On St. Michael and All Angels

We venerate the saints because they are examples to us of lives lived in humble service to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We seek to follow God in our lives with Jesus as our ultimate example of submission to the will of God and sinless commitment to the plan of God in creation. However, when we look to Christ it is often difficult to see our own ability to follow Him, for we know that He is the incarnate one, both God and man, and in my self-examination of my own ability, I often concede that I am too feeble to follow. This is the power of the saints in our lives. We look to them as those who have achieved a level of commitment to God that we ourselves have the potential of achieving in our own lives if we humbly submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in us as the saints did.

It is no different when we consider our veneration of St. Michael and All Angels. Angels are ministering spirits who humbly submit their lives to service of the Almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Their humility is partially seen in their service to humanity. Although humanity was created as lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5; Hebrew 2:7) the angels do God’s bidding to provide help and protection to humanity. This provides an example to us of how we serve others, regardless of what position the world may say we have in relation to them.

Furthermore, the angels give 100% of their focus to the ministration of the divine will in this world. St. Maximus the Confessor comments on this as he observes the single-minded dedication the angels have to worshipping God:

He who worships God mystically with the faculty of the intelligence alone, keeping it free from sensual desire and anger, fulfills the divine will on earth just as the orders of angels fulfill it in heaven. He has become in all things co-worshipper and fellow citizen with the angels, conforming to Saint Paul's statement, “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). Among the angels desire does not sap the intellect's intensity through sensual pleasure not does anger make them rave and storm indecently at their fellow creatures: there is only the intelligence naturally leading intelligent beings towards their source of intelligence, the Logos Himself.... Nothing is offered to god in heaven by the angels except intelligent worship; and it is this that God also demands from us when He teaches us to say our prayers, “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. (St. Maximus the Confessor)

This humble dedication to worshipping and serving God, without concern over station or position in life and without being distracted by passing pleasures and fancies is a high calling, and as we consider St. Michael and All Angels, we can see the very angels themselves as examples to us of lives lived in humble and dedicated service of the King of Kings.