Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Explanation of the Prayer of Saint Michael [Father Robert J. Altier] ^ | 03-02-06 | Fr. Robert J. Altier

Posted on 03/02/2006 10:15:09 PM PST by Salvation

click here to read article

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-82 next last

He sent it to me as an attachment. The File was called “Talks_St(1).Michael.

A Talk given by Father Robert Altier at Saint Michael Church, Saint Michael Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 29th of September 2005.

On May 13, 1884, the story has it, Pope Leo XIII had just said Mass and was standing at the foot of the altar steps when he suddenly went into a trance-like state and fell to the floor – his Cardinals, fearing that he may have suffered a heart attack or something similar, brought in doctors to help the aging Pontiff – the doctors were unable to find a heartbeat and feared the worst – suddenly the Holy Father awakened and spoke of a horrible vision he was allowed by God to see: he saw what was going to happen in the future, the misleading powers and the ravings of the devils against the Church in all countries

– St. Michael appeared in the nick of time and cast Satan and his cohorts back into the abyss of hell – another version of the story talks about a dialogue between Jesus and Satan with the evil one requesting 100 years and all the power he needs to destroy the Church -

It was after this, it is said, that Pope Leo XIII wrote the St. Michael prayer and ordered it to be said after every low Mass for the protection of the Church – the prayer was said around the world after every low Mass until the liturgical changes of the 1960’s took place – many would suggest that the problems in the Church and in the world may well be caused by the fact that we no longer say this prayer in most churches after Mass.

The Saint Michael prayer is certainly one of the best known prayers among Catholics – it had fallen out of use because the prayers that we said after low Masses in the old rite of the Mass were dropped out in the mid-1960’s – a point that should be clarified immediately is that the prayer was never a part of Mass because it was said after Mass had finished – also, it is not forbidden by the Church to say the prayer to St. Michael after Mass even now – while it is not prescribed to use the prayer any longer, it is not forbidden either –

The prayer to St. Michael has not only seen a great revival among Catholics who are recognizing its efficacy in fighting against Satan and the fallen angels, but it is getting a lot of attention from traditionalists and from a group of people called the sedevacantists – these are the people who believe that there is no real Pope – they believe they are carrying on true Catholicism and that the rest of the Church has abandoned our Lord by changing the Mass and holding ecumenical talks with non-Catholics – the point these people are trying to make is that Pope Leo XIII did not write the prayer to St. Michael we all know, but rather, they say, he wrote another, much longer prayer which was chipped away at little by little until 1934 when the Church changed the prayer all together and gave us the present version of the prayer –

It is with this in mind that we have to trace the history of the prayer – first of all regarding the alleged vision of Pope Leo XIII – there are six different versions of the story floating around which claim three different dates for the event: 1880, May 13, 1884 and September 25, 1888 – the first known account of the story comes from an account of an exorcism written around 1930, where the story is related as a digression – an article that appeared in 1933 related the same story and gave it as the reason why the Holy Father wrote the St. Michael prayer and ordered it used universally – this happened, according the this article, around 1880

– this, I think, is where the sedevacantists are getting their 1934 date for the changing of the prayer

What do we know about the prayer – first of all, on January 6, 1884 Pope Leo XIII ordered that the prayers which Pope Pius IX ordered to be said at the end of Mass in the Papal States in 1859 be prayed universally – these prayer were the three Hail Marys, the Hail Holy Queen and the collect “O God our refuge and our strength” – the St. Michael prayer was not included – this would certainly call into doubt the idea that the Pope had a vision in 1880 after which he wrote the prayer to St. Michael.

– it was not until 1886 that Pope Leo added the prayer to St. Michael to the prayers after Mass – again, if he had a vision is 1884, why would he wait until 1886 to insert his prayer – of course this completely debunks the 1888 date because the prayer was already being said universally in 1886.

The fact of the matter is that there are three prayers to St. Michael which Pope Leo approved – the one we all know as written by the Holy Father at a date we do not know and given to the Church in 1886 – there is another longer prayer to St. Michael which was written in 1888 – and an exorcism prayer, which incorporated this longer 1888 prayer in the opening of the exorcism prayer, which was written in 1890 – the 1888 prayer, according to the sedevacantists was the original prayer – this prayer originally contained two paragraphs which were later removed

– these people claim that these two paragraphs foretold the chaos that would follow after the Second Vatican Council – in this prayer we read that the devil pours out on "men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity"

– the prayer goes on to say “these most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions – further on the prayer adds “in the holy place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of the abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor is struck, the sheep may be scattered” – these two passages are the ones which were removed in 1902 and are the passages that are claimed to foretell the aftermath of Vatican II –

A few points for clarification – first of all, keep in mind that this is an entirely different prayer written two years after the St. Michael prayer we all know – secondly, the changes were made during the lifetime of Pope Leo XIII who died in 1903 – the claim is that infiltrators removed these passages after the death of Leo – fourth, the passages read above are all in the past tense, not in the future tense which would be expected if they foretell the events that we to take place over 75 years in the future –

The passages refer to the fact that the Papal states had been conquered by the House of Savoy in 1870 – the Pope barricaded himself in the Vatican, excommunicated those who had seized the Papal territories and refused to recognize the government they had set up – in 1870 Victor Emmanuel, the newly claimed king of Italy, set up his throne in the Quirinale, the principal Papal palace in Rome, the place of Papal conclaves at that time and the place where the Pope held court sitting on a throne, the “Chair of truth for the light of the world”

– these are the points being addressed in the prayer of 1888 – they were removed in 1902 because the Pope had been carrying on secret negotiations with King Umberto and the points in the prayer would go contrary to any kind of recognition of the legitimacy of Umberto’s government – anyway, this is the supposed plot that infiltrators hatched to cover up the diabolical plans to destroy the Church

– as we have already seen, the prayer we are here to talk about was written two years earlier and has never been changed – while in English there are a few different ways the various words have been translated, the Latin test remains identical to the one published in 1886

Having said all of this, we now get to the heart of why we are here tonight: to look at this glorious prayer – the prayer begins by invoking St. Michael the Archangel by name – the name Michael means “Who is like unto God” – a name tells us something of the essence of the person – on earth we receive our names from our parents, so the name does not always correspond with what the person is really all about

– we know from Revelation 2:17 that if we are victorious we will be given a new name – this name, given by God, will truly reveal the essence of who we are and what God had in mind for us when He created us – the Angels, on the other hand, have only the name given to them by God – hence, Michael, Quis ut Deus, Who is like unto God, is a battle cry.

It is also a profession of Faith because the name is revealed to us in a particular way in the context of the Angelic test prior to entrance into heaven – the Angels we created with Grace, but outside of Heaven itself, i.e., they did not possess the face to face vision of God – the angels, it is believed, were shown our Lady and the Infant Jesus.

They knew and understood that the child was God and that the human woman would one day be their Queen – such a thing made no sense according to nature, but it makes perfect sense according to love – Satan and his minions refused to serve, they refused to accept this plan of God’s because they were higher by nature than a human being, therefore, God should not lower Himself so completely as to become human, and no merely human woman should be exalted above the Angels for them to serve as Queen

– St. Michael and the good Angels (including your Guardian Angel), on the other hand, accepted God’s plan and were willing to humble themselves to serve this woman and to worship God in human form, a form that is vastly lower that their own angelic nature – it is this act of Faith that opened Heaven for St. Michael and the obedient Angels and it is this same act of Faith that cast Satan and his crew forever away from eternal glory –

What do we know about St. Michael? There are a number of points that we will look at when the prayer would suggest it to be appropriate – but for there are some things to say that do not fit easily into the commentary on the prayer itself – first of all, according to the apocryphal book of Adam and Eve, St. Michael kept watch over our first parents after they were expelled from the garden of Eden.

According to this book, he taught Adam many things and persuaded God to allow Adam’s soul to return to heaven after he had died – an ancient tradition holds that St. Michael was among the three angels who visited Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18 as they were on their way toward Sodom – this traditions holds that it was St. Michael who spoke to Sarah telling her that she would bear a son.

It has also been thought that it was St. Michael who was sent by God in Genesis 22 to stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac –To Michael has been entrusted the task of bringing the souls of the redeemed from this world to the next – this tradition comes about from a book called the Testament of Abraham which says that St. Michael told Abraham he was about to die – Abraham asked God if he could see all the wonders of the world so that he could die with no regrets – St. Michael, according to this source, guided Abraham on a tour of the inhabited world, then took him home to prepare for death –

St. Gregory Nazianzen believed it was St. Michael who spoke to Moses on God’s behalf from the burning bush and also upon Mount Sinai – he also thought St. Michael was the angel who guards the closed gates of Eden and had charge of the plagues that were brought upon the Egyptians – it is also thought that it was St. Michael who freed Daniel from the lion’s den – Christian piety holds that St. Michael, along with St. Raphael, is a healer – he is said to have the task of writing deeds In the Book of Life, of weighing souls in the scales of divine justice and, in contrast to his task of conducting the souls of the redeemed into heaven, he also has the task of casting the souls of the condemned into hell.

St. Michael has appeared in apparitions more than any other angel – he has visited many Saints, but his most notable shrines are at Monte Gargano in Italy and Monte Michel in Normandy – I should point out that others have attributed some of these events to other angels -

St. Michael is called an Archangel – there are two different meanings to this word – the eighth or second to the lowest choir of Angels is called the Archangels – the word itself, however, means leader angels – St. Michael is called “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13, “your Prince” in Daniel 10:21, and “the Great Prince” in Daniel 12:1.

Michael is only one of three Angels whose names are mentioned in Scripture and is, along with Gabriel and Raphael, one of the seven Angels who stand before God and present to Him the prayers of the Saints (Tobit 12:1; Rev. 8:2, Lk. 1:19)

Some will say that Michael is from the second lowest of the choirs, but because he was the first to make his profession of Faith and lead the good Angels in their charge, he was, in essence, promoted to be among the seven angels who minister before the throne of God – this is certainly possible because he is explicitly called an archangel in Scripture.

However, it is also possible that he is from the choir of Seraphim or the highest choir and, as such, he is one of the leading angels by nature and by grace and assumes his rightful place as the prince among the Angels – regardless of his choir and rank, we can understand from what we are told in the Book of the Prophet Joel why St. Michael has such an exalted position: [Joel 2:11]

The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his host is exceedingly great; he that executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

Following the invocation of St. Michael, we then ask him to defend us in battle – this comes from several different Scripture passages – St. Michael is referred to three times in Daniel and all three times he is involved in a conflict – in Dan 10:12-14 [Dan 10:12]

Then he said to me, "Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. [Dan 10:13] The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, so I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia [Dan 10:14] and came to make you understand what is to befall your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come." – in Dan 10:20-21: [Dan 10:20]

Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I am through with him, lo, the prince of Greece will come. [Dan 10:21]

But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince – these last two quotations are especially important because they are spoken by St. Gabriel, the Angel who was sent to our Lady at the Annunciation - it is also thought that it was St. Michael who appeared to Gideon and lead the people of Israel in battle – we read in Judges 6: [Judg 6:11]

Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Jo'ash the Abiez'rite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Mid'ianites. [Judg 6:12] And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor." [Judg 6:13] And Gideon said to him, "Pray, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this befallen us?

And where are all his wonderful deeds which our fathers recounted to us, saying, `Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Mid'ian." [Judg 6:14] And the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Mid'ian; do not I send you?" [Judg 6:15] And he said to him, "Pray, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manas'seh, and I am the least in my family." [Judg 6:16] And the LORD said to him, "But I will be with you, and you shall smite the Mid'ianites as one man."

The battle in which we are engaged is not a physical battle as St. Paul makes clear in his letter to the Ephesians: [Eph 6:12] For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. – we can understand from this that it is impossible for us to fight this battle by our own strength – since it is a spiritual battle, we must employ spiritual means to fight the battle.

This is why we ask in the next line of the prayer for St. Michael to be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil - [Eph 6:11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil - [2 Tim 2:22]

So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. [2 Tim 2:23] Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. [2 Tim 2:24]

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, [2 Tim 2:25] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, [2 Tim 2:26] and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

These snares of the devil are traps he sets to catch us in – Jesus Himself says of Satan that [John 8:44] He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – the difficulty with his lies is that there is always an element of truth involved – He will not capture us by breathing fire in our faces and growling, rather, he tries to entice us by suggesting that he is our friend – he offers us the things we like and drags us deeper into his grasp – St. Paul reminds us in 2 Cor that [2 Cor 11:14] even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. – what will protect us from this snare is the truth – the devil is a liar and the father of lies; Jesus is the Truth – Satan rejected the truth – Satan is the embodiment of selfishness and hatred; Jesus is Love – love, St. Paul says, never wrongs the neighbor – if we act according to the way we were created.

Satan will have no power over us – how were we made – we are told in Genesis that we were made in the image and likeness of God – God, as we have seen is love and He is Truth – Jesus told us that the truth will set us free and He commanded us to love – as persons we have a mind and a will – the mind is made for truth and the will is made for love – if we live the truth in love, then we will be filled with light and there will be no room for darkness – someone steeped in truth and love will recognize immediately when there is a temptation for falsehood or selfishness – St. Paul tells the Corinthians how they can overcome Satan’s cunning ways: [2 Cor 2:9] For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. [2 Cor 2:10].

Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, [2 Cor 2:11] to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs. – these are the devil’s designs: disobedience and unforgiveness – unforgiveness is one of the most powerful tools of the devil – he will tempt us by telling us that we have a right to be angry and that we should not forgive – forgiveness is what our Lord teaches us and obtains for us – to fail to forgive is to also fail to cooperate with God’s grace and by so doing we refuse the forgiveness God offers to us – this is what we pray in the Our Father every day and it is the point our Lord Himself highlighted:

[Mat 6:14] For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; [Mat 6:15] but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses – so you can see why the devil does not want us to forgive, because then we cannot be forgiven – if we are not forgiven, we cannot go to heaven – the other point St. Paul makes is obedience – we think that obedience is somehow violating our freedom and we don’t want to be obedient to anyone – St. Paul tells the Romans [Rom 6:16]

Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? [Rom 6:17] But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, [Rom 6:18] and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. [Rom 6:19]

I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. [Rom 6:20] When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. [Rom 6:21]

But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. [Rom 6:22] But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. [Rom 6:23]

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – so se can see why the tactics of the enemy of our souls is disobedience and unforgiveness: because both end in death, eternal death – so his trick is to keep us from being forgiving and obedient in order to keep us from eternal life – this leads us right to the next point

The next line of the prayer to St. Michael is of great importance for our understanding: may God rebuke him we humbly pray – this line comes from the letter of St. Jude where we hear about St. Michael and Satan fighting over the body of Moses - [Jude 1:9]

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." – this is also found in the Prophet Zechariah where the angel who appeared to the Prophet speaks to Satan: [Zec 3:1] Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. [Zec 3:2]

And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" – it is imperative that we do not try to take on the devil ourselves – by ourselves we have no power over Satan – as members of Jesus Christ through baptism we can command in the name of Jesus – however, we need to be humble and learn from an Archangel to call upon the name of the Lord to rebuke the vile creature – a priest, by the authority of his office and standing in the very person of Jesus Christ, can command demons in the name of the Lord.

If the devil is bothering you personally, you can command him in the name of the Lord, but do not try to fight with him on your own or to command him when he is bothering someone else – if you try to take him on, the devil will attack you – if you stand behind the Lord and allow Jesus to deal with the rebellious serpent, then he will have to try to fight with the Lord which will get him nowhere – this is one of the snares of the devil: to get us to step out from behind the Lord and his protection and to try to come against the devil ourselves.

This is not only foolish, but it is a quick way to get hurt – just keep in mind the principle that if the angels invoke the Lord to rebuke the demons instead of doing it by their own power, who do we think we are to command them by some perceived power of our own?

In the prayer we say that we humbly pray – this humility is what the devil cannot handle – he is arrogant – it requires humility to accept the truth – it requires humility to acknowledge that we are dependent on the Lord – it takes even greater humility to live in that dependence – Jesus made very clear to us what we are able to do ourselves when he said: [John 15:5] I am the vine, you are the branches.

He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – this should not come as a surprise to us because our Lord said of Himself: [John 5:19] "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. – the goal of our lives is to be conformed to Jesus Christ – if Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing, then we that is what we must do – our Lord told us that [Luke 6:40]

A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. – we are to be like Jesus who did nothing of His own accord – we need to be like Him Who [Phil 2:7] emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, - remember, He came to serve, not to be served; Satan, on the other hand said “I will not serve” – we need to be humble, we need to be dependent, we need to serve the Lord and we need to keep firmly in our minds in all things, but especially in dealing with the enemy of our souls, that apart from Him we can do nothing – just think about the fact that it is the humility of Jesus and Mary that crush Satan’s head more definitively than anything else.
It was pride that caused the fall of Adam and Eve and it is pride or selfishness that is at the root of every single sin we commit – what worked against our first parents still works against us – Satan has not had to change his tactics much because we have the same weaknesses.

If we are truly humble and rely solely on the Lord for everything, the evil one will have no power over us and, since when we are truly humble we will not be trusting in our own strength but in the Lord’s we will not fall because we will know and acknowledge our own weakness rather than boast of our strength.

Just think, a person who is completely humble cannot fall because they are already humbled to the ground – the more arrogant we are, the more disastrous will be the fall because we have a much greater distance from which to fall – so, in this prayer, we come humbly before the Lord, dependent on Him and asking Him to be powerful in our weakness so that He can be glorified as He told St. Paul: [2 Cor 12:9] but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" – therefore, with St. Paul we can honestly say: I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Continuing on with the prayer we ask: and do thou, O prince of the heavenly Host – before we finish the line we need to look at a couple of points in this line – the term “host” means armies – we use this term every day in Mass at the Sanctus – the English translation says Lord God of power and might, but the Latin is clear when is says Dominus Deus Sabaoth: Lord God of Hosts – this is the song of the Seraphim as we hear from the Prophet Isaiah: [Isa 6:2] Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. [Isa 6:3] And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." [Isa 6:4]

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. – when we pray this prayer at Mass we are praising God with the highest of Angels – God is called the Lord of Hosts over 200 times in Scripture – we recall the glory of the heaven hosts not only in the vision of Daniel when he saw thousand upon thousands and tens thousand upon ten thousands, but more for our purposes, when we read the account in 2 Kings about the Prophet Elisha when surrounded by the army of the Syrians: [2 Ki 6:15] When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city.

And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" [2 Ki 6:16] He said, "Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." [2 Ki 6:17] Then Eli'sha prayed, and said, "O LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Eli'sha – we also hear from our Lord Himself on the night of His passion as he was in the garden and the soldiers had come to arrest Him – Peter was intent on fighting for his Master and had just cut off the ear of Malchus when our Lord rebukes Peter and then says: [Mat 26:53]

Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? – the host of heaven is a powerful force – each of us has our own Guardian Angel to help us, but because of God’s regard for our free will, our Angel will not violate our freedom ever – he will do many things for us and help us in ways that we will only know when we get to heaven, but in particular circumstances we have to ask for his help – we can also ask for more angels to help us – one of the most powerful ways we can do this is to pray to our Lady under the title of Queen of the Angels and ask her to send angels to help – St. Michael is the one sitting at the feet of our Lady awaiting her every command.

In this prayer St. Michael is addressed as the prince of the Heavenly Host – of course, we know that he is the prince of the heavenly host because he is the one who led the obedient angels in their battle for the glory and honor of God as we read in Rev. 12: [Rev 12:7]

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, [Rev 12:8] but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. - this title also comes from the Book of Joshua when the prince or commander of the Lord’s army appeared to Joshua before the battle of Jericho - [Josh 5:13).

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood before him with his drawn sword in his hand; and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" [Josh 5:14] And he said, "No; but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come."

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshiped, and said to him, "What does my lord bid his servant?" [Josh 5:15] And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Put off your shoes from your feet; for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so. – so, when we call upon St. Michael as the Prince of the Heavenly Host, we are not only going to receive the help of this great Prince himself, but also of the whole army of Angels which he commands –

The next part of this last line of the prayer tells us why we need help from the whole of the heavenly array: by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits – we need to understand that Satan himself, because of his pride, will rarely be the one to tempt us or to cause us trouble – he will go after our Lord, our Lady and a few of the greatest Saints, but he will not lower himself to go after small fry like us - instead, there is a whole band of evil spirits working against us – we are told in the Book of Revelation that one third of all the angels God had created rebelled against Him and lost their places in heaven: [Rev 12:4] His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. – we are also told that [Rev 12:9]

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

So the devil commands a fierce army of fallen angels who are filled with hatred for God, for our Lady and for us – this is why the final part of the prayer refers to what the demons are trying to do: prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls – this whole battle is about souls – God wants us to be in heaven with Him, but we have to use our free will to chose it – it is not enough to say that we would like to go the heaven, we have to live the life that would follow from that choice – on the other hand, the demons want us in hell because of their hatred – we just saw that they were cast down to the earth – we are later told that when the devil was unable to defeat the woman and her Child [Rev 12:17]

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. – they are after us because it is part of their very nature: they were created to be messengers of God to us – so, by their creation they were directed toward us and that remains the case – the difference is that they were supposed to be directed toward us for the good, but now it is for evil that they seek us out

Satan is the leader of this diabolical army – Satan, we recall is the highest angel God created – this means he is the most intelligent creature God made and the most powerful – his intelligence is attested to in the Book of Genesis where we read: [Gen 3:1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made – our first parents, with all of the grace they had and the gifts of integrity were not able to defeat the vile creature by themselves – it should be pretty obvious that we, in our fallen and weakened state cannot do so either – he is more intelligent than all of us put together – but he does not have grace – you do, your Guardian Angel does – this means that if you are in the state of Grace you are in union with our Lord – by nature we are lower than the angels, by grace we are higher than the fallen angels

The devil’s name was originally Lucifer which means the light bearer – you can see that if we do not do God’s will, we become the exact opposite of what we were intended by God to be – here the one who was to bear the light of God is now the bearer of darkness – what our Lord said of those who choose sin is even more apropos for the evil one himself: [Mat 6:23] If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! –

Satan is real – one of his lies that is perpetuated with great success is that he is not real – instead, he wants us to believe that he is some medieval myth, some expression of psychological weakness or just the name we give to our bad habits and weaknesses – Jesus said of the vile creature: [Luke 10:18] "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. – if you believe in the Gospels but do not believe in Satan, by whom was Jesus tempted? – these are not stories, this is the divinely inspired word of God - the name Satan means “the accuser” – this was part of his purpose: to bring to light those things hidden in the darkness – we see this in the song of heaven when he is cast out by St. Michael: [Rev 12:10] And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

His nature has not changed, so now he accuses us to try to get us to despair of God’s mercy – he is quite good at this: either to keep us from going to confession or by bringing up things that have already been confessed in the hopes that we will think we have not been forgiven – it is pride that keeps us from the confessional and even greater pride that makes us think we cannot be forgiven because it implies that we can commit a sin bigger than even God can forgive – Satan is a jerk who wants your destruction – to not talk to him, do not play with him – chain him up with your rosary and ask St. Michael to cast him into hell by the power of God – this is the final point of the prayer.

Because they were cast down to earth, we pray that St. Michael will cast them into hell – the Book of Revelations tells us that that is what will happen to the diabolical masses: it tells us first that [Rev 20:1] Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. [Rev 20:2]

And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,[Rev 20:3] and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more – the angel spoken of here is thought to be St. Michael - after being released for one last attempt at humanity we are told that [Rev 20:10] the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever – our Lord Himself said that the judgment upon those who refuse mercy will be the same: [Mat 25:41].

Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; - hell is real and it is a place where we do not want to go ourselves and, if we have any charity at all, we will not want anyone else to go there either – the demons chose to go there – please understand that because the angels are pure spirit they choose with their whole being – they also have a full understanding of the choice they are making as well as all of the ramifications of that choice – therefore, they knew what they were doing and what it would mean for them when they chose against the set plan and purpose of God – they chose hell and that is where we can pray that St. Michael will send them – we do not want to pray that for any human person, even our worst enemy – Jesus told us to [Mat 5:44]

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,[Mat 5:45] so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven – if we hope that someone goes to hell then we show that we are not sons of our heavenly Father, but rather, we are under the condemnation of our Lord when He said [John 8:44]

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning – so we pray that we will be true children of our heavenly Father: that we will be humble, obedient and forgiving, loving God and loving neighbor – that we will reject the wiles of the enemy of our souls and that we will pray for those in Satan’s clutches, that they will be freed from their slavery to sin and know the true freedom of the children of God.

In this way we will be doing the work of Christ and share in the ultimate work in the battle over sin and Satan when we will be among the children of our Lady who participate in the definitive crushing of the ugly head of the vile creature – for this glorious victory we ask the Queen of Angels to send out the holy angels to protect and help us in this battle and we turn now to the Prince of the heavenly Host and pray: St. Michael….

1 posted on 03/02/2006 10:15:11 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All
Emails from and to Desert Voice:

From:"" <> |

Subject:RE: Re: Hi and I am shocked at the action of Archbishop Flynn against Faithful and Orthodox Father Altier.

Date:Fri, 03 Mar 2006 03:39:11 IST

Dear Friends of Desert Voice,

Praised be Jesus Christ!

God reward you for your many kind words and much appreciated prayer support at this very difficult time.

Like you, we hope that Archbishop Flynn will soon have a change of heart and allow Father Altier’s homilies and talks to once again be available on the website.

We are delivering your messages to Father, and ask you to please keep him in prayer, as he is keeping all of you in prayer, especially during this holy season of Lent.

Together let us beseech Our Lord, Who is merciful and knows all our needs, to grant us the favor of restoring Father Altier’s ministry.

In Jesus and Mary,
DesertVoice Support
Parishioners of the Church of Saint Agnes
Original Message:

Date: 2 Mar 2006 20:37:10 -0000
Subject: Re : Hi and I am shocked at the action of Archbishop Flynn against
Faithful and Orthodox Father Altier.

Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

I am truly shocked at the action of Archbishop Harry Flynn against a Priest Like Father Robert Altier whose Homilies and Talks are only solid and are truly in sync with the Teachings of Holy Mother Church.

It is sad and appalling that he is being treated like this or should I say

As, I had stated in a message to y'all some weeks back that it is only because of Father Altier's awesome, excellent, and magnificient Homilies that I am a Catholic Today.

With all the negative experiences that I had in the Catholic Church as a Religious in the United States --

I was on the verge of becoming a Pentecostal or joining the Baptist Church both in Atlanta and even when I returned to India.

I pray and hope that he will be reinstated on his website as soon as possible and that the ban will be lifted. I am so depressed as these
Homilies have worked wonders in my life.

Do y'all know when the Ban will be lifted? If at all?

The Catholic Bishops in the United States should be extremely grateful for a Catholic Priest like Father Robert J. Altier and should support him instead of persecuting him.

I will continue my prayers for him specially Rosaries and Chaplets of the Divine Mercy till this issue is resolved in his favor.

He is a Man of God and a Soldier of Jesus Christ. He certainly did not deserve to be treated like this.

I just cannot believe this that a Priest like him who has saved someone like me living thousands of miles away in India and has brought me back to the Catholic Church is being crucified.

I just cannot do without the Homilies on a daily basis. They are my daily nourishment like Cereal and Coffee.

As, you may know I log on every day except Saturdays around 10.00 P.M. I.S.T as that is when the Text Version of the Homilies is usually posted.

Imagine being treated like this on Ash Wednesday or the Day after that.
Your Brother in Christ,

2 posted on 03/02/2006 10:16:34 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

ping to read this huge thing.

3 posted on 03/02/2006 10:17:00 PM PST by Rick_Michael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rick_Michael


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

4 posted on 03/02/2006 10:17:50 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Rick_Michael

LOL! Was that why it took so long to load? Looks like it must have been close to a 45 -- 60 minute talk.

5 posted on 03/02/2006 10:19:11 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

6 posted on 03/02/2006 10:20:13 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Exactly. I'd love to read about Saint Michael, but I need to take this in little bites or my mind might melt. ; )

7 posted on 03/02/2006 10:26:18 PM PST by Rick_Michael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: lula

later read

8 posted on 03/02/2006 11:23:40 PM PST by lula (Starving the disabled is OK, go to jail if you do the same to an animal...go figure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Thank you for this tribute. St. Michael remains deep in our hearts. We keep two fine statues of St. Michael and remember him at every Mass and pray the prayers, usually in Latin, most every day.

May St. Michael watch vigilent over his charge, Father Altier...

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

9 posted on 03/03/2006 3:46:20 AM PST by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam Tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Our parish (CT) says the prayer to St. Michael after every Mass.

Thanks for a great ping.

11 posted on 03/03/2006 5:59:34 AM PST by LisaFab
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

GOOD ONE..question did or does the priest say the TLM?

12 posted on 03/03/2006 6:45:29 AM PST by Rosary (Pray the rosary daily,wear the Brown scapular)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
St. Michael has appeared in apparitions more than any other angel – he has visited many Saints, but his most notable shrines are at Monte Gargano in Italy and Monte Michel in Normandy – I should point out that others have attributed some of these events to other angels -


In Apulia, on Monte Gargano, the town of Monte Sant’Angelo contains the most famous shrine of the Latin West dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michael. Placed on top of the mountain this singular Basilica made up of a complex of constructions around the grotto from various eras, gives evidence of a good fifteen centuries of history. From remote times this is a place of pardon and prayer, famous in the entire Christian world. An anonymous writer, who lived more than a thousand years ago, describes it thus:
“The shrine of Saint Michael is known and extolled everywhere not for the splendour of its marble, but for the prodigious events that took palce here; of modest form, it is nevertheless, rich in celestial virtue, because the Archangel Michael himself deigned to set up and consecrate it, who being mindful of human frailty, came down from heaven so that men could participate in things divine in that temple”.


13 posted on 03/03/2006 6:52:35 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rosary

I don't know. But he has been censored by Bishop Flynn. All the buttons on his website go to a page about it -- Voice in the Desert.

14 posted on 03/03/2006 7:14:54 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Thanks, NYer

15 posted on 03/03/2006 7:15:24 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Is there any way his sermons could be posted here on FR? (Especially if his website goes down...)

16 posted on 03/03/2006 7:17:21 AM PST by nanetteclaret (Our Lady's Hat Society)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nanetteclaret; Salvation

Salvation has been posting them on the Catholic Caucus threads. That's how I became acquainted with Fr. Altier.

17 posted on 03/03/2006 7:19:47 AM PST by Carolina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
I would love to know why ArchBishop Flynn has essentially jailed Fr. Altier's words. I also heard, but cannot verify, that Flynn has asked Altier to leave the diocese.

Looking for confirmation of that.

18 posted on 03/03/2006 7:57:07 AM PST by Solson (magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Mother Angelica claimed to have a vision of St. Michael. I believe her account.
In 1993, EWTN launched WEWN, a shortwave radio station, the world’s largest privately owned facility of its kind. The money came from the late Piet Derksen, a Dutch leisure-industry billionaire who had never met Mother Angelica until he spotted her in a hotel lobby in Rome. Ask her how she came to start the shortwave operation, and she’ll tell you it was the archangel Michael—literally. She saw him on a hilltop near Irondale, and he told her to build it there. So she did, even though experts told her it wasn’t an ideal location.

Mother Angelica's Empire of the Airwaves

And this:

She is reflecting on the 20th anniversary of EWTN—a "miracle," as she calls it—but also on the shrine itself, another miracle. "I think it is going to give people courage. They lack awe—of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And they lack courage—they won’t fight for anything. They have no guts. I think what they experience when they walk into the church is courage. That’s why it was built."
Mother Angelica gives me courage. No challenge I face comes close to the number or magnitude of challenges that she faced --willingly.
19 posted on 03/03/2006 8:02:23 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Solson

20 posted on 03/03/2006 8:03:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-82 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson