Friday, September 29, 2017

“When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped!”

I bind to myself today the power in the love of the Seraphim, in the obedience of the Angels, in the ministration of the Archangels, in the hope of Resurrection unto reward, in the prayers of the Patriarchs, in the predictions of the Prophets, in the preaching of the Apostles, in the faith of the Confessors, in the purity of the holy Virgins, in the deeds of Righteous men.   -St. Patrick of Ireland: (was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland")

Scripture Text: (RV 12:7-12AB)
War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels in our Catholic tradition.

Depictions of angels can be found in most specialty shops, catalogs and art stores in the forms of small, medium and large statues, pictures, on prayer cards, garden art and numerous other objects. They can be found in stain glass windows and statuary of the great cathedrals of Europe and around the world. We grow up knowing the guardian angel prayer and hope we haven’t frightened ours off by the time we have “grown up”. In the Catholic faith there are the nine choir of angels beginning with the lowest to highest ranking; Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. In the Church we celebrate the archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael who are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. Michael’s name means, “Who is like God?” We have a prayer calling on St. Michael for protection. This archangel is best known for his battle with evil, as quoted above. Gabriel is known as the messenger angel who announced to Mary that she was going to bear God’s Son. Gabriel’s name means, “God is My Strength” and is known as the Archangel of Wisdom, Revelation, Prophecy, and Visions. Raphael’s name means, “Healing Power of God”. We find this Archangel in the book of Tobit. He was sent in an answer to Tobit’s prayers and the prayers of his daughter. In this book of the Old Testament, Raphael is companion, guide, and heals Tobit of his blindness.

Angels are spiritual beings who assist God with those tasks on earth and in heaven. In the readings today from Mass we read that, “Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.”(Dn 7:9 – 10) What a sight that must be! All of those spiritual beings tending to God and doing what God commands. As I picture it in my mind’s eye it seems as if Heaven is a very busy place. During the Triduum I have pondered what the angels were doing as Christ went through his Passion, death and Resurrection. I can hear God telling Michael, No, hold back your angels, do not interfere. Gabriel watching with great sadness and Raphael wanting to heal broken hearts. And then great joy with Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension. And most likely they too understood the plan that God had in mind and tended to Christ on the day of Resurrection and the Ascension.

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