The Religion Network
               to create community...

                       Wednesday, July 19, 2006
                                                     Angel by Giotto, c.1320

    What's new on the site:
    A message board. Today's question:
    Do you think you've ever been in
    contact with an angel?'

    Tucson's Ground Breaking Bread Breaking
    ---Preface: On the Death of a Friend
        by Mimi Mycroft

    Religious Headlines:

    ---CHINA: Strength From
       Their Faith   
    ---USA: Comedy Central takes
          on Tom Cruise, Scientology
    ---USA: OC pastor postpones
       trip to North Korea
To read the stories, click on:




And now the Last Word, a shifting of perspectives...

Annunciation from Jesus Mafa, a set of African illustrations of the Bible.


           I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network
    is an interfaith website. Faith is a precious
    gift that blesses both the individual and our
    society. However you worship, I hope this
    site enhances your journey.
           Please check in daily for a moment or
    two of inspiration. Become part of the
    community by contributing a prayer or a
    story of your faith journey. Let us meet
    here regularly and build a spiritual network.

           If you'd like to know my personal story,
           click on biography.

    Today's 'Home Page' Table of Contents:

    At the top:
    --Gabriel depicted in art
    Midway down the page:
    --What's new on the site
    --The angel Gabriel by Linda Colucci-Madalone
    --Religious Headlines
    --Gabriel in Hebrew Scriptures
    --The story of Abraham & the 3 mysterious visitors
    For Prayer Warriors who scroll down:
    --The Hierarchy of Angels, A-Z

    And the Last Word: a fresh look

    Subscriber Linda Colucci-Madalone has contributed a written portrait of the archangel
    Gabriel, or Fortitudo Deo, often translated as 'Hero of God.' He is specifically mentioned
    in the Bible four times. Here, Linda presents a slightly untraditional view of him.

    Archangel Gabriel
    The word “Angel” comes for the Greek meaning “Messenger.”

    All Archangels have specific roles in our lives.  Gabriel is depicted as a Male Angel in Christian records,
            but to many Spiritualists Gabriel is recognized as a Female Archangel, with a simple change in the name
pronunciation and “Our” perception of what Gabriel looks like.  Since We all have Male/Female spirit it seems
refreshing that this particular Archangel “Gabriel” can be seen as both.   

    Gabriel is one of three Angels that is also honored as a Saint.  Gabriel’s Feast day or day of celebration is
            September 29th.   Gabriel’s aura is a beautiful Golden Copper like the glowing “Sun” and when you see this
color, please have Faith that Gabriel is with you.

    Gabriel is known as the Angel who guides Writers.  Gabriel delivers messages from Heaven to You, and
    through Your writing you will share these uplifting healing messages for the sake of Others and Yourself.  
    Whether it is for your personal journal or writing for publication, Gabriel will assist You, so that your words
    will be received as a message to strengthen and enlighten.

    Gabriel’s name means “God is My strength,” and knowing this empowers You to be strong-- for God is in
    You.   When you Meditate or Pray with the intention of Gabriel’s Love you will feel surrounded with a sense
    a Childlike spirit.  Gabriel brings out Our Child Archetype, which is one of the most predominant of Archetypes,
    that We all share. Remembering the things that gave us joy as  young’en are still attainable as an Adult if we
    just open up to that energy.  Nurture the Young and You will be nurturing your inner child.

    Gabriel will boost Your confidence and help You feel safe.  Gabriel is gentle as a Deer yet Gabriel’s’ wings are
    strong and powerful and if this Angel is hovering around You, it also signifies that You have Leadership qualities
    and should honor these gifts and guide Others through your healing words and actions.
 I was inspired by the references to Archangel Gabriel by:
    Doreen Virtue, PH.D. & Woodeene Koeing-Bricker both wonderful authors.  Through my connection to the Divine I feel
    these to be true.  I hope this encourages You to explore more about Gabriel and other Archangels.  
    Blessings, Linda Colucci-Madalone

    An important invitation
    to you:

    The Religion Network is
    a community. We'd like
    for you to share your faith
    stories, so that we can
    draw strength and
    inspiration from each
    Please send your pieces
    of 500 words or less to:

    In this story from Genesis 18,
    Abraham is unaware that he is
    entertaining angels...
    And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains
    of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat
    of the day.
    And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo,
    three men stood by him. And when he saw them,
    he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed
    himself toward the ground and said, "My lord, if now
    I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I pray
    you, from your servant.     
    Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash
    your feet and rest yourselves under the tree; and I
    will fetch a morsel of bread and comfort you your
    hearts. After that you shall pass on, for therefore
    are you come to your servant." And they said, "So
    do, as you have said."    
    And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah,
    and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of
    fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth."    
    And Abraham ran unto the herd and fetched a calf,
    tender and good, and gave it unto a young man, and
    he hastened to dress it.    
    And he took butter and milk and the calf which he had
    dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them
    under the tree, and they ate.    
    And they said unto him, "Where is Sarah your wife?"
    And he said, "Behold, in the tent."    
    And he said, "I will certainly return unto thee according
    to the time of life; and lo, Sarah your wife shall have a
    son." And Sarah heard it from the tent door, which was
    behind him.   
    Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in
    age, and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of
    Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I
    have waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old
    And the LORD said unto Abraham, "Why did Sarah
    laugh, saying, `Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am
    old?'  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time
    appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time
    of life, and Sarah shall have a son."    
    Then Sarah denied, saying, "I laughed not," for she was
    afraid. And He said, "Nay, but you did laugh."    
    And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward
    Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on
    the way.

                                                                                                                                                                    photo by Chuck Bowman


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                                                The Hebrew word
                                                for angel is malakh,
                                                or 'divine spirit.'


Angels are important
                     In Judaism. Gabriel
                     is mentioned in
                     Daniel 9, and is also
                     credited as the
                     angel who buried
The Annunciation, c. 1608-09
Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)
Annunciation (Coptic)
Perhaps the most famous recorded
visit of a specific angelic visitor to
earth is the archangel Gabriel's
announcement to Mary that she
would bear the Son of God.
The moment, referred to as the
Annunciation, has been painted
over and over again. Yet each
rendition expresses a different
'take' on the miraculous event.
The Annuciation, c. 1435
Fra Filippo Lippi

Hierarchy of the Angels
according to the writings of
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite,
in his book of the 4th or 5th century entitled,
The Celestial Hierarchy.

First Sphere: heavenly counselors, probably all of equal rank

Seraphim: Caretakers of God's throne, who continuously sing His praise.
(Mentioned in Isaiah 6)
Cherubim: Guardians of light and the stars. They are described as having
four or six wings and have perfect knowledge of God.
(Mentioned in Genesis 3, Ezekiel 10 and 1 Kings 6)
Thrones: Orphanim, angelic beings shaped like shiny orbs, who carry the throne of God.
(Described in Ezekiel 10:17)

Second Sphere: Heavenly governors

Dominions: Hashmallim, holding the task of regulating duties of lower angels.
They rarely make themselves known to humans.
Virtues: Fortresses or Strongholds, they oversee groups of humans and
inspire humanity in many areas, such as art and science.
Powers: Angelic beings sharped like brightly colored fumes.
They are the keepers of conscience and history. They oversee the
distribution of power among mankind. Birth and death are Powers.
Rulers & Authorities: Two types of angels. Rulers develop ideologies,
while Authorities write doctrines.

Third Sphere: Heavenly messengers

Principalities: Angelic beings shaped like rays of light.
The are guardians of nations and countries. One of their duties is to choose human rulers.
Archangels: Angels who are given tasks of great importance to mankind;
they tend to areas of human endeavor. It is thought that Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel
may be archangels and seraphim or cherubim at the same time.
Lucifer is thought to have been an archangel before his fall.
Angels: The lowest order of angels, but the most familiar to mankind.
There are thought to be many kinds of these angels, with different functions.

    Elijah Receiving Bread & Water from an Angel
    Peter Paul Rubens c. 1625