I have enjoyed conversing with a dear friend on the subject of spirituality and Christian Science. She is a very spiritually minded physician. I’ll never forget our first conversation. It began as we left a parking lot at the end of a shopping trip and went on for a total of three hours as we sat in the car in my driveway. Neither one of us wanted to break the flow of thoughtful conversation.
I wouldn’t say we’ve had many conversations on spirituality, but rather just one ongoing conversation in many venues—sitting side by side on the beach, chatting via e-mail, or face to face across a table. We just pick up where we left off, sharing ideas and resources that inspire us and how we’ve applied these ideas in our daily lives. I love it!
Recently we were discussing the subject of angels. She said that she only thinks of angels at Christmastime. Images of angels do especially fill the landscape at Christmas—heavenly, sweet-faced, ethereal individuals clothed in white flowing garments, with wings, wearing a halo, holding a harp. Realizing that when referring to angels perhaps we weren’t talking about the same thing, I told her that we needed to stop for a moment and define our terms.
Angels, to me, are not personified beings. They are divine and holy ideas that speak to me in a way I can understand, sometimes serious, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, but always relevant. I count on them on a daily basis for inspiration, comfort, and guidance. Even before getting out of bed each morning, I listen for God’s angel thoughts that assure me I am fully supplied by God to meet the demands of the day. Then, I listen for God’s next inspired angel-idea and go forward on the strength of its message.
Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual thinker for the ages, gave a definition of angels that I think beautifully answers the question “What do angels look like?” In the Glossary of her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she wrote: “Angels. God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (p. 581).
God's thoughts are freely given and they are constantly passing to us. And the good news is that we can’t miss them.
We don’t have just one angel, we have many. I’m often asked if we can have just one thought from God per day, and the answer is definitely No. God’s thoughts are freely given and they are constantly passing to us. And the good news is that we can’t miss them. We’ve been hard-wired by God to hear His messages.
Mrs. Eddy challenged the conventional thinking about angels when she wrote: “When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts. Oh, may you feel this touch,—it is not the clasping of hands, nor a loved person present; it is more than this: it is a spiritual idea that lights your path! The Psalmist saith: ‘He shall give His angels charge over thee.’ God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to‐morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the ‘Peace, be still’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 pp. 306–307).
I shared this with my friend and she liked it very much. In fact, she tells me that she has begun entertaining angels at the start of each day and has shared this idea with a friend. Entertaining angel thoughts before getting out of bed—and before racing into the day—is a great way to wake up. Welcoming the angels God sends you and companioning with them throughout the day is an investment of thought and attention that pays beautiful, powerful, health-giving dividends.
Will you join me in welcoming and embracing the angels this Christmas season and throughout the new year? Let’s throw our hearts and arms wide open to God’s comforting messages and messengers of His peace!
Diane Marrapodi is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Forest Hill, Maryland.
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