Monday, September 29, 2008

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, pray for us!

On the Church calendar, today is the Feast of the Great Saints who are Angels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

St. Michael triumphing over Lucifer-putting Revelation into sculpture.
Revelation 12:7-8, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven."

Here is a traditional prayer to St. Michael the archangel.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

As new Catholics, my wife and I have a lot to learn. Last night she asked me why an angel would be called a saint.

In case you share this question, let me answer it here - the Greek word for saint is hagios, which means holy one. An angel that is not fallen is clearly a holy one, and as a result it is quite fitting to bestow this appellation of saint upon an angel.

At any rate, I was starting this blog thinking of my dear Protestant brothers and sisters. As Presbyterians, our worship service would invariably begin with the singing of the Doxology. I reflected on these words as I heard a Latin song sung after Mass today. The melody was the same as the Doxology, and while I understand Latin when read I had no text to read.

So my mind turned to the words we once sang on a weekly basis.

Here they are:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

It was at that point that the notion of praying to the saints, of communicating to them while they are in heaven, was nothing new in becoming Catholic. It was there all along, admitted or not, at least in some corners.

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host!

And so, whether you admit their help in your life, I call upon the angels of the world to continue to praise Him and minister to us all as the first chapter of St. John's gospel records that they did to our Lord.

49Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

1 comment:

Bethany Blanchard Coleman said...

Just found your blog through Principium Unitatis. I wanted to celebrate your confirmation with you--especially as I was confirmed on the same evening! Congratulations to you both! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.