St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael


Dear Angela,

It sounds a bit like you have put your spiritual life on automatic pilot.  That’s understandable, considering how many other things you have going on.  Understandable, but not acceptable.  It’s exactly what the devil wants you to do: fall into routine.  You “say your prayers,” “go to Mass,” stay “involved” in your apostolic work, but your heart begins to get detached from it all.  You go through all the right motions and say all the right things and make sure everyone thinks you’re a spiritual rock, but on the inside you cut yourself off from Christ, preferring to dialogue with yourself about all the new developments in your social and intellectual life instead of involving the Lord in them.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe you haven’t gone quite that far down the road to lukewarm-ism.  But it sounds like you may have at least taken a few steps in that direction.

Today’s feast day can be a great wake up call.  The whole Church celebrates the glorious archangels, those spiritual powerhouses who lead the hosts of angels that serve God in his heavenly castle. The theology behind angels is fascinating and quite instructive, but I don’t want to go into it here (if you’re interested, a good place to start is the Catechism #s 328-336, 392-395).  I would just like to remind you that we don’t celebrate them just because they are beautiful and powerful beings.  We also thank God (and the angels themselves) for giving them to us as our allies in the spiritual battle.  Remember “the spiritual battle”?  That’s right, we are members of the Church Militant, and we are engaged in a war, and God has entrusted a lot of his tactical maneuvering to the archangels.  The Bible speaks of St Michael and his army putting down Satan’s rebellion and casting the fallen angels out of heaven. (Apocalypse 12)  We see St Gabriel entrusted with announcing the birth of the Precursor (St John the Baptizer) and of the Messiah (Jesus himself) to Zechariah and Mary. (Luke 1)  St Raphael is the guardian of Tobit’s journey and his family’s faith and prosperity.  If there were no spiritual warfare going on, the archangels would probably be less prominent; as it is, however, the devil and his minions energetically strive to dampen our love for Christ and stoke our selfishness in many hidden and devious ways, and so we need as much help as we can get to stay on the “straight and narrow” path.  The archangels provide some of that help.

You may want to make a special visit to the Eucharist today, and pray for the archangels to stir up your love for Christ again, shaking off the diabolical dust that seems to have settled over it.  I will make the same request from the cramped comfort of this nicely carpeted prison cell.


Uncle Eddy

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