Beliefnet
Q: It says in the Bible that God created humans just a little lower than the angels. Angels seem to have all kinds of advantages over us. They are immortal and already live in heaven. However, I recently saw a motion picture that depicted a contingent of angels who were jealous of our free will, resentful of God's love for us, and conspiring to destroy us. How do you think the angels really feel about us mortals?

A: Although such negative entities as the fallen angels do exist and work to confuse and deceive us, let's draw upon the message of the Christmas angels as the truest expression of those heavenly beings who remain steadfast in the service of God and goodness: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will!"

Each Christmas season, that joyous proclamation is repeated in places of worship around the world. For a time, many men and women feel "the peace that passes all understanding." Then they permit the tensions and stresses of life to press in upon them once again, and the peaceful sensations--and all too often the expressions of good will toward fellow human beings--are absorbed in the day-to-day challenges of existence.

The peace that the Christmas angels declared to that small band of shepherds cannot be experienced until it has taken root in the soul. Once it exists there, it can be preserved in the midst of the bitterest disillusionments, the greatest frustrations, and the severest physical and mental anguish.

The peace that the angels declared on that cold night 2,000 years ago is meant to be the natural, happy state of humankind. Strife, bigotry, and war are corruptions, the terrible disgraces of our sins of intolerance. In order to achieve the kind of peace wished upon us by the Christmas angels, we must work to abolish greed, ambition, envy, anger, and pride.

In all the world religions, angels seem most concerned with calling on us to examine our souls, to improve our treatment of our fellow human beings, to resist passing judgment on others, and to put aside intolerance and prejudice in favor of becoming more loving and forgiving.

Within the last decade, the angels have once again become recognized as our heavenly guides and benefactors--beings who truly transmit their feelings of good will and love toward us. Thousands of men and women have come forward to declare that angels have given them warnings, admonitions, prophetic messages, visions, and even physical assistance in times of crisis.

For those increasing numbers of individuals who believe that angels have provided them with guidance, protection, and assistance in life's challenges, there is no question that the angels wish us only good will and peace on earth.

Q: From reading your column, I see that you are as skeptical as I am about those who claim to channel personal messages from high-level angels. I am also doubtful that the angels tell people to worship along the lines of a particular denomination or to adhere to the doctrines or dogma of a particular religion. I don't believe that the angels play favorites among the earth's religions. What do you think?

A: Throughout the course of human history, regardless of religion, color, or creed, angels have brought guidance from the Divine. In all forms of religious expression throughout the world, angels have served as the cosmic link between humans and God, Allah, the Divine Spirit, the Great Spirit, the Supreme Deity, the All-That-Is--or any of the other names for the Living God.

Many thoughtful scholars have observed that one of the basic tasks of angels is to help humans understand that they are immortal, that their spirit comes from a divine world, a heavenly realm, and that it may also return to that higher dimension.

Although each earthly religious tradition may have a unique language that describes the experience of the holy and its own particular, sacred history, as well as its own variety of hymns, rituals, and ecclesiastical forms, all are surprisingly similar in purpose and content. And in our ever-shrinking world, of greatest importance is the fact that all the sacred teachings relayed by the angelic messengers teach respect and tolerance.

Those who read and study the sacred teachings of all religions will find a golden thread running through each one of them: There is a Supreme Being that transcends the world of matter and material form, and we in spirit may go beyond space and time to touch God's holy essence through a sacred inner experience.

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