Tuesday, September 29, 2009


St Michael, 12th-century mosaic

Remember Maslow's hierachy of needs? They are ususally depicted on a pyramid with our most basic requirements for survival and well being at the bottom. Maslow hypothesized that we must get those foundational needs met before we can access the motivation to address the higher ones such as self-actualization and self-transcendence.

After the physiological needs of food, air, water and the like, our most fundamental need is safety. And here's where St. Michael and All Angels come in to the picture. In addition to being messengers, they are protectors - especially Michael himself. We need the assurance of protection, the assurance that our safety matters (not only to ourselves but to the Most High), in order to do the kind of spiritual work that will enable us to be courageously compassionate and faithful to the end. God knows this. The Church knows this. And so we have today's feast.

My favorite safety prayer is the ancient exorcism from the office of Compline:
Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy. Let your Holy Angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace and let your blessing be upon us always. Amen.
Here's what I want to recommend. Get some holy water (or make it yourself; I think water can be "dedicated" as well as "blessed"). Then walk through your house sprinkling a little water against every window and door reciting the prayer above as you go. It's a wonderful space clearing exercise and, if you let it, will give you a sense of being truly cherished by all the spiritual beings that inhabit creation.

1 comment:

  1. Why not just get a rabbit's foot while your at it?
    And be sure to be on the lookout for apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the hood of your Camarro.


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