Michaelmas beginnings

and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

The Feast of St Michael and Angels. The anniversary of my ordination. Of course, I have three such dates, but there is an abiding sense that the first one was a kind of ‘crossing over’ from which there has been no turning back – however much I might have been inclined to do so over the years!
Today is also a good day to return to this blog. Some time overseas followed by pneumonia and pleurisy severely interfered with the amount of energy I had for a pretty full diary and, as they say, ‘something had to give.’ That ‘something was the blog.
Back online now and full of good intention.
All I need is some divine assistance. An angel maybe? One that might whisper in my ear the right thing to say at the right time? Maybe one that would snatch my wrists and guide my two finger typing? Or maybe one who would just whistle up the driveway like the mailman and deliver a postcard with tightly written observations from the heavenly realm?
Because I was ordained on Michaelmas I have wondered a little down the years about angels – St Michael is just one amongst many. As Billy Collins observes, “Of all the questions you might want to ask / about angels, the only one you ever hear / is how many can dance on the head of a pin.” (Billy Collins – ‘Questions about Angels’) . I think there are many more interesting questions besides how much space they take up in the world. (BTW: It is a beautiful poem but Collins is wrong that the medievals only had one question.) I also think that angels are probably way more frightening than the ones on sale in the local gift shop would suggest. As much as I pray for their assistance, I think I would keep my eyes on the ground and my head bowed low.
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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