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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Angels Not Among Us

In regard to the mystery priest not being a mystery or an angel:

Now, now. I know that you know that people are not angels; not even dead people are angels. Angels are angels, dead people in heaven are saints, and live people on Earth are the body of Christ, the children of God, His hands and feet.

I'm so glad you pointed this out! It's everything I can do sometimes, just to contain myself when some sweet little old lady or some sad young man shakes their head mournfully and says about the recently departed, "Well, now they're an angel in Heaven."  I have clamp my mouth shut so as not to pipe, "No, he isn't. If he made it to Heaven, let's hope, he's a saint. Angels are a separate entity created by God. People can never be angels."  If my mouth started to say this, my finger would also wag. It's directly connected to my mouth.

Worst case scenario, I would be escorted out, still eating some brie on a cracker. Best case scenario, I would be judged as appallingly inconsiderate.

I am not, as a rule, inconsiderate.  I am a stickler for details and facts, though.

So I just choke down some brie and nod sweetly. 

I was referring to the latter thought in your response, that we often function as angels and we don't even realize we've done it. Just like the mystery priest at the accident cite, from the perspective of a person in need, we appear out of nowhere and disappear again, with a comforting word, a dollar, a helping hand. Everyone thought for a while there that an angel had come from Heaven.

An "angel" did come from Heaven. Perhaps we need a new word for those times when people become momentary angels, because we all know it happens all the time. Pangels, maybe, for "people as angels". 

There is a need for this kind of thinking, because we call people saints only when they are good all the time (even thought they are not, technically, saints until they are dead and in Heaven...please pass the crackers....).  But most of us are not good all the time. We do, however, shine once in a while. Sometimes we never know the impact we've had at a critical moment in someone else's life, because we are not even aware that the situation was critical.

You've been on the receiving end of this phenomenon, I'm sure.  That moment when you've given up, sagging with the weight of it all, and the nurse is standing there with a cup of tea and a compassionate smile. Pangel. When you've decided you're unlovable and a friend calls out of the blue .Pangel.  When your car stalls in the left turn lane and you sit there helpless while everyone honks and honks and drives around you, when, suddenly, a group of migrant workers in the beat up truck behind you jumps out and pushes your car to the side of the road into a safe spot. Pangels.   Heaven sent? As far as you're concerned, yes.

And the only requirement to become a pangel is to stop. Just stop for a moment for someone else.

You don't even have to be human.  You know "dog" spelled backwards.....


Kelly Thatcher said...

Saint Helena, of COURSE! (My parish is Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, so I had an advantage here.)

Thanks, Sister, for the word "pangel" -- love it!

And thanks, too, for pointing out what I, too, often groan about. "Now we have another angel in Heaven to watch over us."

Huh??? Can we PLEASE admit the possibility o' that "angel" being in Purgatory? How many prayers are NOT offered because people assume their loved ones are being cuddled in Heaven?

Thanks again,


Danielle said...

Thought you'd like this:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking, maybe it was a real ANGEL that inspired these Good Samaritans to stop and help people in need. Do not Angels inspire us to do good things?

(The Saint for today, August 19, 2013 is St. John Eudes.)

DianeD said...

Maybe an Angel inspired the Priest to stop and be a Good Samaritan! Angels do that you know, inspire us to do good things. And when we do good things we are called a Good Samaritan NOT a Pangel, which does not exist! St. John Eudes is the Saint for today, August 19, 2013.