St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

St. Michael the Archangel-Homily September 28, 2014

 

September 29th is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of our Parish. It is for this reason that Bishop William McGrattan has been invited to celebrate with us this Sunday (11am Mass). St. Michael is not only the protector of our Parish, but of the universal Church. He is usually depicted defeating Satan, because this is his particular task, to defend us “from the snares of the devil” as we say in our prayer. We ask him now and always to protect our Parish from every harm and division.

 

The feast of St. Michael gives me the opportunity to say a word about discernment.

St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches that good and bad angels, for different purposes, suggest to us to take different courses of action (cf. Spiritual Exercisesnn. 313-328). How do we know if we are being moved by the good or by the bad angel? Sometimes it is very difficult to discern and find out the right path. Because, as St. Paul says, the devil disguises himself as an Angel of light (that is to say, as a good angel) to deceive those who want to do good. In other words, the bad angel may sometimes suggest us things that appear to be good for some “reason,” but are actually not good.

 

How do we discern if what appears to be good is actually not good? One of the most common deceptions of the devil is to keep us silent when we should speak. It is the so-called “mute devil.” It is the spirit who says to our children that they don’t have to share with their parents certain things that happen at school or with friends: “don’t say anything, they are too busy, they will not understand you, you are no more a little child to tell everything to your parents.”This evil spirit is the spirit who says to the person who is doing confession or spiritual direction: “don’t talk about this to the priest, keep it to yourself. It is not important, he will not understand, you don’t need to tell everything to him.” It is the devil, who knows perfectly that if we say something to the right person, he will lose our souls, because our parents or our priests will discover his bad intentions and will help us to do the right thing.

 

Keep that in mind. We need to make time for our children to speak. We ourselves need to open our souls to our confessor or our spiritual director. What happens in families may also happen in institutions, when there is silence about things that the leader should know. As well as it would be a mistake to say certain things to the wrong person (for example when we gossip), it may also be a mistake to keep silent when we have to speak.

 

May St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, and be our protection against the snares of the devil.–Fr. Andrew