ADVENT FIRE: December 5

December 5, 2012

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  Finding Peace Abba Poemen said, “If you take little account of yourself, you will have peace wherever you live.”  He also said, “If you are silent, you will have peace wherever you live.” God’s Power Because no one among mortals lives without tasting death, the father of Abba Bishoy died and the care of the children fell to his most noble wife who suffered alone.  Of all the children, the youngest was Bishoy and, because of his age, he gave his other the most concern, so a kind-looking angel of the Lord appeared unexpectedly in the middle of the night.  “God, the father of orphans, has sent me,” he said.  “Why do you appear so downhearted?  Is [...]

ANGELS: The Nine Choirs, How They Sing by Mechthild of Magdeburg

November 20, 2012

Now hear, my Beloved: listen with spiritual ears. Thus do the nine choirs sing: We praise you, Lord, that you sought us in your humility. We praise you, Lord, that you have kept us in your mercy. We praise you, Lord, that you have glorified us in your humiliation. We praise you, Lord, that you have provided for us in your generosity. We praise you, Lord, that you have arranged us in rank in your wisdom. We praise you, Lord, that you have shielded us with your might. We praise you, Lord, that you have sanctified us with your nobility. We praise you, Lord, that you have instructed us in your intimacy. We praise you, Lord, that you have elevated us in your [...]

ANGELS: The Angels, a Homily, by Karl Rahner

October 2, 2012

It is a truth of faith that God’s infinite power of creation has created besides us other persons of a spiritual nature.  This is a startling idea: here, this earth of the unending cosmos with all its stars, their uncountable courses; here this earth with natural evolution and natural catastrophes, with its humankind and its history replete with greatness and averageness, victories and defeats, laughter and crying, pleasure and suffering — and in the midst of all this, faith speaks: all this, the stars, the earth, and humankind in its entirety is only a small part of that creation which God’s almighty word has called into existence, so that it might reveal his eternal power and wisdom. Besides this there is an unsurveyable world of [...]

PRAYER: A Novena to the Guardian Angels (long)

October 2, 2012

(Author unknown) Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day (or night), be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. O holy angel, whom God, by the effect of his goodness and his tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favors, I return you profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech you, O most amiable protector, to continue your charitable care and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions of sin.  Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to your holy [...]

ANGELS: The Guardian Angels, by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette

October 2, 2012

From Blessings of the Daily May the angels defend us here below Who walk by faith and not by sight; Through them bestow on us your gifts To follow true salvation’s light. O Jesus, joy of angels fair, Through them direct our steps aright, That we may also by their care Rejoice forever in your sight. — Hymn of the Feast A few years ago the subject of angels was much in vogue.  Countless books, some of them bestsellers, were written about angels and people’s experience with them.  Even a TV series was fashioned exclusively on the theme of good angels. The name “angel” comes from the Hebrew, meaning “one sent,” or “messenger.”  References to angels abound in both the Old and the New [...]

SERMON: The Powers of Nature (The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels), by John Henry Newman

September 30, 2012

Who maketh His Angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire. (Psalm 104:4) On today’s Festival it well becomes us to direct our minds to the thought of those Blessed Servants of God, who have never tasted of sin; who are among us, though unseen, ever serving God joyfully on earth as well as in heaven; who minister, through their Maker’s condescending will, to the redeemed in Christ, the heirs of salvation. There have been ages of the world, in which men have thought too much of Angels, and paid them excessive honor; honored them so perversely as to forget the supreme worship due to Almighty God.  This is the sin of a dark age.  But the sin of what is called an educated age, such as our own, is just the reverse: to account slightly of [...]

PRAYER: A Novena To Archangel Michael For Protection Against Temptation

September 29, 2012

Author unknown Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and you, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. O glorious prince, Saint Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, conqueror of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable guide, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, deliver us, who turn to you with confidence, from all evil and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day. Saint Michael, the [...]

ANGELS: The Choirs of Angels by Hildegard of Bingen

September 17, 2012

From: Scivias, Book One, Vision Six Then I saw in the secret places in the heights of Heaven two armies of heavenly spirits who shone with great brightness.  Those in one of the armies had on their breasts wings, with forms like human forms in front of them, on which human features showed as if in clear water.  Those in the second army also had wings on their breasts, which displayed forms like human forms, in which the image of the Son of Man shone as if in a mirror.  And I could see no other form either in these or in the others.  These armies were arrayed in the shape of a crown around five other armies.  Those in the first of these five armies seemed as if they had human forms that shone with great splendor from the shoulders [...]

GOD’S ALPHABET: A is for Angels and Atheists, by Frederick Buechner

August 23, 2012

From Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC, by Frederick Buechner Angels Sleight-of-hand magic is based on the demonstrable fact that as a rule people see only what they expect to see.  Angels are powerful spirits whom God sends into the world to wish us well.  Since we don’t expect to see them, we don’t.  An angel spreads its glittering wings over us, and we say things like, “It was one of those days that made you feel good just to be alive,” or “I had a hunch everything was going to turn out all right,” or “I don’t know where I ever found the courage.” Atheists A true atheist is one who is willing to face the full consequences of what it means to say there is no God. To say there is no God means among other things [...]

PRAYER: Celtic Prayers To The Guardian Angels

July 23, 2012

From Celtic Vision and Celtic Spiritual Verse The Soul-Shrine God, give charge to Thy blessed angels, To keep guard around this stead tonight, A band sacred, strong, and steadfast, That will shield this soul-shrine from harm. Safeguard, Thou, God, this household tonight, Themselves and their means and their fame, Deliver them from death, from distress, from harm, From the fruits of envy and of enmity. Give Thou to us, O God of peace, Thankfulness despite our loss, To obey Thy statutes here below, And to enjoy Thyself above. The Cross of the Saints and the Angels The cross of the saints and of the angels with me From the top of my face to the edge of my soles. The Saints and Angels The circle of the saints around you wound, The circle of [...]

ANGELS: John the Baptist — Earthly Angel, Heavenly Man

June 29, 2012

For this is he of whom it is written: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.”  (Matthew 11:10) Jesus repeats what was written earlier in the Bible: “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.  And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight.  Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1) Somewhere along the line, in the early days of the church, John the Baptist’s role in the history in the church and his relationship with Jesus was scrutinized to its very bones.  Perhaps awed by what he actually accomplished and perhaps eager to not only acknowledge [...]

ANGELS: Litany To The Guardian Angel (two)

April 23, 2012

Holy Guardian Angel, Angel, my counselor, inspire me; Angel, my defender, protect me; Angel, my faithful friend, intercede for me; Angel, my consoler, fortify me; Angel, my brother, defend me; Angel, my teacher, instruct me; Angel, witness of all my actions, purify me; Angel, my helper, support me; Angel, my intercessor, speak for me; Angel, my guide, direct me; Angel, my light, enlighten me; Angel, whom God has assigned to lead me, govern me. Lord, have mercy on me. Christ, have mercy on me. Lord, have mercy on me. Christ, hear me. Christ, graciously hear me. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on me. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on me. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on me. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on me. Holy [...]

ANGELS: Litany Of The Holy Guardian Angel (one)

April 23, 2012

For Private Recitation Lord, have mercy on me. Christ, have mercy on me. Lord, have mercy on me. Jesus, hear me. Jesus, graciously hear me. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on me. God the Son, redeemer of the world, have mercy on me. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on me. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on me. Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who is my guardian, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, whom I revere as my superior, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who gives me charitable counsel, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who gives me wise direction, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who takes the place of a tutor, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who loves me tenderly, pray for me. Angel of Heaven, who is my consoler, pray [...]

ANGELS: Novena To Our Guardian Angel

April 23, 2012

Author unknown O Holy Angels, whom God, by the effect of his goodness and his tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my wants, comforts me in all my afflictions, supports me when I am discouraged, and continually obtains for me new favors, I return your profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech you, O most amiable protector, to continue your charitable care and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions on sin.  Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to your holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice.  In particular, I implore you to obtain for me the favor for which I ask by this novena, (STATE [...]

ANGELS: Chaplet Prayers To Your Guardian Angel

April 23, 2012

O angel of God, to whose guardianship I have been committed by the divine mercy, enlighten and guard, rule, and govern me.  Amen. One Heavenly Father, the moment you created my soul, you gave me to the care of an angel to enlighten, guard, rule, and govern me. I thank you for your infinite goodness to me. I thank you also, my guardian angel, for accompanying me every day on my journey back to Heaven. It is a great comfort for me to know that you give me holy inspirations, that you defend me from dangers to soul and body, and that you pray to the Father for me. Two My guardian angel, you always contemplate the Lord and you want me to be your fellow citizen in Heaven. I beg you to obtain for me pardon from the Lord for being very often deaf [...]

ANGELS: Prayers to Your Guardian Angel

April 23, 2012

Unless otherwise noted, authors of these prayers are unknown. Plenary Prayer (Recommended as a prayer to be recited for a month or for 300 days, in reparation for a sin that has been forgiven.)  Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day (or night), be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. Heavenly Angel Prayer Heavenly Father, your infinite love for us has chosen a blessed angel in Heaven and appointed him our guide during this Earthly pilgrimage.  Accept our thanks for so great a blessing. Grant that we may experience the assistance of our holy protector in all our necessities. And you, holy, loving angel and guide, watch over us with all the tenderness of your angelic heart.  [...]

ANGELS: How To Pray The Chaplet Of Archangel Michael

April 12, 2012

There is a rosary created for this prayer.  It consists of nine groups of four beads each, with a few beads for the beginning and ending prayers.  It is written that this prayer came to a Carmelite nun named Antonia d’Astonac.  Archangel Michael asked her to honor him through the following nine prayers to the different choirs of angels.   He made two promises to her: 1.  That whoever practices this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine choirs, and 2.  That those who recite the chaplet daily would receive his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life. There are groups of lay and religious people around the world who are [...]

ANGELS: Hildegard of Bingen — A Voice for the Angels

January 27, 2012

Now, I retain a memory of anything I see or learn in this vision for a long time, so that, once I have seen and heard it, I may bring it to mind.  And I see, hear, and know all at once, as if, in that moment, I discover what I know.  But what I do not see, I do not know, because I am unlearned.  And I write those things that I see and hear in the vision, for I do not learn from this vision how to write like philosophers write.  And the words that I see and hear in that vision are not like words that are heard from a human mouth, but like a glittering flame and like a cloud moving in the clear air.  Moreover, I can in no way know the appearance of this light, just as I cannot gaze fully at the sphere of the sun. And sometimes, though [...]

ANGELS: Hildegard’s Two Songs to the Angels

January 27, 2012

Song one: O most glorious angels, O living light, who, lower than divinity, catch sight of the divine eyes with the mystical indistinctness of every created thing, in burning longing, whence you can never be quenched: O how glorious are the joys your beauty holds, which in you are undefiled by every distorted action, which first arose in your companion, the lost angel, who wanted to fly above, within the concealing wing of God, whence he, writhing, was plunged into ruin, but he established the instruments of his overthrow through his counsel to the handiwork of the finger of God. Song Two: O you angels, who watch over the peoples, whose beauty shines forth in your countenance, and O you archangels who receive the souls of the just, and you [...]

ANGELS: The Angel Of Release, with a tale of my own

January 13, 2012

Acts 12:1 – 16: At that time King Herod caused terrible suffering for some members of the church.  He ordered soldiers to cut off the head of James, the brother of John.  When Herod saw that this pleased the Jewish people, he had Peter arrested during the Festival of Thin Bread.  He put Peter in jail and ordered four squads of soldiers to guard him.  Herod planned to put him on trial in public after the festival.  While Peter was being kept in jail, the church never stopped praying to God for him. The night before Peter was to be put on trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains. A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrance to the jail. Suddenly an angel from the Lord appeared, [...]

ANGELS: A Prayer to Release Angels, by Kimberly Daniels

January 13, 2012

Jesus, your word declares that angels intervene in the lives of human beings.  I believe that angels are released by positive confessions, and demons are released by negative confessions.  Father, I thank you for the hosts of Heaven that are operating on my behalf.  Make me sensitive to the existence and presence of angelic beings.  There are more angels working for me than there are demons working against me.  One-third of the angels fell with Lucifer.  This means that two-thirds of the angels in Heaven are working on my behalf.  Lord, I thank you for opening my eyes to see the angelic hosts and chariots of fire circling my situations to fight on my behalf. In the name of Jesus, I release the angels of prosperity on my behalf.  [...]

ANGELS: Hand In Hand With Angels, a poem

January 13, 2012

(Author unknown) Hand in hand with angels, Through the world we go; Brighter eyes are on us Than we blind ones know. Sweeter voices cheer us Than we deaf will own; Never, walking heavenward, Can we walk alone. Hand in hand with angels, In the busy street, By the winter hearth-fires, Everywhere, we meet, Though unfledged and songless, Birds of paradise; Heaven looks at us daily Out of angel eyes. Hand in hand with angels, Walking every day; How the chain may lengthen, None of us can say. But we know its reaches From Earth’s lowliest one, To the shining seraph Throned beyond the [...]

ANGELS: Gabriel — The Arrow that Pierces Disbelief

December 21, 2011

Discussing the reality of angels is difficult for me.  I find it difficult for a number of reasons. Not that long ago I strolled through the gift shop at the National Cathedral.  There were books and pictures, statues, and stuffed angels.  There were also books and pictures, and other paraphenalia about dragons.  And fairies.  And unicorns. I wanted to get down on my knees and ask the child who had the feet of a green dragon grasped in her hands whether or not she thought dragons were real.  And then I wanted to ask her if she thought angels were real. If dragons and angels are being peddled side-by-side, are we not, by doing this, equating the two?  Isn’t the blatent message to child and adult alike that angels are just [...]

ANGELS: A Novena To Archangel Gabriel

December 21, 2011

(Author unknown) Archangel Gabriel, I venerate you as the angel of the incarnation because God has especially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the blessed virgin, Mary.  Give me a tender and devoted mother, more like your own. I venerate you also as the strength from God because you are the giver of God’s strength, consoler, and comforter chosen to strengthen God’s faithful, and teacher of important truths.  I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life.  Steady my resolutions.  Renew my courage.  Comfort and console me in the problems, trials, and sufferings of daily living as you consoled my savior in his agony, Mary in her sorrows, [...]