2. September 8th - The Birth of Ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God

"Lord, didn't I tell you that those material gods would be more trouble than they are worth to you? Now you not only have them stuck in time like a pair of feet fixed in cement, they are hardened in matter too! How can you call this companionship. It's pathetic! It is atrocious!"

God patiently listened to my tirade, (Gentleman that He is) and told me that I was too impatient.

"Impatient!" I retorted indignantly, "We have had to watch this rotation of light and darkness so many times that we are getting nauseous! One OR the other, I say!" Taking it upon myself to speak for the entire host of angelic spirits I added, "I prefer the darkness, the way things used to be, but if you must choose light, then go ahead and choose it!

Please Lord, I beg of you to make up your mind! We detest this thing called time. And besides, don't you see what it is doing to your little gods? They shrivel up until they can live no more. Time kills them slowly but surely! This doesn't make sense to me Lord. I don't want to gloat, but I would say that you should admit defeat, burn it all off and let's go back to the way life was before this project of yours. Please?"

God has a better friend than me. His name is Gabriel. Gabriel is smarter than me and more patient. That's why he always gets the better jobs.

Gabriel wafted himself over to me and in the regal style of an archangel filled my space with sparkles and the heavenly aroma of stardust to wash me with delightful sensations and thus to curb my frustration.

"What are you so happy about?" I retorted, trying hard to cling to my anger.

"My foolish friend, can't you see what joys lie before us? Are you so enamored by the darkness that you failed to notice Anna and Joachim swelling with child and joy over the impending birth to the Queen of queens on the eighth day of the new year? Anna will soon give birth to the Mother of God! Can you forget yourself for a moment to imagine what this means to Him?"

"What is going on?" I exclaimed, "Tell me!"

Gabriel pulsated with glee as He explained the next, most important phase of creation when God becomes a human too. I simply could not believe that our God would entertain such a foolish notion. This was the limit! What could I do? I would never go over to Lucifer's camp because unlike Lucifer, I was devoted to my God and yet I was perturbed with Him. To create these troublesome miniature gods was one thing, but to enter one was the most insane ridiculous idea imaginable.

Gabriel went on, "My dear friend, indeed you are stuck between two false worlds. The dark old days that you long for and can only live in your imagination, and a skepticism that skews your ability to see the amazing plan God is carrying out.

"Nothing less than the re-creation of the world is about to begin! This new year marks the beginning of the end of time*. This should make you jump for joy."

If an angel could fall on its face, I would have. Instead I patiently waited for the enormity of Gabriel's remarks to penetrate.

A new creation, within the creation that will overcome time...mmmmmm? How is this possible? What magic will God conjure up to superimpose timelessness upon the light and dark, day and night rhythm of time? How will God, the King and Master of spirits pour Himself into human form? Why did Gabriel stand amazed at the concept of the eighth day birth of the infant Mother of God?

There was so much to process that I wanted not to think any more, and frankly, I didn't want to feel anymore either, neither jealously nor frustration. It was time to rest and fly.

I suddenly awoke to hear shrill birth pangs that echoed throughout the universe. Angels, archangels, and all the heavenly hosts had gathered to watch with God and so I went as well to be present at the birth.

I still did not understand how this infant could annihilate time, but I took Gabriel's word for it, and gradually fell in love with this newborn infant girl all the more.

On the 8th day after New Years we (Orthodox) celebrate the birth of the Mother of God, who is the first fruit of the New Creation, as reflected in the New Covenant between humanity and God.

The 8th day is also known by the Church as the day of Resurrection. God created the world in 6 days. And on the 7th day He rested. On the 7th day (Sabbath) Jesus also rested, before His 8th day resurrection.

The eighth day is also the day when infant Jewish boys are circumsized to mark themselves as participants in the covenant between God and Abraham.

*From the moment of the birth of the Virgin Mary, major events of Christianity that once occurred in time will start to be gathered into a Holy Year that is outside of time. Orthodox do not commemorate the events, we re-live them. For example, Easter actually occurs every Sunday; when an infant is baptized it actually dies with Christ on the cross. In this way, the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, gathers unto herself a unique year that resides outside of the daily progressive rhythm of time.

3. The Bride of God

I decided to take Gabriel to heart. Apparently my bad attitude was only hurting me. I was the one, not God, who had to admit defeat. There was no turning back. It was clear that the entire spirit cosmos was becoming affected by God's new invention, Time.

Just as I was contemplating these grave matters, a wise little spirit drifted towards me. "Hello! Cheer up." said Sophie. "How silly you are to think in terms of defeat or winning. We are not in a contest with beginnings and endings. You of all spirits should know better than that. Even your new problem, this time factor, is not as linear as it appears."

A flash of lightening, suddenly illuminated the darkness of my attitude, and in it I saw an opening that I could float through. "Thank you, Sophie!" said I. "I think that has been my problem with time! I never liked what I thought was its shape, so long and narrow, like those serpents God made to terrify the woman, but with a beginning and no end in sight."

"Remember last week," Sophie replied, "when the Queen was born and Gabriel told you that she would mark the beginning of the end of time? Well, the Queen's birth also marked the conception of the Bride who plays with time in a magnificent way to show you and the cosmos how fluid time can be."

I never felt stupid before all this happened to me, but now I find myself continually at a loss to comprehend even the simplest concepts. "Bride of who?" I asked shamefully.

Patiently and sympathetically Sophie replied, "The Bride of God!"

Flying back into a tirade, I screamed, "God cannot have a Bride!!!!!"

After patiently waiting for my frequency to slow down Sophie said, "When that infant queen grows to become a young woman, Gabriel will ask her if she is willing to be the Mother of God's Son who will actually be God incarnate." Sophie went on, "She agrees, of course and the moment she agrees, Her conception of the Son of God, also marks the birth of His Bride."

"The Bride of God's Son is not one person, nor even all women, but the Bride is also known as The Church, which is a vast unity of humanity joined by and for God in heart and mind and spirit. You see, it it the spirits within those human bodies that you disdain so much that voluntarily come together, imitate God's Son and form His Bride! Isn't that absolutely wonderful!" With that I could see Sophie's frequency rev up in yellows and pinks. She went on.

"You see, God wanted a Bride who is like Him and loves as He does, just for this reason. We angels could never become His Bride. God made humankind--- to make Himself a Bride! The Bride is One like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One, and the Bride is perfect. To make you happiest of all, the Bride's perception of time is not linear! She takes certain major events and creates one holy year that is perpetually current. For Her, what had happened once is always happening. She lives through time and place and outside of it too...because She is spiritual, even though She is made up of humans, and if you were smart, you would try living in and out of time too!"

With this tidbit, my mind was spinning faster than an asteroid. "Sophie, are you making this up? You really have a very vivid imagination, and I love you for it, but you must learn the difference between reality and fantasy."

I love to hear Sophie laugh. To me Sophie's laugh has the sound of bubbles bursting out of the clear blue sea, bunches and bunches of happy bubbles. When her amusement subsided she said, "Our God is the Author and Creator of reality. If something is real and true, it is because God made it. if something is false or imaginary or even fantasy, it is because Reality has been skewed. God's story, His-story, about the Queen and the Bride and the re-creation is absolutely true!"

Sophie was beautiful. When she spoke the entire universe smiled. "Come, let's fly down to The Planet and let me show you what the Bride is doing now!"

And off we went through the beautiful darkness of the sky on our journey to earth, two angelic spirits careening past the galaxies.

The Church is known as the Bride of Christ, God incarnate. In the Bible, Revelation to John, it tells of the marriage of Christ to His Bride.

“7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

Excerpt From: James, King. “The Holy Bible - King James Version.” iBooks.

This material may be protected by copyright.

Even though we see a Church that is factious, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, sometimes warring on itself throughout history, God looks at the Spirit within and sees One Holy Catholic (I.e. Universal) and Apostolic Church made up of the true and righteous who successfully emulate Jesus Christ, and who form the One Bride that is the wife and will be dressed in radiant white at the glorious marriage at the end of Time....as we now know it.

20. December 25th - Christmas Day

The night sky was clear and chock full of stars, way up high and far away where they belong. Gabriel slowed down to a hover and turned to wait for me to catch up.

"Now what?" I said, still perturbed that I had to abandon my three wise men to follow Gabriel to Bethlehem.

"Do you see those shepherds down there tending their flock of sheep?" Gabriel asked.

"Yes." I replied feeling a slight kinship with those night workers.

"Your reward for making that painfully slow journey from Persia to Palestine will be to assist me in announcing to them the birth of the Christ that is occurring at this very moment."

"Are you telling me that these smelly uncouth sheep herders, and not my three kings of orient who have climbed mountains and crossed deserts to come here, will be the first to see the newborn babe? After all we went through!"

"Peace brother," replied Gabriel trying to calm me down. "This is the way The Lord wants it. We just take orders. Remember, the royal great-grandfather, King David, was a 'sheep-herder'. It is fitting that a Jew, a son of David, be the first to greet God as man." (Gabriel had a way about him that both reduced me to spittle and elevated me to the highest heavens.)

"Besides," he added, "Jesus is coming to shepherd the sons of Israel. It is important for our Lord, that the Jews come first, and then the Gentiles may follow with their faith and gifts. When will you learn, my angelic friend, to trust God and stop whining?"

With that Gabriel turned to fly down to the shepherds and of course I meekly followed. When we got closer I saw hundreds of still and prayerful angels quietly hovering around the oblivious shepherds.

Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, and without warning, Gabriel turned a dazzling spotlight on me! I looked at the shepherds who were as shocked and amazed as was I because I noticed that they could see me! What a thrill. This had never happened to me before.

It was as if God let me feel the joy that He was about to experience by walking among men with a human form.

After a few moments, while I gave the shepherds, and myself, time to recover from the shock, and with all the sound of authority I could muster I voiced the words that Gabriel was sending me telepathically.

We said, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."

To make my announcement all the more phenomenal the hundreds of angels surrounding them also became visible like me. Gabriel, invisible, conducted them in the chant, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to His people on earth.’

After the big display, one by one the angels flew back up to heaven to await further instructions.

I could feel myself disappearing again, and I was sorry to see me go. But I could tell that our mission had been accomplished when I heard the shepherds say to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."

Gabriel and I went with them across several fields (with the sheep) until we finally reached Bethlehem. Gabriel knew exactly where to go and seemed to be guiding the shepherds telepathically.

When we arrived at the manger, a sensation of elation gripped me. Could this be the moment I had worked for all these weeks? I felt sorry that my magi weren't present for this glorious moment, and wondered how they were getting along without me and the star.

The shepherds who were emboldened by my appearance and message seemed to know exactly where to go. When they arrived at the manger, because it had no door, they immediately saw the Infant lying there in swaddling clothes. They straightaway approached Joseph and introduced themselves. Joseph greeted the men warmly with tear stained eyes and a sweaty brow.

One of the shepherds said, "I am sorry for disturbing you, but we were in the field tending our flock when a massive light appeared from the east and before us stood an angel who announced the birth of the Messiah! Then suddenly hundreds of angels chanted Glory to the Most high God, and peace to His people on earth. Is this infant, your son who is lying there, the Messiah come to save God's people and restore eternal life?"

Joseph ushered them over to see the newborn babe wrapped in swaddling cloths laying on a bed of straw, sleeping soundly.

The newborn babe's mother, Mary looked up curiously. She was radiant, having just given birth. Joseph said, "Mary, these men have come from the fields where angels told them of the birth of your Son, and called Him the Messiah! Did you hear what they said? I am amazed!"

Mary shot a Mona Lisa smile at the shepherds, slightly perplexed by what had occurred. She wasn't at all sure of how much people should know about her Son, and when they should know it, and how she should respond. She had no idea of what to expect.

Before the shepherds left, Gabriel called to me and said, "Come, we have to get back to your magi, let's go."

I had almost forgotten about them. Gabriel and I took off back to Jerusalem. When we found them, they had just left King Herod.

"Balthazar, how stupid could you be to ask this king where the infant king of the Jews was born. Couldn't you tell how upset he became?" said Melchior.

"I have to agree." added Gaspar. "We just left one very angry Jew; he acted as if the infant would usurp his throne tomorrow. What should we do now? Where is that star?!"

Gaspar said, "Are we really going back to tell him where we found the king like he told us to?"

Melchior replied, "Let's sleep on it."

"Herod doesn't frighten me." responded Balthazar. We have not come this far to be bullied by that man. Look! There it is, our star! It has reappeared! Wonderful! "

The star reappeared because Gabriel recreated it, and then he tossed it back into my hands. I was so happy to have it back. It was warm and bright. I think the star was happy to be back in my arms. I knew just what to do. I carried it over to the three men who were running to me, to show the magi that the star recognized them too.

Soon, we were back on the road, slowly leading my three wise men to the manger.

When we arrived the shepherds had left. I entered the manger and stood at the head of the sleeping newborn king. Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar looked at each other in near disbelief.

"Could this be possible? Look at this poor manger; where is everyone?" exclaimed Melchior.

"This must be the right place," replied Balthazar, "The star went right in! Come, let us follow it to the infant King of the Jews."

The three magi entered respectfully and as the shepherds did, approached Joseph immediately.

They could not communicate with words because they didn't speak Aramaic, but they didn't have to. They were obviously foreigners. They spoke with their bodies. First Balthazar, followed by Melchior and then Gaspar bowed their heads, and knelt by the infant. When they stood up, one by one they handed their gifts to the Mother.

Mary gently received the Frankincense, then the gold, and myrrh. With each gift, she smiled warmly, and shyly bowed her head with half closed eyes.

After they handed over their gifts, the wise men bowed again and bid good bye, walking backwards so that their backs would never be seen by the infant, or His Mother or Joseph.

When they left I wanted to follow them to make sure they departed Palestine safely, but I couldn't separate myself from the babe and the star which I continued to hold for a very long time over His little head while gazing down at the beauty of Emmanuel, God with man. I recognized my God in Him, and yet He was so small and so powerless.

35. March 25th, The Annunciation

The next day was certainly the quietest since we started out weeks ago. Jesus was getting better at climbing, more muscular and tanned. He seemed determined to reach the top as soon as possible. I imagine that He was longing for the days before His incarnation when as part of the Spirit Godhead the heavens were His home, the days before suffering and death ever crossed His holy mind. (I am probably projecting my own feelings here.)

As the sun was setting Jesus appeared exhausted and crawled into a small cave where He soon fell into a very deep sleep. Assuming my post at the entrance I tried to rest too by clearing my mind of all thoughts and my heart from all feelings. Unexpectedly, I saw an archangel approaching. 'Thank God,' I thought. Finally Michael has arrived! I was never so relieved to see him as now. I wondered what took him so long.

As the archangel drew nearer I realized that it was actually my old friend Gabriel.

"Gabriel! Welcome; what are you doing here? Where is Michael? I have been waiting for him. We need his help. There are demons everywhere taunting Jesus, and the devil has shown up twice."

"Sorry to hear that but you must come with me now, quickly. Don't fret, Michael will be here soon. Let's go!"

I hesitated, not wanting to leave The Lord while He was sleeping, but Gabriel was insistent. I looked over to see on the horizon a flock of angels heading our way to replace me.

After watching Jesus struggle day after day, flying never felt so good. I even tried a few figure eights, and my favorites, the spirals.

"Stop that, and fly straight, I don't want to be late." barked Gabriel.

"Where are we going?" I snapped back. "And why did you wait until the last minute to come for me?"

Gabriel and I were communicating telepathically while flying at jet speed. "I was just told to come for you. We are going to visit the young maiden Mary, whom God has chosen among all the women in Israel to become the mother of His Son. I must ask for her consent."

I laughed heartily and for a long time. "Do you mean to say that the man I just left snoring in the cave has not yet been conceived in the Brides year? I LOVE IT."

"Before you laugh your head off," explained Gabriel, "let me explain that human development in the womb requires nine months of time, or nine full moons. To affirm Jesus Christ's humanity, the Bride must use lunar time to celebrate His conception. March 25th is nine months before Christmas. So what you see as playing with time is actually going back to real-time. You are coming from the twilight zone of the wilderness journey."

Together the Archangel Gabriel and I, the lowliest of angels, slowed down upon our approach to Nazareth. "Here we are; be quiet now I need to concentrate." requested Gabriel.

Indeed, there she was, a delicate maiden flower hardly what you would call a woman. She looked so much younger and even more sweet and innocent than the young mother I had met in Bethlehem on Christmas Day three months ago.

I could see that Gabriel had to concentrate to make himself visible again. How I envied his ability to go in and out of human form, well, not fully biological, but visible nonetheless. It was the best of both worlds.

By the time we landed in Nazareth, Gabriel was in full archangel regalia. Light radiated from him like the sun on a shimmering spring morning. I moved invisibly behind him down the marble streets of the city until we spotted the young maiden alone fetching water from the town well.

I winced as Gabriel announced his presence, concerned that fright would overcome the doe. "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." He proclaimed as a trumpet with words.

Instantly Mary looked up at us, but only seeing Gabriel, she smiled with gentle curiosity. I wondered why I was more surprised than this maiden at the sight of this large regal archangel. Gabriel explained later to me that Mary had been warned in a dream. Instead of fear, she was perplexed, for she had not been told in the dream about the reason for the visitation.

Mary looked at Gabriel curious and eager to hear what he had to say. His silence provoked her to speak first. She said, "Hello your majesty, to what do I owe the honor of your visit? What have I to offer such an eminent servant of my Lord and my God?"

I looked up at Gabriel to see how he would respond to such a delicate flower. Gabriel headed right for the point. "Beloved maiden, you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you will name him Jesus." He paused to let that message soak in before proceeding with the most fantastic part. Mary looked at Gabriel patiently but wide-eyed, in full command of her emotions.

"He will be great," continued Gabriel, "and will be called the Son of the Most High, and The Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

At this astonishing proclamation, Mary matter-of-factly replied to Gabriel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"

I was glad that no one could hear me chuckle. What innocence, what beautiful spirit this girl displayed.

As to a child describing how to make green from yellow and blue, Gabriel replied in a straightforward way, as with a doctor's bedside manner, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God."

There, he said it. The most phenomenal outrageous message that any human could be given fell upon the ears of a barely grown child, carefree and pious. I suspect that if Mary had been any older or more worldly, this announcement could not have found its way into her heart and psyche. But she was not so mature and vitreous. She was still a soft and thirsty sponge willing to learn the deep mysteries of God's cosmic universe, as if the mysteries were simply more lessons that life had to teach her, like the difference between good and evil.

I gazed at her face to read her mind. How will she accept this awesome use of her very body? Would she freely turn it over to Him, or would she have more questions or even make requests of conditions and costs for the loan of her form.

To bless her with a companion, older and wiser, but just as pregnant Gabriel added, "And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

I did not think Gabriel needed to add that last line. What an overstatement after the miracle of a virgin conception. But I thought it was particularly poignant how God paired an old woman who had longed for pregnancy with this young lady full of grace for which child bearing came too soon.

Then as an unblemished ewe lamb, like the little lamb who rushed up to Abraham moments before he was about to sacrifice Isaac, Mary delivered her decision when she said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Can an angel hug a maiden? How I wanted to rush over to her and fold her under my wings, and take her for a ride around the stars. Instead, just as abruptly as we arrived, Gabriel looked at me and said, "Our work is done here. You have seen the conception of both the Son of God and simultaneously His beloved Bride. I need to get you back to the wilderness, Jesus is about to wake up." I said goodbye but wasn't sure if Mary heard me. Deep in thought, she did not look up to see us go.

Then Gabriel and I promptly left Mary at the well full of grace and with child, wondering how she would tell her parents Joachim and Anna, and oh yes! her betrothed, Joseph, the good news.

51. July 13- Gabriel and the Bride

"Come with me angel, I have a special treat for you!" I recognized the Bride's voice, but still could not see Her.

"I can't see you, so how could I know where to go?" I replied a little too sarcastically.

The familiar tug then dragged me away. I had thought that the Bride was fixed to the earth, as a church building or a gathering of believers, but I found myself being pulled higher and higher through the air by the Voice.

If only the Bride had told me exactly where She wanted to go in heaven I'm sure that I could have taken Her there. We were traveling painfully slow. I even saw an airplane passing us. "Where are you taking me?" I asked telepathically, wondering if I could communicate with the Bride as I do my fellow angels.


Apparently I had no choice but to be patient and open minded and try to enjoy the slow ride through the sky that reminded me of walking from Persia to Bethlehem with the wise men.

Eventually, we landed. I was glad to be in heaven and looked around for my friends. Then it occurred to me that God might be angry with me for showing up again before the year was over, so I tried to find a place to hide and prepare my defense for when He found me. 'I was kidnapped, dragged by His Bride, not given a chance to object.' Then I wondered if God loved the Bride enough not to be angry that She brought me here.

Those petty thoughts vanished when I peaked out from my hiding place to see people all about joking and laughing, performing and watching. The familiar tug took me over to where Seraphim and Cherubim were dancing a ballet accompanied by an orchestra of saints. I had never before seen heaven so festive. It was literally glistening with a holy hierarchy of happy angels. Even the Thrones had emerged from God's throne room which almost never happens!

In the audience of the ballet I spotted the Virgin Mary as young and beautiful as can be in her best blue gown, smiling and chatting away with a saint on her left and an angel on her right.

My curious scanning eyes soon spotted Jesus. I tried to hide behind big Moses so He wouldn't see me, but that didn't work. Jesus meandered through the audience and came straight over to me. "Don't worry," He shouted above the din of merriment. "I know you are here. It's okay. My Bride told me that She invited you, just don't stay too long."

I smiled sheepishly and said, "Thanks Jesus. What is going on?"

Jesus replied, "My Bride is celebrating the feast-day of Her close friend, the Archangel Gabriel now in mid-summer instead of on the day after the Annunciation because then everyone is usually fasting for Lent. This is some celebration, isn't it? Relax angel, enjoy, and then go back."

At that moment I heard a loud clash of symbols and a dozen trumpets hearkening the arrival of Gabriel. What a grand entrance he was making. Actually I thought it was over the top. I had never seen Gabriel so full of himself before. I had to admit though that he looked stunning, and more joyful than I had ever seen him. Gabriel spotted me in the crowd of admirers and came right over after the applause died down.

"Welcome to my party Angel. How nice of Them to let you out." he said in a jolly tone.

"Yeah," I agreed' "but it is only temporary." Then to change the subject from my exile I added, "Looks like you have bonded with the Bride, how nice for you. Doesn't it bother you that you can't see Her?"

"No," replied Gabriel. "I see her clearly in all Her children who make her up; can't you see that?"

I countered, "How can you see a being that is simultaneously one and millions, who is both human and divine, that flows through people and time like a river, but rests in buildings of every shape and size, both simple and ornate. I see nothing but Her buildings, but I hear Her speak to me. I admit that I have enjoyed the way She plays with time, but I think I liked Her better before She started speaking to me. Now I am perplexed by Her."

Gabriel tried to help me by responding, "Look, remember when you heard them say in the service that She is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic?"

"Yes." I replied.

"She isn't just in buildings, She is in the apostles, and they are in her, somewhat as Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Him. In fact, to the extent that Her child, any common person, reflects Christ She resides in that person, and all those Christ-like people who form Her. She organizes humanity to be Christ resurrected and alive on earth." Then he added, "Angel, this conversation is getting too serious for me. I've got to go mingle with my less cynical guests. Enjoy my party."

With that Gabriel whisked himself far away from me.

Abandoned for my inquisitiveness I felt awkward and decided that I should stop thinking and take advantage of this happiest of moments in heaven.

In the midst of an awesome light show by the stars, I floated into a dimly lit space where large monitors were streaming live videos of masses and liturgies in honor of The Archangel's feast day that were being celebrated all around the earth from Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome to the Holy Trinity Cathedral of San Francisco. Crowds sat in front of each monitor that included people looking for their relatives still on earth who might be sitting in the pews, or in the choirs, or celebrating on the altar. Apparently, my old friend Gabriel was a lot more popular than I ever imagined. Good for him.

"Get ready to go." I heard Her say. "Hasn't this been a wonderful day!"

"Sure." I responded unconvincingly, "but why must we leave so soon?"

"I'm afraid that if I get too comfortable in my triumphant mode, I will lose strength for my militant mode, and I can't afford that, especially in these days."

"Okay, I understand. I'm ready." I said glumly.

As we were inching our way back down to earth, even slower than our ascent had been I wondered if the Bride just needed the relief of this celebration and she used Gabriel as a reason to rise above the complexities of Her somewhat sour situation on earth. Our slow speed was Her way of delaying our return. It's just a guess.