Archangel Michael Ivan BilibinThe feast of the Archangel Michael brings to table a certain wrinkle in the spiritual life that we don’t frequently acknowledge, or truly address as real. Recognizing the place evil has in the lives of many people due to the lure of sin and division, and noting that the true desire of man’s heart is really for God, Saint John Paul II in his ministry as a priest asked the faithful pray to Saint Michael the Archangel for divine assistance in the long and difficult work of spiritual warfare. He wanted us to make room in our devotional life for the intention when he said,

May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, “Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” (Eph 6 10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church.”

“St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.” Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world. (Pope John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 24 April 1994)”

Michael, whose name means “who is like unto God” (Quis ut Deus?), does indeed protect us.

Will you take up the challenge and call to holiness of John Paul?