The astonishing reality of the Archangels is celebrated on September 29 with the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can be helped by the Archangels to grow in holiness and by building the Virtue of Defense so  he can seek the Archangels’ fearsome protection against the attacks of Satan and his demons. 

Commentary

As He walks the 60 miles to His home in Galilee after His Baptism, Jesus recruits Peter, Andrew, John the Evangelist, Philip, and Nathanael (also called Bartholomew) to be disciples. Jesus’ supernatural knowledge convinces Nathanael to proclaim Christ’s divinity; a great consolation, Jesus affirms Nathanael’s words, and prophesizes he will see even greater miracles, including supernatural visions of angels.

Jesus’ revelation of the reality of angels offers the opportunity to remember the role of angels in God’s Kingdom, and calls special attention to Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. To serve Jesus in Heaven and on earth, God created perhaps billions of angels, purely spiritual and immortal creatures, whose intelligence and powers surpass men’s abilities (CCC 329-331). Within the hierarchy of Heaven, seven angels who surround God’s Throne are archangels (Rev 8:2).  

St. Michael (meaning, “Who is like God?”) is attributed by the Fathers to many actions to battle Satan, including the future decisive battle at the end of time (Rev 12:7). St. Gabriel (meaning, “Power of God”) brings clarity and prophecy in the Old Testament to Daniel (Dan 8-9), to Zechariah (Lk 1:19) and the Virgin Mother (Lk 1:26); Catholic tradition holds it was Gabriel who spoke to St. Joseph (Mt 1:20) and strengthened Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Lk 22:43-44). St. Raphael (meaning, “God has healed”) is seen as an angel of healing for he heals Tobias (Tob 12) and is considered by some to be the “angel of the Lord” who helped heal the sick in Jerusalem (Jn 5:4). 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be astounded at the reality of Jesus’ Dominion over Angels: Person of the Trinity, with the Father from the beginning, Jesus creates supernatural beings (angels); Son of God, Jesus has absolute Authority over angels, commanding them to take on specific missions throughout time; in His Human Nature, Jesus is comforted by the angels He created numerous times (at the Nativity, during the escape to Egypt, during the Temptation, at Gethsemane).

Be helped by Archangels to grow in holiness

Realize: While Jesus confirms the fearsome reality of angels, the modern culture trivializes them, calling sports teams and lingerie models, “angels”, and promoting fantasy shows and movies which portray angels as goofy characters; the truth is God’s angels are supernatural beings with capabilities far greater than men, their presence causes men to shrivel and faint in fear, and they intercede to help men. 

Believe: Reflect upon Angels (CCC 57, 326-336, 350-352, 1034, 1352).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You give me the ability to perceive the reality of the supernatural power and wisdom of the Archangels, I grow in understanding of my personal need for their intercession, and I regularly seek the help of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael to guide and protect me and my family as we seek to grow in holiness. 

Seek the Archangels’ protection against Satan 

Realize: Jesus doesn’t just reveal the reality of the angels and the “good” angels, but He also repeatedly confirms there are evil angels (demons) and directly reveals the reality of Satan through the Temptation and numerous confrontations with demons; a man who doesn’t take Satan seriously, doesn’t take Jesus seriously. 

Believe: Reflect upon Satan and Demons (CCC 391-395, 2850-2854).

Pray: Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Defense/Protection (a part of Justice) so I am on guard against the continuous attacks of Satan and his demons and I seek your intercession to protect me and my family against the “wickedness and snares of the Devil.”