Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Homily Solemnity of Saint Michael (Transferred) 27/28 September 2008

50 Years ago this Monday…September 29, 1958…
Monsignor George Habig…representing Bishop Emmett Walsh…
dedicated the original church…what is now the gym…
here in Saint Michael Parish.

As many of you would remember,
until the Catholic people in northwest Canton had a church of their own,
Mass was held in the Avondale School.

Since that dedication day…50 years ago on the Feast of Saint Michael…
our parish has grown rapidly and beautifully
into a family of faith of over 2,600 households.

Though we have since seen the dedication of a new church building in 2000,
it is significant that we remember the first church
and the labor and love that made it a house of prayer for our ancestors,
consecrated to God and set aside as a sacred place for divine worship
under the patronage of the great Archangel Michael.

This year, as Church norms permit for patronal feasts,
we have transferred the Feast of Saint Michael to Sunday,
that we may together honor the holy Archangel
in whose honor our parish was established
and under whose patronage we continue to journey in faith.
We honor him with incense, chant, song, white vestments, and unique prayers.
As we reflect upon the ancient and beautiful Prayer to Saint Michael,
as well as the stories of Saint Michael in the Sacred Scriptures,
this special feast day offers us three very valuable spiritual lessons.

First of all, we are reminded of the supernatural realm that is quite real
though we cannot perceive it with our human senses.
Angels…pure spirits who serve God faithfully and worship him continually…
are as real as we are to one another.

There are three chief angels, or Archangels, in the splendid hierarchy of Heaven:
Gabriel, which means the “Strength of God”
is the one who brought God’s message of salvation to JBap and Mary.

Raphael, which means the “Medicine of God”
is the one who cared for Tobias on his journey,
as we read in the Book of Tobit.

Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?”
is the great defender of the Church and of God’s people.

The church believes in, trusts in, and invokes the intercession of the holy angels.

Secondly, it is also true that the supernatural realm is not entirely good and holy
as the angels who serve and worship God.
The Devil is also real.
Satan, whose name means “adversary,”
is an angel who rejected God and was cast out of Heaven.
From his abode of darkness, distant from the love of God,
he now prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls
and deceiving men and women striving for holiness.

It is convenient but dangerous to de-personalize sin
and to speak in general terms about “evil.”
Never forget that the Devil’s greatest trick is to convince us that he does not exist.

Saint Michael is the great protector,
who fought against the Devil and who defends us against evil.
Whenever we find ourselves in a struggle against sin and temptation,
it is of tremendous value to have recourse in prayer to Saint Michael.

Finally, our celebration brings into focus the reality that we are in a time of war.
This war is not the military conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Middle East.

Instead, I speak of a spiritual battle…a battle for truth, holiness, and morality…
a battle being waged in courtrooms, classrooms, and hospital rooms.
The enemies are selfishness, decadence, and the culture of .

We who have been baptized into the Mystical Body of Christ
have been summoned by Him to take our place as defenders of truth
and are led by the holy Archangel Michael into spiritual warfare.

The false values of the world, temptations of the flesh, and snares of the Devil
converge as the enemy of the truth, love, peace, and justice of God.
The examples abound…
Our children in public school are denied the opportunity to freely pray.
Catholic physicians and Catholic Charities are compromised or forced to close…
because of pressure to dispense contraception or perform abortions.
Priests are prosecuted for preaching the teachings of Christ.
Music media, television, movies, and the internet…
which provide great advantages and opportunities…
also provide new technological outlets for immorality and deviance.

Saint Michael is the defender of truth and justice.

We need him close to us today more than ever…as a companion in the trenches…
as we stand together against the injustices that affect our world…
against poverty, hunger, religious and racial discrimination,
and the greatest injustice ever conceived of by mankind:
the deliberate destruction of human life in the womb.

We must arm ourselves against these visible and invisible enemies.

St. Michael is shown dressed in armor and carrying a sword.
His image is symbolic of the true armor offered to every disciple.

Contrary to the radical ideologies some who invoke God in defense of
disciples of Christ stand in firmly rooted in love and peace.

The greatest weapons we have in the struggle for holiness are
our relationship to God, Mary and the Saints in daily prayer
the grace of the Sacraments, to which we must frequently make recourse
and the powerful truths of the Bible and the Catholic Catechism,
which we must read, study, and thoroughly understand.

With God’s grace in our hearts and souls…
with the wisdom of the Scriptures and the Church’s teaching in our minds…
and with Saint Michael at our side…
we constitute a formidable force against sin and evil.

By our words of truth and love, the example of our actions in the world,
our fervent prayers, and our well-formed participation in political life
we can and must make a stand for truth!

We have seen , corruption, and immorality for far too long
and it is time for us to say that we have had enough.

Jesus Christ is our Savior…our brother…and the source of our hope!
His truth brings us peace in this life…and the promise of eternal life!
We are called…and privileged…to fight for Jesus Christ…to fight for holiness!

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!
Christ our God, give us courage to love you and to defend the truth which sets us free!

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