All the Holy Angels are Engaged in the Service of Men.

All the Holy Angels are Engaged in the Service of Men.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

All the Holy Angels are Engaged in the Service of Men.

I CONFESS that as I proceed to write of the love of the angels, my heart feels itself becoming gradually more and more softened; and if they are fires and flames of fire, as Scripture teaches us (Ps. ciii. 4; comp. Heb. i. 7), I marvel not that my heart should be all dissolved, to express myself in the Psalmist’s words (xxi. 15), like wax that melts at the fire. O amiable spirits! suffer my poor soul to pour itself forth in love: either let me die, or let me love you to my heart’s content. Let me with you love with pure love Jesus, the King, and Mary, the Queen of holy love. Either I must cease to love, or I must live only by this pure love.

But how fitted are the motives, which here we can but merely glance at, to dispose us to this love! We have said that the angels love men with every variety of love, and that they love them with an inviolable fidelity and a matchless patience; but how many of these amiable princes are engaged in their service? Some few, perhaps, from among their heavenly bands? Let us listen to the divine Paul in answer to our question, who says (Heb. i 14) that all are ministering spirits, sent for our salvation. St Augustine teaches that all the angels watch over us, because we constitute with them one only City of God, of which one portion, composed of men, yet wayfarers on earth, is assisted by the other portion, the angels, who live in the blessed fruition of their true end. When we say that the angels watch over the salvation of men, says the eloquent St John Chrysostom, we must not be supposed to speak only of the angels of the lowest choirs, but even of the most exalted and the highest.

It may, indeed, be asked whether the angels of the first choirs descend here below to assist men. Some doctors are of opinion that they do not, but it is difficult for them to explain away the testimony of Scripture to the contrary. St Raphael, who acted as guide to the young Tobias, testified (Tob. xii. 15) that he was “one of the seven princes who stand before the Lord.” Cherubim appeared to the Prophet Ezekiel (chap. x.); a seraph purified the lips of Isaiah (vi. 2-7); we read also in Genesis (iii. 24), that God has committed to a cherub the guardianship of the earthly Paradise; thus it is evident that the angels even of the first choirs are sent here below for the guidance of men. The lives of the Saints teach us this same truth. It was a seraph who imprinted the wounds of our merciful Saviour on the body of St Francis; it was a seraph also who wounded with a dart of love the heart of the seraphic Teresa. But this is not the essential point; it suffices that it is an undoubted truth that all, without exception, take care of us in one way or another. All the nine choirs of angels are engaged in the service of men.

Now the number of the angels is so exceedingly great that the holy man Job (xxv. 3) declares them to be innumerable. There are learned men who maintain that they surpass in number all the stars of heaven, all the birds of the air, all the drops of water, all the blades of grass, all the atoms, in fine, which compose this visible creation. St. Gregory of Nyssa says that there are infinite millions of them; that is to say, to the mind of man, their multitude is as if infinite, and is known to God alone. He alone, says the great St Denis, knows their number.

What strong and lively emotions of love do our poor hearts experience, and how are they filled with consolation, when they have well penetrated these truths! Reader, were you to be told that the king had despatched one of the first princes of his court on purpose to attend upon you, and to render you every possible service, what feelings would be yours, what sentiments of gratitude! Could you contain your joy? and what would be your amazement, what the surprise, the delight, of all your relatives and friends! But history records nothing of the kind; earth can display nothing so gracious; such favours are reserved for Heaven: it belongs only to the God of Paradise to perform these prodigies of love. O my soul! O my soul! have we ever seriously thought of this? Hast thou ever well considered that all the princes of the court of the King of kings interest themselves in thy affairs, are set to guard thee, and watch with goodness ineffable over everything which concerns thee? It is true that one among these princes is thy more immediate guardian, nevertheless Scripture informs us that “all are ministering spirits, sent for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation.” O the love of God who has sent them! O the love of these princes who are sent! What consolation to our poor souls ! Why after this should they be sad? Why should they be ever troubled? The presence of a single one of these princes ought to be sufficient to remove from us all fear, and raise our courage, however much we may be cast down; and behold millions, thousands of millions, countless millions—to use the words of the Fathers, numbers without number! O my heart! consider that if one such powerful protector is sufficient to insure thy safety, the friendship of all these illustrious lords of the empyrean may well serve to fill and occupy thee. Ah, what time, or what room shall we have remaining for earth? Assuredly there are too many sweet friendships to contract in Heaven with the angels for us to amuse ourselves here below with men; and how pure and holy are these friendships, seeing that they are formed with pure spirits, in whom we find God only!

Nihil Obstat:
Henricus S. Bowden.
Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur:
Edm. Can. Surmont,
Vic. Gen.
Westmonasterii,
Die 9, Martii, 1911.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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