angels in Scripture and tradition


No matter what your faith (Catholic, Quaker, Church of England, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic, atheist of anything else), it pays not to waste your time and money on buying ‘New Age rubbish’. Not only is most badly made and over-packaged, but you could be in danger of ‘playing around with energies’ that could do harm.

There’s nothing wrong with not following a particular religion (nor seeking spiritual wisdom through books by wise writers). But priests in England say they roll their eyes when they see ‘spiritual evenings’ being advertised in village halls, as it means they will be getting phone calls from people who have seen ‘strange happenings’ after buying pendulums, tarot cards or unethically-mined crystals to ‘grant wishes’.

If you visit a high street bookstore (say ‘The Works‘ where all the unsold books end up before being pulped), you’ll be hard-pressed to find real wisdom. There are many authors of every faith, who can inspire spiritual peace. Just buy yourself a few good books that ‘sing to your soul’ and be done with it.

should you communicate with Angels?

This is an example of ‘selling to gullible souls’. We are told to ‘look for white feathers’ on the ground (leading some bereaved people to wonder why they have not seen white feathers – which likely are from seagulls!) Someone’s genuine search for peace is being turned into a consumerist plastic-laden business, preying on the vulnerable.

Angels and Saints is the ultimate guide to what angels really all are about, by a professor of Catholic theology. Learn who angels are, whether you have a Guardian angel (both Testaments suggest strong evidence that you do!), what the Catholic church teaches about angels, learn of their ranks and whether you should fear ‘fallen angels’.

Author Mary Drahos writes of the modern tendency to ‘talk to angels’, which has resulted in many people setting up novelty shops selling trinkets and cherubs to the anxious masses. But she writes that the issue is that people now ‘want angels to help them’ rather than old-school rules (of any religion) that you often get back what you give out. She writes:

For those who choke too easily on God and His rules, angels are the handy compromise, all fluff and meringue, kind, nonjudgement. And they avail themselves to everyone, like aspirin’.

In fact, angels are not ‘replacements for God’, but beings who serve Jesus Christ. They never existed to find parking spaces for people, or grant access to your dream soulmate or job. Just like Catholic saints, angels are meant to help us look at how we live our lives, and grow spiritually to serve God and others. No matter what your faith, it’s always good to apply the classic words of Jesus – ‘By their fruits you shall know them’. If an angel shop owner or therapist is trying to sell you lots of plastic tat to ‘find inner peace’, it’s likely not authentic. Don’t get scared by religious zealots who try to scare people out of exploring other faiths, but don’t fall for consumerist ‘angel business’ either.

There’s barely a town in Ireland that doesn’t have an angel therapist, dedicated to putting you in touch with your own winged messengers, who can solve everything from birth trauma to getting a parking place outside Tesco. The reason this bogus spirituality-lite appeals to the vulnerable or ignorant is that it offers the bliss of religious experience, without personal effort. It usually comes packaged with a convenient kind of narcissism, which ‘as long as you are true to yourself’, you are deemed to be a good person. And because it’s essentially meaningless, it fits in nicely with your existing beliefs and prejudices. It’s religion, with all the trouble taken out. Fionola Meredith

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