August 28th, 2010

Gabriel's Children

Gabriel sat at the foot of the bed, alone without Michael, Azrael or Raphael.  A child's bed, a place of hope, a bed of limitless suffering, joy, and hope.  Because the adults couldn't hear the angel's prayers anymore and children's minds closely resembled those of God.  He was hoping to bear gifts to some new children, for hope in heaven was waning.  Either the clarion call would be in Heaven or on Earth; The archangels hoped that the horn would trumpet on Earth and awake the sleeping minds of it's inhabitants who seemed bent on Wrath, Lust, Greed, Avarice, Gluttony, Sloth and Envy.  But in the hearts of children God had planted even older and stronger fibers of being:
  • Valour: Pursuit of Courage and Knowledge
  • Generosity: Pursuit of Giving
  • Liberality: Pursuit of Will
  • Diligence: Pursuit of Ethics
  • Patience: Pursuit of Peace
  • Kindness: Pursuit of Charity
  • Humility: Pursuit of Modesty
But Gabriel knelt at the child's bed and prayed for these virtues to not only grow within the hearts of the two children in the room but all children's rooms.  Because the vices would slowly enter their heart and their persuit of personal glory would damn others to misery.  As the sands of the hourglass spill so do the Persuits of Love, often never to be retrieved again.  Nathanael and Serenity knew not the blessing or the hopes bestwoed upon them at their bedside; but as their dark hair swayed in the breeze from an open window 3 new presences filled the room.  "Brother, have you visited them all?" Gabriel inquired  "We have approached the four corners and one day the four corners shall meet" Raphael replied.  Azrael looked at his brothers with stern eyes and said: "I have begun to lose faith that the flock can be guided at all except by their own selfishness" Michael looked deeply across the room  "Only with our deaths do we lose faith in the humans, no matter how our eyes well with tears, no matter how hard the fight has become, judgment day shall be both theirs and ours. 
Crying at Heaven

No mater how hard I try
Heaven won't accept my tears
They stain my face as I stare at the sky
Leaving me engulfed in fears

Why won't you accept the tears oh Lord?
Why must gravity bring the weight of the world down on me?
Striking notes of despair in my heart's core
Searching for a heavenly sign that couldn't be

It's not easy to be; torn between
Ripped apart by the seam
Praying to turn back the clock
To replay good days and chances never seen

Archangels

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Gabriel, traditionally named as an archangel, delivering the Annunciation. Painting by Paolo de Matteis, 1712.

Archangel (pronounced /ˌærk'eɪndʒɛl/) is a term meaning an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are the archangels named in the Bible as recognized by both Jews and many Christians. The book of Tobit mentions Raphael, who is also considered by some to be an archangel. Tobit is included in the Catholic Canon of the Bible, as well as in the Orthodox Septuagint; however, this book is considered apocryphal by others outside of those faiths. The archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are venerated in the Roman Catholic Church with a feast on September 29, formerly March 24 for Gabriel. The named archangels in Islam are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Azrael. Other traditions have identified a group of Seven Archangels, the names of which vary, depending on the source. The fallen archangel Lucifer (also known as Satan) was an archangel until he rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven by the other angels.

The word archangel derives from the Greek αρχάγγελος archangelos.

Contents

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[edit] In Judaism

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Gustave Doré 1885

The Hebrew Bible uses the terms מלאכי אלוהים (malakhi Elohim; Angels of God)[1], מלאכי אֲדֹנָי (malakhi Adonai; Angels of the Lord)[2], בני אלוהים (b'nai elohim; sons of God) and הקדושים (ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angelic messengers. Other terms are used in later texts, such as העליונים (ha-olinim, the upper ones, or the Ultimate ones). Indeed, angels are uncommon except in later works like Daniel, though they are mentioned briefly in the stories of Jacob (who, according to several interpretations, wrestled with an angel) and Lot (who was warned by angels of the impending destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name.[3] It is therefore widely speculated that Jewish interest in angels developed during the Babylonian captivity.[4] According to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish of Tiberias (230–270 AD), all the specific names for the angels were brought back by the Jews from Babylon.

There are no explicit references to archangels in the canonical texts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in [[6]] and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,[5] and figures prominently in Merkavah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13) is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud,[6] as well as many Merkavah mystical texts. The earliest references to archangels are in the literature of the intertestamental periods (e.g., 4 Esdras 4:36).

Within the rabbinic tradition, the Kabbalah, and the Book of Enoch chapter 20, and the Life of Adam and Eve, the usual number of archangels given is at least seven, who are the focal angels. Three higher archangels are also commonly referenced: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. There is confusion about one of the following eight names, concerning which one listed is not truly an archangel. They are: Uriel, Sariel, Raguel, and Remiel (possibly the Ramiel of the Apocalypse of Baruch, said to preside over true visions), Zadkiel, Jophiel, Haniel and Chamuel.[7] Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides made a Jewish angelic hierarchy.

In addition, traditional homes often sing a song of welcome to the angels before beginning Friday night (Shabbat) dinner. It is entitled Shalom Aleichem, meaning "peace onto you." This is based on a statement attributed to Rabbi Jose ben Judah that two angels accompany each worshiper home from the Friday evening synagogue service,[8] These angels are associated with the good inclination yetzir ha-tov and the evil inclination yetzir ha-ra.[9]

[edit] In Christianity

Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan.

The New Testament speaks frequently of angels (for example, angels giving messages to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds; angels ministering to Christ after his temptation in the wilderness, an angel visiting Christ in his agony, angels at the tomb of the risen Christ, the angels who liberate the Apostles Peter and Paul from prison); however, it makes only two references to "archangels." They are: Michael in Jude 1:9 and I Thessalonians 4:16, where the "voice of an archangel" will be heard at the return of Christ.

[edit] Roman Catholic

In Roman Catholicism, three are honoured by name:

St. Gregory the Great in a sermon [10] gave the names of the other four:

Although this was overturned by St. Zachary [11] a few years later as a Bishop, Adalbert [12][13] used the Kabbalah to pray to Uriel for his own purposes. In the trial they said the "Uriel" he was praying to was a demon (Accursed Uriel) and not "Blessed Uriel".[14]

Three of those angels are well known from old Christian Tradition[15].

[edit] Orthodox

Eastern Orthodox Tradition mentions "thousands of archangels;[16] however, only seven archangels are venerated by name.[17] Uriel is included, and the other three are most often named Selaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (an eighth, Jeremiel, is sometimes included as archangel).[18] The Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers on November 8 of Stencyl the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, November 8 falls on November 21 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). Other feast days of the Archangels include the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel on March 26 (April 8), and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossae on September 6 (September 19). In addition, every Monday throughout the year is dedicated to the Angels, with special mention being made in the church hymns of Michael and Gabriel. In Orthodox iconography, each angel has a symbolic representation:[18]

Russian icon of the Archangel Jegudiel.
  • Michael in the Hebrew language means "Who is like unto God?" or "Who is equal to God?" St. Michael has been depicted from earliest Christian times as a commander, who holds in his right hand a spear with which he attacks Lucifer/Satan, and in his left hand a green palm branch. At the top of the spear there is a linen ribbon with a red cross. The Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies.
  • Gabriel means "Man of God" or "Might of God." He is the herald of the mysteries of God, especially the Incarnation of God and all other mysteries related to it. He is depicted as follows: In his right hand, he holds a lantern with a lighted taper inside, and in his left hand, a mirror of green jasper. The mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery.
  • Raphael means "God's healing" or "God the Healer" (Tobit 3:17, 12:15). Raphael is depicted leading Tobit (who is carrying a fish caught in the Tigris) with his right hand, and holding a physician's alabaster jar in his left hand.
  • Uriel means "Fire of God," or "Light of God" (III Esdras 3:1, 5:20). He is depicted holding a sword against the Persians in his right hand, and a flame in his left.
  • Sealtiel means "Intercessor of God" (III Esdras 5:16). He is depicted with his face and eyes lowered, holding his hands on his bosom in prayer.
  • Jegudiel means "Glorifier of God." He is depicted bearing a golden wreath in his right hand and a triple-thonged whip in his left hand.
  • Barachiel means "Blessing of God." He is depicted holding a white rose in his hand against his breast.
  • (Jeremiel means "God's exaltation." He is venerated as an inspirer and awakener of exalted thoughts that raise a person toward God (III Ezra 4:36). As an eighth, he is sometimes included as archangel.)
Angelic Council (Ангелскй Собор). Orthodox icon of the seven archangels. From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel, Selaphiel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of Christ-Emmanuel are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red).

The edition of the Bible used by Protestants, which excludes the Apocrypha, never mentions a "Raphael" and he is therefore not recognized by many of them. Raphael, however, is mentioned in the Book of Tobit, one of the deuterocanonical books. In the story, Raphael comes to the aid of Tobit, healing him of blindness, and his son Tobias, driving away a demon that would have killed him. Raphael also plays an important role in the Book of Enoch.

In the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in 1 Enoch, Saraqael is described as one of the angels that watches over "the spirits that sin in the spirit." (20:7, 8) (see Ethiopian Orthodox Church)

[edit] Protestant

The Protestant Bible provides names for two angels: Archangel Michael and the Archangel Gabriel.

Some Protestants view Michael as the sole archangel, as the only one explicitly described as such in the Protestant canon of the Bible.[19] (Jude 1:9) In their view, Gabriel is never called 'archangel' in the Gospels. According to Origen, verse 1:9 of Jude is an insertion that led to the writing of The Assumption of Moses.[citation needed]

A similar opinion is held by certain Protestants, such as Seventh-day Adventists,[20] and the Presbyterian Commentary author Matthew Henry,[21] who believe that the Archangel Michael is not an angel, and is instead the divine Son of God. In this view "archangel" means "head of the angels" rather than "head angel," and is a title similar to "Prince or Leader of the host." (Daniel 8:11) While few Baptists hold to this view, Seventh-day Adventists generally do.

[edit] Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Michael is one of the names Jesus has in heaven.[22] In this view, Michael is the first and greatest of all God's creatures, the chief messenger of Jehovah that takes the lead in vindicating God's sovereignty, sanctifying God's name, fighting the forces of Satan and protecting God's people on earth. (Revelation 12:7; 19:14,16• Daniel 12:1) This belief is held because of the prominence Michael has among the heavenly sons of God in the Bible, the similarity of Michael’s and Jesus’ mission and the connection of Jesus with the archangelic office in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where it is said: "Because the Lord himself will descend from Heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice." Taking also into account that the Bible refers to one archangel only using a definite article (Jude 9), Jehovah's Witnesses have concluded that Michael and Jesus are one and the same.[23]

[edit] Latter Day Saints

Latter Day Saints believe that the archangel Michael is Adam and that the Archangel Gabriel is Noah[24].

[edit] The Fallen

  • Lucifer, the fallen Seraph, who aspired to rise to Godhood (Isaiah 14:14). Lucifer was cast to earth by Michael. Lucifer is known as Satan, The Serpent, The Tempter and The Deceiver. He was also a cherub (Ezekiel 28:14) and "the morning star" (Isaiah 14:12). Ezekiel 28:17 implies that Satan was a particularly beautiful angel.[25][26]

[edit] In Islam

In Islam, the named archangels include:

  • Gabriel (or Jibraaiyl or Jibril or Jibrail in Arabic). Gabriel is the Archangel responsible for revealing the Qur'an to Muhammad and inducing him to read it . Gabriel is known as the angel who communicates with the Prophets. This Angel has great importance in Islam as he is being narrated in various Hadiths about his role of delivering messages from the 'Almighty' to the Prophets.
  • Michael (Mikhail or Mik'aaeel in Arabic). Michael is often depicted as the Archangel of mercy who is responsible for bringing rain and thunder to Earth.
  • Raphael (Israfil or Israafiyl). According to the Hadith, Israfil is the Angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day by blowing a horn/trumpet and sending out a Blast of Truth. It translates in Hebrew as Raphael.
  • Azrael, responsible for parting the soul from the body. Although he is frequently referred to as Azrael in Arabic, he is referred to as Malak al-Maut (the angel of death) in the Quran (Surah al-Sajdah 32:11). There is also no mention of the name Azrael in reference to Malak al-Maut found amongst the verified Hadith of Bukhari.[citation needed]
  • Rizwaan (Ridhwaan), the Guardian of the Seven heavens.....especially The 'Jannathul Firdaus',- the Supreme- heaven meant for the people doing maximum good deeds and who keep away from evil and evil thoughts. This Angel's name is often named for muslim children in most of the countries as it is a name of great virtues.
  • Malik , The Guardian of the seven Hells where people doing misdeeds are sent to.
  • Munkar & Nakeer, The Two Angels who are believed to come to the Grave-yard to question the dead person as soon as the person's body is buried. The Angels are believed to interrogate about the person's faith in his religion.They ask him about the Supreme Power the person follows, the moral-leader he follows and the book he follows .
  • Rakeeb & Atheed, The Two Angels who are believed to record the Good-deeds and the mis-deeds of a Person in his entire life time. Rakeeb is believed to be on the Right-Shoulder of a Person recording only the Good-deeds a person does. And Atheed is believed to be on the left Shoulder of a person recording only the mis-deeds practised by a person.


Vanilla Twilight lyrics
Songwriters: Young, Adam;

The stars lean down to kiss you
And I lie awake and miss you
Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere

'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly
But I'll miss your arms around me
I'd send a postcard to you, dear
'Cause I wish you were here

I'll watch the night turn light-blue
But it's not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly

The silence isn't so bad
'Til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly

I'll find repose in new ways
Though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia
Chills me to the bone

But drenched in vanilla twilight
I'll sit on the front porch all night
Waist-deep in thought because
When I think of you I don't feel so alone

I don't feel so alone, I don't feel so alone

As many times as I blink
I'll think of you tonight
I'll think of you tonight

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again

And I'll forget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you
Oh, if my voice could reach
Back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear
Oh darling, I wish you were here


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