I have felt it. And you can too. But just what are angels, and how can we feel their presence? The woman who established this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote of angels as "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 581).
Angels are not mystical, winged creatures. They are ideas that guide, guard, and comfort. In Biblical days, angels inspired, forewarned, and protected people, as when they heralded the birth of Christ Jesus, and afterward when an angel instructed Joseph to flee into Egypt with his family, to prevent Jesus from being killed by King Herod (see Matthew, chaps. 1-2; Luke, chap. 2).
Several hundred years earlier, a prophet named Elijah had twice heard critical angel messages as he fled for his life from Queen Jezebel. Despondent and suicidal, Elijah received from an angel guidance and the courage to proceed (see I Kings 19:1-8). Angels remind us that we are the children of a loving God, who exist to reflect His nature.
When the apostle Peter was imprisoned for preaching the Word of God, an angel freed him (see Acts, chap. 12). Regardless of whether one is in a mental or a physical prison, angels can release us from bondage. As some people are discovering today, God's saving and instructing informants are not relegated to the past. Inspiration from God is ever available to awaken you to a clearer perception that He is present.
You don't even have to be in life-threatening situations to be touched by an angel. In daily life, you can cultivate the humble, earnest desire to listen for the ideas that God is constantly sending. As one lets go of self-centeredness, human will, and fear and opens the heart, better, more productive thoughts come to light.
Because they represent God, angel thoughts help us structure our days so that they are safe and joyous. Angels aid us in discerning the mental causes of human conditions. They assist us in adopting better attitudes that will help other people. Listening for God's direction enables us to find that He alone is Truth.
Mrs. Eddy's study of the Bible, especially the teachings of Jesus, led her to discover Christian Science, which shows just how possible and practical it is to hear God's messages and trust them. I commonly feel the presence of angels that direct and protect me on the road and even help me drive more courteously. There are thoughts that instruct me how to buy food wisely and to avoid impulsive purchases, and to make the best possible use of my computer. Any good, productive thought is an angel thought.
It's not that God knows about material things like computers or cars. But the truth of God, coming through good thoughts, reveals that we are not limited by material conditions. As a result of this realization, our lives improve.
Angels can prevent us from falling into the "PLM (poor little me) syndrome" and from feeling helpless. One autumn I was up on the roof, cleaning leaves out of the gutters. Afterward, I realized it would be foolish, if not impossible, to get back on the ladder I'd used without falling down on the concrete sidewalk below. I looked for someone to help me get down. But nobody was around. Instead of feeling like a treed cat, I began to pray to God for His angel messages.
These directed me to go to the opposite side of the house. I didn't really know why I was going there, except that I felt impelled to do so. But once I got there, it was obvious that I could jump onto a flat-roofed carport and from there simply climb down an adjacent fence. I did feel protected and directed by God.
The Bible says in Psalms, "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (91:9-11). It's natural and normal to encounter angels every day.
In-depth articles about Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.