“Who is like God?” This is the translated meaning of ‘Michael’. The Captain of the Heavenly Hosts, the Angelic Warrior that cast Lucifer from Heaven for eternity, Guardian of Paradise. The question is as haunting as it is triumphant. “Who is like God?” It is mostly rhetorical, but it seems to call for an answer, especially in our times.
Today on this Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael, (Feast of the Archangels in the Modern Calendar), I ponder this question: “Quis ut Deus?” I also wonder, “Who am I like?” What saint, what model, what rule do I follow? In my life – how do I proclaim the Kingdom, protect the Kingdom, or even how do I strive for the Kingdom? Heaven isn’t automatic simply because we believe, in fact the bible tells us that Heaven is taken by force by ‘men of violence.’ (Matt. 11:12b). This verse is quite enigmatic, but it seems to allude to the fact that heaven come with a golden ticket, it is something we must aim for and achieve. We are promised it, but we don’t have a right to it; we are assured that if we follow God we will get there, but that doesn’t mean that it is a one time decision.
Life is a spiritual battle, it really is. I see this more and more every day in a much more tangible way. In fact, I recently had a priest tell me, “I have truly come to believe that demons are very real.” This revelation says a lot about the state of our world, the beliefs that Catholics have, and the acceptance of a reality that it is in a state of constant chaos and war.
There is a movement of young Catholics rising, you see it on this website, and you see it in the pews. There is a rejection of culture, of the world, and of false promises. We are sick of being deceived, we are sick of being slaves to the thought that this life is “oh so important because it is the only life we have.” We are calling the world’s bluff on that, we are rebelling against this world, this life, and thereby against death. We are hope sprung eternal in the faith of the promises in the Church, that exist on the Love of a God who created us out of pure beauty that is PURE TRUTH. As one of the bands I really like says, “We are the new breed…” We are grabbing life, laughing at death, and saying “We are Immortal…in HIM.”
But we can’t keep our ‘light’ hidden. We have to put ourselves on the front lines, we have to be instruments of change. We must inspire others to join us in this revolution. Revolutions are not won by words or thoughts, but deeds and actions. We were made to be physical beings on the move. God gave us physical form for a reason. We must be people of action, we must be people of ‘violence’ in the enigmatic sense of the Gospel.
Yet, let us not forget the enemy. Let us not be entranced by the whispers, the promises, and the pledges. We cannot do this alone, we need one another. Do not be deceived, we were not made to fall. Surely we will fall, but we were not made that way but became that way. Only, the story had a glorious turn of events and our fall was repaired. Our fall was not a tragic ending, but an opportunity;
O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem
O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.
We are a people looking forward, and not back. We aren’t made to fall, but to “get back up” again. We aren’t made for this world, but for something greater. What we do in small things, it should thereby be expected we will do in big things.
There is a reason the Bible and Catholic teaching speaks so much of war and battle: because it is a reality. We are waging war against powers, principalities and demons who seek to do us harm. They can’t sell us Hell, so they are trying to sell us the World. Just like Lucifer tempted Christ with the world, his minions are doing the same to us day after day. Clothes, music, sex, technology, and even distortions of the faith. If they can get us to lust after the things of this world, to fall in love with it, what need will we have of heaven? So let us be part of that revolutionary force that I mentioned. Let us cast away the things of this world, and seek the things of God’s world. Let us not emulate the people of this world, but be like the people that emulated God.
We were made to win. We were made in God’s image, we shouldn’t be so prideful to think that we are like Him, but we also shouldn’t be so defeated as to think that we could never strive towards Him. We must be willing to be warriors, and in that we must be willing to “lose” this life for that of the next. The first thing that Adam and Eve felt once they had sinned was shame, so let us wage against the shame. Let us not care for the things of this world, but love Him who created them.