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Monday December 19, 2022

Monday, December 19, 2022
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71:1-8
Luke 1:5-25

Our readings today speak of angels.

In this modern western culture, we tend to feel uncomfortable with what we call “supernatural” or “paranormal” experiences. But there are no divisions between natural and supernatural. We live in a mystical world.

The word for “angel” in the Hebrew scriptures translates roughly as “one who is sent.” Angels are mystical messengers from God. All the major religions allude to angels.
As a retreat and spiritual director, I’ve heard many angel experiences that I might have discounted earlier in my life. For example, there was the person who fell asleep at the wheel of their car while driving alone one night on the 401. They were saved from a dreadful crash by a voice yelling in their ear, “Wake up!”

And I also hear about spirits wanting to connect with their surviving loved ones after death. There are experiences of contact through skin sensations, smells, sounds, voices, a churning of air density, spots of pressure on the bedspread at night, and rarely, visual appearances. Unfortunately, we usually disregard such perceptions, not realizing they are entirely real and natural. So, we miss a call to hope, a message of comfort, or even a call to act.

My own daughter Ellen, who died nine years ago, visits me frequently, making herself known in several ways. And before she died, she experienced much comfort in seeing a bright light that remained with her throughout her physical suffering.

Barbara Sheppard