Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

A Day of Archangels

Today is the Feast Day of the Archangels!

September 29 traditionally was set aside as the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. (The word “saint” simply means “holy.”) Then the Church made it the feast day of all the Archangels.

Three Angels are named in the Bible:

  1. Michael
  2. Gabriel: in Hebrew, the name means “God is my might”
  3. Raphael: in Hebrew, the name means “God has healed”

Notice that all three names end with “El” — which means God, in Hebrew. Thus, each Archangel’s name ending in “el” means they are “of God.”

Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary
The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1485

The word “angel,” in Greek is angelos; in Hebrew is malach; in Arabic is mala’ika – which all mean “messenger.”

Angels are incorporeal (bodiless) spiritual beings who act as intermediaries between God and humanity. Angels are defined by their function as messengers or message-bearers, although this function does not exhaust their activities because they were created by God to serve the supreme deity by fulfilling any and all tasks assigned to them.

In other words, being an angel or messenger simply denotes one of their functions, not their nature. St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that each angel is unique, a species unto itself — truly a mind-boggling idea.

Major philosophers — such as Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, John Locke, and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler — have put forth compelling reasons for the existence of Angels. (For the conversion of Adler, a Jew, to the Catholic faith, see the moving account, “A Philosopher-Pagan Comes Home.)

Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, due to the fact that in Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, 10, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15, allusions are made to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers,” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

Dionysius and St. Thomas Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, with each hierarchy comprised of three orders:

  • 1st hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.
  • 2nd hierarchy: Dominions, Virtues, Powers.
  • 3rd hierarchy: Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

Of the nine angelic orders, five are sent by God for external ministry among bodily creatures, as indicated by their names of Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels—all of which refer to some kind of administrative or executive office. Of these five orders, only the last three minister to human beings, which suggests Virtues and Powers minister to other bodily creatures, including all the non-human animals whom St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin”!

  • Principalities are in charge of the whole of humanity.
  • Archangels minister to nations — their leaders and those persons whom God tasks with special work to do on Earth.
  • Angels, the last order, are God’s messengers to and guardians of individual human beings.

The name “Lucifer” means “Morning Star,” “Son of the Dawn,” or “Light Carrier.” For that reason, theologians believe that Lucifer was a high-order Angel, most likely the highest order — a Seraphim. Aquinas thought him to be “probably the highest of all the angels.” But Lucifer admires and loves himself more than his Creator and thinks himself to be “as God.” And so, swollen with narcissism and grandiosity, Lucifer rebelled, taking a third of the angelic beings with him.

StMichaelTheArchangelBut, a lower-order Angel, full of courage and love of God, rallied together two-thirds of the angelic ranks against the apostates, in the First War that began the enduring conflict between good and evil:

Then 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. (Revelation 12:7-9)

That braveheart’s name is Micha-el, which means “Who is like God?”

I like to think “Who is like God?” is Micha-el‘s battle cry . . . .

St. Michael the Archangel is believed to be the captain or prince of the heavenly armies and the most beloved of all the Angels. He is mentioned in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon).

Described in Revelation 10:1 as a “mighty angel…with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire,” St. Michael is generally portrayed by artists as wearing full armor and carrying a sword or lance, with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the martyred St. George are often similar, but only Micha-el has wings.)

michaelfrMichael has four main titles or offices. He is:

  • Patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament.
  • Patron saint and defender of the Church.
  • The Angel of death, who assists Jesus in the final judgment (thus, Michael is sometimes depicted with a scale).
  • Leading the good angels against the fallen angels or demons. For that reason, Christians consider St. Michael the most powerful defender of God’s people against evil. As such, Michael is also the patron saint of soldiers and policemen. (For the Prayer to St. Michael, go here.)

All of which is why St. Michael the Archangel – the Braveheart of Angels — is my most favorite saint, whom I admire and love with all my heart. He is my captain. As you can see from this blog’s masthead, he is also the protector of Fellowship of the Minds.

Happy Feast Day, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael!

Thank you for inspiring us with your humility, courage, goodness, and love for God.

Thank you, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for creating the marvelous Angels!

~Eowyn

For a fascinating account of one man’s experience with the Archangel Michael, click here. Check out FOTM’s other saints and angels posts, here!

Sources:

  1. Mortimer J. Adler, The Angels and Us (New York: Macmillan, 1982).
  2. Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z: A Who’s Who of the Heavenly Host (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1996), pp. 181-184.
  3. Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993), p. 34.
  4. René Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, trans. by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1979).
  5. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley (Cleveland & New York: Meridian Books, 1968),
  6. Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One(New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947).

Words of Wisdom from Saint Therese

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The following is attributed to St. Therese:

“As you live your human life upon the earth, you will say to yourself, ‘Am I pleasing my Jesus?’

“Many must earn their daily bread. All must earn their daily bread upon the earth. In doing this they will do this with honor. Of the hours you awaken to, you will say, ‘this day I give to please my God.’ In this manner you will be directed in the light.

“You have all received in your Baptism the opportunity to attain the Kingdom. The road is very simple to follow. You do not look for recognition among men. You look to please your God. You try to please your God. For if you try to find recognition and the approval of man on earth, you are doomed to great sorrow. For all the hours, the waking hours of your life on earth must be with one purpose in mind – that you are working your way back to the Kingdom.”

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/tag/st-therese-the-little-flower/

The enemy within: Somali refugees in Minnesota drawn to welfare and Jihad

Dr. Eowyn:

Through the Refugee Act of 1980, sponsored by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) and former Sen. Joe Biden (D), the federal government has been aggressively “resettling” refugees from the east African country of Somalia into especially Minnesota, among other states, making Minnesota the state with the largest population of Somalis in the U.S.

But the Muslim Somalis are not assimilating into American society and culture but instead remain dependent on welfare, with their young males becoming jihadists.

Also noteworthy is how certain “faith-based” Christian churches and organizations are working hand-in-glove with the government to promote the “resettlement” of “refugees” in America, amnesty for illegals, and welfare socialism.

See also:

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Somalia is a war-torn country in east Africa.

Over the course of two decades, the federal government’s Refugee Resettlement Program has left Minnesota, especially the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, with 30 mosques and the largest population of Somalis in the United States. Many of the Somali refugees remain dependent on welfare, while the young men become radicalized by unscrupulous imams.

Leo Hohmann reports for WND, Sept. 5, 2014, that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that while many of the Somali transplants in Minnesota have been hard-working citizens, the experiment has been costly for her state. Too many Somalis remain dependent on public assistance. Somali youth are also being radicalized into jihad.

She described Somalia as “a failed state . . . based on piracy for ransom and fraud,” with an economy that more closely resembles the stone-age than the information age. “And so tens of thousands of Somalis have been…

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The Meaning of Life, from a 3rd grader

Matthew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Pray for America

prayeratvalleyforge

A Way of Salvation for our Nation

By David Heeren*

This nation began with one of its greatest forefathers, George Washington, spending two hours every morning on his knees in prayer. A series of amazing events followed that could be called miracles, resulting in the American colonies’ liberation from British oppression.

The overriding issue we face today is: How much longer can our nation remain free unless we again adopt a resolute posture of entreaty before our God?

Most of us probably can’t spend as much time in prayer as Washington did, but if every patriot took a few minutes every day to pray humbly and fervently for the U.S.A., it could have more impact than all of the phone calls we have made to Washington, D.C.

God is faithful. He does not lie. He has promised (2 Chronicles 7:14):

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. 

Please share this thought with other patriotic Americans.

* David Heeren is the author of seven books, including two recent books with Christian themes. The first of the two, The Sign of His Coming, was published in 2007 by Creation House. In it Heeren seeks to identify the sign of Jesus’ return described in Matthew 24:29-30. The second, published in 2009, is In His Steps Again, on persons who commit themselves to one year of living based on the theme what-would-Jesus-do, in a 21st century world of romance, adventure, danger and suspense.

See also:

I have been praying for our beloved America, but I now pledge that I will say a prayer upon awaking every morning.

Will you also pledge? Please join me!

~Eowyn

Pop singer Linda Ronstadt wants open border with Mexico

Ronstadt with POSLinda Ronstadt was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities by the POS in July 2014.

Linda Ronstadt, 68, is of German, English and Mexican on her father’s side, and German, English and Dutch on her mother’s side.

In other words, by heritage Ronstadt is more German-English than Mexican. Whatever Mexican heritage she claims stems from her paternal great grandfather who married a Mexican woman.

In an Aug. 18, 2014 interview with Megan Finnerty of The Arizona Republic, Ronstadt vented her feelings on America’s southern border, immigration, and her chosen self-identity as a Mexican-American in Aztlán — the Aztec name for the southwestern states of California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, portions of Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, which Chicano nationalists claim were stolen by the United States and must be reconquered (Reconquista) and reclaimed for Mexico.

On the fence and border:

Ronstadt said, “There wasn’t a fence running through the Sonoran Desert when I was growing up. In fact, when I moved back to Tucson, there wasn’t even a fence running through it. While I was there, it was building; we just turned around and all of a sudden it was there, this horrible thing that destroyed economies on both sides of the line. I know my own father’s business was very dependent on the goodwill and business and trade from people in northern Mexico. We knew their families and went to their weddings and baptisms and balls and picnics, and we had a great time with them. Because my dad had a huge hardware store, and they came up to Tucson (to) do their shopping.”

On immigration reform:

There should not be a question of legal or illegal immigration. People came and immigrated to this country from the time of the Indians. No one’s illegal. They should just be able to come.

“We allow Cubans to come in and say that they’re refugees. Well, in Cuba — I’ve been there, you know — people are fed, people are housed, people are clothed. There isn’t violence in the streets. Here, people are coming from places where there’s just terrible violence. Parts of Mexico that are incredibly violent, and Honduras, which is just unspeakably violent right now.

“These children are just fleeing for their lives, their parents are just sending them out because it’s the only way that they have of living — into a terrible, dangerous journey and an uncertain future in the United States that is populated with people that seem to hate them — that’s how desperate they are.”

On her self-identity:

“You have the United States, and you have Mexico, and then you have this Mexican-American thing which is this third culture, which I like to call Aztlán.

“It’s not the same as Mexican culture; it’s not the same as American culture. It’s a distinct hybrid with its own characteristics, and it’s influencing the culture in the United States and Mexico, and that’s kind of where I’ve found myself for the last 20 years. It’s an Aztec word; it means northern. It’s where the Aztecs came from. When they asked, ‘Where did you come from? They said ‘Aztlán,’ which is up here in the north, probably the American Southwest.

“So I think of myself as a girl from the Sonoran Desert, and my culture is the culture of Aztlán.

H/t WND

The Aztecs were a brutal militaristic people who engaged in human sacrifices to their “gods.”

In the usual procedure of the sacrificial ritual, the victim was taken to the top of the temple and laid on a stone slab by four priests. A fifth priest sliced open the victim’s abdomen with a ceremonial knife made of flint, grabbed and tore out the still-beating heart, which would be placed in a bowl held by a statue of the honored god. The victim’s body was then thrown down the temple’s stairs.

It is estimated that at the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs sacrificed anywhere from 4,000 to as many as 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days.

By “the culture of Aztlan,” does Linda Ronstadt also include the Aztecs’ live human sacrifices? And if not, why not?

Here are Ronstadt’s other rabid leftist views (Wikipedia):

  • At a 2006 concert in Canada, Ronstadt told the Calgary Sun George W. Bush was “an idiot” and that she was “embarrassed” he was from the United States.
  • In August 2009, in a well-publicized interview to PlanetOut Inc. Ronstadt championed gay rights and same-sex marriage and stated that “homophobia is anti-family values.”
  • On January 16, 2010, Ronstadt converged with thousands of other activists in a “National Day of Action,” protesting the treatment of illegal aliens and Arizona’s enforcement of its illegal immigrant law, especially Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration efforts.
  • She has said she doesn’t like to sing to an audience that includes a Republican or “fundamentalist Christian.” (VDare.com)

Given her hatred for Republicans and “fundamentalist” Christians, I can’t imagine why anyone from those two groups would want to buy or listen to Linda Ronstadt’s music.

See also:

~Eowyn

God has no grandchildren

Our-Daily-Bread
Yesterday’s entry for Our Daily Bread struck me with the reminder that each of us needs to be careful about our own relationship with the Lord, and not rely on someone else’s faith and strength of conviction. ~ TD 


Rooted

by Cindy Hess Kasper

“Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”
— 2 Chronicles 24:2

Joash must have been confused and frightened when he was told about the evil deeds of his grandmother Athaliah. She had murdered his brothers to usurp the power of the throne in Judah. But baby Joash had been safely hidden away by his aunt and uncle for 6 years (2 Chron. 22:10-12). As he grew, he enjoyed the love and instruction of his caregivers. When Joash was only 7 years old, he was secretly crowned king and his grandmother was overthrown (23:12-15).

Young King Joash had a wise counselor by his side—his very own Uncle Jehoiada (chs. 22–25). Joash was one of the rare “good kings” of Judah, and while his uncle was alive he obeyed the Lord by doing right (24:2). But once his uncle was no longer there to teach and lead by example, Joash fell away and his life ended badly (24:15-25). It seems that the roots of his faith did not run very deep. He even began to worship idols. Perhaps Joash’s “faith” had been more his uncle’s than his own.

Others can teach us the principles of their faith, but each of us must come individually to a lasting and personal faith in Christ. For faith to be real, it must become our own. God will help us walk with Him and become rooted and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7).

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee. —Crosby

The faith that continues to the end gives proof that it was genuine in the beginning.

Our Daly Bread can be seen here: http://odb.org/2014/09/20/rooted/


Peace