presence and care, which we can never fully squeeze out, because we will always need it—no matter how advanced our civilization and society might be.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)