Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God's Holy Angels


God is so good to us. Knowing how difficult our earthly lives can be, He not only gives us Himself, which certainly suffices, but He also gives us companions and helpers for the journey. He has given us the great cloud of witnesses in His saints, but He also gives us the angels to act as messengers (for that is what angel means) and guides.
Today we celebrate the feast of the archangels: Michael, defender and protector, Gabriel, the messenger and announcer, and Raphael who is guide and healer. These three great angels are there for us, each with their own particular mission.
In a few days on October 2, we will celebrate the feast of our Guardian angels. These angels are our life long friends and guides. I know mine goes above and beyond the call of duty many times!
The following poem about St Michael was written by G.K. Chesterton. I thought I would post something a little different this year to honor the archangels, St Michael in particular. However, let us remember to go to Gabriel to listen for the special messages God may be sending our way and to Raphael when healing and guidance is needed.


All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,


All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:


Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
~TeDeum


To St Michael in Time of Peace


G.K. Chesterton




Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.
When the world cracked because of a sneer in heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.
Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.
When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions
Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.
Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.
He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.
Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the word.



7 comments:

Anne said...

Thank you so much for posting this beautiful and awesome poem! "What is unbroken is the Word" I love that!

Msgr. Charles Pope has a very interesting post today about the angels at the Archdiocese of Washington blog. You would probably enjoy it.

Karinann said...

Thanks Anne~glad you liked the poem. I will check out Msgr.'s post today.
God bless!

Robert B said...

What a treat reading this poem from this giant of a writer about a "giant" of an archangel.
Love this line:
"Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation"
Self-exaltation truly is hell. It is an inversion of the natural order. People suffer when we exalt ourselves, and we injure ourselves when we imitate Lucifer in this way. Michael is our example to leave the sorry path of pride and self-love. Michael: audacious and uncompromising in defending God's honor alone.

Likewise, we are to zealously defend God's honor, conceding nothing to the world, error and sin. While seeking the lowest place for ourselves.

Thank you, Karinann for this lovely tribute to St. Michael and the Holy Angels!

Karinann said...

Robert,
Thank you for your insightful thoughts on this poem. I never thought of it quite like you said, but yes we do cause others to suffer when we exalt ourselves.
May we always seek the lowest place so that God may raise us in the next life.
God bless!

kam said...

Thanks for finding and posting that great poem. I'd heard of it but never read it. Chesterton builds and builds and then gives it to us softly, as on a pillow. Beautiful. Again, thank you. k

Karinann said...

Kam thanks for your comments on the poem. I love your pillow analogy of Chesterton's writing.
God bless!

Daily Grace said...

I had never heard this poem before.So beautiful!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.