This morning I went to an early Mass at a Church with which I was previously unfamiliar. It was held in a small chapel. Very nice. But at the end, there were several prayers with which I was unfamiliar. The one that stood out to me is this one:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
I sort of like it, and I sort of am cowed by the intensity of the thing. But It got my attention and got me to look up Michael, who I sort of remember, sort of. Here’s more information on him on wikipedia: Michael (archangel) which says:
Michael is one of the principal angels in Abrahamic tradition; his name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.
It also says:
The Catholic Church honors Michael with four main titles or offices. He is the Christian angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Last, he is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.
This stuff fascinates me.
I suppose in some ways we all do battle. What do you do battle with?