St. Michael’s Lent: A Time of Spiritual Combat
Lent is a time of spiritual renewal through prayer and penance. We’re now halfway across the year, making our way through summer. It’s time for a refresh, time to take up the weapons of our great spiritual battle. It’s time for St. Michael’s Lent.
St. Michael serves as the guardian angel of the Church, the one who expelled Lucifer from heaven and protected the people of Israel throughout the Old Testament. To honor his role as our protector, a practice arose in the Middle Ages of imitating his angelic purity and power through forty days of prayer and asceticism, running from August 15th, the great feast of the Assumption, through the feast of Michaelmas Day, September 29th.
St. Michael’s Lent has become an anchor within Exodus’s year, complementing our ninety days exodus from Egypt with these forty days of spiritual combat against our hidden enemies. By reading through the Book of Revelation, we will see the role of the angels in God’s plan of salvation and how we can take our place beside them against the rebellion of the fallen angels. We will explore the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the enemy seeks to tempt us and how he even stirs up cities and great empires to persecute God’s faithful ones.
The key to success for this “Summer Lent” remains the same: prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. We will root St. Michael’s Lent in prayer, coming alongside God’s angelic throne through thirty minutes of daily prayer, two holy hours a week, and a daily offering and examen. We will continue to build strong fraternity, because even the angels need to stand in their nine choirs, supporting one another in their love and service of God. In order to attune ourselves to spiritual realities, we will pull back from social media, video games, and unnecessary use of devices. The angels put God first, and to imitate them, we will observe Wednesdays and Fridays as days of sacrifice and penance.
Starting August 15th, we will strive to imitate St. Michael, who, through the power of God, cast the devil out of his presence. We seek the freedom that only God can give. We will do our part to step back from our attachments, while turning to the power of God. He will free us from the power of the devil so that we can embrace our true identity as free sons of the Father.
St. Michael’s Lent is fast approaching! Have you gotten your fraternity in order yet?
Dr. Staudt serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as an Instructor for the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). He holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He and wife, Anne, have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.
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St. Michael's Lent