by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
21 November 2009 (12 Hatour; 12 Hathor)
This being 8th. November Old Style we commemorate Michael the Archangel and all Bodiless Powers. (Michaelmas)
Wherefore take unto you the whole Armor of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Prayer is the expression of a longing to speak to God,
concealed in the depths of the soul.
(Heguman Pishoy Kamel)
Repentance is the Ship, & fear is its helmsman, while love
is the divine harbor.
(Isaac The Syrian)
The Sun of righteousness will never stop walking with us.
For He will never forsake us. He is not only with us in the difficult days but in all days till the end of ages, till in Him we conquer our enemies.
Repentance is the door of mercy, opened to those who seek
it. By way of this door we enter into the mercy of God, and
apart from this entrance we shall not find mercy.
(isaac The Syrian)
God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us.
He took our body and gave us His Holy Spirit, and made us one with Him through
(The Holy Psalmody)
I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
He is aware of everything a person does, and he takes care of those who fear
Let us then serve in Christ's army, following His blameless
commands with all our might. The great cannot exist without
the small, nor the small without the great. They blend together
to their mutual advantage.
Lord Jesus, help us to be true members of Your spiritual army,
which is Your Mystical Body. Let us entreat everyone we meet
as our associates in Christ and work for our mutual benefit.
SYNAXARION (SHORT ACCOUNT) OF ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS
St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul writes of the nine orders of Angels in his book 'Celestial Hierarchies'.
These orders are as follows:
six winged Seraphim;
many eyed Cherubim;
The leader of the Angelic Host is the Archangel Michael. See Joshua 5:13-15 and Jude v.9.
We know of Eight Archangels:
'Michael' in Hebrew means 'who is like God', or 'who is equal to God' He is considered to be the Guardian of the Faith and a fighter against heresy.
'Gabriel' means 'man of God' or 'power of God'. He is also the Herald of God and conveys to Man all God's Messages like the Incarnation.
'Raphael' means 'God Healing', or 'God the Healer' (Tobias 3:17; 12:15). He is depicted leading Tobias by the right hand and holding a physician's jar in his left hand.
'Uriel' means 'fire' or 'light of God' (2 Esdras 4:1; 5:20). He is depicted holding a sword in his right hand and a burning brand in his left.
'Salathiel' means 'one who prays to God' (2 Esdras 5:16). He is depicted with his head bowed and his hands clasped in the attitude of prayer.
'Jegudiel' means 'one who glorifies God'. He carries a Golden wreath and a three thonged whip.
'Barachiel' means 'the blessing of God', and is shown wearing a white rose on his breast.
'Jeremiel' means 'God's exaltation'. He is an inspirer and awakener of higher thoughts that lead a Man God-ward.
Then there is Lucifer who was most favoured until covetousness was found in him as he wanted to be like the most High and rebelled against God, he and a third of the Angels were cast down to the earth. We see in the Book of Job that he still had access to the Heavenly Courts until enough was enough and he was Cast down from Heaven forever after being defeated by Michael and His Host.
Some Commentators feel that Michael is another name for Christ.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.
Paul has been thinking of the Church as it is, or is to be, now reminds his readers of the warfare which it has to wage against spiritual foes without and within the Church. Each member of the Church is to be a spiritual warrior fully equipped with the weapons of the Divine Warrior Himself. The wiles of the devil have to be met by the Armour of God.
The main features of Paul's picture are taken from two passages in Isaiah 59:17 & 11:4f., where God Himself does battle and the warrior is the Messianic King.
We are equipped with the Breastplate of Righteousness, Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel, the Shield of Faith to ward off the fiery darts of the devil. Two further items are mentioned. The Helmet of Salvation is drawn from Isaiah where Yahweh wears this on His Head as He goes forth to vindicate His oppressed people.
Then we have the Sword of the Spirit. This is wielded with cutting power
when the Word of God is preached. Here Isa.11:4 seems in view; it describes
Messiah's conquest as shown in Rev.19:15.
In His temptation in the wilderness Our Lord used the Sword of the Spirit against satan. (see Luke 4:1-13).
Although having no counterpart in a Soldier's equipment, prayer and supplication are evidently to be included in Paul's list. The link-thought is the Spirit who inspires Christian Prayer. Paul spells out one object of Christian Supplication, that is for all the saints who form God's people of the New Covenant.
The call to intercession for fellow-Christians requires both a watchfulness and a resolution. Remember "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." If we are girded with the Whole Armour of God, we will be well prepared for satan's attacks. He cannot bear seeing a Cross.
To Thee be glory and praise; now and ever; unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 148:1-2; Gospel Matt.13:44-52.
Morning: Psalm 103:4-5; Gospel Luke 15:3-10.
Liturgy: Heb.1: 1-2:4; Jude 1:1-13; Acts 10:1-20;
Psalm 102:18-19; Gospel Matt. 13:24-43.
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