Wednesday, September 29, 2004

St Michael and All Angels?

Writing in the Aff Cath magazine (I'm deliberately not posting a link to their website, as it is woefully out of date at the moment :-( ) Perran Gay says
"I'm not sure what I believe about angels...but I'm always grateful that they form a part of the whole Christian understanding of things. Their mysterious being and presence remind us that there is much more to God's nature and God's providence than we can ever fully understand, and that we may draw closer to understanding that mystery throught the language of poetry and music than through the rigours of theological analysis"
I liked that. Though I sometimes get terribly fraught and frustrated when I simply cannot tie up loose theological ends (I guess all those years of studying English lit and trying to determine why a particular arrangement of words works better than another one could be to blame there) I have to acknowledge that it was the way that poetry and music conveyed the inexpressible that initially brought me to worship. What happened during daily Evensong in King's Chapel was, for example, somehow more real than most of the other activities of a busy student life...My Bishop, Michael Perham, says in his
New Handbook of Pastoral Liturgy that worship is designed to help us to "grasp the heel of heaven": it is terrifying how rarely that expectation goes with us into our churches,- but when it does, the angels are back again.

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