Season Of Saint Michael

I was reading about two bishops. One is encouraging Pope Leo’s St Michael Prayer, and the other is forbidding it. The last time I had this discussion in person, we pondered the request that came in. I observed that it was likely to be a frustrating thing for its advocates because the parish tended to chattiness at the end of Mass. I didn’t think the devotion would stick, especially since the pastor preferred to be greeting people after Mass and wasn’t inclined to lead it or endorse it personally.

My suggestion was to ask for intercession on September 29th. But I think a faith community would do well to get serious about it. A novena couldn’t hurt. Once through the litany on his feast day, as a minimum.

For a people really serious about Michael the Archangel, would they be willing to take a deeper step?

  • commission an artist for a good depiction: painting, icon, sculpture?
  • take the number off a classroom or meeting room and dedicate the place specifically to St Michael?
  • offer a dinner, a breakfast, or some festivity on the feast day?
  • if a parish or shrine dedicated to him was reasonably nearby, organize a pilgrimage?
  • if a needy St Michael School or impoverished St Michael Parish were in the diocese, take up a regular collection for the cause?

My thinking is that lacking some commitment with courage or sacrifice, why would the being attributed to lead the forces of good into battle against evil want to give a bunch of earthbound mortals a second thought? Especially if all they want to gain out of this was a bit of showy prayer that wouldn’t necessarily be more effective than a Matthew 6:6-8 moment. Soldiers need discipline, and St Michael always impressed me as something of a drill sergeant. If he’s trampling dragons and demons, he’s certainly not above giving a head slap to an impertinent human.

Image credit: Anonymous, 12th century, the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, CC0.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Season Of Saint Michael

  1. Liam says:

    One could also consider enlarging the focus to The Holy Archangels.

  2. nassauny says:

    I recommend Philip Jenkins, The Great and Holy War, in which he describes how Russia, Germany, and most combatants envisioned Michael as fighting on their own side. In our parish church, this prayer sounds like, “All evil comes from the other guy, not us, dear Lord, not us.” Yes, some soldiers reported visions of Michael fighting for them.

  3. It appears that the bishop who supposedly forbid the prayers after Mass didn’t exactly do that.

  4. Pingback: St Michael’s Mass | Catholic Sensibility

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