We often forget there's a war being waged all around us.
An easy-to-dismiss, largely unseen war between good and evil. Yet we're smack dab in the middle of this epic battle as we speak, and it's a battle being fought for priceless territory: our eternal souls.
The good news is that the good guys, whose feast we celebrate today, are forever on our side. Angels and archangels, at this very moment, are fighting tirelessly and unceasingly for the good of our souls.
Our culture often depicts angels as cutesy winged beings. But the reality, written throughout sacred Scripture, is a far departure from sweet little cherubs.
Angels are powerful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring spiritual beings created in the image of God. They're perfected in holiness and bid to do God's will—as messengers, protectors, guardians, and warriors.
We find them in action from the first pages of Scripture right to the very last: guarding the entrance to the garden of Eden and the empty tomb of our Lord and Savior. Bringing news and direction to the prophets like Daniel. Ministering to Jesus in the garden and setting captives like Saint Paul free from prison.
Today we especially venerate the mighty three who Scripture identifies by name: Gabriel the Messenger, Raphael the Healer, and Michael, Chief of the Archangels and personal combatant of Satan.
They enjoy the privilege of dwelling in Heaven, free from all evil, yet these Archangels still willingly dive into the mess of humanity to come to our aid and meet evil face to face in our defense.
Why? Because they see, heaps more clearly than we do, the infinite value of each soul.
They know that whatever divides, whatever confuses, whatever impedes spiritual progress, Satan is behind these things. He wants, in his pride, to desecrate the beauty and goodness of creation, to stamp out whatever carries the image and likeness of God, since he himself is a desecrated image of God. Satan—along with all the angels he dragged along with him when they made their decision to no longer serve God—now particularly seeks to deceive the very creation God Himself chose to become: the human person.
But God's valiant Archangels fight for the opposite. They guide and assist us on the battleground of Earth in hopes that each and every divinely crafted soul might ultimately join them in the heavenly realm of eternal joy and happiness and goodness and light.
Let's remember that we can always call on these Angels in a moment of need. If we but say the word, the power of Heaven will be instantly at our side, helping to strengthen and defend our souls in the heat of battle until the day we are safely home.
Pray the Saint Michael prayer with me today for the protection of all souls, and thank God for the gift of these heavenly helpers.
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.