May He Sheath His Sword Once More

Sitting atop the fortress Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome is a beautiful statue of St. Michael the Archangel.

Legend has it that during a plague in the sixth century, Pope Gregory had a vision of St. Michael sheathing his sword atop this stunning monument. The pontiff took this to mean that the plague was coming to an end.

Today, many different kinds of plagues afflict us. Not only do we have the coronavirus pandemic, but we have the plague of abortion and the plague of racial and political hatred.

We need St. Michael’s intercession now more than ever.

Make no mistake. We are ensconced in a real battle, and we each have a choice to make as to how to fight that battle. To make that choice, we must look to our Catholic faith, ponder the words of Christ, understand our obligation to protect all human life, and put morality first.

A few weeks ago, I asked why pro-aborts were so afraid of babies. Today, I add another question to that. Why are some people so afraid of morality?

When we do good works and help others; when we protect the most vulnerable—be it preborn babies or the sick or elderly; when we strive to protect families; when we prioritize children and their mental, physical, and spiritual development; and when we try to tear down organizations that seek to destroy babies and families, what will we end up with?

We will end up with a society of people who care for one another, who see the value in every single person, and who build one another up.

This is exactly what Christ commands of us. Indeed, in this weekend’s Gospel reading, we see what Christ teaches when the Pharisees ask Him which is the greatest commandment. Christ says: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

If we build a society based on these two commandments, how can we go wrong?

But doing so takes effort. It takes prayer. It takes love.

Killing babies in abortion, ending someone’s life prematurely by euthanasia, advocating violence in our communities, perpetuating racial hatred—all those things come about because of a lack of love.

But a faith in God begets love.

So I ask again: Why are some people so afraid of morality?

Is it because they value money, fame, or their own interests and desires over everything else? Is it because they have no love for themselves, so they naturally cannot extend that same kind of love to others?

And if that is the case, how do we change that? How do we teach love?

We teach it through the things we do.

Too often, people think of love as just a feeling. While it is that, it is so much more. Love is also an action. We teach love by giving of ourselves. We teach it by living Christ’s words. Love is an action that must be lived every single day. While it’s easily directed toward family and friends, it’s an action we must also direct toward those we don’t like, those we don’t agree with, and those who make us a little uncomfortable. How else will people who have never seen the light of Christ come to understand it?

At this pivotal moment in time, we know that our country is at a crossroads. Prayer, love, and action are the things that will help us move forward as we strive to build a culture of life that values all people.

Let us pray for St. Michael’s intercession, so that, once again, he may sheath his sword with a promise that this plague is nearing an end:

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is an editor for American Life League and lives with her three children in Knoxville, Tennessee.