Posts Tagged ‘angels’

 

Ministers of Earthly Blessings

Posted on: June 16th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

Angels are first mentioned in the Talmud in Masechet Brachot 4b. Quoting a Tosefta, we learn the number of flights an angel needs to get from one place to the next. Michael needs only one flight. Gabriel two. Elijah the Prophet, who was assumed into heaven and at times travels the earth, needs four flights. The Angel of Death needs eight flights. Except during a plague.

.וּמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת — בִּשְׁמֹנֶה. וּבִשְׁעַת הַמַּגֵּפָה, בְּאֶחָת

And the Angel of Death, in eight. During a time of plague, in one.

During a plague – when death feels ubiquitous – the Angel of Death needs only one flight. In a pandemic, the Angel of Death is as powerful in flight as the Archangel Michael. Right now, it certainly seems like the Angel of Death has stronger wings then ever, empowered by the twin plagues of Covid-19 and virulent racism, the twin plagues of virus and hate that are claiming lives.

Ministers of Earthly Blessings
The angel of death
Has new wings
And leaps in powerful bounds
To claim souls
For heaven.

And why do we lend ourselves to this cause,
When plagues still stalk the earth?
The plague of disease that strangles from within.
The plague of violence that strangles from without.

We are the ministers of healing,
The angels of righteousness,
Touched by the Holy One,
The emissaries of earthly blessings.
We are the wings of life,
And the agents of change,
In the streets,
In the courts,
In the hospitals and clinics,
In our homes and in our communities.

Give love your power.
Give justice your voice.
Give truth the work of your hands.

Let us fly more swiftly than the plague itself,
Spreading hope and healing
Throughout the land.
We are the wings of wholeness.
We are the wings of peace.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript:

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Spiritual Vandals

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

A song of the Spiritual Traveler, the one who has a profoundly unexpected experience with angels at the gates of mercy. As a result of that one moment, the Spiritual Traveler will never be the same again. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Spiritual Vandals
At the gates of an ancient city
A spiritual vandal cracked into my heart.
Stunned,
Expecting the blood of my grief and shame
To sizzle on the hot stone,
Ready to shout,
‘How dare you touch that sacred place,’
I saw a river of light flowing through me.
Starlight. Moonlight. Sunlight. Your light. My light.
Light from the moment of creation.
So much radiance and glory.
Suddenly on my knees,
My forehead on the pilgrim’s path,
I wept.

Now I wait at the gates
For you.
To invite you close,
To let me see the fissure in your heart
Ready to burst,
To touch it with love,
To crack you open
So that you can see the majesty and the beauty
That flows through us all.

Listen,
Dear sisters, dear brothers:
Do not fear the vandals who guard
The gates of mercy.
For mercy is love,
And love is light,
And light seeks light,
And these angels only want to show
That it’s been inside you
All along.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

Postscript: See also “Come Walk.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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