THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
St Michael the Archangel
29 September 2019
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The feast of St. Michael reminds us of an unseen realm that we will be called to enter one day as we leave this world behind. The angels are messengers from the realm of Heaven to the realm of men. They are our connection to eternity. God has appointed angels to guard us and guide us through the realm of this world so that we may safely arrive upon the shores of eternal happiness in Heaven.
Besides the realm of Heaven, we also know that there is an endless realm of pain and suffering in Hell. It is only in the realm of this world that all things are passing away. There are spiritual ambassadors from the kingdom of Hell that surround us to tempt and entice us to enter into Hell with them, just as there are angels to guide us into Heaven.
There is a constant spiritual battle that is being waged for the souls of men between the angels and the demons. Because we cannot see them with the eyes of our bodies we seldom think of them. Today's feast gives us the opportunity to reflect upon this spiritual warfare as we honor the leader of the army of angels in his fight against all the demonic forces.
The name Michael is translated "Who is like God?" It is the battle cry of St. Michael against Lucifer who considered himself equal to God. From the heights of heaven, the devils were cast down into the depths of hell. They did not just fall to our level but they fell beneath the level of the physical world. They maintained a spiritual existence but turned it into a spiritual existence that is far beneath our physical existence. The demons would be happy to exchange places with us. They hate us so much mainly because they envy the good that we have, but especially our ability to one day enter into the kingdom of heaven which they have lost forever. Men will one day fill all the places in heaven that were vacated by the fallen angels.
The Church reminds us to call upon St. Michael and our guardian angels to come to our aid in all our spiritual battles. These angels continually see the face of God and therefore know Him and His Holy Will. They desire to take us by the hand to lead us to God and show us all His glory. We must become as little children if we are going to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is made up of these humble and innocent souls that are filled with love rather than pride and hate.
It is the mission of the angels and the Church to cultivate within the hearts of all men this beautiful childlikeness. We see that the devils and evil men seek to eradicate rather than cultivate. The demons encourage childishness rather than childlikeness. Those who are childish are proud, self-centered monsters in league with the devils.
Scandal is leading souls into hell through encouragement or bad example. Scandals are necessary for us to advance in grace and virtue. The devils and their agents give us the opportunity to resist them and to grow in the grace and love of God. So we see that through scandals the devils' evil works are forced to produce good even against their own wills. Unwillingly those desirous of evil end up giving greater honor and glory to God. Tragically it will not benefit them but rather others.
Jesus has said that scandals are necessary, but He also pronounces woe to those by whom they come. Those who destroy the childlike innocence in souls will be eternally condemned. God will make good come of their evil, but they will still be condemned for their evil.
These scandals in this world are often dismissed or treated as if they were nothing because our physical eyes cannot perceive the spiritual harm that is taking place. Scandal is like evil seeds that are scattered about everywhere. Sometimes seeds germinate and grow very quickly and sometimes seeds lay dormant for a long time before they ever begin to germinate. The evil example of sin shown to an innocent child may appear to have caused no harm, but we do not know when the evil effects will actually germinate and spring forth in his soul. The seed of scandal may not ever germinate in the soul, or it may remain dormant for a while or even for many years, but if it does sprout and destroy this soul the man that planted that seed will be responsible and will have to answer to Jesus for destroying one of His precious children.
We are all exposed to scandals, and they are helpful to us if we resist and not allow them to grow and develop in our hearts and souls. They will become the sources of great grace and merit. We need, however, the assistance of the angels. We should at least daily call upon our guardian angels to come to our aid and fight against the assaults of the demons on our behalf. Primarily we should call upon the prince of the angelic warriors, St. Michael, to defend us in our battles. Let us sincerely repent and do penance for our sins because of the harm they have done to our souls, but also, for the harm that they may have caused others.
May St. Michael shield us in this battle from all the enticements to sin offered by the devils and by worldly men. Let us also pray that he prevents us from ever causing or giving occasion for the sins of others.
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