ST. MICHAEL’S LENT

Lent 27 ~ It Will Return to You

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You will lose nothing of what you have renounced for the Lord’s sake. For in its own time, it will return to you greatly multiplied. ~ St. Mark the Ascetic

          Today, my 40-day St. Michael’s Lent novena comes to an end. And it ends on the 18th day of March, a date very close to my heart. When I first began the novena, I had looked up its end date and upon seeing it, wondered at its significance. Today, this quote comes and its promise lights up the windows of my heart,

In its own time, it will return to you greatly multiplied.

          Soon, it will be 14 years since I began waiting for the fulfilment of Philemon 1: 12. Sometimes we do not understand why we wait and look out for something.

          But wait we do. That is hope.

Lent 1 ~ The Angel’s Lent

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          My Lent direction came a little early this year – only it took me some time to realise it and to reconcile myself to it. One bright blue Sunday morning, as the winds sang aria after aria around our old home, my eldest son did something he doesn’t normally do – and certainly not on a Sunday. He began to clean his room. And one of the things he cleaned was his tiny St. Michael figurine I had bought him years before. With characteristic tenderness, he held the figurine and probed its contours with a damp cotton bud. I smiled and left him to it.

          It was late in the evening, much of the day run its course, when I had some time to my thoughts. From my seat in the living room, I gazed outside at the sun~warmed evening, winds stirring strong the leaves on the trees. Watching those breezes, I felt them lay something by the door of my heart.

The St. Michael’s Lent prayers

          And a stillness stole into my heart. It was the second time the prayers had come by this week. The second time accompanied by these unusual winds, singing and singing hymns only the angels knew the words to. Each time the winds came upon me, I would tilt my face towards them and silently ask the same question,

Is it you, St. Michael?

          For some years ago, St. Michael had taught me that when the winds blow strong and  a quiet comes upon my spirit, that would be the sign of his angelic presence.

          In reply to my asking, I almost felt his quiet yet strong affirmation borne by those winds as they brushed against my heart. So, it was him. And he was asking that I say those Lent prayers again.

          Still, I hung back. It was only 3 years ago that I had become acquainted with the St. Michael’s Lent prayers. Both times, they had come during deep personal strife, my anchor in the storm of pain. They were indeed prayers for when the whip and lash of the storm is great.

Battle

          That very word had resounded several times to me as January quietly folded her heart and passed her life to February.

Battle

Battle

Battle

          Now, both the word and the prayer formed side by side before me. It should have sufficed. And yet, my heart sought a final confirmation – because the St. Michael prayers is no simple undertaking. To be said for 40 days, they were for me by far the most demanding of prayers. Coupled with their significance of being battle prayers, prayed when in deep suffering, I was more than a little reluctant. I wanted peace. I was tired of fighting.

          At that very moment, my son came into the living room. Quietly, he placed something on the hall cabinet. Daddy will mend it, he said. Turning away from the waning evening marking the skies with its final pinks and tangerines for the day, I saw my son’s tiny St. Michael figurine on the cabinet top. Its sword had detached.

The St. Michael’s Lent prayers are also known as the Sword of St. Michael.

          Just like that, it was enough for me.

          My Lenten devotions this year is to be the St. Michael’s Lent prayers – but begun on the very evening of my understanding and acceptance. My Lent is to be one of battle.

          This year, it will be one of healing too as I sense heaven ask for a decade of the Luminous Mysteries Rosary each day.

          As the sun rises from its slumber on Ash Wednesday morn, it rises more golden orange than ever before. My angel’s sign, tender reminder that he walks beside me.

          And so it begins, this Lent of 2021. The Angel’s Lent.

A Sword In My Hands

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          When the journey of 40 became clear to me, I sensed I would be accompanied by two great saints, St. Pio and St. Michael. St. Pio for direction and St. Michael for protection. Sensing St. Michael’s presence, it told me that there would be forces very much against the 40. And that troubled me for courage is not an arrow in my quiver.

          I was right. If from the 1st of August, the skies of my professional life darkened suddenly without warning, the 16th marked a severe deepening of pain and humiliation. I broke down at work and struggled to contain my sorrow. The strength of what I was facing stunned and shook my husband too. He was working outstation and I knew it upset him that he couldn’t be with me when I needed him. Although I sought God at every step, I trembled in fear. Anger I could understand. Hurt too. But my experience of fear was the first signal that all was not what it seemed.

There was something new about the situation I was facing.

          That night of the 16th, no hope left in my abilities, yet clinging to God, St. Michael came before me. I came across the St. Michael’s Lent Novena. A 40-day journey. I hesitated, not sure if I was called to it. Something tugged my eyes to the prayers. The Opening prayers. The Closing prayers. The prayers for each day of the week for 40 days.

          It was a novena journey of humility, faith in God and of battle against evil. It contained the very prayers I needed for the times I was facing.

          I was still afraid. I was still very sad. But I no longer felt defenseless. It felt like a sword had been put into my hands.

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ST. MICHAEL’S LENT NOVENA

Prayers to be said every day:

V.     Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R.     Who made heaven and earth.

Most gracious Virgin Mary, You who would crush the head of the serpent, protect us from the vengeance of the evil one. We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to You so that You may purify them, sanctify them and present them to Your Son as a perfect offering.

May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness.

Blind them so that they know not our good works.

Blind them so that they know not on whom to take vengeance.

Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works.

Cover us with the Precious Blood of Your Son so that we may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death.

 We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him we humbly pray; O Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

 

Beloved Guardian Angel,

Bless, Guide and Protect us all. Amen.

Our Father.

Hail Mary.

Glory Be.

 

Conclusion for Every Day

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly Sovereign of the Angels, You who from the beginning have received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech You to send Your holy legions, so that under Your command and through Your power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. O good and tender Mother, You will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Your Holy Angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.

Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

All You Holy Angels, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

On Sundays:

O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, You who have the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with Your heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of Your purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of Your heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us. Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, You who from the very beginning have received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth Your holy legions, we humbly beseech You, that under Your command and by Your power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Your Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our aid in this grave battle against the forces of darkness, repel the attacks of the devil for us, and those for whom the priests pray, from the strongholds of the enemy.

St. Michael, summon the entire heavenly court to engage their forces in this fierce battle against the powers of hell. Come O Prince of Heaven with Your mighty sword and thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits. O Guardian Angels, guide and protect us. Amen.

 

On Mondays:

In Your name, Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that You cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Your love and Your Most Precious Blood and surround us with Your Heavenly Angels, Saints and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother. Amen.

 

On Tuesdays:

Lord Jesus Christ, we beg You for the grace to remain guarded beneath the protective mantle of Mary, surrounded by the holy briar from which was taken the Holy Crown of Thorns, and saturated with Your Precious Blood in the power of the Holy Spirit, with our Guardian Angels, for the greater glory of the Father. Amen.

 

On Wednesdays:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask You to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against us, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests pray. We ask You to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, underground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask You to bind by Your Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask You to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

On Thursdays:

My Lord, You who all powerful, You are God, You are our Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From hatred, fornication, and envy – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every thought of suicide and abortion – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every form of sinful sexuality – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

You who said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” Grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Your peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

On Fridays:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

 

On Saturdays:

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Your holy Name and humbly beseech Your clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin, our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, You will help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.