Jesus has chosen us to be souls of prayer. The value of our actions corresponds exactly to the value of our prayer. Our actions are fruitful only if they are the true expressions of earnest prayer.
-from Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations
"Keep to the ancient way and custom of the Church, established and confirmed by so many Saints under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And live a new life. Pray, and get others to pray, that God not abandon His Church, but reform it as He pleases, and as He sees best for us, and more to His honour and glory." — St. Angela Merici
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY ✞
"Once, while I was wondering why Our Lord so dearly loves the virtue of humility, the thought suddenly struck me, without previous reflection, that it is because God is the supreme Truth and humility is the truth, for is is the most true that we have nothing good of ourselves but only misery and nothingness: whoever ignores this, lives a life of falsehood. they that realize this fact most deeply are the most pleasing to God, the supreme Truth, for they walk in the truth." — St. Teresa of Avila, p. 175-6 AN EXCERPT FROM Interior Castle
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Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
Saint of the Day for September 29
Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael's Story
Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.
Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.
Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.
Raphael's activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he appears to guide Tobit's son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah's marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit's blindness, and the restoration of the family fortune.
The memorials of Gabriel and Raphael were added to the Roman calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their feasts to Michael's.
Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides. Earlier belief that inexplicable events were due to the actions of spiritual beings has given way to a scientific world-view and a different sense of cause and effect. Yet believers still experience God's protection, communication, and guidance in ways which defy description. We cannot dismiss angels too lightly. Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are the Patron Saints of:
Death Germany Grocers Police Officers Radiologists Saint Raphael is the Patron Saint of: The Blind
"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord. What a wonderful privilege that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me. I welcome His presence.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom. Mostly I take this gift for granted. Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended, with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.
The Word of God
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels audio readings
Reading 1 Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched:
Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened. As the visions during the night continued, I saw
One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Or Rev 12:7-12ab War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5 R. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth; And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD: "Great is the glory of the LORD."
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Alleluia Ps 103:21 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Bless the LORD, all you angels, you ministers, who do his will. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus witnessed some aspect of Nathanael that seemed to surprise him; there are hidden and secret aspects of my life too that are known and valued by God.
▪ Jesus lifts Nathanael's eyes from the everyday and prompts him to think of heaven; I might consider my hoped-for destination and see how my daily concerns are enlightened and brought into another perspective.
What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: John 1:47-51
Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels (Feast)
You will see . . . the angels of God. (John 1:51)
Most names don't reveal very much about the person who carries them. But that's not true of angels, whom we honor today. Michael, whose name means "Who is like God?" is known for his great power in fighting against Satan and his demons. Gabriel, whose name means "strength," certainly gave strength to Mary when he told her she would be the Mother of God (Luke 1:28). Raphael, whose name means "healer," cured Tobit's blindness (Tobit 11).
We can't help but admire the archangels. Like all the angels, they have remarkable abilities. As pure spirits, their knowledge and power are beyond our comprehension. But they're not like the superheroes found in films and comic books. They live to serve God and worship him. Their wonderful gifts are only a pale reflection of his infinite perfection and beauty. What's more, as amazing as they are, each is a "fellow servant" along with us, and their inspiration can lead us to worship God more fully (Revelation 19:10).
Perhaps the best way to honor the archangels today is to join them in worshipping Jesus. We can take our cue from Nathanael. Jesus told him he would see "heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" (John 1:51). We have that same opportunity at every Mass. We may not see the angels, but they are there, adoring Jesus on the altar. Along with them, we can be caught up in the love and holiness of the Son of God and be moved to lay down our lives before him.
Did you know that at Mass we can do something the angels can't? We can receive Jesus as our nourishment! All the qualities of God that the angels have a share in—his wisdom, his love, his beauty—are contained in the Eucharist. So the next time you are at Mass, know that you are in the company of angels, and join them in giving Jesus all the praise and worship your heart can muster!
"Thank you, Lord, that you have made me lower than the angels, yet you come to me as the Bread of Life. May I be open to all the grace you want to give me in your Body and Blood."
We heard today "His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat", again with the fire of the Lord...no? Yes, if there is a fire in Heaven, there is a purifying light that burns forever, and in Heaven, one second and on million years is no different. "They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them."
We prayed today "In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord." Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me." When I read the reflection from Word Among Us, it gave away what I had already thought of, singing with other angels, in the presence of angels, happens in Holy Mass. I'm going to divulge a secret. I'm in the choir with my guitar, and there is a Mass part that the Father, the Priest leads into with "...and so with the Holy Angels and Saints we declare your Glory as with one voice acclaim (sing)". In this and in the Glory, I actually tune my ears to the Heavens, and I mean that I am listening for the voices of the angels to sing with. They are not earthly voices, and their presence is made known. I want you to pay attention with your spirit.
The Lord comes into our lives today and says: ""Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." What then, is a "child of Israel"? and not just any child, but a "true child"? The people of Israel are God's people. But this one, this oddball was a "True" child of Israel, a true child of God. I want you to think about your truthfulness. How true are you? How much do you deceive yourself and lie to yourself? I say this because, I been watching my weight, and I track calorie intake with my phone, and many times I catch myself trying to cheat myself on calorie counts, making it seem like I took less than what I probably really took in. I have to force myself to be honest. And at times I don't track, I forget, or tell myself "nah, I'm good". But we lie to ourselves about our sins. We think "nah, I'm good" and play off the severity of the sins. Again, what is a "true" child of God? They say that the fig tree is a messianic figure of peace. Jesus found a fruit under this tree, Nathanael. Another time, Jesus found nothing under a fig tree, no fruit, and the tree was cursed to death. Is this then, do or die? They say that Jesus will ride triumphant with a flag of peace at the end of the world. He comes to save the lost. Are you a true child of God? Are you being sincere in your faith? Or are you treating it like your diet? Are you neglecting yourself the health, and indulging in the temporary sensual pleasures? And I'm speaking of the spirit. What do I take pleasure in? Is it in suffering for Christ, ( a life of grace), or temporary mortal pleasures of the flesh (sin)? Perhaps today, there are more questions than answers, leaving one perplexed on the questioning of our duplicity, two faces, one saying you are a Christian, and the other face acting like the anti-christ. Which one do you give more spirit to? An excerpt of The Imitation of Christ: "But if they are firmly grounded in humility and filled with charity; if they seek purely the worship of God-looking upon themselves as nothing and sincerely despising themselves; and if they desire to be despised by others, then they may really hope that they have advanced spiritually and that in the end they will have the reward of God for all their labor."
Shall I be despised by the world, or cursed by my own doing...