Saturday, September 29, 2012

St Michael: the Cosmic Battle

Belief in Angels is a supernatural gift, in a way the depth of our belief in Angels is a barometer of our spiritual health. There is temptation to believe only in what we can see, or at best imagine, as we can imagine evil more easily than good, it is no wonder many seem more aware of that than the power of good.

Angels are beyond our imagining, they point us to world that is other, to a reality that is spiritual. These creatures that are Spirit and Intelligence call us to contemplate a world that is ours by Grace but not by Nature. They whisper to the Church and its people to go beyond its comfort zone, they remind us that the mysteries we celebrate take us to another place and they remind us too that the real existence of man is a  in the world of Spirits.

This feast tells of the extraordinary mystery of cosmic battle between Satan - the Opposer and Michael -Who is like unto God. It is the battle in which we are involved, on one side or the other. It is a battle that takes place within us too, every thought, every action, every word is blow for one side or the other, ultimately it will decide our fate. This is a battle begun at the beginning of time and will end when all is al in Christ at the consummation of the ages.

Michael -Who is like unto God is the power of God himself, he is not because Christ himself has already defeat the forces of Satan and left him powerless and is himself victorious, and yet the battle continues until salvation is announced to every creature under heaven. The Archangels have names we know, the angels names are known to God alone but we know they are called "Angel" which means Messenger or Announcer or Herald this is their role, to announce Christ's victory to the Just so they might rejoice in Christ's Triumph and to the Spirits of evil that they might flee from it. This is why in ancient iconography Angels are pictured with the wand of the Imperial messenger.

The victory has been won but it has to be announced to the ends of the world; the announcing, is the Cosmic battle we see in the Book of the Apocalypse.

1 comment:

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Thank you for this post, Father. There is a 16th cent painting from a Sforza book of hours showing St Michael weighing souls with the devil already under foot - but showing that good deeds and bad deeds carry a weight which must be reckoned with continually.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...