Monday, September 29, 2014

St. Michael the Archangel

Ave Maria! Today is the splendid feast of St. Michael the Archangel. At least in the Traditional Latin Mass it is. Otherwise, it's the feast of the three great Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. On today's feast, I always remember a very special Sister of the Visitation, Sister Margaret Mary, who many long years ago entered the Visitation Monastery on Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Maryland. When this monastery closed due to lack of vocations, she transferred to the Georgetown Visitation Monastery in Washington, DC, where she continued to lift up the hearts of everyone who came into contact with her until she went home to the Father. In all those 25 some years that I was blessed to know Sister Margaret Mary, I never heard her complain about anything. Except once. She and I were having a lovely visit and were exulting in the power and the glory of the Archangels, whose feast was rapidly approaching. Then she declared rather indignantly, "When the Church made all those changes in the liturgical calendar after Vatican II, they could have at least let each Archangel have his own feast day. It's not like there aren't enough days in the year to go around!" I laughed out loud because I'd never before heard such a comment from dear Sister Margaret Mary! And I so totally agreed with her, which is why I'm thrilled that the Ordo for the Traditional Latin Mass remains generous in honoring each of these Archangel on his own separate day.

As for St. Michael himself, I do love this image of him. That fierce look on his face seems to shout out: "Don't mess with me!" How firm he stands, forever rooted in the surpassing greatness of God's power for us who believe! (Confer Eph 1:19-23.) How noble his mission is, sent as he is by Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth! (Confer today's Epistle from the Traditional Latin Mass, Rev 1:1-5) And how urgent his message is, coming as it does from the One who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood! (Again, confer Rev 1:1-5)

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!  Protect us and defend us!  And teach us to live as you do -- blessing the Lord, praising and exalt Him above all forever. (Daniel 3:58).  Amen!  Alleluia!

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