I feel we need a sense of the vast array of spiritual forces lined up on our side - the serried ranks of angels and archangels and the Communion of Saints, who watch over us and encourage us at all times.
There have been novels and films aplenty, over the years, about the demonic influences pressing against us, but little concerning the powers for good who work invisibly for the salvation and transfiguration of individuals and nations. This is precisely the kind of awareness we need at this time - a breaking open of the small, empirical self and a growing consciousness of the all-embracing pattern that holds us, nurtures us and makes us active participants in a meaningful universe.
A happy, fulfilled society should be a partnership between those here now, those gone before us, and those yet to come. But such wide-ranging vision will always feel beyond us if we cannot perceive the spiritual reality that surrounds and enfolds us. 'In my father's house are many mansions,' says Christ in St. John's Gospel. There is no-one better, for where we are now in history, at pointing the way to these mansions than Charles Williams...
By John Fitzgerald. Read the whole thing at The Notion Club Papers blog.
For many years I have had a sense that there are persons watching over me and striving to give wise counsel and even physical protection. I can think of at least four times when potentially life-threatening injury could and probably should have struck but instead passed close by. And there are many, many times when spiritual peril has threatened - and sometimes succeeded - but warnings came and I managed to squeak out an escape or, in the case of failure on my part, gave me an avenue to repent and even redress the situation.
It is easy to simply blow all of these off as coincidence. But it strikes me as I learn the truth that salvation and exaltation are based in relationships the vast majority of which are with persons long since passed from mortal life, that these have a real stake in the ultimate outcome of my life and in the lives of all of us. Our God and His Son and all the saints and prophets and faithful want us to succeed. In a way they NEED us to succeed for their own sake. So they will intervene where and when they can under rules I do not understand (though I know that compulsion is never used).
There are devils around us constantly tempting and whispering and flattering. There are also saints and angels at work. The devil's fruit often presents in displays of anger, physical damage, proud boasting and manic glee in the display of evil. The Lord's fruit displays in acts of charity, forgiveness, kindness, selfless service and quiet reverence for what is right and good in Our Father's eyes. Evil is gaudy. Good is quiet, often muted.
DR: I think the forces of good are also allowed to rejoice over our righteous successes. I believe that I have detected their encouragement before making a Book of Mormon pitch, and perceived their rejoicing afterward. I assumed they were either the deceased ancestors of my contacts or else their yet-to-be-born descendents.
I can identify (if that's the right word) with the aprocryphal investigator who allegedly said to the full time missionaires "If what you're saying is true, shouldn't you guys be more excited?"
We do have to be careful how we give credit or thanks. The righteous spirits always operate under the Lord's direction. The scriptures usually "give credit" to the Lord, or the "Lord's Spirit" , as the messenger, not to an angel, though that is the case occasionally.
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