Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
“And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
In those days, I Daniel, heard this word of the Lord: “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.
“But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
The end days are real.
Both the Old and New Testaments warn about it.
The laws of science also support the notion that there will be an end to all things.
It’s called the second law of thermodynamics, which states that an isolated system such as the Universe, that is, one that does not exchange heat or work with its surroundings, spontaneously evolve towards an end state of maximum entropy — of chaos and disorder. The process is irreversible.
In truth, the end of the world comes to each of us when our mortal bodies die.
So, live each day as if it may be our last. Be right with God, so that we might join the ranks of the Good who “shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament”.
In the meantime, before we meet our end, we are to live each day to as “those who lead the many to justice” and we “shall be like the stars forever”.
May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,
When WordPress took us down, I had asked our readers to send me their email addresses so that we could maintain contact before the restoration of FOTM. I compiled a list of hundreds of email addresses, many of which are those of our Facebook readers.
I expect Twitter will censor by banning FOTM as well.
So if you are a (former) Facebook reader or Twitter reader of FOTM, please bookmark FOTM or subscribe to FOTM and leave Facebook and Twitter. Surely, you don’t really want to associate with a corporation that censors our U.S. Constitution First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
To subscribe for email notifications of new posts, just scroll down our page until you see “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL” on the right. Then type your email address in the box, and click “Subscribe”.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
September 29 traditionally was set aside as the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. Then the Church made it the feast day of all the Archangels.
Note: The word “saint” simply means “holy” — as indeed are the Angels who choose to be true to God instead of, like Lucifer and the other fallen angels, pride in themselves.
The word angel, in Greek, is angelos; in Hebrew, malach; in Arabic, mala’ika — which all mean “messenger.”
Angels are incorporeal (without body, material form or substance) spiritual beings who act as messengers and intermediaries between God and humanity. St. Augustine said that although Angels are defined by their function as messengers or message-bearers, their activities are not limited to just this function.Messenger is 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.
Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, their belief stemming from allusions in both the Old and New Testaments (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) to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”
Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Thomas Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, and three orders within each hierarchy, totaling nine orders in all:
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:
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.
That leaves the orders of Virtues and Powers who, by logical inference, minister to other bodily but nonhuman creatures — a category that would include animals, whom St. Bonaventure insightfully called “creatures without sin,” as indeed they are without the concupiscence of Original Sin that stains every human. That our pets and other animals have Angels is a happy thought indeed!
Three Angels are named in the Bible:
Michael: in Hebrew, the name means “Who is like God?”.
Gabriel: “God is my might”.
Raphael: “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.”
St. Gabriel, the Archangel
Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary. The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1485.
Gabriel’s name means “God is great.” The angel Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible:
To the priest Zechariah to foretell and announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19).
To the Virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive and bear a son (Luke 1:26–38). As the angel of the Annunciation, Gabriel is the one who revealed that the Savior was to be called “Jesus” (Luke 1:31).
St. Gabriel is recognized as the patron saint of messengers, telecommunication workers, and postal workers.
St. Raphael, the Archangel
The angel Raphael‘s name means “God heals.” This identity came about because of the biblical story that Raphael “healed” the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.
Raphael appears by name only in the Book of Tobit where, disguised as a human named “Azarias the son of the great Ananias,” he accompanies Tobiah, son of Tobit, in travels. When Raphael returns from his journey with Tobiah, he declares to Tobit that he was sent by the Lord to heal his blindness and deliver Sarah, Tobiah’s future wife, from the demon Asmodeus. It is then that Raphael makes himself known as “the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord” (Tobit 12:15).
Although only the archangels Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name in the New Testament, the Gospel of John 5:1-4 speaks of a healing pool at Bethesda where “An angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.” This passage is generally associated with Archangel Raphael.
St. Raphael is the patron saint of travelers, the blind, bodily ills, happy meetings, nurses, physicians and medical workers. He is often pictured holding a staff and either holding or standing on a fish.
St. Michael, the Archangel
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.
A lower-order Angel, full of courage and love of God, rallied together two-thirds of the angelic ranks against Lucifer and the other apostates, in the First War that began the enduring conflict between good and evil. As related in Revelation 12:7-9:
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.
That braveheart’s name is Micha-el, which means “Who is like God?” — Michael‘s battle cry.
St. Michael the Archangel is the prince of the heavenly hosts 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); Jude 9 (where he disputed with the Devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he 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 Michael has wings.)
Michael 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 Braveheart of Angels, is my most favorite saint, whom I admire and love with all my heart. He is my commander in chief. As you can see from this blog’s masthead, he is also the patron and protector of Fellowship of the Minds.
Happy Feast Day, St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabriel!
Thank you for inspiring us with your humility, courage, goodness, and love for God. Please help us in our struggles in this present darkness.
Thank you, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for creating the marvelous Angels!
For a fascinating account of a U.S. Marine’s encounter with Archangel Michael in the Korean War, click here.
Mortimer J. Adler, The Angels and Us (New York: Macmillan, 1982).
Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z: A Who’s Who of the Heavenly Host (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1996), pp. 181-184.
Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993), p. 34.
René Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, trans. by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1979).
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley (Cleveland & New York: Meridian Books, 1968),
Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947).