15 Archangel Things that Caught My Eye Today (Sept. 29, 2015)

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3. On the most known archangels.

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5. Today’s readings.

6. Ascending and Descending with the Angels

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8. To the Angel Gabriel, before the Blessed Sacrament.

9. To St. Michael , before the Blessed Sacrament.

10. Saint Gregory the Great from the Liturgy of the Hours today:

You should be aware that the word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.

And so it was that not merely an angel but the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was only fitting that the highest angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages.

Some angels are given proper names to denote the service they are empowered to perform. In that holy city, where perfect knowledge flows from the vision of almighty God, those who have no names may easily be known. But personal names are assigned to some, not because they could not be known without them, but rather to denote their ministry when they came among us. Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.”

Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power. So also our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God, saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High. He will be allowed to remain in power until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment. Then, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we are told by John: A battle was fought with Michael the archangel.

So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of the heavenly powers, mighty in battle.

Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy, for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness. Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.

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13. To Hell with Satan, a Q&A with Paul Thigpen about the Manual for Spiritual Warfare.

14. In Magnificat today, by Jennifer Hubbard, whose youngest, Catherine Violet, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting:

Father, I pray he be surrounded by a legion of angels, that he be clothed in your armor and shielded by your love. I boldly ask that his eyes be open to your undeniable presence and he be filled with a peace that supersedes understanding.

It is the prayer I whisper as my brave one moves from under my protective watch into that of another. I could think he is safest with me, but I refuse to fall prey to that misconception. My brave one is not really mine. He is God’s, and as God’s he is safest under the shelter of his wings.

In placing children in my life God calls me to be an example of complete dependence and trust in his love. While I delight in this awesome responsibility, at times fear creeps in and I assume my brave one’s protection to be my job. I worry how I will protect him from the darkness that lurks. The Lord reminds me he has cloaked us in his whole armor (Eph 6:11-17), and I still question and worry. He shows me through his Word that he is almighty and all-powerful, reminding me of the elite army he sends to protect, to guide, to heal. He sends them — his archangels—to us. Through them he saves from the mouth of the lion, proclaims the Good News, and turns darkness into light. He sends us his archangels not to serve as mere glimpses of his might but as clear reminders of his almighty power and everlasting love. He sends the archangels and answers my whispered prayer.

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