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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Allocutio by Sr Krizia:
Mary’s Legion of Angels

In our modern Christian culture today, the notion of God being nice, loving, and all-merciful is widely prevalent. Some people have the idea that as long as they believe in God, God will forgive their sins because he is loving and merciful. Of course, it is true that God is infinitely loving and merciful, but that’s not all. Nowadays we focus too much on these attributes of God that we pick out to make us feel good, but that’s not the whole story! Most Christians have lost the repulsion for sin, and the devil, and hell, and rarely get to hear about them from the pulpit. Most Christians have lost the early Church’s notion of spiritual warfare, of the eternal battle for souls that is being waged intensely between the forces of good and evil. Some people even doubt the existence of satan. I think most people would prefer to shy away from these thoughts because it is disturbing and makes them uncomfortable. As legionaries, however, we have taken up the call to engage ourselves in this eternal battle for souls, and we need to be constantly aware of the urgency and the immensity of the raging battle that has been fought on both the material and immaterial worlds for several millenia.

In order to understand fully the gravity of this battle, we turn to St. Michael and the angels, who were the first to wage war against satan and his forces even before creation. There is a reason why St. Michael the Archangel and Mary’s Legion of Angels are invoked as the Legion’s patrons at every meeting. Here is what the handbook has to say about them:

“Angels are a heavenly counterpart of the legionary campaign. Every legionary, active and auxiliary, has a guardian angel who fights blow for blow at his side. In a sense that battle means more to the angel than to the legionary, for the angel perceives vividly the issues at stake: God’s glory and the value of the immortal soul. So the interest of the angel is most intense, and his support unfailing. In addition, the entire angelic army hastens to the scene. For our battle is part of the main struggle which from the first they have maintained against satan and his minions.” P. 141, Handbook

To understand the greatness of St. Michael and his role as the commander of the army of the Lord, we go back to the time before there was time and space, when only spiritual beings were in existence. We know that they are immaterial beings of pure intellect and had free will, and that they were given an option. Nobody knows what that option was exactly, but we have an idea: God must have illumined the angelic mind and let them know that he was going to create another universe – a material world – that had dirt, soil, air, birds, cockroaches… and then, he mentioned us. Imagine God telling them: I’m going to create a creature that is like you but is also not like you. And I am going to make that creature the crown of material creation. I will give that creature intellect and will, and I will love that creature so much that I will reach down through your angelic world into that material world and I will assume that nature unto myself and make his glory unmatched by even yours. This must have made one of the angels cringe. And then, the final blow: And you will serve that creature. You will serve man.

That was too much for the angel of light – Lucifer – his pride was so intense that he could not bear the thought of serving a creature made of mud. And because of the way they communicated with each other – telepathically, instantaneously, the angels knew about this choice. From the lower ranks of angels, one lowly angel cried out, one who is like God: Who are you to not serve? That angel was Michael. He was revulsed by an angel, a mere creature, daring to challenge the Creator. And the war in heaven broke out, and Michael and his legion of angels casted away satan and his dragons.

Revelation 12: 7 And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. 8 And they prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world. And he was cast unto the earth: and his angels were thrown down with him.

12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.

And now, the new battlefield – your soul, my soul. We can feel a war raging inside us.
Throughout human history, man’s existence has been marked with a great struggle as described by Pope John Paul II in Gaudium et Spes:

The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.

We all have guardian angels – powerful spiritual allies. We should be calling on them by the minute; whenever a temptation comes to mind, ask Michael, ask Our Mother, to chase them away. Satan is so proud that he cannot stand being in the same room as the person who kicked his butt.

This may be disturbing, but Satan hates you. We are incapable of hating anything more than Satan hates you. They want to get you to hell because they don’t want you to get the glory. Fight them! This is what our faith, our legionary service is all about: we do battle! We must battle the power of darkness, of sin, in ourselves or in others. That’s why we’re here. Go out, preach, teach, baptize, save the world! That’s the whole point of the sacraments. Don’t keep them to yourself. Take up the sword that has been given you in baptism. Heed the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. - Eph 6: 10-18

The only way to overcome him is through humility and prayer, based on the examples of Jesus and Mary, who trusted in God the Father completely. As we go out into the battlefield, ask for the help of Our Queen and Mother, whom satan fears immensely, and St. Michael the archangel, who has defeated satan in heaven.

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.

Queen of Heaven, sovereign Mistress of the Angels, who didst receive from the beginning the mission and the power to crush the serpent’s head, we beseech thee to send thy holy Angels, that under thy command and by thy power, they may pursue the evil spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks, and drive them hence into the abyss of woe. Most holy Mother, send thy Angels to defend us and to drive the cruel enemy from us. Amen.

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