Many Christians are unaware of the meaning and significance that St. Michael’s name bears. Throughout the entire history of the Church, St. Michael has been viewed as a protector and guardian. Our current prayer to St. Michael, penned by Pope Leo XIII, states specifically, “Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.” But what about his name itself?
The name “Michael” is a question, and it bears a great deal of significance for us, and is perhaps most understood in our current age of debauchery and death. “Michael” means, “Who is like God?” It may seem rather odd that St. Michael’s name would be a question, but the meaning of this question will become evident after a few brief readings from the Scriptures.
“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.” (Revelation 12:7-9)
As we know from Tradition, and also from St. John, it was Michael the Archangel who cast Satan out of Heaven. But what was the nature of the Rebellion itself? The prophet Isaiah says that Lucifer said in his heart, “I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14) The choice of words “like the most High” are very interesting, especially considering who it was that cast Lucifer out of Heaven. If Lucifer said, “I will be like the most High,” then Michael’s name is a question directly aimed at Lucifer’s declaration. In effect, he is asking Lucifer, “Who is like God?”
But this isn’t a question without an answer.
In the book of Genesis, Holy Moses explains, “Then God said: Let us make man to our image and likeness.” So, when Michael announced his own name by asking the question, “Who is like God?” he is pointing to man, because man was made in the image and likeness of God.
The fact that we are made in the image of God is clear. Our Blessed Lord is the Word through whom all of creation came into existence. When Adam was created, in the image of God, he was made in the physical reflection of God. But what about the “likeness?” The image refers to visual similarity, but likeness has more to do with the nature of the thing. There is only one way by which man is like God, and that is our participation in creation. The one power man possesses which NO angelic being possesses is the ability to participate in creation. In other words, people can make more people, but angels cannot make more angels.
This places an interesting perspective on the rebellion in Heaven. Lucifer’s desire to be “like the most High” is a sign of his rejection of God’s plan for Creation. And since man is created in the image and likeness of God, it stands to reason that the strongest attacks of the devil would be focused on the one thing that man can do, which the devil cannot. In short, the devil wishes to destroy us through our likeness of God.
Today, and more specifically throughout the 20th century, we have seen a steady and unwavering assault on man’s participation in creation. The first wave of attacks came in the form of the birth control movement of the early 1900’s. Through this movement, the devil deceived men by convincing them to rebel against God’s gift of the power of co-creating more people. This rebellion was a direct assault on the power God gave to man by creating us in His likeness. The second wave came through the rise of no-fault divorce. It was through a series of legislative decrees in early 1918, under the revolutionary government of Russia, that no-fault divorce was introduced to the world. Lenin’s revolutionary government in Russia produced the Russian Family Code of 1918. The code introduced “mutual consent of both spouses as well as the wish of one of them” as grounds for divorce. It is no coincidence that Our Lady of Fatima warned that “Russia will spread her errors throughout the world” just a few months before no-fault divorce was legislated into existence by the Russians. Through birth control and no-fault divorce, the devil attacked both the structure and the power of man’s participation in creation. Then came war and abortion. There is not a single year since World War I where there has not been a state of war or rebellion around the globe. And with the introduction of abortion, the devil has launched a third assault on the likeness of God by attacking the very fruits born out of this likeness.
But what we face today is the very crown of the devil’s assault on the likeness of God. The Book of Genesis says, “male and female He created them.” Through this complimentary likeness, the human race is able to participate in the creation of new people. But through the deception of the devil, man’s concept of the masculine and the feminine has become twisted. The very concept of a homosexual “person” is an assault on the likeness of God. While all of mankind was cursed with concupiscence, struggling against the temptations of the flesh, in truth, there is no such thing as a “gay man” or “lesbian woman,” because the dignity provided to ALL human beings includes the image and likeness of God. But homosexual acts (by which self-proclaimed gay men and lesbian women identify themselves) are a full and complete rejection of man’s likeness to God. In its very essence, the idea of homosexuality is the complete rebellion of man’s own nature because in rejecting man’s likeness to God it attempts to remold man into the likeness of the devil; barren, twisted, and seeking to be something other than what he was created to be.
Now, society and the courts are fighting to entrench sodomy under the guise of a sacrament. This satanic revolt will be the devil’s most ferocious assault against humanity, but as Satan was cast out of Heaven by St. Michael, the prophet Daniel tells us that St. Michael holds a particular significance in our time today.
“But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
There can be no doubt to the satanic nature of so-called same-sex ‘marriage,” but just as St. Michael cast the dragon out of Heaven, we join Pope Leo XIII in his prayer, “Do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, cast into Hell, Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.”
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