Last time we were thinking about birthday celebrations. Not every country celebrates birthdays as we do, some celebrate namedays instead.
Traditionally Christians would be named after saints, when that saint’s feastday came round each year that was your nameday.
So my nameday would be on the feast of St Michael the archangel which was celebrated last week.
Angels crop up very often in the bible to prepare people for special events, they bring messages of importance from God.
We are familiar with the story of the angel Gabriel who brings good news to Mary, that she will be the mother of Jesus. Raphael is also an angel who brings a message of healing from God.
My patron St Michael is depicted as a fearless warrior holding a spear and shield and doing battle with the devil and all evil spirits.
The angels are in heaven singing God’s praises but Satan is mentioned as one who turned from worshipping God.
Pride and arrogance grew in him and he was expelled from heaven because nothing impure can exist there.
Satan and the rebellious angels are now said to be ‘prowling round like a lion’ looking to devour people. Every Christian is called to resist the devil and to be strong in faith.
Talking about demons and angels might put some people off, but we are all too aware of evil at work in the world every time we watch the news.
On a positive note it is the work of St Michael and the good angels to bring messages of encouragement, that God can never be defeated, and that no one can be won over by the devil unless they choose to be.
Last Friday we celebrated the feast of the Guardian Angels, following a traditional belief that God assigns each of us our own guardian angel to watch over us throughout our journey through life.
It is a lovely thought that we are not just a number or a statistic, but that we are personally known and loved by God, and that he cares to send us an angel to look after us, to guide us and to protect us from evil influences is source of great comfort to many people.