31 Days of De-Stressed Living, Day 10: Entertain Angels

dining-room1Sometimes when the burdens of life get really heavy, I kind of look around for my guardian angel. I’m pretty sure I’d recognize mine in a line-up: the one with the gray hair and the perpetually mystified look (“What on EARTH is she doing NOW?!”) When things go wrong, it can be comforting to think about the next life, when wrongs will be righted, the virtuous will prevail, and the only tears will be happy ones.

Recently I was talking with an author friend about the “robe of glory” that clothed our first parents prior to the Fall, the resplendent covering of light that, when sin entered the world, disappeared so that they immediately felt the need to cover their own nakedness (Gen 3:7).

This instinct to “cover” continues, and will continue until we reach the perfection of heaven, when that glory will be restored in all its staggering brilliance. Until that time, however, we catch a glimpse of that light in divinely appointed encounters. In a word, we will “entertain angels unawares.”

We find examples of this throughout the Bible (though admittedly some interactions were more entertaining than others). Jacob wrestled with the angel, and got a displaced hip and a new name. Abraham set a feast before his visitors as his wife laughed in their tent, and within a year she became a mother. There are seventeen encounters with angels in the New Testament: an angel appears to a young teenager, and reveals her destiny: to become the virgin mother of the Son of God. Another sets loose Peter from prison in Acts 12, and rescues Paul from shipwreck in chapter 27.

These divine interventions continue today — brief flashes of heavenly intervention. And yet, not all angels are of the shiny winged variety. Frankly, some of them are more of a whisper than a flash. Sent as messages from the hand of God, when we “entertain” them, our lives are transformed, and begin to shine with a glimmer heavenly glory, as we begin to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in so doing some have entertained angels unawares (Heb 13:2).

Happy Feasting!

Ebeth has posted this week’s Catholic Carnival at “A Catholic Mum Climbing the Pillars.” We foiled her in her “Valentine’s Day” theme … but it is still well worth reading. Enjoy!

Sunday was a special feastday … although I didn’t get anything posted about it (I don’t think she’ll mind … St. Scholastica perfected the feminine virtue of hiddenness.) Instead, four dear friends and I gathered for our annual “Ladies’ Tea.”
Our friendship goes back more than a decade, when I first moved to Michigan to take the managing editor’s job at Servant Publications. Shortly thereafter, I joined St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor, MI … and started hanging out with Katy, Denise, Lilian, and Patty. At the time, none of us were married or had any children, and so we got together and started praying for our future husbands.
Within a year, three of us (myself included) were married, and a fourth had adopted a child from Ukraine. Fast forward years later, and we still make a point of getting together to pray for one another and catch up on each others’ lives. Usually over pints of tea and plates of treats (good thing I didn’t give up chocolate for Lent this year)!
Each time we get together, I wonder why we don’t make these visits more frequent … and each time, I am grateful for the time we do spend together. I imagine it’s sort of like how Scholastica felt for her twin brother, St. Benedict. (You can read the story here.) Or here.
To be frank, the information we have about St. Scholastica is a bit sketchy … only one story, captured in the hagiography of St. Gregory the Great. Still, I wear her medallion around my neck (along with St. Edith and St. Teresa of Avila) whenever I do any serious writing for one single reason: She understood when it was time to stop arguing, and to step back and let God intervene.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. In honor of this feast, I’d like to recommend a little gem of a recording called “Famous Blue Raincoat,” by Jennifer Warnes. “Song of Bernadette” and “Joan of Arc” are both wonderful cuts in this album (you can listen to a snippet by clicking on the link). Well worth getting.
Yesterday at tea, Patty talked about her trip last spring to Medjugorje (I always get this apparition confused with Fatima). I understand from Patty that one of the “children” (now an elderly priest) is visited on the 25th of each month by the Blessed Mother — although no one can see her but him. I wonder why she would do that … have a standing appointment at a specific place and time, but not let anyone else see her but the original “seer.” Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Lourdes is a different story. There are many, many accounts of people receiving healing from the spring where Bernadette once stood … and many more who receive the spiritual graces they need to endure. (Of course, I readily admit that the Blessed Mother can do whatever she wishes, whenever she wants, without it needing to “make sense” to me. I’m just puzzled by it, is all.)
Any thoughts?