DAY 46 - MARY, QUEEN ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN, PRAY FOR US
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
Introduction to Philippians
Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C.
On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He came to Philippi, via its harbor town of Neapolis (modern Kavalla), on his second missionary journey, probably in A.D. 49 or 50, accompanied by Silas and Timothy and Luke, if he is to be included in the “we”.
The Acts account tells of the conversion of a businesswoman, Lydia; the exorcism of a slave girl; and, after an earthquake, while Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, the faith and baptism of a jailer and his family. None of these persons, however, is directly mentioned in Philippians. Acts 16 concludes its account by describing how Paul (and Silas), asked by the magistrates to leave Philippi, went on to Thessalonica, where several times his loyal Philippians continued to support him with financial aid. Later, Paul may have passed through Philippi on his way from Ephesus to Greece, and he definitely stopped there on his fateful trip to Jerusalem.
Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi was written while he was in a prison somewhere, indeed in danger of death. Although under guard for preaching Christ, Paul rejoices at the continuing progress of the gospel and expresses gratitude for the Philippians’ renewed concern and help in an expression of thanks. Much of the letter is devoted to instruction about unity and humility within the Christian community at Philippi and exhortations to growth, joy, and peace in their life together. Paul warns against false teachers who threaten to impose on the Philippians the burdens of the Mosaic law, including circumcision. This beautiful letter is rich in insights into Paul’s theology and his apostolic love and concern for the gospel and his converts. In Philippians, Paul reveals his human sensitivity and tenderness, his enthusiasm for Christ as the key to life and death, and his deep feeling for those in Christ who dwell in Philippi. With them he shares his hopes and convictions, his anxieties and fears, revealing the total confidence in Christ that constitutes faith. The letter incorporates a hymn about the salvation that God has brought about through Christ, applied by Paul to the relations of Christians with one another. Philippians has been termed “the letter of joy”. It is the rejoicing of faith, based on true understanding of Christ’s unique role in the salvation of all who profess his lordship.
FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL
12 I want you to know, brothers, that my situation has turned out rather to advance the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment has become well known in Christ throughout the whole praetorium and to all the rest, 14 and so that the majority of the brothers, having taken encouragement in the Lord from my imprisonment, dare more than ever to proclaim the word FEARLESSLY.
Christ is preached fearlessly by those who have known Him. You cannot preach Christ unless you know Him. Paul was always a warrior and as such he sought as Saul, before he met Christ, to kill any who got in the way of his purpose and then when Saul met Christ and became Paul; he discovered to live is Christ. To the warrior his purpose is to serve his king.
The power of Purpose
Paul was a leader who never drifted from his mission. George Washington Carver wrote: “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.” Paul’s purpose kept him in the battle even in prison. Consider the following:
1. A purpose will motivate you.
2. A purpose will keep your priorities straight.
3. A purpose will develop your potential.
4. A purpose will give you power to live in the present.
5. A purpose will help you evaluate your progress.
Feast of Saint Michael
SAINT MICHAEL is the prince of the heavenly armies, who first contended against the proud Lucifer. The holy Church honors him as a particular defender, and the faithful call upon him in all dangers of soul and body, but they particularly implore his intercession at the hour of death, in order that, after having, according to his example, courageously fought against Satan, they may receive the crown of victory, and that their souls may by him be brought before the throne of God. Let us also venerate him, and, full of confidence, cry out with the holy Church, “Holy archangel Michael, protect us in battle that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.”
O God, Who with wonderful order dost direct the ministry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that our life on earth may be protected by those who ever minister before Thee in heaven. Amen.
EPISTLE. Apocalypse i. 1-5.
In those days God made known the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever He hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia : Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins, in His own blood. This epistle is read to-day because St. Michael so bravely contended against the sedition of Satan, and, after gaining the victory, drove him and his adherents from heaven.
GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 1-10.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless, wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Great prince of heaven, St. Michael, to thy protection I commend my soul and body, and, by the glory which thou possesses in heaven, I beseech thee that thou wouldst ever assist me, particularly at the close of my life; that thou wouldst strengthen my faint-heartedness, and obtain for me from God the remission of my sins, and an entire submission to His holy will, that my soul may depart full of comfort. Then receive it, and bring it, under the guidance of the holy angels, before the face of God, to enjoy the contemplation of Him for all eternity. Amen.
St. Michael, Champion of the Church
The Church of God has always considered Saint Michael as its special protector. The archangel himself has acknowledged this to Constantine after the completion of a church in his honor saying, “I am Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of hosts, the protector of the Christian religion, who whilst thou wast battling against godless tyrants, placed the weapons in thy hands.” Assuredly, St. Michael will not fail to come to the aid of our Holy Church. His assistance shall be forth coming in these troubled times when legions of evil are visible throughout the world exciting the minds of men. We behold their activities in the events of the media and the world-wide propaganda against morality and religion everywhere. Yet, despite this we are beneath his mighty leadership and with the aid of his own unvanquishable legions we shall not fail.
Michaelmas (September 29th) 
The anniversary of the dedication of St. Michael the Archangel's basilica outside of Rome by Pope Boniface II in 530 A.D. affords the Church the opportunity to honor one of its most significant saints. Tradition holds that Michael is the heavenly spirit who cast Satan and his minions into Hell after their revolt from God. As the "Governor of Heaven" (Praepositus Paradisi), he is ranked only below the Mother of God in the Confiteor. The Roman church also identifies him as the angel whom St. John saw in heaven standing near the altar of God and offering the prayers of the saints like an odor of sweetness (see the offertory blessing of incense at a High Mass). He is also singled out in the Requiem Mass as the banner-bearer who leads the departed to purgatory and heaven (see offertory prayers). Finally, Michael's victory over the devil's army renders him not only the patron saint of souls, but of Christian soldiers. All of this leads to the conclusion that Michael is one of our most potent allies and helps us see why the Roman rite has traditionally venerated him with such affection and respect.
Consequently, Michaelmas (pronounced "mikk-el-mes") was one of the great public holidays and religious feasts of early and medieval Europe. Saint Michael's parades, Michael's fairs, Michael's Plays, etc. would in many places constitute the climax of autumn harvest celebrations. Michaelmas also coincided with the "quarter days" in Northern Europe, one of the four times in the year when free men would sit in court, make laws, and pay rents.
Things to do:
· This is a good feast to learn more about the angels. Children especially are fascinated by these celestial beings. The best place to start is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 328-336 to see the teachings of the Church on angels. John Paul II also did a Catechesis on the Angels during his General Audiences from July 9 to August 20, 1986.
· Find the passages in the Bible about angels, in particular the passages about Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
· Read the section on angels in the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy. The document examines the doctrine and devotions of the angels. Devotion to angels is good, but also can have deviations.
Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:
· devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man.
· an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God — serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.
217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
· when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;
· when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.
· Also read All About the Angels.
· Memorize the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Although no longer formally recited after Mass, our Holy Father John Paul II has encouraged us to recite this prayer daily. Read about this prayer. Here is the Regina Caeli message from April 24, 1994 during which the pope encouraged this prayer.
· In honor of St. Gabriel, Learn the Angelus and recite it daily. Traditionally, the prayer is prayed at the 6:00 and 12:00 hours (am and pm). There is a partial indulgence attached to those who pray this prayer.
· Read the Book of Tobit for the story of St. Raphael helping Tobit and Tobias.
· Make some recipes related to Michaelmas. Of special mention is the St. Michael Bannock from Scotland, roast goose and stuffing from Britain, waffles from France, and roast duck from Germany or France, gnocchi from Italy. Blackberries, apples and carrots also play a large role on this feast in various countries. Other ideas: make an angel food cake, devil's food cake or angel hair pasta. Decorate with white, symbolizing the angels, or use other symbolic colors (see above). Non-dessert items: deviled eggs, deviled meats, etc.
· Try to find the Michaelmas daisy, a purple aster, to use for decoration. It also comes in other colors, including white, but purple is the most popular. It usually blooms in late summer until October. The official name is Aster novi-belgii, but is also known as New York aster. If you find plants or seeds to plan for next year's garden. This site has photos and gardening information for the Michaelmas daisy.
Folklore in the British Isles suggests that
Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that
when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the
skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched
them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them, so that they would be
unfit for eating. A traditional Irish proverb says:
On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie? See Michaelmas Pie for a great recipe.
35 Promises of God cont.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.