The Holy Angels Assist Us in Temporal Things.

The Holy Angels Assist Us in Temporal Things.

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.

The Holy Angels Assist Us in Temporal Things.

AFTER having spoken of the benefits we receive from the angels in a general way, it is well to consider a little more in detail the favours they confer upon us, that the heart of man may be left without excuse, and be irresistibly constrained to love them. For if benefits, as says that holy man, Father Louis of Grenada, are to love what wood is to fire, which increases in intensity and magnitude in proportion to the fuel supplied to it, what fires and flames, what conflagrations, should not the love of the angels kindle in us, since on all sides we are loaded with their loving benefits? You would say that they were determined to bear away the palm of love, if you regard the considerate kindness with which they treat us, and the multiplied favours which they bestow upon us with unparalleled liberality and profusion. Let us consider this truth as respects temporal concerns; we will afterwards view it in regard to those spiritual benefits which help to bring us to a high and blessed eternity; and we shall then be compelled to acknowledge that there is no good thing for which we are not indebted to the love of the angels.

The angels have care of our bodily nurture. It was by these glorions spirits that the infant St. John the Baptist was brought up in the desert, whither his holy mother had taken him, to escape the persecution of Herod, and where she died forty days after her retreat into this solitude, leaving this blessed child, at the tender age of eighteen months, all alone in a wilderness, deprived of the assistance of any visible creature. They have a care also for our bodily sustenance. They carried to the Blessed Clére Indoise,[1] in a rich vessel, manna whiter than snow, the taste of which was more delicious than the choicest earthly meats. They entertained the martyrs St. Firmin and St. Rusticus, and supplied them with abundant food. They carried a repast to Daniel in the den where he was confined (xiv. 32-38); and the  holy prophet Elias, when he was lying on the ground so exhausted that there was no more strength in him, received at their hands food which imparted to him so much vigour that it was sufficient to enable him to walk during forty days, till he reached the holy mountain of Horeb (3 Kings xix. 5-8). They give drink to those who are thirsty. When Agar’s child was at the point of death, they preserved his life by the water they pointed out to the afflicted mother (Gen. xxi. 14-19). They provide men with raiment: the virgin St. Anthusa was arrayed magnificently by them. They confer honours upon them. A hundred angels appeared at the death of the blessed Agatha, and composed her epitaph. They promoted to the dignity of the episcopate the illustrious St. Mello, Archbishop of Rouen; and exalted to the highest station on earth the Sovereign Pontiff, St. Gregory the Great. They minister to the recreation of men, and afford them innocent pleasures. St. Francis being sick, they played upon an instrument of music for his solace. They ministered the same gratification to St. Nicholas of Tolentino, during the six months preceding his death. They caused the most ravishing music to be heard round the sacred body of the Mother of God during the space of three days, for the consolation of those who approached that divine tabernacle. They gave roses to St. Rosaly in a desert where they had never bloomed. They are forward to gratify the desires of their friends. St. Agnes, of Monte Pulciano, wished for certain relics, and she received them accordingly at the hands of these amiable spirits. They procure temporal goods for those who serve them, when it is not contrary to God’s appointment. It was by their holy devices that Jacob became rich, while he abode with his father-in law, Laban (Gen. xxxi. 11-13). They obtain children for married persons who are without them, as we read in the Book of Judges (xiii. 2-23), in the case of the wife of Manue. They make men eloquent, of which we have an instance in Isaias vi. 6-8. They make beautiful and rich presents: witness that magnificent picture which they gave to St. Galla, a young Roman widow. They accompany travellers. We have a striking proof of this in the person of Tobias, who was conducted, with a goodness which perfectly enchants us, by St. Raphael (Tob. v. 5, &c.). This same archangel, for three years, visibly accompanied St. Macarius, the Roman, acting as his guide from the time he left Rome, whence this saint had fled on his marriage-day, until he had penetrated far into the desert. They visit and console the servants of God. All the lives of the Fathers of the Desert are full of testimonies to this truth. St. Ludwine was often visited by them, and the martyrs frequently received this honour in their prisons. But you must not suppose, says the learned Rupert, that they never visited them except in a visible form; they were very near them even when they did not behold them, supporting them in the midst of their torments, giving them strength to bear their chains, and taking pleasure even in numbering all their wounds. It must have been an enrapturing sight to see them wiping away the sweat of a glorious martyr with a cloth of beautiful whiteness, and from time to time giving him water to drink, to minister some refreshment to him in his pains. O my God, O my God, how good it is to suffer something for Thee!

But if they procure all these good things for us during life, they also assist us and deliver us from all kinds of evil. They liberate from prison, break the chains of captives and set them at liberty, as Scripture records—(Acts xii. 7-11)—of the prince of the Apostles, and supreme head of the Church. They rescue from flames, as is related of Daniel (iii 49); from conflagrations, as we read in Genesis (xix. 15-17) ; from lions, as we see in the case of the prophet just mentioned (Dan. vi. 22); from calumny, infamy, and death, as the Holy Spirit declares to us of Susanna (xiii. 55, 59); from the sword, as we see in the person of Isaac (Gen. xx. 11). They heal men of every kind of malady, as St. John, the beloved disciple, writes in his Gospel (v. 4). We learn in the fourth Book of Kings (i. 9-15), how they protect their friends, and are the adversaries of such as seek to injure them; they arm themselves on their behalf, assume the garb and form of soldiers, and go forth to do battle for them. We meet with marvellous examples of this in the Book of Machabees.[2] In fine, it would be necessary here to reckon up all the evils which can afflict us—whether in mind or body, or in our temporal, natural, and moral goods; whether in regard to our private or our public interests; by wars, pestilences, or famines; whether by friends or foes—in order to specify all the various kinds of assistance we receive from the angels, and to teach all people that these are the gracious and powerful protectors, to whom we must have recourse in all our needs, whatever they may be. It is true, Divine Providence has given us the Saints for defenders; some against plague, as St. Sebastian, St. Roch, and St. Adrian; others against toothache, as St. Lawrence, and St. Apollina; others against disorders of the eyes, as St. Clara, and St. Lucy; others in case of captivity, as St. Leonard and St. Paulinus. Thus, in the order of Providence, we have special recourse for one thing to one Saint, for another to another; but in the order of the same Providence the angels are appointed to assist us generally in all our distresses, and to obtain for us all sorts of good. We cannot do better than address ourselves to these loving spirits, and pay them private, or procure for them public devotions, to appease the auger of God, and draw down His mercies upon us.

Before concluding, let us here admire the protection of the angels in that admirable example given us in Scripture. It was an angel who led the people of God by that miraculous pillar spoken of in Exodus (xiii. 21, 22). It was one of these immortal spirits who communicated motion to that pillar which went before the people for the space of forty years, indicating to them the road they were to take in the midst of the desert, where there was no path to guide them. He made it move forward or stand still, according as it was necessary for the people either to journey onward or to rest. He caused it to be visible under the appearance of a cloud during the day, and under that of fire by night. He gave it its density, its width, and its height, that it might be easily discernible by so great a multitude, which, according to the opinion of the learned Pereyra, occupied ground to the extent of five leagues. By its means he provided them with a shade to protect them from the excessive heats of the sun. He caused it to leave its position in advance of the people and to pass to the rear, in order that, in this pillar, he might stand between the Hebrews and the army of Pharao, giving light to the former and blinding the unbelievers, whom he made to perish miserably in the waters of the Red Sea, which he divided for a brief space, that the people of God might walk through it dry-shod. The whole host of the Egyptians, numbering two hundred and fifty thousand armed men, was overwhelmed therein, not a single man remaining to tell the news. I leave it to the devotion of those who read of this wonderful guidance to meditate at leisure upon all its details. So striking are they, that it needs but a slight attention for us to be profoundly convinced that the services which the angels render to men are immeasurably great, and so be led to magnify the Holy Name of the Lord, who alone works all these wonders by the ministers of His heavenly court.

[1] The translator has been unable to discover who this holy woman was, or when and where she lived, although he has made inquiries in quarters which appeared to be most capable of furnishing the desired information.

[2] E.g., 2 Mach. iii. 25, 26.

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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