Thursday, September 29, 2011

Serviam!

As Father Joe alludes to in his post earlier today, it is the Feast of the Archangels on the Church Calendar. Traditionally called "Michaelmas" (after St. Michael the Archangel), today's feast celebrates the three archangels mentioned in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Statue of St. Michael defeating Satan. Vienna, Austria.
Hey - ya gotta love St. Michael. He's easily the coolest of the three archangels and one of the coolest saints overall. He's the one who threw Satan (the rebellious angel of light) out of heaven at God's command. And the way he's traditionally depicted in Church art is pretty cool, too: usually in full angelic armor, with sword in hand and a foot on the head or throat of Satan. Michael's shield usually displays the battle cry of the angels, which is the Latin version of his name's meaning: Quis ut Deus?, or "Who is like God?"

St. Michael encourages us to be bold and brave in living out our Catholic faith - battling evil is not for wimps. His image is one which flies in the face of those who try to treat Christianity as a "pushover" religion or as a faith which kowtows to the norms and whims of secular society. Michael reminds us that the Church and the Faith which she has preserved for nearly two millennia are not to take a backseat in our lives, but are to drive and inspire us to "fight the good fight" (1 Timothy 6:12) every day of our God-given lives.

Today, I encourage you to echo St. Michael's other battle cry: "Serviam!" It means, "I will serve," and it is an act of faith to our provident God, against the "Non serviam!" of Satan and the world.

Answer God's silent call and serve him today, in honor of St. Michael and the other Archangels. Serve others - your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your family - today. In so doing, you will emulate St. Michael and, more importantly, our Lord Jesus Christ. "May you know how to put yourself out cheerfully, discreetly and generously each day, serving others and making their lives more pleasant. To act this way is to practice the true charity of Jesus Christ." (St. Josemaria Escriva)