For a long time I wasn't sure what to believe about God. I was raised Catholic, but a lot of the beliefs of the Catholic church were not consist with my idea of God. Although Pope Francis is changing this, to some degree.
I read lots of different books to try to find God. As I mentioned in a previous post, the books on Near Death Experiences (NDE) were the ones that were the most helpful. For one thing, they are poorly written. The authors have clearly never aspired to be writers, and often they didn't want to write the book at all. So writing a book about their near death experience didn't seem like a ploy to get published.
The most convincing of these books was "My Descent into Death," by Howard Storm, because he went to hell before he went to heaven. Who would admit to that? Plus, throughout the book he continued to argue and complain to God and never seemed particularly pious, which made his account seem even more genuine.
Storm dedicates an entire chapter to angels at the end of his book. I have always liked the idea of angels but did not realize they were so numerous and so involved in our lives. I thought we might have a guardian angel and that there were a bunch in heaven, singing and rejoicing when we arrived, but that's about it.
Storm says that angels always want to intervene and help us but aren't allowed to do so unless God gives them permission. And when people with NDE's come back to earth and are depressed about it, usually because they have sustained horrible injuries from their accident that take years to recover from, angels appear to them to give them encouragement.
Even research shows that praying for other people helps. My theory is that when we pray for someone else, God allows angels to intervene. So now most of my prayers include angels. If I'm having a really hard time, I ask God to temporarily send me a few extra angels to get me through. Or if someone I know is suffering, I tell God to send that person one of my angels so they can have extra.
And of course, when UVA is losing, I occasionally resort to prayer and ask God to send an angel to help them win.
The winter is always a hard time for me, because most forms of depression are affected by lack of sunlight. Plus I am still getting used to being alone and having to be proactive if I want to see anyone, and I don't have much energy to do so. And this holiday I don't have a lot planned to look forward to. Ordinarily, even if I'm feeling depressed, I can still get into Christmas. But not this year. I haven't even bought my gifts yet, and usually I am compulsively early about everything.
But there's still time, and I'm hopeful that at some point something will kick in and I will be able to embrace the holidays with the enthusiasm that I apply to all of the things I love. At least that's what I pray for.
And if you believe in angels, feel free to ask God to send a couple of extras my way.
|Photo courtesy of Jennifer Harvey Frye|