Thursday, 27 September 2012

Anticipating a Feast Day


Icon, St. Michael the Archangel, by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
Because September 29th, the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, is so special to me, I am anticipating it by two days.  Today should actually have been a "flower posting" day, but this is the only opportunity I will have this year to present my icons of the three archangels:  St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael.  This is also the patronal festival of my "parish" -- St. Michael's Cathedral -- which is another reason the feast day is special.

The Archangel, Michael, has always been seen as the most powerful of the heavenly hosts. He is mentioned a number of times throughout the Bible, especially in the Book of Revelation where it is prophesied that he will lead the hosts of Heaven in a final battle with the forces of evil -- a battle that he will win for Almighty God. We can, therefore, live in the assurance that no matter how bad things seem to get in our world, we, as Christians, already know how the "story" ends. God will be victorious! Alleluia!


Icon, St. Gabriel the Archangel, by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

St. Gabriel the Archangel is well known as the Archangel who appeared to Zechariah in the Temple to announce to him that a son was to be born to him and his wife, Elizabeth, in their old age. Most importantly, however, he is known as the Archangel who appeared, six months later, to a young girl named, Mary, living in the Galilean village of Nazareth. He announced to her that she was to be the mother of the Messiah -- the promised one of God -- the Saviour whose name was to be Jesus which means "God Saves". Mary was informed that she, a virgin, was to be the mother of this marvellous child and that the father would be the Holy Spirit, God Himself. How St. Gabriel must have loved hearing Mary answer "Yes -- Fiat" to all of this as she said: "Be it done unto me according to your word."

Just recently I decided to do a new drawing of the Annunciation using a stained glass window as my "model".  The resulting drawing, while very different from anything I have done previously, is rather interesting.  Since it shows St. Gabriel the archangel at the most important moment of his existence, it seems fitting to include it in this section on Gabriel.  I would, of course, enjoy having some feedback on it.


St. Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary of God's plan for our salvation and waits, along with all
of Creation, for her reply...


Icon, St. Raphael the Archangel, by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

St. Raphael the Archangel is best known to us from the story about him which occurs in the Book of Tobit. This Old Testament book was part of the Christian Bible for 1500 years and still remains part of the Catholic Christian Bible. The story found in this book is a very engaging account of events in the life of Tobit and of his son, Tobias. When Tobias is sent on a long journey in order to assist his recently blinded father, Tobit, he receives an offering of help from a stranger who apparently is travelling in the same direction. Unknown to Tobias, this "stranger" is the Archangel Raphael disguised as a human being. He has been sent by God to assist this very observant Jewish family which is now being maligned because of Tobit's blindness. The story takes all kinds of twists and turns but finally concludes with Tobias finding the right wife (by the name of Sarah), Tobit being healed of his blindness and St. Raphael revealing himself in all his angelic glory. This scriptural account has forever associated St. Raphael with healing as is shown in the icon scroll.

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BRADEN UPDATE

"I'm just lyin' here and thinkin' about things... 
every now and then you have to cogitate about all all the new stuff you are learning."

Next week he will be coming for a visit -- and I am very excited about that.


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SUKI AND SALLIE

Suki-like and very upset!
Well, Suki was having a delightful morning.  It was a beautiful day with lots of lovely sunshine streaming in through the windows. 

The day had kind of a rough start because Joycelyn arrived about 7:30 and begin the process of doing a light cleaning and cooking a bit of food for me.  Suki retreated to her "crow's nest" bed as usual.  After Joycelyn finished and left, Suki visibly relaxed and settled down in one of her favourite beds for a good long nap. 

Suddenly a huge hammering noise started up outside -- near the bedroom window.  These types of noises seem to really upset Suki and she jumped up and tried to see what was making the noise by running from one window to the next.  She couldn't see anything and began to get more and more agitated as the volume increased.

Suddenly I could hear frantic scratching noises and when I got up to investigate, I could see that the door of the large, entry-way closet had been opened just a few inches and I could hear scrambling noises from inside.  I carefully opened the door and could see the frightened eyes of my poor Suki. 

So, at this moment she is deeply ensconced in the front hall closet for an indeterminate period of time.  Usually such noises do not last for very long, but not this one.  It continued for another half hour at least and has finally fallen quiet -- perhaps it will not start up again; however, I suspect that the people working out there in the street are simply taking their lunch break.  We'll see...

I, on the other hand, while irritated just a bit by the loud noises, soon forgot about them pretty much as I began writing this posting. 

I am feeling reasonably well and getting to the gym every other day.  I continue to try to get myself as healthy as possible in preparation for upcoming surgery in October -- nothing too serious.  I will give you more details as we get closer to the time.

One wonderful thing that is happening because of the surgery is that my friend, Brenda, is coming up again from Alabama to stay with me during a bit of the recovery period.  It will be so good to see her again and so excellent to have her with me as I go through the post-operative therapy required.  Our dear Lord takes such good care of me.

I think I have said enough as now about everything -- especially about the wonderful feast day coming up on the 29th -- St. Michael and all the Archangels.
Now I ask that these three wonderful angels remember us as they serve our Almighty God.  They have spoken with God and they have co-operated fully in carrying out His Divine Will.  May they pray for us, reminding God of how much we human beings are in need of His Divine Mercy. 

St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, pray for us.  Amen.

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