Saint Michael was one of the lower angels. Lucifer was the highest angel. How did Lucifer fall and how did Saint Michael get his name (Mi Cha El?).
Here’s a free video from the New Saint Thomas Institute on the subject of Satan and Michael. You’ll learn about the creation of the angels, the fall of Satan according to Saint Augustine, and the reason Saint Michael is called “Mi Cha El.”
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What is the history of the Sign of the Cross? How can I defend this practice to Protestants/atheists/other religions?
St Helen and the true cross
Many of our students responded with excellent answers (if you’re a student of NSTI, you can read them here), but here is my advice to Sarah:
When talking about this with a non-Catholic, you should be succinct and convincing. Protestants prefer “Scripture alone” but they can be swayed by quotes from the earliest Church Fathers. So I would recommend this line of argument:
The Apostles would place the sign of the cross on the foreheads of newly baptized people in fulfillment prophetic visions found in Ezekiel and Revelation. After baptism, Christians would continue to make the sign of the cross on their foreheads, and we see evidence of it in the Bible and Church Fathers. When Christianity became legal, the larger sign of the cross made from head to stomach became adopted. But the original form is simply made with the thumb on the forehead.
SCRIPTURE Ezekiel speaks of the “mark of the t” administered by the heavenly “man in linen” on the head of the faithful. “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
The heavenly “man in linen” is the Second Person of the Trinity. Revelation depicts Jesus Christ as the man in linen.
So Ezekiel describes Christ placing a saving “t” or “x” shaped letter on the forehead. The Book of Revelation carries on the description of placing the cross on the forehead.
CHURCH FATHERS For Church Fathers goes with Tertullian. Writing in around A.D. 204, Tertullian explained that Christians mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross.
In all our travels and movements in all our coming in and going out, in putting of our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross. (Tertullian, De corona milites, 3)
In what year did Christ raise and elevate the body of His Blessed Mother into Heaven? Some say in the AD 40s or 50s. I argue based on data in the New Testament that Mary was assumed in AD 63. Please watch the video lesson that I’ve prepared on this topic for NSTI.
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and twenty four presbyters fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them kitharan, and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of saints. (Rev 5:8)
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the kitharas of God. (Rev 15:2)
In English, it is sometimes translated as “harp,” but chordophone or “guitar” is actually a better translation.
The Greek word kithara comes into Latin as cithara and from Latin into Spanish as guitarra. The biblical guitar is a chordophones of 4-18 strings.
The saints in Heaven are playing the kithara. Why? It’s the instrument that King David played. In fact, the word psalm means in Greek means “to pluck [a string].”
The problem is that the guitar is associated with rock n roll and rock n roll is not suitable for divine liturgy. The guitar or chordophone might find liturgical use, but in the meantime, let’s keep it out of the liturgy.
The books of Ezekiel and Revelation both describe cherubim guarding God’s throne. They have the attributes of:
Saint Irenaeus associated these four creatures with the four Evangelists in his book Against Heresies:
Man = Matthew
Mark = Lion
Luke = Bull
Eagle = John
WARNING: I’m about to talk about constellations, but I am not endorsing the mortal sin of astrology (Deut. 18:9-13; 2 Kings 23:3-5; Isa. 8:19-20; 44:24-25; 47:8-15). Constellations and their cycle through the year are natural occurrences set up by God at creation. The Bible often refers to constellations.
Very few are aware, however, that these four celestial cherubim are references to the four constellations at the change of each season:
Man = Aquarius (the human water carrier)
Bull = Taurus
Lion = Leo
Eagle = Scorpio (Babylonians considered Scorpio to be an Eagle constellation)
For a Catholic exposition on the zodiac, see Saint John Damascene On the Orthodox Faith, Book 2. The “zodiac” are the 12 constellations through which the sun moves over our 12 month cycle of a year. God placed them there but they don’t have power over us.
These twelve constellations correspond to the way that the 12 tribes were arranged around the Tabernacle in the Old Testament (Numbers 2), because the 12 tribes were like the cherubim guarding the tabernacle of God’s presence. Each tribe corresponded to one of the 12 constellations surrounding the earth. The four principle directions were given to the following:
Judah (Leo) – “Lion of Judah”
As you know there, are 12 constellations in the zodiac and these four are the “four corners” of the 12 constellations:
*Aquarius – human water carrier
Pisces – fish
Aries – ram
*Taurus – bull
Gemini – twins
Cancer – crab
*Leo – lion
Virgo – virgin
Libra – scales
*Scorpio – scorpion (eagle for Babylonians)
Sagittarius – archer
Capricorn – mountain goat
Saint John in Revelation gives the four constellations in reverse order because he is viewing them not from earth but from above in Heaven. Saint John mentions these four living creatures and the Revelation of Christ to Saint John seems to be based on a series of constellations:
Revelation Chs. 2-3: Seven Stars of the Pleiades (the seven stars of Pleiades in inside Taurus)
Revelation 5: Lion of Judah (Leo)
Revelation 8: Eagle flying in midheaven (Scropio)
Revelations 9: Scorpion warriors (Scorpio)
Revelation 12: Virgin Mother (Virgo)
Revelation 15: Pouring out Chalices (Aquarius)
Revelation 22: River of Life (Aquarius)
The interplay of constellations in the structure of Revelation shows us that this is a heavenly vision. Saint John is above the heavens and seeing celestial mysteries as they are revealed by Christ. Moreover, the pattern from Taurus to Aquarius is God taking us through a heavenly liturgical year as we watch the destruction of the Great City (Jerusalem in AD 70) and the consecration of the New Jerusalem (the Catholic Church – from then until now).
If you’re interested in learning more, please begin the free audio commentary of the Book of Revelation by clicking here.
In the video lesson I explained how the “rainbow” was the covenantal marker or seal of the Noahic Covenant or Covenant with Noah. In the Hebrew, it’s not “rainbow” but simply “bow” as in “bow and arrow.”
For my review and theological reflections on the Noah movie, click here.
This covenantal sign is a seal of peace between God and humanity, but oddly enough it is a weapon designed for death. It’s really a strange sign when you consider it.
It makes sense when you realize that this “bow” is pointed not at man but toward God. God has established a symbolic weapon in the sky prophesying that He will be killed for the sake of humanity’s sinfulness.
Which way is the bow pointing:
The bow and arrow point to God, not humanity.
The weapon is pointing to God. The human generation of Noah sinned and rebelled against God. God in turn made a covenant never to destroy mankind again. He saved a remnant with Noah and then established a sign that God Himself would take the arrow – not man. God would die. Man would be saved. This is the Covenant of Noah.
Militant Homosexuality and the Rainbow Logo
You can probably now guess why militant homosexual groups (and now everyone on Facebook!) uses the rainbow as their logo.
The rainbow denotes God’s promise to not drown again the earth’s inhabitants on account of their sexual perversions (as in the days before the flood). The rainbow is God’s promise of protection and God’s humble willingness to take on death for humanity’s sin.
The homosexual community’s “rainbow” logo is merely flaunting the benevolence, mercy, and sacrifice of God. The rainbow, Satan knows, is there armor against the wrath of God.
It’s worth noting that the rainbow is an important feature in God’s appearance in the Book of Revelation (I explain the rainbow in Revelation ch. 4 here and the rainbow in Revelation ch. 10 here) and the rainbow also appeared at the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.
Teach people about the Covenants of God. Teach them about the meaning of the rain-bow. Thank God that He took our penalty so that we might know Him and enjoy Him forever!
The New Saint Thomas Institute will make will open enrollment to a few new students on Monday morning (9am) August 17. If you want to get deep in Catholic theology, philosophy, and Scripture and study with me by taking online classes and earning your Certificate in Catholic Theology, tomorrow at 9am is the time! Click here to learn more: newsaintthomas.com.
Mark you calendar and set a reminder on your phone for Monday Aug 17 at 9am. These spots will go quickly as they always do.