Sunday, November 24, 2013

Monday Morning Meditation #83: God Sends Us Angels

Having finished the Book of Jeremiah, I decided rather than continuing forward in the King James Bible, I would go back and pick up those books in the Catholic Bible which are not in the King James. I know them less well, and I find them intriguing. This week I began the book of Tobit, another interesting individual, like Jeremiah, from whom we can all learn. To me, so far into the chapters, it is not clear whether Tobit is a historical figure or the hero of a religious tale (novel/novella). I believe most scholars would label Tobit the latter. (For making such determinations of Biblical genre, I have found very helpful a book by a leader of religious education, Margaret Nutting Ralph: And God Said What?)

I find the writing very synoptic. Whole stories are expressed by just 1-2 sentences. Yet, one knows that much transpired and wishes to know the ins and outs of what happened, as well as the emotions associated with the happenings. Oh, well, one has to take the tale as the author presents it.

Because of this synoptic approach, every verse is rich and full and leads one to reflection. The two verses that pulled me into reflection this week were:
16 At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.

17 So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes, so that he might again see God's sunlight; and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. For Tobiah had the right to claim her before any other who might wish to marry her.In the very moment that Tobit returned from the courtyard to his house, Raguel's daughter Sarah came downstairs from her room.
Reading: Tobit 3: 16-17.
Meditation: I believe in the power of prayer. I have seen it in the lives of those around me, and I have felt it in my own life. Like Tobit and Sarah, there have been times when an angel has been sent to help. I have written about these times before in this blog, but, reading these verses this morning, I cannot help but once again think about those instances. The easiest way to share them with readers who have not read about them earlier or who have forgotten them is to provide the links.

(1) Twice, God sent me a special being to help. Once, I was in agony with a urine infection and hours from any kind of medical help. I prayed only for an increase in my normally high threshold of pain. Instead, God sent me warm hands that took away not only the pain but also the infection and gave me two hours of sleep in all that remained of the night that totally refreshed me. Another time, I had fallen and torn the rotator cuff of my right arm. I did not ask for help, other than to make the right medical decisions, but God sent help, anyway. A touch on my arm during Mass completely healed the injury -- and spooked the orthopedic surgeon. The link is here: Healings.

(2) My daughter, Lizzie, never asked for help, either, but God sent her an angel, anyway. In this case, the angel was a construction worker -- who did not exist. I related the facts as a story in a collection of tales from the Middle East (I was living there at the time). Everything before the dotted line is fact; the ending (after the dotted line) was added for narrative effect. The link is here: The Merging.

Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to thank God again for the angels that have been sent to us and the kind help that we have received -- not always in the way we envisioned and not always as a result of our asking but of our need. I will promise God to do everything to make myself worthy of such love although I know that God's love is freely given and there is nothing I can do to earn it; all I can really do is live as God would have me live, to make my life a love song to God. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.

I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:

Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)

For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.


  1. I too have had experiences like those you've outlined. Prayer is amazing ...

  2. Meditation is very helpful. It's probably one of the simplest methods to calm our soul and to achieve inner peace.
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