There was encouraging feedback from the hospice again last week. A patient had a clear vision of an angel who came and interacted with her. ‘Do you think it was real?’ she asked the chaplain. ‘It felt so close and comforted me beyond words.’ Her reaction on being given an angel prayer shape ‘in just the right colours’ was overwhelming and the attached verse from the Bible delighted her.

Have you ever experienced an angel?  I have met human ones. Minus wings and halo, they can be difficult to recognise. Some have even been dressed in heavy disguise.

I believe I met one in the early days of my marriage when I was riddled with anxiety about what seemed like an intractable in-law problem.  An introvert, I agonised over where I’d gone wrong and felt caught in a maze without the key.

One day after a visit to the library on Grand Parade, Cork, I was reluctant to return home straight away. So I sat down on a bench to give myself some space.  A little later, an insignificant, universal grandmother type of fluffy, elderly lady slipped unobtrusively onto the same bench.  

At first I hardly noticed that she was trying to engage in conversation, then her gentle Irish brogue wittered across my consciousness.  She  was telling me about her daughter (or was it her son) who had recently married.  They kept inviting her around, but she thanked them kindly and said no.  They needed to get to know each other and bond together.  Distance was important to a new couple.

It was so relevant!  Perhaps I wasn’t entirely to blame for the tension after all!  We smiled goodbye and she disappeared. Such a distinctive message, surprising and so, so relevant! I went home to the large, rambling, cathedral property we shared with my grandparents-in-law,  perspective transformed. I had been ministered to, encouraged and released. It was years later that I realised that the insignificant old lady might have been a ‘real’ angel.

Shortly before he died, Saint Benedict saw the soul of his sister, Saint Scholastica, rising to heaven in the form of a dove.  This vision happened a few days after their last talk together at the foot of Montecassino. In another vision, Benedict saw the soul of Bishop Germanus of Capua taken by angels in a fire globe.

Has anyone else met an angel, human or celestial?  Do tell.