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What's in a Name? More than you thought.

Twenty-third Sunday Ordinary Time

September 4, 2022 •

We are only ever allowed to call upon angels by name if we're referring to Michael, Gabriel, or Raphael.

It is forbidden to attempt to call upon any other angelic name. It's forbidden. Those are the only three angelic names we are allowed to use.

You can't name your guardian angel.

You can't follow other traditions who believe they know the names of other angels or other archangels.

Basically, we know the name of Lucifer - and we don't call on him, the reason is pretty obvious; and we know the three archangels. That's the Church's teaching.

It does not mean we can't call upon the other choirs of angels in general. It doesn't mean we can't call upon all of the guardian angels in general.

But if we are using the name of an angel, as Catholics, we're only allowed to use one of these: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Now, this has always been the Church's teaching and tradition. This has been the tradition since the Old Testament.


Because in over two-thousand years of Judeo-Catholic Tradition, those are the only three names we've ever been given! You can study the entire Old Testament, and the entire New Testament.

The only angels that are named are those three. They're the only ones we're allowed to call on by name.

If we attempt to use a supposed other name, thinking it refers to an angel, you're actually calling a demon.

In 745 at the Lateran Council. . . the teaching and writings of a heretic "bishop" were read aloud to the Pope and the Bishops. A prayer that the heretic wrote is very interesting. The prayer for the most part sounded extremely Catholic. It sounds like a really good, Catholic, prayer. And, for the most part, it is. Except at the end of the prayer, he calls upon the intercession of eight angels. By name.

After this was read to the Pope and the Bishops, they became so infuriated, they wanted the documents burned immediately (fortunately, they didn't and decided to preserve it in the Vatican archives). They declared unanimously that he was not calling upon angels. Only one was a true angel and that was Michael. The others were all demons.

But they were names that, if you study a lot of other traditions and beliefs about angels, you may have heard before.

Why would it be the case that if I were to call upon any other name than Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael - assuming that it was some angel: my guardian angel, an arch angel or whatever - why would it always be a demon?

The Church has given us this teaching, but the question is: how does it happen?

It's unlikely, that on your own, you're going to figure out the name of a demon. How is it that you may be unintentionally calling upon a demon when you use even a human-sounding yet unapproved name?

It's because, let's say that the name you use is not attached to any angelic spirit or demon. Since it doesn't refer to a specific spirit, then any spirit can say to itself, "OK, I'm going to adopt that name and make it my own." The good angels would never do this because God has never given them permission. They'd never answer to any other name because that's not the will of God. It's not been revealed by God to us.

So who would adopt that name? Take it upon themselves? Obviously, someone who wants to lead you away from God.

So even without knowing, you may have created a name and some demon says, "Hey, I'll take that. Go ahead and keep calling on me. I'll be there."

This is why the Church so strictly follows the revelations of our Lord. We don't want to be lead astray. We are ignorant on earthly matters, how much more ignorant are we on spiritual matters?

Imagine the rest of the world who does not have the Church to guide them. They have no idea what they are doing. They may be attempting to seek God, but unknowingly seeking demons.

There's a very consoling Scripture passage: God protects the fools, whether that be you or me, or anyone else. God will protect the foolish as much as He is able. But it's not always that simple, so we do need to be on guard about these things.

It's also important to talk about calling upon the intercession and aide of the Saints. We call upon angels and archangels in a general way because we do not know their specific name. In like manner, we need to be very careful when we call upon any human who has died.

Father outlines the Church's teachings about praying for the intercession our deceased relatives or friends by name and whether or not this is a good idea.

Wis 9:13-18b; Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 & 17; Phlm 9-10, 12-17; Lk 14:25-33

At the end of the recording you'll find our Back to School Litany of Saints which we prayed at the close of the Mass.

Homily begins at 19:33

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