Today is the Feast of the archangels, aka: Michaelmas! The perfect day to get back to the blog!
I would never look back on middle school, high school, or any time really and call myself “cool.” It wasn’t ever really important to me, but I definitely remember the feeling of having that one friend who was “way cooler” than I was. (I put these words in quotes because I consider them pretty meaningless now- I realize that may not be the purpose of quotes- moving on. . .)
I was trying to remember who these people were, and honestly, I can’t. All I really remember is that feeling of having someone who’s considered “really cool” say hi to me in the hall or stop and talk to me at lunch or something. As if it somehow elevated me to be “cooler” than I actually was.
This is totally how I feel about St. Michael. He is honestly the most kick-butt saint. I mean, he’s depicted as nonchalantly stepping on the devil, who’s defenseless in his grasp. I pray frequently and fervently to St. Michael, and when I call upon his intercession, I can’t help but feel like he’s the cool kid high-fiving me in the hall (the high-five reference is the dead give-away of my lack of coolness).
But seriously, I’ve had a devotion to St. Michael for a long time and the reason why is, frankly, pretty dumb. I used to go to the gym sometimes in college and I’d try to distract myself while running on the treadmill by watching tv. I’m not really into TV, so it was hard to find something interesting, and I definitely needed the distraction because running has never been enjoyable for me. Usually, I’d end up watching the history channel. Now, I’ve kind of come to think of the history channel as having very little to do with actual history, but it can be entertaining, nevertheless.
One day, there was a program about the real case that the movie “the Exorcism” was based on. I’ve always been pretty terrified about that sort of thing, and probably shouldn’t have been watching it to begin with. Anyway, in the program, it said that the only thing that made the possession stop in the boy was when someone put a St. Michael statue next to his bed.
OK, so, again, it’s the history channel, so I don’t even necessarily believe this and I’ve never done any further research into the matter. Honestly, I didn’t even want to write this out because, as wise friends and priests have told me, it’s not good to think too much on these matters. I do have a purpose, though, so I’m going to press on.
That part of the program got me to thinking about the statue and about St. Michael, and how awesome he really is. It’s a comfort to know that we have defenses against the evil one. We aren’t just sitting ducks who can be overcome by the devil against our will. We can protect ourselves by living according to God’s will and, of course, avoiding things that are not in line with It (occult, new age, etc.). But we can also call on St. Michael to protect us and our families. This is what I do every day, sometimes several times a day!
I was surprised by a dream I had the other day, which proves my, somewhat new, confidence. In the dream, our new house was haunted and we kept seeing words being written on the walls but no one was there writing them. In the dream, I wasn’t the least bit afraid. I simply said to my husband something along the lines of, “yea, I don’t think so- sorry evil one, you aren’t welcome here, this house belongs to Jesus!” I told him we just need to get the house blessed and officially kick that spirit out.
In addition to a thorough house blessing, I like to have a St. Michael statue in each bedroom.
I also have this beautiful tapestry I got on our honeymoon, which I like to keep in a prominent position in the house- need to find a good spot in our new home! It’s just a nice reminder that we covered.
I also like to give a little St. Michael statue or medal as baptism gifts. Not the traditional go-to for baptism, but in my mind, spiritual protection is just as important as all the other ways we try to protect our babies, right?
So a quick back story on the St. Michael prayer. For one thing, it’s a lot longer than the one most commonly prayed, but if you aren’t familiar with it, this is the version I learned, and the one I say with the kids every day:
St. 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 though, oh Prince of the Heavenly Hosts,
By the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits prowling about the world
Seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
My oldest, if he forgets the name St. Michael, sometimes just calls him “defend us in battle.” I’m glad it’s sticking!
Anyway, Pope St. Leo XIII wrote this prayer after a vivid vision (actually I think he just heard the conversation) of Jesus and Satan. In the vision, Satan was basically bargaining with Jesus, telling him he just need, oh, 75 to 100 years and he would make the world his. Jesus told him to go ahead and take the time, do his worst, basically (we all know who wins in the end, afterall). After the vision was over, Pope Leo locked himself in his office and wrote out the whole prayer. He also suggested that all churches recite the prayer after each mass- I’ve found few that do this, but I’m happy to attend a church that does!
All that being said, today, the feast of the archangels, or Michaelmas, is a great day to celebrate! I know this post mostly focuses on St. Michael, but let’s not forget St. Gabrielle and St. Raphael, too!
Last year, I attempted to make angel food cake from scratch and it was a big fail. This year, I’ve realised, is not my year to try again! I am going to pick up a box mix and attempt this delightful looking recipe: https://myrecipeconfessions.com/desserts/french-silk-angel-food-cake/
I also plan to make a roast chicken (one of my favorite things to cook!), as a roast bird is a traditional feast food for this particular feast day, woohoo! Of course, I’m going straight to Ree for this super easy recipe, only I use dried herbs rather than fresh, unless I can find a package of them all together, just to keep it cheap. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/herb-roasted-whole-chicken/
I’ll serve the chicken up with some glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, and some store bought bread. I’d have liked to make this bread myself, but I forgot to plan on it- ah well!
Who knows, I might even attempt an angel craft with my oldest today, if I can pry him away from his trains for a minute!
I hope you have a wonderful Michaelmas- St. Michael the archangel, pray for us!