And all the company of heaven…..While folks in Catonsville were rushing off to work or school this morning, the Sisters on the Hilltop were quietly singing praises to God and to St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael Archangels.
“Angels and ministers, spirits of grace, Friends of the children, beholding God’s face, Moving light thought to us through the beyond,
Molded in beauty and free from our bond!”
Percy Dearmer’s old hymn rings out in our Chapel…
“Messengers clad in the swiftness of light,
Subtle as flame, and creative in might,
Helmed with the truth and with charity shod,
Wielding the wind of the purpose of God!”
We are not thinking here of diaphanous creatures fluttering around on little wings. Cute as that might be, what help would such creatures be? When I need an angel, I want a mighty being in war helmet and battle array, “wielding the wind of the purpose of God.” St Michael the warrior fits this requirement. Of course I may need St. Gabriel, the messenger of God or St Raphael, the guide and perhaps the gentlest of these subtle beings.
There is also a 4th Archangel – Uriel – meaning “God is my light.” He seems to me to be representing the silence of eternity. Thought to be the angel of God’s Presence mentioned in Isaiah 63:9, perhaps he is an awesome silent presence who stands guard at the entrance of God’s Temple – our Churches. Think about that next time you walk into church! [Uriel appears in the book of Esdras and was recognized by Pope St Gregory the Great.]
So there you have it. I can’t include a photo of these on the blog – not a real one, that is. Perhaps I have met one and so have you – unawares. We pray for their assistance and that: “We too shall join you as comrades in grace….”
From the Anglican tradition, a prayer for our time:
“Oh holy Saint Uriel, intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the
Holy Spirit may bear much fruit in our souls.
Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable Will of God in our lives, that we may fully participate in the army of the Church. Amen”