Last Sunday, our church celebrated the Feast of Michael and All Angels. Also known, it turns out, as Michaelmas, a term I had only known thanks to a murder mystery in which "Michaelmas daisies" are featured.
The sermon included a short dissertation on the difference between actual angels and our popular conception of those beings, which reminded me of the observations we made during eight days of bingeing on Italian art while visiting Rome.
Biblical angels apparently feel the need to begin their encounters with humans by words like "Fear not." I'm guessing it's a pretty overwhelming encounter.
Angels in art? All too often they look as if they are about to announce, "Aren't I adorable?"