Skip to main content

Can a prayer be inspired by a battle?

http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/the-saint-michael-prayer.html

Can a prayer be inspired by a battle?
Pope Leo XIII (pictured at right) wrote
the Saint Michael prayer, printed below,
in 1884, after supposedly seeing a frightening vision: evil spirits, trying to fulfill Satan’s boast to destroy our Lord’s Church within a century, were engaging in fierce attacks against it.

Although the Pontiff also saw St. Michael casting Satan (also known as the devil) and his demons back into Hell in his vision, he was so horrified by what he had seen he felt compelled to help defend our faith in this struggle.

In the Saint Michael prayer he throws down the gauntlet to “the father of lies” as Jesus calls the devil in John’s Gospel (8:44), by enlisting the help of a very special Archangel:

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.


St. Michael makes a great general in this fight between Christ and Satan for our souls! After all, we read in Revelation (12:7-9) that “there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon...and that great dragon...who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world...was cast unto the earth, and his angels [the demons] were thrown down with him.”

St. Michael’s very name (in Hebrew, Micha’el meaning “Who is like to God?”) denotes the war cry uttered in that battle. Note that when we talk about Satan or the devil here we are also referring to his “army” of fallen angels, the evil spirits referred to in the Saint Michael prayer.

As a special patron and protector of the Church, St. Michael has been assigned to fight against Satan; to protect faithful souls from him, especially at their death; to champion God’s people; and, further along this line, to escort them to their judgment.

Pope Leo XIII saw to it that the Saint Michael prayer was recited after every low Mass throughout the world. (The low Mass, discontinued in 1970 after Vatican II, was said by a priest alone, with no music.) This prayer is not said at Mass today, but in 1994 Pope John Paul II urged the faithful keep to reciting it.

Although we tend to downplay the notion of the devil as being too quaint or outmoded today, he does indeed exist and not just as a symbol of evil, or as character in a fairytale to frighten us.

We obviously can’t excuse all our sins and failures by saying, as the comedian Flip Wilson did in a line he made famous, “The devil made me do it!” After all, God allows us to be tempted but gives us the grace and the free will to choose Him and not the devil.

Still, we shouldn’t assume the devil is just some cartoon figure. Priests such as Father Malachi Martin and Father Gabriele Amorth have written extensively of their struggles with demons during exorcisms.

One of Satan’s greatest assets is his camouflage, the belief that he doesn’t exist, as Father Martin once noted in his acclaimed book Hostage to the Devil. Father Martin felt strongly that disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leaves us unable to resist them.

On the subject of resistance, keep in mind that we can and should say
the Saint Michael prayer at church or just on our own during the day for spiritual protection for ourselves and for others as well!

Satan was unable to destroy the Catholic Church in the 20th century, but certainly our faith withstood terrible onslaughts just from Hitler and Stalin alone. We are still engaged in that war that has gone for all of human history, in one form or another, between God and the devil.

Each of us has had our own battles against the dark side trying to turn us away from eternal life with our Creator. Satan’s idea for our eternal life is one spent with him in hatred and misery and he’s after as many souls as he can get!

As St. Peter once noted “be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “The evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls” mentioned in the Saint Michael prayer have surely been busy, but in asking for help we can fight back against them every day.

Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part of what St. Paul called the “armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians. The Saint Michael
prayer can help us indeed “stand against the deceits of the devil" (Eph 6:11) by “taking the shield of faith” (Eph 6:16). Remember, God permits us to be tempted by the devil but gives us the grace to resist him through prayer in our daily lives.

Let us not be afraid to ask for St. Michael’s help in this prayer and others listed here like it. We need to remember that each time we pray we work to defeat our real enemies, not each other, but rather the devil and his evil spirits.

As St. Paul put it, we fight “not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness” (Eph 6:12). With God’s help in prayer they can all be overcome.

Comments

BABY said…
hi!~~leave you a message to say hello, and thanks for your share!.........................

Popular posts from this blog

OPEN LETTER TO TAYLOR MARSHALL

Dr. Marshall, for many of us (myself included), your podcasts have been a source of enlightenment, entertainment, and—quite frankly—hope, during this very dark time in the history of the Church.  As someone who studied his way into the Catholic Faith, having the grace and the integrity to acknowledge the necessity of conversion from the Protestant sect to which you formerly belonged, you have not been content to rest on your laurels but have “put yourself out there,” launching the New Saint Thomas Institute and discussing current events sub luce aeternitatis.  Your willingness to deal with things the way they are, and not the way they would be if we were all painted on holy cards already, is refreshing and appreciated.
Accordingly, I am writing to you today in regard to your recent statements about being “open” to the idea that Jorge Bergoglio is not actually the pope.  For a person in your position, so much as admitting that possibility must require all the grace and integrity you h…

Our Lady of Good Success: Is Pope Benedict the "Prisoner in the Vatican... in that Greatest Crisis of the Church"?

The apparitions of Our Lady of Success have been approved by the Catholic Church. Moreover, Our Lady of Good Success has had many miracles associated with it.

Here is part of the "Fourth Apparition: January 21, 1610" which the influencial and prominent Catholic blogger Laramie Hirsch believes may possibly be referring to Pope Benedict XVI:

"The Supreme Shepherd and Vicar of Christ on Earth, who, being a prisoner in the Vatican... in that greatest crisis of the Church, he who is obligated to speak in due time will remain silent."
(The Story of Our Lady of Good Success and Novena, Dolorosa Press, Pages 40-41)

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church.


Sex-abuse Worldview Vs. Christian Worldview

By Fred Martinez

Professor Allan Bloom, a philosopher who wrote "The Closing of the American Mind," thought that Friedrich Nietzsche was the father of modern America. He said, "Words such as 'charisma,' 'lifestyle,' 'commitment,' 'identity,' and many others, all of which can easily be traced to Nietzsche ... are now practically American slang."

But the most important Nietzschean slang word is "values."

"Values" are the death of Christian morality because values simply mean opinions. If opinion is how things are decided, then might makes right.

One must remember that whenever someone talks about values in modern America – family values or religious values or place-the-blank-in-front-of values – they are saying there is no real or objective right or wrong – only opinions of the self and its will to power.

Nietzsche's philosophy is summed up by Bloom as

Commitment values the values and makes them valuable. Not love…