Resplendent intelligences, magnificent exponents of the infinite wisdom, power, and beauty of God; spiritual bodies, immortal, impassible, moving with a swiftness transcending that of light ; abiding in the immediate presence of God and radiant with the splendors shed over them by the Beatific Vision!
One moment of the silence born of awe then the full burst of praise, thanksgiving, adoration, from Archangels, Seraphim, Cherubim, Powers, Principalities; rank on rank, file on file, group weaving into group; hosannas mingling with alleluias, and the infinite sweetness of harmonious sounds has been born in heaven!
Such were the angels before a blast of defiance, as if there could be discord in heaven ? And, lo ! Lucifer, son of the morning, the most resplendent in all those ranks of shining ones, his place nearest to the Beatific Vision, its rainbows breaking over his wings, stands forth in open rebellion to his Maker, drawing with him a third part of the host of heaven. But that trumpet-blast is answered by a battle-cry : ” Who is like God? ” And Michael, next in beauty, next in majesty, leads his host against Lucifer, and Saint John tells us, in the Apocalypse,
…And there was a great battle in heaven : Michael and his angels fought with Lucifer and his angels ; but these last prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Lucifer was cast forth, and with him his angels ; and hell sprang into being by the same creative word which had called forth, to bliss, the angelic hosts ; while, as a reward for their fidelity, Michael and his angels, having used their free-will on the side of God, were confirmed by Him in their perfection, to be thenceforth incapable of sin.
The Three Archangels and the Guardian Angels in Art
Eliza Allen Starr (1899)
Prayer in Honor of The Holy Archangel Michael
HOLY Archangel Michael, glorious chief and champion of
the heavenly host, conqueror of the rebel angels, valiant
guardian of the souls of men, protector of the Church of God,
our worthy leader; vouchsafe to free us from every ill, aid us,
who have recourse to thee with full confidence, in all our necessities,
and by thy incomparable guidance and protection enable
us to make progress every day in the faithful service of our
Blessed Master, Jesus Christ. Amen.