Yesterday's sermon concentrated on the existence of the angels, and it gave me plenty of food for thought, some of which I hope to share with you here.
It was fascinating to be reminded that the fallen angels have already been vanquished by Christ, through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. C.S. Lewis, in his classic, The Screwtape Letters, pointed out that we are apt either to disbelieve in the existence of the devil altogether, or to believe in him too much, and take an unhealthy interest in him. It is too easy in the current climate to allow oneself to think of the devil as the opposite of God, and therefore view good and evil as opposite sides of the same coin. But the devil, as the first of the fallen angels, is merely a creature, and is therefore subject to God's authority.
We also need to pray more to our Guardian angels, and also to the Guardian angels of those we love. I find it inexpressibly comforting to think that I have my very own angel, whose sole aim is to help me get to heaven. Finally, we need to use that prayer to St. Michael, composed by Pope Leo XIII after a vision which left him white and shaking:
Holy Michael the archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
Be our safeguard 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,
thrust down to hell Satan, and all wicked spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.