“At the heart of each political, economic, human problem, there is a religious or metaphysical problem,”
says Joseph De Maistre, Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. In our world today, evil is
embraced, celebrated, and propagated instead of rejected. The wicked don’t fear the Lord. There is no
reverence for God (cf. Ps 36:1–5). No recognition that He is the all-sovereign Creator and Ruler of the
universe. God is believed to be nothing more than a illusion of the imagination of a fragile mind bent
toward a need for religion in order to cope with the world as we know it. The result of these thoughts is
self-flattery, pride, trouble, deceit, unwise actions, evil plots, walking the wrong path, and solidarity with
evil acts. You can see these actions today in political and court decisions. Any and all efforts to place
limitations on abortions are met with extreme resistance, even from the highest courts of the nations.
However, for believers every problem is a religious or a metaphysical problem. They can say that the
fight is between good and evil or light and darkness. St Paul says, “Our struggle is not against enemies of
blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present
darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Thus, we need spiritual
forces. Angels are, first and foremost, the heralds of God’s plans, ministers of His divine glory and will,
as the meaning of the name in Greek, angelos, conveys. Their power comes not from themselves but from
God, who created them. St. Augustine says: “‘angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you
seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what
they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.’ “With their whole beings the angels are servants and
messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the
“mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #
329). They can really assist us in defending our faith especially during our struggles against evil.
The Archangel Michael whose name means “who is like unto God,” is the faithful, courageous and
humble angelic response to insufferable pride. But not only is he an answer to Satan, but to modern man
as well, who in his ideal of humanistic independence and autonomy, sets himself up to know more than
God, to make God subjective to his or her own ideals or whims, to believe he can make his own path to
God instead of following the Way God has revealed that leads to life. In his pride, modern man seeks to
make God subject to and the product of the limitations of human reason.
Appropriately, Archangel Gabriel, whose name means “Might of God = God is my strength,” is often
depicted in the holy icons holding a branch from paradise. His revelation to the Virgin Mary proclaims the
return to paradise, the return to grace that Christ’s Incarnation has accomplished. He announces the
invitation to return to God’s presence through participation in His divine life. Sometimes, he is
iconographically also shown bearing an orb with Christ’s image in it, symbolic of his role as the revealer
of God’s divine presence and will as it pertains to our salvation.
Archangel Raphael’s name means, “God heals,” reminds us of God’s miraculous healing and salvation,
both temporal and eternal, in this life and, ultimately, in the life to come with God in heaven.
Invoking the archangels we get guidance and protection; they continuously direct us to Christ, the Author
of all life, Life and Light itself, for “Who is like unto God”? In their obedience they remind us of our
divine calling to come outside ourselves and our self-focus, our egos, to love and to serve, glorifying God.