From Ignatius House
For Monday, September 29, 2014
Feast of Angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
Today, a feast day. Honorees? Most likely all of us can repeat the names of these three emissaries who carried God's words to different individuals on earth.
Before addressing the three Archangels, let me give you a context for some personal prayer on Monday morning. In a recently published book, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Avelino have addressed the issue of feasts. Certainly the two writers put forward a way of thinking about "church stuff" that I have not encountered before. The new publication is titled FEASTS. The authors endeavor to invite the reader to see the significance of feast days .. which has been lost from most of the Catholic world in my humble estimation!
We are a church, the Roman Catholic Church, whose strongest characteristic may well be that we are a celebratory church. More so that other denominations for sure! I invite you to think back when you were younger. We celebrated feast days with more significance than we do now. Our parishes made something of the feast days of the Church than today. We have become enraptured by the secular world. We don't have time or interest in feast days that have meant so much to our ancestors.
Cardinal Wuerl and Mr. Avelino point out our Church has been weakened by our letting go the various feasts we celebrated with much excitement and perhaps fanfare only 50 years ago. Weakened? Yes, weakened! How? Well, it was the feast day that stirred up our faith on an ordinary day. Celebrating feasts with some attention elevated our hearts and minds to a closer relationship with saints and with Jesus, God the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God.
It was not unusual in each month to have several major "feast days" when special Masses drew believers to join in the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy. It was there that there was conveyed to people a certain joy and peace. We were learning something about how blessed we were in celebrating certain feast days. Usually when there were more feast days that we have today, there was always a special liturgical celebration at the parish church. We came to see through the glass of the Eucharistic Liturgy God's special gift to us in the feast we were celebrating. The celebration of special feasts related to Mary, to Jesus and to the saints brought us out of our day-to-day ways and world.
Today, as we are making ready to start a year of the family in preparation for the special, world-wide Congress of the Family to he held in Philadelphia next September, parents might well take the time to speak to the members of the family about some of the saints we celebrate each month. It is a marvelous way of letting our young people become aware of some of the saints never encountered before. Don't have a copy of any "Lives of the Saints"? All you have to do is go to Google and search for the Saint of the Day. You will easily find yourself with several options.
Could you tell your children about the three archangels listed above? Would you dare to bring up the feast day around the water fountain in the office?
Oremus pro invicem,