To day we are back to angels, and specifically to St Michael.
The sculpture of St Michel defeating the devil on the wall of Coventry cathedral is strking and mysterious. From the first time I saw it - at about the age of 8 or 9 - I was intrigued and entranced by it.
The whole 'principalities and powers' concept is one that provokes much thought, and even more controversy, among theologians and ordinary people of faith.
The Victorians were quite big on angels, and with high infant mortality, invoking guardian angels to watch over babies and children, healthy, sick, dying and even dead, was widespread. Even in the 1960s and 1970s such influences persisted...
Four corners to my bed,
four angels round my head -
one to read, and one to write,
and two to guard my bed at night.
Or, as we used to pray at the end of every day at primary school:
Lord, keep us safe this night,
secure from all our fears,
may angels guard around us keep,
til morning light appears.
I'm not convinced about guardian angels, if by that we mean one assigned to watch over me and me alone. But I am convinced that, in some way or other, God's mysterious messengers do break through in to my everyday in unexpected ways.
So, finally for today, the prayer from the book:
O Michael of the angals and the righteous in heaven, shield thou my soul with the shade of thy wing, shield thou my soul on earth and in heaven. From foes upon earth, from foes beneath earth, from foes in concealment protect and encircle my soul 'neath thy wing, oh my soul with the shade of thy wing.