Today is Michaelmas (the feast of Michael and the Holy Angels). It's pronounced "MICK-el-mus" and is a traditional starting time for school. In God's providence, it also falls immediately after Yom Kippur this year.
Collect: Everlasting God, who have ordained and constituted in a wonderful Order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Readings: Psalm 103; Genesis 28:10-17; Revelation 12:7-12; John 1:47-51
Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
|Cathedral Choral Society, Washington National Cathedral - Ye watchers and ye holy ones 17c|
|Found at bee mp3 search engine|
bright seraphs, cherubim, and thrones,
raise the glad strain,
Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers,
virtues, archangels, angels' choirs,
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
O higher than the cherubim,
more glorious than the seraphim,
lead their praises,
Thou bearer of the eternal Word,
most gracious, magnify the Lord, Refrain
Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
all saints triumphant, raise the song, Refrain
O friends, in gladness let us sing,
supernal anthems echoing,
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One, Refrain
In the days before widespread literacy, the Church taught with images. Cultural commentators tell us that images are making a come-back (TV, YouTube, etc.) as the power of the written word seems to diminish among the hoi polloi. While this is to be lamented, all is not lost. Again - the Church taught the faith this way for over a millenium.
Today, as I reflect on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, I'm struck by what the iconography teaches about our spiritual warfare. Look at these pictures and tell me what you notice.
Seeing a common theme, yet?
Try noticing where the spear is placed.
Do you see it?
ALWAYS AT THE MOUTH.
(The same is true in the iconography of St. George, Patron protector of England, whose shield has been adopted as the symbol for the Anglican Church in North America.)
Because Satan's greatest tool is deception!
Our spiritual warfare consists of being sanctified in the truth and casting down arguments that hold themselves up against the truth of Christ. It's not easy - and in an age that appreciates the appearance of substance rather than substance itself - it can get you labeled as "mean" or "intolerant" or "narrow-minded."
But remember that the highest messenger of God (literal translation of archangel) is so because he constantly destroys the lies of the devil, robbing him of power in the world.
Go and do likewise.
(Here's some help.)
Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
The Prayer of Leo XIII
to be said after Mass
to be said after Mass