Life can get tough sometimes. We all experience moments of struggle, doubt, and hardship. But did you know that you’re not alone in your struggles? As a Catholic, you’re part of a much bigger spiritual family, and that family includes some pretty powerful helpers: the Archangels.
Who Are the Archangels?
The Archangels are special angels who serve as messengers and warriors of God. The Bible mentions three by name: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near” (CCC 332). They’re not just figures from old stories but are active and involved in our world today.
Are Archangels for Catholics Only?
Before we jump into how you can call on the Archangels, let’s be clear on something: angels aren’t just a Catholic thing. The Catechism says, “As purely spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures” (CCC 330). This means they were created by God for all people, not just Catholics. However, understanding and invoking the Archangels is deeply embedded in Catholic tradition.
How to Call on Archangels in Times of Need
Prayer is the most straightforward way to communicate with the heavenly realm. Each Archangel has specific prayers that can be recited to call upon their aid. For instance, the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is a powerful one that asks for protection against evil:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil…
This prayer is in line with what we know about St. Michael from the Bible: “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven” (Revelation 12:7-8).
2. Meditative Reflection
You can also meditate on the roles and responsibilities of the Archangels to gain their assistance. For example, Gabriel, who announced the birth of Jesus to Mary (Luke 1:26-38), can be called upon when you need guidance or a message from God. Quietly meditating on Gabriel’s message to Mary can sometimes offer the insights or relief you seek.
3. The Rosary
The rosary is another effective way to invoke the Archangels, especially since this form of prayer engages us in meditations on key biblical events where angels played significant roles. The “Annunciation,” the first Joyful Mystery, directly involves Gabriel’s message to Mary.
4. Liturgical Invocations
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In the liturgical life of the Church, there are specific feasts and days dedicated to the Archangels. The feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels, is celebrated on September 29. On these days, special prayers and liturgical texts often invoke the Archangels. Participating in these liturgies can be a powerful way to seek their assistance.
5. Acts of Charity and Service
Finally, angels are God’s servants and messengers. By aligning ourselves with God’s will through acts of charity and service, we make ourselves more open to angelic guidance and protection. As it is said in the Bible, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).
Theological Note: Universality vs. Opinion
It’s essential to distinguish between universal teachings of the Church and theological opinions when discussing the Archangels. The existence of angels is a universal teaching, supported by both the Bible and the Catechism. The specific ways to invoke Archangels are largely guided by tradition and devotional practices, which may differ among theologians and believers. Always consult authoritative Church teachings for the most accurate guidance.
Archangels are powerful allies who are eager to assist us. Whether through prayer, reflection, participation in the liturgy, or acts of charity, we can call on these magnificent beings to aid us in times of need. Remember, they’re not just ancient history—they’re an active, vital part of our spiritual lives today.
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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.