Locust Street Letters
By Frank Lawrence Vernon
Philadelphia: St. Mark's Church, Locust Street.
ST. MARK'S, PHILADELPHIA.
THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY, 1931.
MY DEAR PEOPLE:
The Angels worship God. Saint John tells us in the eighth chapter of the book of Revelation: “I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
The Angels serve God. We read in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
The Angels help man in prayer. As we read in the book of Revelation, “they offer incense with the prayers of all saints.”
The Angels help man in life. In the twelfth chapter of the book of The Acts we read: “And behold the Angel of the Lord came upon him (Saint Peter) and a light shined in the prison: And he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell from off his hands.”
The Angels help man after death. In the sixteenth chapter of Saint Luke, we read: “It came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.”
In the Collect for Saint Michael and All Angels’ Day, we pray; “O Everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order.”
Recall to your mind the scene at High Mass. The Altar and the candlesticks and the flames of the candles. The smoke of the, incense lingering in a drifting, fragrant cloud. The three priests; the kneeling torch bearers. The priest sings: “Lift up your hearts.” You sing with the choir: “We lift them up unto the Lord.” “Let us give thanks unto the Lord,” sings the priest. “It is meet and right so to do,” you respond. “It is very meet, right and our bounden duty,” sings the priest, “Therefore with Angels and Archangels and with all the Company of Heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name.”
As you go about engaged in the duties of life, doing your work, performing your vocational service, bearing your burdens, remember the Collect. You may have Angelic help for the asking. Invoke the Angels. Say, “O ye holy Angels help me.” In times of spiritual danger invoke the Angels. Say, “O ye Angels of the Lord come to my rescue.” In times of bodily peril invoke the Angels. Say, “O ye Angels, holy, swift and strong, defend me.” In times of sickness invoke the Angels. Say, “O ye Angels of mercy attend me.” In the hour of death invoke the Angels. Say, “O ye Angels of light accompany me.”
Then when the transition has been made, and your soul has passed through death to everlasting life, you will feel the support of your guardian Angel who will be leading you. You will hear the voice of your guardian Angel who will be reassuring you and telling you what it all means, and where you are and what you are to do. And when you see Our Lord, your guardian Angel will be standing beside you. Through your purgation your guardian Angel will be your minister.
Your guardian Angel will go all the way to Heaven with you. And for eternity your guardian Angel will be your oldest creaturely friend.
Affectionately in Our Lord,