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Winged Victory

Winged Victory

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Published by bridgetmacgabhann
A Warrenesque reflection on an item from the Samothrace or thereabouts. with Nike, a handless but not unwinged victor among the deities...
A Warrenesque reflection on an item from the Samothrace or thereabouts. with Nike, a handless but not unwinged victor among the deities...

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Published by: bridgetmacgabhann on Oct 21, 2013
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Winged victory

Today is again Michaelmas, the Feast of Saint Michael & All Angels — of Michael, physician, & general in war; commander of the Jews, patron of the Nile, archistrategos of the Greeks, defender of the Romans; rescuer of souls. On this day in old Normandy, & England, the husbandman’s season ended, & another began; as too, the terms in colleges & courts. Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael — who bring the autumn to the North, & spring to the South, & through whom we pray as our battle continues against the Prince of Darkness in this fallen world — heavenly martials of our Victory. It is thus a year since I began this anti-blog, whose purpose is not yet clear to me, although the intention was indicated at the launch. For of course, this is war. The title chosen invoked “Idleness,” & in the most bellicose sense. In the words of the prayer, not my will but, “Thy will be done.” Let us stand bravely against all human industry, not directed to its proper end. Let us down the tools of our illegitimate masters. Let us “stand athwart history,” refuse to let it pass. I had been reading through the closing Questiones of the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologica, where the guardianship of the angels is expounded, & our hidden government is touched upon. From Boethius, Saint Thomas Aquinas inherits both the ancient idea of fate, & its Christian transformation — in which the influence of the astral is ever acknowledged, for good & evil; but along with the immutable fact of our human freedom. For no angel will dictate our acts, & no devil can force our obedience. An apprehension of celestial war, & of the necessity of angels, has been among men of all religious doctrines & traditions, since time out of mind. Yet it would go without saying today, that the slaves of empirical reason deny the possibility of such persons as angels & devils; as also the

when once I was tempted into an act which would have brought quite terrible consequences. I’d say most. are the captains of our souls. can compel the smallest action on our part. on wings. so he will watch. who shouted in alarm. to the brain. Yet we know the angels. Could an angel drop you dead? Of course he could. The former may inspire. in key moments. The very idea of an angel is mocked. or liquify the soil under an invading army. under God. but to the heart of one’s being — resonating through body & soul. in the “demythologizing” school that flourishes even within the Church. Many. When the first creature stirred on this earth. the latter tempt. for we know instinctively which we should obey. & we are well to take our orders. after it has been misrepresented. & will recall the like whether or not they can imagine the celestial dynamics.events in which they take part. Notwithstanding. it is war. It is no fey “categorical imperative. there was the presiding angel. or move them like waves on the sea. I have myself been aware. No angel. for instance. perhaps all human persons have had this experience at some point or points. aloft or fallen. in the mysterious power of divine mercy. as it were. or part the sea. or raise you high into the air. then set you down safely.” It was this angel.” It comes in a rush. The instruction comes with the authority of a divine order — not. just what to do. raise mountains up in their folds. & when the last dies. But also that we do not have to obey. of the presence of what is called a “guardian angel. And I was told. & sovereign within our domain. & not only to me. & intimately so. but we. . I recall the shock that came with the instruction: “Get out of here!” It was as if I had surrendered my will in the matter — following the path of least resistance as it led down into the mire — until this instant of awakening. sharply & exactly.

& the dead to bury her dead. from Chayot to Cherubim. . Grace itself is apparent invisibly. nor Saints of the Church. nor smelled with the nose. for it does not personalize impersonal forces.” Christ himself is vividly aware. of this angelic order. “Thy will be done. They announced his coming to the shepherds by Bethlehem. as mediaries between God & his Creation — echoing through our universe. nor heard through the ears. to the ancient world in the anticipation of Christ. who act only upon its command. all men of faith are led to this awareness. Life itself stands testimony to the operation of the divine Will. this truth has been acknowledged. And so with the gods of pre-Christian mythology: detached.In such cases there are physical effects: but not from the will of the angel. nor the Fathers. or even Buddhist for that matter — without acknowledging the present reality of angels. from what they control. to the wise men afar.” We cannot pretend to be Christian — or Jewish. while overlooking this “detail. nor tasted with the tongue — unless God will the manifestation. that there are spiritual beyond the physical forces. are agents of the heavenly power. Nature is a drudge. that they could even be named. Yet no more than gravity can it be seen through the eyes. nor touched with the fingers. For they in their ranks. All from God is announced through angels. always. without angelic forces. that they are personal in their nature. & within the Temple of the Hebrews. She has only her entropies to obey. It discerns the personal. acting through angelic mediation. apart. & faith itself engages with a supernatural strength. nor Doctors. as we may read throughout the Gospels. From the first memory of man. or Muslim. We cannot take the Scripture to heart. Our modern anthropologists have great difficulty interpreting this “primitive” mind.

In his “Vision of the Last Judgement. they are not happier than men & devils because they are better. as through a glass. they are figures of a perfect intellection. through change. They are our openings into this sensual world. leaving an exuvium. & the apprehension of our very being is not restricted by our senses five. only glimpse in prayer. in the command of celestial forces.through its effects. We look to the Resurrection as to another world that we do not yet inhabit. & messengers of supernatural joy. which runs through every human heart.” Likewise. but we remain so only for a time. but from God only. where the stand is made with angelic armies. He. in the joyful war. as Blake patiently explains. & power is not their game. & directs the storm” — archistrategos in the glorious battle. of what is a person through every metamorphosis.” from a notebook in which his great lost painting is described. in which we have taken the form of animals. but because they do not Expect Holiness from one another. the chrysalis enclosed. but because they do not pry at the Tree of Knowledge for the gratification of Satan. William Blake shows an unearthly comprehension. Defend us in battle! Be our protection against the . Rather. I think it may be a development of this one. assigned & assigning. who “rides in the whirlwind. And consider: “It is not because Angels are Holier than Men or Devils that makes them Angels. For knowledge can be no end in itself. at the front line. darkly. But this I cannot know. in the battle. And so our Michael. the pharate within — who in due course will shuffle out. an incomprehensible development of what was already a realm of miracle. We are the creature at our pupal stage. of what does not change.

wickedness & snares! .

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