Archives for the month of: December, 2012

St. Michael defeating Satan

I went to Confession this weekend, so that I could prepare myself for Christmas this Tuesday. It got me thinking about evil, and those that strive to push its agenda, hence this post about the greatest enemy of the Church himself.

As a primer, the Devil is only really found in Christianity, though he is alluded to in Judaism. Other religions may have malevolent spirits (Islam has a strange depiction of the Devil as a jinn, which is not too dissimilar from Protestant heresies), but it is the degree of revelation that is key here.

The Devil’s sole purpose in life is to not cause suffering, though it’s a symptom of his fall. Rather, his once sole purpose was to praise God, and traditionally it’s said his praise to God was of the highest order (thus the name once attributed to him, Lucifer, or “light bearer”).

As a powerful angel, his first disobedience would also be his last. The souls of angels and humans are very different: humans have the ability to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and ultimately love, due to the nature of our material universe. Angels, however, do not grow in knowledge, wisdom, or love, because they are pure spirit. From the moment they are created, they know everything their brilliant souls allow them to know, and love to the fullest of their extent, because they are not constricted by matter like we are, nor darkened in conscience. Thus, they always know true right from true wrong, and the repercussions of all their actions from there. Despite all this, Lucifer still disobeyed God. He knew he would condemn himself to eternal torment. He knew that he would curse all his angelic brethren in communion with God, and the human race, the ultimate cause for his ire; and that he would curse himself, and of course the God that once loved him. That is the price of his disobedience.

Contrary to popular belief (moving slightly to eschatology here), while Satan and the fallen are condemned to Hell, they’re not bound to it just yet. They roam the earth – a place still in the presence of God – but after the last day, they will finally be sealed in the only place without God’s presence, along with the humans who also rejected Him.

Which begs the question, what really caused Lucifer to fall? When God told him he would create a less brilliant species who the angels would serve and God would adore even more, Lucifer said no. War ensued. He lost, and was thrown out. And in his spite, he will do everything in his terrifying power to make sure as many human souls as possible do not assume a place in heaven higher than the highest of all the angels once had. He wants them to suffer a rejection of God as much as he will for all eternity.

So here’s the famous prayer to St. Michael, the one who, upon Lucifer’s rejection, came from the lowliest of angelic ranks to defend our God’s honour:

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 power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Oh, and if you ever feel uncomfortable about the thought of a once powerful Seraph trying to tempt you away from heaven, let it be known that his greatest rival is not even St. Michael. It’s the most lowly, most humble, most inconspicuous, but most charitable woman to ever walk the earth; the closest creature to God’s own heart. We’re commemorating her Son’s birthday this Christmas.

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: he shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for his heel. (Gen 3:15)

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us!

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In the wake of the violent tragedy, this is how I exactly feel.

Coming Home

brokenwindow

Causes and Remedies.

That’s what we want. A nation addicted to fast food and fast answers, where the police solve the crime in one hour on TV (less if we factor in the commercials). The difficulty with real life is that the answers are often elusive. That’s frustrating when calamities on the scale of Sandy Hook are visited on us, because humans cannot bear the chaos of random evil. We need to understand the internal logic of the evil so we can seek to remedy such evil.

“Never Again!” is the mantra.

But it happens again, and again. Each time we ask why, but are left unsatisfied.

Last night the President, speaking in Newtown, asked, “What else can we do?” and then stated that in the coming weeks he would use all the powers of his office in dealing with law enforcement around the nation to address the problem. The…

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Any where, any time, for all time, until the end of the world.

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Hail, Eucharistic Face shrouded in silence,
and with us always, even unto the consummation of the world!