(June 18)

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’” (Rev 12: 7-12)

Here are a few thoughts on a topic that does not get much press; this “war in heaven,” which our Lord recalled when He said to His disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk 10: 18). I find it helpful to remember it, when we see evil intentions triumphing here on earth, so that our vision of things is informed by faith in our death-trampling Lord, and by the hope we receive by accepting God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.” As Church, we have a perspective on things that is not limited to “the earth and the sea” of this world only, but also has its eyes open to the reality “as it is in heaven.” In this way, we are not just “inhabitants of the earth and sea,” but also “dwell in the heavens.” And the above-quoted text (please re-read its last few lines) calls us to rejoice, because the devil “knows that he has a short time.”

Christ recalled Satan’s fall to reassure His disciples, including all of us, of Satan’s powerlessness before the absolute authority of God. This is why, immediately after mentioning Satan’s fall from heaven, Jesus further says to the disciples: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk 10: 19).

So, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we don’t live in fear of evil beings, whether visible or invisible. God didn’t create any evil, because God is perfectly good and the Source of Good. But certain good beings choose to turn away from their God-given goodness, because they are free to do so. And God sometimes allows for them to do their thing here on earth, for a short time, allowing also us freely choose between good and evil. Today, I thank God that we’re given a helping hand in making the good choices, by the countless good angels in our midst. Holy Archangels and Angels, pray to God for us!