Friday, October 17, 2008
ANGELS AND BRIGHT LIGHT
Angels can always be counted on to impress. Their visages shine and glow with supernatural light. In fact their entire bodies, being of spirit, are translucent and seem to be made of light. I've seen them in a vision or two, and they are definitely not the little cherubic darlings depicted so often in art. Nor are they the wise-cracking, laid-back types.
They are big, for one thing - and serious. When you encounter them, you become serious, as well. Immediately. Being addressed by a big, HOLY, supernatural being, sent from God Himself, whose body is made out of light, even down to the skin, but perfectly formed (this is hard to describe) gives new meaning to the term "shock and awe".
I love to think about them, and how knowing they are there banishes my lowered expectations of what I might expect out of this life and the next. I need to do this often, because life, when you don't purposely live each moment, begins to grate on one's spirit with its mundane routine, minor annoyances, and the drip-drip rhythm of recurring disappointment.
Paul's letter to the Philippians (Phil. 4:8) admonishes me to stay my mind on the things that are honest, just, pure, lovely of good report, the virtuous and the praiseworthy. Of course, meditating on the Lord Himself and all His works is plenty enough to occupy a lifetime. It is a duty and privilege.
And in so doing, I am always eventually led to praise and thank Him for His creation and all that is good within it. Certainly the subject of the holy angels, who are God's messengers, protectors and healers, rates as one of the best things to remember from time to time.
As I write this on a Friday, a day that Tradition sets aside to honor Our Lord's passion and death, the Catholic world still abstains from meat, (yes, we really do, but nowadays you can substitute this for some other act of mortification, and goodness knows there exist plenty of opportunities for experiencing one). I'm going to finish this little post, therefore, with a recipe appropriate both to the subject at hand and the day of the week. I must admit, the following dish, a family favorite, takes no sacrifice to eat!
Angel Hair Pasta with White Clam Sauce
1 lb. angel hair pasta (an ultra-thin spaghetti, but any long noodles will do)
2 or more cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Olive oil
2 sticks (which is 8 ozs. or 1 cup) butter
2 cans chopped clams, 6.5 ozs. each (I use Snow's brand) with their juice!
red pepper flakes to taste
Parsley, basil and oregano to taste.
Good quality grated cheese (I use loccatelli and grate my own).
Start heating up a large pot of salted water for your pasta. In a separate saucepan, saute the garlic in the olive oil, till garlic is translucent (angelic!).
Add the butter, and melt over medium heat, taking care not to burn it. Then add clams with their juice and the red pepper and herbs. Keep this at a low temperature so the clams don't get tough.
When the pasta water is vigorously boiling, add the Angel hair, and stir it all up to keep it from sticking together. Fine, thin noodles like angel hair, capellini, and vermicelli all cook really quickly in less than 5 minutes, so don't run off!
When done, drain pasta, and serve in a platter, the cooking pan or other dish. I usually put a little olive oil on the dish first, and maybe drizzle a bit onto the pasta before pouring the clam sauce over all of it.
Serve with the grated cheese and a nice green salad!! Oh my, this is heavenly! Thank the Lord and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!