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Sunday Sermonette: Necessary Angels by David Warren

I am persuaded that no system of government — democratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, monarchical, tyrannical, oriental despotic or worse, liberal-progressive — can deliver anything resembling justice in this world unless it is under the direction of angels. And not just any angels, but the good ones, as opposed to the fallen angels — “all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls” — also known as demons. Alas, in our modern world, no one (excluding a very few saints) can see them, and they go unacknowledged.

This was not true of any traditional society of which I am aware, Christian or non-Christian. I stress this last point having read an awful lot of comparative religion in my time, and having lived for extended periods some considerable distance “abroad.” These foreigners may have different words for angels and demons (this is generally the case with foreign languages) but it is dead obvious they are referring to the same things, and if you read your Pentateuch with attention you will notice that angels were not only sent among the People Israel, but among all peoples.

As Baudelaire said, of an earlier iteration of this modern world: “Everyone believes in God, but nobody loves Him. No one believes in the Devil, and yet his smell is everywhere.”

RTWT @ Essays in Idleness [HT: Bird Dog]

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  • Hale Adams August 26, 2018, 12:38 PM

    I should read Warren more often. I first ran into his work about 15 or 20 years ago via Instapundit, I think. He was a columnist at the Ottawa Citizen in those days, and his columns were always refreshing to read, compared to the usual MSM dreck. The ones he would write about goings-on in South Asia were usually pretty illuminating, as he had spent his boyhood in the 1950s in Pakistan (his father was a Canadian diplomat who was posted there, as I recall) and some of his early adulthood in southeast Asia.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • ghostsniper August 26, 2018, 2:25 PM

    This reminds me of a cartoon I seen where 2 scientists are standing at a chalkboard covered with heavy mathematical equations leading down to the right corner of the chalkboard and a note that says, “here, a miracle occurs”.

  • rabbit tobacco August 26, 2018, 5:26 PM

    You can go to any church in most any town and ask do you ‘believe in God’, and they would answer yes. But then ask them if they ‘believe God’ (you see many churches pick and choose what they want to believe within God’s Holy word.)

  • hooodathunkit August 26, 2018, 6:40 PM

    Angels huh? Be wary, and consider the first utterance when angels appear is “Be not afraid”.

  • Casey Klahn August 26, 2018, 8:15 PM

    Angels in the halls of government? Hmmm. That does get one thinking.

    More of them, please. The good ones, that is.

  • Dan Fowler August 27, 2018, 6:24 AM

    Apparently the entire charasmatic Christian universe is also invisible to Warren. There are many congregations alive and well throughout the world where spiritual gifts are regularly used to discern demonic presence and where the wreckage of demonic influence in the lives of people is treated, healed, and removed. I have seen, felt, and discerned their presence myself.

  • Jack August 27, 2018, 7:46 AM

    Dan Fowler, I have also attended Charismatic churches and I’ve seen with a clean, conscious and open mind, the movement of the Holy Spirit and some very unusual events that will simply not be seen in main line denominations. And, I have been the recipient of God’s touch on only one occasion; an event that left me completely stunned, wondering “what the heck just happened….” and wanting to experience it again, but I never did. I have always wondered what it meant, what was God doing in that instance and how then should I live?

    Warren says that only a few saints can see them and I believe that is true. In the numerous instances I have seen the movement of the Holy Spirit His presence was made known through lay people, members of the congregation, whose lives were totally dedicated to the Lord, and occasionally with a minister.

  • ghostsniper August 27, 2018, 8:26 AM

    “…an event that left me completely stunned…”

    What was it?

  • Dan Fowler August 27, 2018, 12:21 PM

    Jack. Yes and Amen. For the last 7 months since moving here, I have been regularly stunned and left in wonder by the Holy Spirit. Just two weeks ago I was gifted with (a Divine download; which lasted the entire night and into the next day), that reprogrammed my entire lifetime of memories and the paradigm I had naturally developed and lived in since childhood, such that it removed all the pain, shame, guilt, judgement, yuck, I had carried these many years, implanted within me from a very dysfunctional family of origin. Many liturgical Christians (Catholic, Orthodox) and mainline Protestant believers willfully exist in a prison of their intellect and thereby will rarely experience a modern, supernatural, “stunning”, holy, good, healing, renewing, joyful, on and on, wonderful all, work of the Spirit.

  • Alma August 27, 2018, 1:31 PM

    “If you want, the Virgin will come walking
    down the street pregnant
    with Light and
    sing . . .”
    St. John of the Cross
    The numinous is difficult, if not impossible, to describe. Maybe that perceived presence is just the natural world suffused with a subjective, personal meaning which someone else would not find extraordinary at all-lightning, birds, encounters with strangers. Disembodied voice and touch, connections, synchronicity-maybe just the product of sleep deprivation or a trick of the mind. Is stigmata the result of the power of suggestion or religious hysteria or does the supernatural break through to our world at times? I’m sure faith has something to do with it, but it’s an evil generation that asks for a sign. Regardless of the cause or the character of the particular event, you will not be able to convince anyone who has experienced the numinous that it isn’t “real”.

  • Casey Klahn August 27, 2018, 2:08 PM

    A favorite spiritual by some authentic buskers made internet famous. There is a God.

  • Vanderleun August 27, 2018, 7:28 PM

    I’ll see your spoon lady and raise you Nick Cave….

  • Casey Klahn August 27, 2018, 9:09 PM

    GV: good one! The more badass, the better!

  • John Venlet August 28, 2018, 11:44 AM

    I dropped David this note about angels when he wrote the essay you linked to.

    Today’s “Essay in Idleness” brings to mind for myself my Dad. Twice during his life, both times when he was near death; the second time he did leave this earth; my Dad asked me if I could see “the woman in a white dress.”

    The first time this occurred I was 16 years old, and my Mum and I were with my Dad in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Philadelphia, PA. His body was shutting down, due to extreme complications resulting from a burst appendix. He spent 30 days in the ICU unit. Anyway, my Mum and I were with him in his ICU room and he asked us both if we could see the woman in a white dress. Even in his weak and exhausted state at that time, he raised his hand and pointed to where she was for us. All we could see was the ICU room wall. Shortly after this event, he passed into sleep, and within one week was back home with us. A minor miracle, to our minds, considering the ill state he had been in at that time.

    The second time my Dad asked me if I could see “the woman in the white dress” was the evening before he died. I was sitting with him, once again in a hospital. I could sense, I guess, that his life was passing from him that night. He was weak, exhausted, and could barely acknowledged my presence except with a glance of his eyes. As I was sitting there with him, he all of a sudden lifted himself from his pillow and asked me to open the door the woman in the white dress was standing alongside. I asked him “Where, Dad?,” and he pointed at the hospital room wall. I said to my Dad, again, “Where, Dad?,” and even got up from my chair to closer investigate the area he was pointing at, which was just a wall. My Dad said, “Right there, John, can’t you see her and the door?” I had to tell my Dad, “No, I can’t Dad, I’m sorry.”

    This exasperated my Dad, and he collapsed back down on his pillow. He did not speak again, to me, or anyone else in my family, and he died 12 hours later with his 8 kids and my Mum around his bedside softly singing hymns of praise.

    I do not know with certainty that the woman in the white dress was his angel, but I do think and believe it was.

  • pbird August 29, 2018, 1:04 PM

    All of this nonsense about the Virgin would outrage and embarrass the girl who gave birth to Messiah.

  • Alma August 29, 2018, 9:07 PM

    I believe she would say be it unto me according to thy word.
    “A genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the miraculous also.”
    ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
    “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
    –Saint Maximilian Kolbe
    “In the early twelfth century century the Virgin had been the supreme protectress of civilisation. She had taught a race of tough and ruthless barbarians the virtues of tenderness and compassion. The great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were her dwelling places upon earth. In the Renaissance, while remaining the Queen of Heaven, she became also the human mother in whom everyone could recognise qualities of warmth and love and approachability…
    The stabilising, comprehensive religions of the world, the religions which penetrate to every part of a man’s being–in Egypt, India or China–gave the female principle of creation at least as much importance as the male, and wouldn’t have taken seriously a philosophy that failed to include them both…It’s a curious fact that the
    all-male religions have produced no religious imagery–in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle.”
    ― Kenneth Clark, Civilisation
    https://youtu.be/h1Eebt_lgXM

  • Alma August 30, 2018, 1:36 PM

    Back to the subject of angels and of a more masculine genius, at least up to a point-
    http://studiomatters.com/angel-guardians-a-survey