My favorite angels…

As I have shared in previous posts, I was raised in the Catholic faith. And while I no longer observe or follow the traditions of that faith, it does still hold for me some things I simply cannot leave behind. One of those being angels…

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I mean, who doesn’t connect with and adore angels? Angels are God’s messengers, fantastical transcendent beings that exist between Heaven and Earth. Angels burn with a pure goodness from within – they glow full of love and light. Their appearance typically signifies a major turn in the course of human events; often they deliver messages from departed loved ones or “The Man Upstairs.” This divine angel construct is best represented for me in the scene above from “Angels in America,” with the fabulous Emma Thompson as the Angel, wings slowly folding and unfolding, floating divinely in space, delivering a message. This was my original view of angels – bright and beautiful, Heaven-sent and divine, without flaw or imperfection. Then I became older and more worldly, and my perception of angels changed a bit.

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In the film “Constantine,” I got to consider the Angel Gabriel, played to delicious perfection by one of my all-time favorite actresses, Tilda Swinton. This Gabriel was raw and gritty, definitely not the image of divine perfection I had grown to associate with angels as a good little Catholic boy attending Our Most Pure Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Shelby, Ohio. And, as with many roles played by Tilda Swinton, this Gabriel walked a more gender neutral line, which is how I had grown up with the notions of angels. This Gabriel was human and divine, dark and light and, by the end of the film, had lost his wings.

Then I met Shahat…

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I met Shahat while watching “American Horror Story/Asylum.” Shahat is the Angel of Death or, more appropriately, The Angel of The Pit. My Shahat is played by the amazing actress Frances Conroy, who bestows upon Shahat a frail and uncommon beauty, a pale grace that is comforting and soothing. In my early days of “Catholic-dom,” I had always envisioned The Angel of Death to be some dark, horrible vision that brought pain and suffering before the end. The Shahat I have come to know is gentle and kind, someone who ends pain and suffering rather than inflicting it. And those wings. OMG, those wings…

I am crazy about each of the angels listed above. Additionally, each has helped me reshape my whole concept of angels which has evolved substantially since my First Holy Communion days. I have come to realize that angels are as much human as divine and that we probably interact with some every day.

I know for sure there is ONE angel in my life, my beloved Martin. He is supportive and loving and comforting and, I think, glows from within with an amazing light. It is no surprise to anyone that has met Martin that my pet name for him is “My Angel.” He came into my life and certainly saved me from a dull, loveless existence. He truly is MY angel.

My angel Martin doesn’t have awesome wings – yet! – but I’m sure he will…

2 responses to “My favorite angels…

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