Tag Archives: angels

You Are Never Alone!

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I feel alone sometimes.

It sucks.

I get depressed and frustrated and upset. I cry and I get into a funk. I become less charitable and more withdrawn.

I don’t feel this way at the moment, but it wasn’t all that long ago that I did, and I know that I will feel this way again in the future.

What does one do?

A good thing is to recognize that feelings do not equal reality.

Fr. Clement, one of our associate pastors at OLGC, wrote a great article in this weekend’s bulletin that speaks so well to this:

One of the first fiery darts that the enemy of our salvation and joy fires at us is the idea or the “feeling” of being alone. When we don’t recognize from whom this is coming, even more fiery darts are sent our way: nobody understands; nobody cares; does it even matter what I do or don’t do?; I’m such a loser; I’m such a failure!, etc…

With all of these darts in us, is it a surprise that we begin to limp along the path that Jesus shows us, or even, that we lose sight of the path that Jesus bids us to walk on?

Our Lord and Savior in Chapter 18 of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, reveals to us that we are never alone: we have at our side an angel and this angel beholds the countenance of our loving Father in heaven. Just as the angels were called upon by the Father to assist Jesus throughout His life, our loving Father bids our angel to watch over us, to protect us, to lead us and to guide us.

This contrast between our fickle feelings and what Jesus reveals about the truth of our lives is helpful in our growth in maturity in Christ. We recognize that our feelings, although neither right nor wrong, can and do mislead us, especially if we blindly follow or act upon them. The fact that “I feel alone” doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, but, at the same time, IT’S NOT TRUE! We ought not to act upon that feeling; we ought not allow it to damper or influence our day or behavior.

Let us learn to turn to our beloved guardian angel for guidance and protection in those moments. Let us speak to our guardian angel: “Speak to me about our loving Father”; “Open my eyes to Jesus’ presence in my life right now; open my ears to hear the sweetness of His voice!”

What a great reminder! The Holy Spirit is always with us, but so too is our very own guardian angel, whose only job is me! And a much needed reminder to pray. Pray always. In the good times, the happy times, the sad times and the confusing times.

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: Archangels

From the Liturgy of the Hours, text courtesy of Universalis

Reading: A sermon of Pope St. Gregory the Great

The word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature

You should be aware that the word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels. And so it was that not merely an angel but the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was only fitting that the highest angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages.
Some angels are given proper names to denote the service they are empowered to perform. In that holy city, where perfect knowledge flows from the vision of almighty God, those who have no names may easily be known. But personal names are assigned to some, not because they could not be known without them, but rather to denote their ministry when they came among us. Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.”
Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power. So also our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God, saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High. He will be allowed to remain in power until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment. Then, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we are told by John: A battle was fought with Michael the archangel.
So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of the heavenly powers, mighty in battle. Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy, for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness. Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.

Vocation Friday

God has given me an amazing weekend! My heart was filled with love and joy, and I felt His presence throughout the events of the past few days. He is always with us, but I treasure those times where I really feel that He is with me.

I was so full of squee today that I am sure that I was annoying to the people around me. I just wanted to hug everyone. I didn’t, but the impulse was there.

Some of my thoughts from the day:
“I have amazing friends.
God loves me.
I don’t need anything beyond what I have, and still he gives me more. :)”

I am excited about maybe being able to go to the upcoming diaconate ordinations. I don’t yet have the same love for the diaconate as I do for the presbyterate, but I’m hoping that perhaps this ordination will help me expand my love for all ordinati. 🙂

About lunchtime, I had these thoughts:
“God allowed for the existence of peanut-butter topped cinnamon sugar toasted bagels.
God is my friend. :)”
It was mentioned that God also allowed for marshmallows and their fluff (which I wholly despise and reject as the source of all evil), so I had to note that God does permit for bad things to happen, sometimes. Quite obviously, marshmallow fluff is not of God. 🙂

Then, the Holy Spirit had me do something I had not intended to do.
See, I have a vocation as an intercessor. God has given me a particular person to pray for, and I pray for him daily. Beyond daily, really, almost constantly. 🙂 Because he happens to be a priest, I took one of those Chalice of Strength books a while back because it contains many prayers specifically for priests, and I thought that might be helpful to me. I noted at the time that there was an organization with which you could register as spiritually adopting a specific priest and they would send you biannual newsletters and suggestions for ways in which you could pray for the priests and the priesthood in general. I decided not to do this. This is a job that God has given to me and I felt that I didn’t need the recognition of having some sort of “membership” to give authenticity to this. I wasn’t doing this so as to be part of a community or anything, but because God wanted me to do it. I did not feel at the time that God was calling me to this organization.

Earlier in the summer, as I was taking a walk, I felt God speaking to me about the angels and encouraging me to ask them for their intercession, particularly as it applies to my vocation in praying for my one particular priest, and in general for all priests. Okay. I kind of noted this at the time, but as more time passed, I hadn’t really incorporated this into my daily prayers. I let it fall off the plate.

During lunch, I pulled out my Chalice of Strength book (which I don’t do all that often, really), and the little flyer in the back fell out. So, again, I read about signing up with their organization to spiritually adopt a priest. I, grudgingly, went to their website and took a look – highly skeptical of the website’s ability to make me interested in their program.

However, when I got there, my mind was changed. The organization was called “Opus Sanctorum Angelorum,” or “The Work of the Holy Angels”. Hmm. Angels.

As I read more, their program is really there to support you as you pray for priests, with the help of the angels, which is basically the message that I have been getting. They were an anonymous organization, so that I wouldn’t be recognized in any way – which was important to me. I just want to do God’s will. I began to realize that maybe God wants this for me now. To help me be a better intercessor.

There were two choices: you could (a) either submit a name of a man whom you already know as someone who you would permanently spiritually adopt or (b) ask for the name of someone for whom you would pray for a year, and at the end of the year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, you would get the name of a different person. You could request a priest, bishop, seminarian or a man discerning his vocation.

Well, God already gave me one person, and I felt that he was definitely permanent, so I submitted his name for that. By doing that, I did not feel in any way that this “legitimized” my calling to pray for him, since I felt that I already had all the legitimacy that I needed – that this was a true calling for me to be his intercessor.

As I was on the website, I kept looking at it. There was something more for me here. I had one permanent, adopted “child” already. But there was something about this yearly program. So, after some prayer, I decided to enroll in this program, too. Since it is only a year commitment, I saw it as more of a “foster parent” arrangement. 🙂

So, in a way, I am expecting. Similar to a pregnant woman looking forward to the birth of a new child, I am waiting to be gifted with a new child of my own – to love, care for and, most important of all, to pray for.

With this new commitment, I anticipate being asked to give more of my time and myself for their benefit. I pray for strength and grace to truly be able to act as a good intercessor on their behalf and to follow God’s direction. I pray for the grace to become more holy, so that my prayers may be more efficacious for their good. I pray for them, personally, and for their vocations. I pray for all of us that we may answer God’s call anew every day and, as is written in Ephesians, to “live a life worthy of your vocation.”

As a final bonus to my Friday, Fr. Acervo is giving a talk “On the Priesthood.” My day could not get any better! 🙂 I love God! 🙂

Just Another Walk Around the Block

During dinner, I felt like talking a walk. It’s getting late, about 9:30 pm or so, but it would be nice to stop by the playground and swing on the swings for a bit before going to bed. So, I grabbed my iPod and left the house. As always, even as I am dancing and running and walking my way to the park, my mind wanders.

I have someone whom God has asked me to intercede for, to care for, and to love as He loves, so as to learn love as He loves. No small task, but one I cherish. God doesn’t burden you with vocations, He blesses you with them. As my mind is wandering, it wanders over to this topic — which is really not that surprising to me.

Would I protect this person?
Yes, of course, from everything I can which is harmful.

Would I give my life for this person?
Absolutely.

Why?
Because it is my job. To care for this person. And my caring does not stop at my prayers.
I am willing to do whatever God asks of me.
And God is good.
If God truly asks that I lay down my life, it is His.
Without question.
Without hesitation.

God loves me.
Whatever death, pain, suffering might come my way, God can handle.
I just need to get out of the way of His healing.
God loves me.

Nothing else matters.
He has me.
He loves me.
I trust Him.

This is a fight.
Truly, we are the church militant, right? There is danger. There are threats. We need to be strong. We need to protect each other.
He is asking if I will fight for this person that He gave me.
Absolutely.

The best part.
I am not alone.
He’s not asking that I do this alone.
Angels.
Seriously. Angels are in this fight right alongside us.

My Lord, my love, I am here.
Take whatever You want.
Use me however You want.
Help me to do Your will.

I am not afraid.
God loves me.

Not bad for a walk, eh? 🙂