Our Protector Archangel Michael
Taken from Christian Year
(Devotional Exercises for every day of the year),
P. John Croisset
The Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church commemorates the 29th of September as a particular feast, not only in reverence of the archangel St. Michael, but in honor of all the holy angels, in order to honor with special solemnity all those blessed spirits who are so interested in our salvation. Their holiness, their excellence, the good offices they perform for all men, for the whole universe, and most particularly for the holy Church, demanded this respectful recognition; and although this feast is only called the feast of St. Michael, it is because this blessed spirit was always recognized as general of the whole heavenly militia and particular protector of the Church of Jesus Christ, just as he had been of the Synagogue and the Jewish tradition [in the Old Testament].
The Church teaches us that God gave a beginning to the creation of the world by creating before all things heavenly intelligences, as if to form Himself a numerous court, and to have ministers ready to execute His orders. We firmly believe (says the Fourth Lateran Council) that there is but one true God; who at the beginning of time brought forth together from nothingness one and the other creature, the spiritual and the corporeal, the angelic and the mundane; and who afterwards formed as it were a middle nature between the two, which was the human nature composed of body and soul [Denzinger 428]. That is to say, that angels are created, intelligent, purely spiritual substances, not destined to unite with bodies, from which they have complete independence. They are endowed with more or less perfect gifts, according to their different degrees of perfection and excellence. God having determined, from all eternity, to give to heaven neither to angels nor to men, except as a crown and a reward, created the heavenly spirits with a full knowledge of good and evil, and with perfect freedom. A great number of them, seeing themselves so perfect, and swooning with their own excellence, instead of referring to their Creator all that was good and excellent in them, were pleased with themselves; and full of pride, they denied obedience to God, and were plunged into the abysses to be unhappy for all eternity. But the other holy angels persevered in good, always faithful to their Creator, humble, surrendered, and obedient to his commands, so that they were confirmed in his grace. They dwell eternally in the heavenly Jerusalem, they are always before God himself, they see him, adore him, bless him, and never cease to love him with a perfect and burning love.