My challenge for 2020 is to read 20 (though I now have nearly 30 on my list to read) books. I have opened this challenge up to anyone else who would like to read more in 2020, for details on how to join (you have until January 31) visit our Facebook page or the blog post titled “2020 Book Challenge.” Twenty-one days in and I finished my first book of the year. I am so excited not just because I love reading but because my first book was great. I have so many books that I want to read I actually let John pick which one to start with. He chose The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra, which I was very excited about since Ancient Faith announced it’s publishing.
Mother Alexandra was a survivor of recent history, having been born in Romania shortly before WWI, experiencing WWII from Austria until she and her family escaped the Nazi regime. She experienced communism first hand and became a displaced person, but through all of it she held fast to her faith. Her book The Holy Angels was originally posted in 1981 and is the perfect reference for anyone, Orthodox or not, who wants to be come more acquainted with who the angels are and where our knowledge of them comes from. Mother Alexandra reposed in 1991. Memory Eternal.
Once through the acknowledgements,introduction, forward, preface, Mother Alexandra wastes no time in showing that angels are among us and have been from the beginning. She combs through scripture highlighting each of the forefather’s and prophet’s interactions with angels, what we learn from them. She clearly states what we know and what we don’t about all the angels of God.
We then move to the New Testament and how Christ himself references the angels and recognizes them. “Angelology” as Mother Alexandra affectionately calls the study of angels, doesn’t end with Christ, we see more with the apostles and early fathers within the church. While a full history of every angelic event in history between then and when this book was written, would take many more volumes that this little book, but it is clear that texts and documents were thoroughly studied and the best examples were chosen to educate us clearly and concisely.
She ends with her own experience with angels, which inspired her to start this life work of sharing angels with the world. And whether you have had your own experience to draw you to this book or if you just were curious about angels, you will be left in awe.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to deepen their faith and/or learn about angels. Before reading this book, I knew that angels exist and that they’re are different types, but beyond that I couldn’t say much about where the belief comes from. Even after reading scripture involving angels, I didn’t understand a lot of the descriptions. Mother Alexandra breaks it down in laymen’s terms and explains we know and what the prophets and others filled in, because it is beyond our earthly knowledge.
O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me of everything I have done to offend you every day, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. May I never offend God by my sin. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Most Blessed Theotokos, and of all the Saints. Amen.