Advent 2 – Sunday, December 9, 2018 – Angelic Realms

Do these statements relate to your Christian life? If yes, how so? “It is a heart movement, not a head movement; In shadowland where light can appear a shadow. The closer we get to light the more shadows we see.” If you wish, use the space at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts and experiences with others.

From a podcast by Br. Robert L’Esperance, SSJE

(hear the whole podcast here)

Genesis 28:10-17robert
Revelation 12:7-12
John 1:47-51

This afternoon, I want to say two things about angels and encounters with angels.  First, that it seems to me that all angelic encounters are first and foremost about being open to the Other and intimacy with otherness.  And second, that the mission of angels is bound up with the presence of both light and shadow in each of our lives and that all of our lives are bound up in angelic realms.

Talking about angels pushes us into that most remarkable region of the human mind that is able to entertain ideas and experiences that exceed our conceptual grasp. Belief and myth fall into this region.  Religion was born in a world that had little use for the modern idea that belief has to do with intellectual assent to hypothetical and dubious propositions.  Belief in its spiritual sense means to “prize, to value; to hold dear.”  It’s a heart movement not a head movement, having much more in common with intuition than rational thought.  It is closely connected to the concept of faith which in its biblical sense means “trust, loyalty, engagement, commitment.”  Jesus set great store on faith but he wasn’t at all interested in whether people believed in him in the sense that we most often use that word.  He wanted commitment not intellectual assent.

So if we are to talk about angels, or anything else to do with concepts that are beyond our conceptual grasp we have to, in a sense, return to that pre-modern world of thought where religious ideas were born.  We have to admit, as all pre-modern people knew, that myths are fundamentally expression of Truth.   Angels are beings born in the language of myth.  Religion, faith, belief are always about a kind of experiential thinking that of necessity moves from our normal patterns of thinking.  I know angels exist not because I can think “angels” but because my heart can know angels in a way that my head never can.

[Read Br. L’Esperance’s entire meditation here]

One thought on “Advent 2 – Sunday, December 9, 2018 – Angelic Realms

  1. “It’s the heart, not the head thing” grabs my attention; after 6 months of contentious political campaigning where car tires were punctured, car hood and doors were keyed, ego driven falsehoods printed on pricey district mailers contrasted with the daily hard gritty door to door earning each valued vote then still losing by 21 votes…is it the heart or the head that rules? If angels are calling me to my better senses–don’t overthink life, just go out and live it–then we won. Values and integrity were preserved; hearts of love not malice/malicious juvenile tactics were preserved..the light is indeed full of shadows but shines brighter because its purpose is clear. Angels help–“this way, not that way…”

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