Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
Here is the famous “Prayer to St. Michael”, which was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1896, and required to be said at the end of all “low Masses” before Vatican II.
Saint 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,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
It was reported years later that the Pope wrote this prayer in response to a vision he received after celebrating Holy Mass. In the vision it was made known to the Pope how horrendous the evil would become in the following century. And, as it turned out, the bloodshed in this last century surpassed that of all other centuries – especially if we consider the scourge of legalized abortion in so many countries. With the reform of the Mass in 1964, all the prayers to be said after Mass were dropped. Now, with the most recent wave of scandals rocking the church worldwide, a number of bishops in the United States have invited their parishes to begin reciting this prayer at the end of Mass again, as it used to be. As of the writing of this letter, some 14 Bishops have reinstituted the prayer; and our Bishop is among them.
Why invoke St. Michael when faced with evil? First of all, the name Michael means “Who is like God?” Michael’s very name reminds us that God’s power is always greater than the power of evil, the power of the Evil One. There is no power equal to God’s power. St. Michael is an instrument of God’s amazing power!
Next it is St. Michael who is mentioned in the following passage from the Book of Daniel (chapter 12):
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then… But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Then we read in the Book of Revelation (chapter 12):
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 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, St. Michael is certainly one to invoke when we are faced with great evil. Beginning this coming weekend, we will recite the “Prayer to Saint Michael” after all of our Masses. After the priest and deacon kiss the altar at the end of Mass, as soon as they reach the floor of the nave and turn back towards the altar, the prayer will start. (At campuses where the recessional song is announced, this could still be done immediately after the dismissal, i.e., “Go in peace”, while the priest and deacon are going to the altar.) Once the priest and deacon turn back towards the tabernacle, the priest will lead the prayer to St. Michael. Next the recessional song can start, and the priest, deacon and servers will process out. This prayer can be found on the very last page of our red Lumen Christi Missal. We will also recite this prayer at the end of daily Masses, including school Masses.
On another note, there are a couple of positions we need help with at the parish. At Paulding I am in need of somebody who can handle small maintenance projects (changing out light bulbs, doing small repairs) or managing larger projects (a leak in the sacristy hallway, moving the whiteboard from the Paulding basement into the Ed Center, and installing a large television screen on the same wall where the whiteboard was). I have somebody who is willing to manage the rectory siding project this coming spring, so this person would not have to handle that project. The parish can pay a modest wage to cover hours worked. The job would take 8-10 hours per week maximum. I am thinking about somebody who is an “early retiree”, who would be available to meet any contractors during working hours.
Then we are in need of somebody to cover janitorial work at the hall in Antwerp each week. The hall gets used for some music lessons, and then for PSR each Wednesday, and sometimes for other events, such as funeral dinners. When PSR is in session during the school year, this will take 5-7 hours per week. In the summer, the time required is much less; and depends on special events on the hall. For this job also, we could pay a modest wage. For either of these positions, please contact either Dianne Jones or me.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,