In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. One called to another, and said,Isaiah 6:1-8
“Holy, holy, holy, is Lord of Armies!
The whole earth is full of his glory!”
The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.Then I said, “Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of Armies!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.
Human soars over earthly things with two wings: simplicity and purity – writes Thomas á Kempis. Simplicity should characterise the intention and purity – the feelings. Simplicity directs towards God, purity reaches Him and relishes in Him. Therefore, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt 5:8).
It is obvious that angels who adore the Lord day and night and see His face must remain before him with impeccable and undivided heart. This totality is possible thanks to the evangelical virtue of chastity, which in its deepest essence is directed towards God – the Fullness of Love.
Virtues of Saint Michael – writes Bl. Markiewicz – are humility, chastity and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. It may seem unclear to us: talking about chastity in regard to spiritual, non-physical beings, because we generally associate it with physicality. Fr. Bronislaw himself indicates this in his prayer regarding the Mother of God: Mary, You surpass the angels themselves with Your virgin, immaculate beauty, because angels do not feel the body.
On the body level, the relation between purity and Saint Michael, who is a spirit, has no real justification. However, we can conclude that the theological correctness of such relationships results from the deepest essence of the virtue of chastity, i.e. from the undivided choice and clinging to God in love, because, as Fr. Bronisław mentioned: Saint Michael only knows the divine slogan, i.e. the slogan of love. Saint Michael, as a spirit, offered his whole being to God. His slogan: Who’s like God! expresses the power of bond with God with an eternal dimension, and the virtue of chastity… teaches to live as God and His angels live.
In relation to man Bl. Fr. Markiewicz combines the virtue of chastity with the virtue of temperance, which he calls the most difficult of virtues. In one place he explains: Shyness, honesty and modesty are temperance in the proper sense (…). Temperance is to lead man to full love; it remains in the same relationship to love, as cause is to effect. Through temperance man is to control his drives, passions and bad inclinations.
Sexuality is a gift from the Creator himself. It was created and recognized by Him, together with all human nature, as a very good. The Creator Himself makes us see this gift positively. It expresses the vocation of man to reciprocity, and thus to love and mutual gift from himself. Finally, the body calls men and women to fulfill their basic vocation, which is fertility. We must free ourselves from looking at matters of human sexuality, as the Jesuit Father Józef Augustyn claims, as something forbidden by God, which must be stolen from him at the price of sin. However, this gift should be presented above all as a gift given and at the same time entrusted by the Creator to shape the fullness of humanity.
Let us pray, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, to God, our best Father, that He would help us grow in humility, chastity and zeal for His glory and salvation of our souls.
Fr. Rafał Kamiński CSMA