We continue the 52-week plan to grow in Catholic Manhood by becoming a better Catholic Son and Catholic Father. 

We continue reflecting upon the third major habit this week: Major Habit 3 – Live a Rich Liturgical Life which can be broken down into four smaller habits: 

  • Habit 10 – Center your life upon the Liturgy

  • Habit 11 – Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph

  • Habit 12 – Seek the Intercession of the Angels

  • Habit 13 – Be drawn into the Communion of the Saints

This week, we turn our attention to Habit 12.  

Habit 12 Seek the Intercession of the Angels

Seek the Intercession of Angels, with special emphasis on seeking practical daily help and protection from St. Michael and your Guardian Angel against the daily attacks of Satan and demons.

What is an angel? – Angels (from the Latin word angelus, meaning, “messenger, envoy, one that announces”) are “purely spiritual creatures [who] who have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness” (Catechism of the Catholic Church; paragraph 330[CCC 330]).

Who are the angels?  – There are choirs (or realms) of angels, including thrones, dominions, principalities, and authorities (CCC 331; Col 1:16), who the Church teaches carry out different functions in the service of God: worship, administration of divine justice, protection of believers, doers of God’s will, overseeing parts of Creation, etc. 

Archangels are angels of superior rank and power and include St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael (CCC 335).  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). 

Each soul has also been assigned a Guardian Angel by God, who protects and seeks to guide a soul towards Heaven (CCC 336).

Jesus commands the Holy Angels – Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, rules over all of Creation including the angels (CCC 331-332). Throughout the Incarnation, Jesus is surrounded by and served by angels (CCC 333). The Incarnation is announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Lk 1:26-38) and in the Nativity, Jesus enters the world as the Divine King who is heralded and protected by a host (literally, an “army”) of angels (Lk 2:13-15). Jesus confirms He has access and command over vast numbers of angels (Mt 26:51-53).

In a preview of how angels can help men, angels come to the aid of Jesus, warning St. Joseph of King Herod’s murderous plan (Mt 2:13), helping Him after the Temptation (Mk 1:13) and during the Agony in the Garden  (Lk 22:43).

Jesus continues to command the angels after His Resurrection: angels roll back the stone from the tomb (Mt 28:2-7) and appear to women at the empty tomb (Lk 24:4-7); angels will play a decisive role at Christ’s Second Coming (see the Book of Revelation); Jesus will send His angels to gather and sort out those who do evil and cast them into the eternal fire (Mt 13:30, 25:41; CCC 1034).

Jesus conquers Satan and the other evil angels during the Incarnation – God created some angels who became evil by their own free will. Satan (Hebrew, meaning “adversary, one who plots against another”), also called the Devil (Greek, meaning “liar, slanderer”), out of pride, rebelled against and irrevocably rejected God, and along with a host of of other evil angels (demons, meaning “evil spirits”), were cast out of Heaven (CCC 391-393). Jesus calls Satan, a murderer from the beginning and He comes to destroy the works of the devil” (CCC 394; 1 Jn 3:8) and Jesus warns men about the Evil One in the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:13). 

Jesus casts out demons who have possessed the souls of men and women, some 20 times during the Incarnation (including, Mt 8:28-34, 9:32-33, 12:22, Mk 1:23-28, Mk 7:24-30, Lk 9:37-43, 13:10-17). 

Seek the intercession of the Angels – “Intercession” comes from Latin words which mean, “to go between” and the Church teaches men that the angels intercede in the lives of men to protect and guide men (CCC 336). Men can be blessed by turning to the Archangels and their Guardian angels for protection against Satan and demons, and for guidance on the path to Heaven. 

The Church offers a number of prayers to help men pray for the intercession of the angels: Prayer to one’s Guardian Angel, St. Michael Prayer, Litany to one’s Holy Angel and Guardian, Litany of the Holy Angels Prayer for the Dying.

Remember and give thanks to God for the Angels on their Feast Days – The Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael are celebrated on September 29 each year and the Holy Guardian Angels are celebrated on October 2 each year. 

This week’s questions – Here are some questions to meditate upon this week’s habit: 

What kinds of events in the world suggest the truth that angels and demons exist?

How might I be blessed by drawing closer to the angels, especially St. Michael and my Guardian Angel?

This week’s commitments Making a habit a reality requires commitment to concrete action. Here is this week’s challenge:

Each day, make a short prayer to ask God (and your Guardian Angel) to help you come to better know your Guardian Angel.

Don’t forget to pray with the ECM Daily Gospel Devotional each day.

Consider listening to the EveryCatholicMan.com Gospel Devotional Podcast to be better prepared for Sunday Mass.

Daily Prayer – During the week, pray this short prayer, or one like it, to asdf:

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 and my Guardian Angel and so I can more frequently acknowledge and seek the intercession of the angels in the Spiritual Combat. Amen.