Posted by: fvbcdm | September 29, 2014

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael (29 September 2014)

We come to the time of year when we celebrate the world of the angels in our liturgies and prayers. September 29 is the feast of the archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. And then October 2 is the feast of our Guardian Angels.  We Catholics must be aware that when we recite the Apostles’ Creed and say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS . . .”  we are speaking of that community of those who love God, both in the realm of human beings and of the angels. What do we know about angels? Well, first that they are real creatures of God and not just mythological figures. Sacred Scripture speaks of them very often. Our Lord says that the angels of children always look upon the face of God, and he also rebuked Saint Peter when Peter tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of one of the High Priest’s employees. Put away that sword, Our Lord told Peter. If I needed defense, I could ask my heavenly Father and he could send twelve legions of angels to guard me. “Twelve legions” was a figurative expression meaning very, very many.

We know, too, that some of the angels rebelled against God and became what we call the devils. Satan and the other evil spirits of hell are fallen angels. They do what they can to seduce human beings to rebel against God, too, so as to turn as many as possible away from God, their divine enemy. When the Catholic English poet, Francis Thompson, was writing back about the end of the 19th century, he composed a poem called “The Kingdom of God.” It speaks of the angelic world that underlies the physical world which we can experience with our senses. One of the stanzas which I especially like goes like this: “The angels keep their ancient places; Turn but a stone, and start a wing. ‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces That miss the many-splendoured thing!” The many-splendoured thing is, of course, the world of angels which surrounds us but is visible only to the eyes of faith. Nonetheless, we have it on the authority of the Church and our sacred liturgy that angels exist, that they, like us, are meant for an eternity of joy with God in heaven, and that they are our big brothers and sisters in this wonderful family that we call “the communion of saints.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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