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Local woman aims to enlighten faithful on Catholic view of angels
By John Gleason
What child doesn’t know about angels? How many young people, at the conclusion of their day, have offered up a prayer of thanks to their guardian angel asking to be watched over while they sleep? And, as they grow up, how many of these same children forget about their guardian angels, allowing them to drift into the background, forgotten except for when they appear in Scripture readings at Mass?
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Written by Pope Leo XIII, it was added to the set of Leonine Prayers, those prescribed by the popes for recitation after Mass. After the Second Vatican Council, the prayer was dropped. However, in a Regina Coeli address in 1994, Pope John Paul II recommended the prayer be said often saying that, “although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”
Local writer Dede Laugesen loves angels. She’s enthralled with them and wants everyone to rediscover them. This public speaker and marketing coordinator for The Angels: Messengers from a Loving God magazine is on a mission to help the faithful bring angels back into their prayer lives.
“We’ve been busy relegating angels to the basement of the parish,” she told the Denver Catholic Register. “As Catholics, at the water cooler the topic of angels can be uncomfortable because popular culture, the New Age movement and secular society have pushed on us notions of the holy angels that are untrue.”
It sometimes appears that angels are up for grabs in the secular world. In the motion picture “De-Lovely,” the angel (called Gabe) appears as a producer who helps to stage a musical in the last minutes of composer Cole Porter’s life. He is there to take the composer’s soul back to God—but he’s going to do it with a slam-bang finish! Meanwhile, greeting cards present images of sweet cherubims—delicate creatures who do little but fly around inspiring beauty in the souls of poets and lovers. Popular culture has not just taken away the glory and the spirit of the angels, Laugesen feels it’s actually subverted them.
According to the online New Advent Encyclopedia, angels are spiritual beings who serve as mediators between God and man. They attend the throne of God, act as messengers and serve as divine agents governing the world. They are mentioned more than 200 times in Scripture. Laugesen believes it is time for Catholics to rediscover angels and their true nature.
“Angels magazine is an important tool for our day,” she said. “It was first published 17 years ago in Poland under the name, Who is Like God. The publication became enormously popular and last year an English version, with a new title, began distribution to England, Ireland and North America.”
Laugesen points to circulation numbers for Angels magazine, which has jumped to more than 10,000 world-wide in its first year of publication.
“It’s easy to see that there’s a real thirst out there for angels from a Catholic perspective,” she said. “The angels stand in the heavenly hierarchy between God and human. Even though they are called to serve people, they are actually higher, more intellectual beings than we could ever hope to be.”
Angels magazine explores angels from Catholic tradition and teaching, according to Laugesen. It contains stories on the effects angels had in the lives of saints, excerpts from talks given by Pope John Paul II on the heavenly beings and articles about angels in art, music, prayer, Scripture and the writings of the Church.
Details about the publication, including subscription information, is available online at www.CatholicAngelsMagazine.com. Subscriptions are $32 per year and back issues of the magazine can be ordered.
“This is a great resource for individuals or prayer groups,” Laugesen said. “In this day, we’re all being called to remember that angels are present in our lives and that they’re here to serve and help us.”