Bishop Eric Menees
One of my great pleasures is to visit with all the congregations in the diocese to worship the Lord. Each congregation has its own nuances and flare. One church, St. David’s, San Rafael, has a unique finish – the congregation prays in unison the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel:
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, o prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander though the world for the ruin of souls. Amen”
I am struck by the acknowledgement that as we leave the altar and security of the Christian family – the church – we head into a world that is hostile to our Lord and hostile to us as his adopted children.
I am struck by the acknowledgement that we are, indeed, in a battle. Scripture uses this image often and we should find it instructive. St. Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Again St. Paul tells us in his second letter to the church in Corinth: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) And St. Peter tells us: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
I am struck by the acknowledgement that we are in need of defenders in this spiritual battle that we are engaged in. It is becoming the spiritual practice in our family to conclude our Morning and Evening Prayers with the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel, and I commend it to you as well.
I pray you all a very blessed week.
Thirty-nine Articles of Religion
X. Of Free Will
The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith; and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.