2716 North Dobson Road Chandler, AZ 85224 (480) 899-3330
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Rev. Fr. Philip S. Armstrong, Presbyter 2716 N. Dobson Rd. Chandler, AZ 85224 (480) 899-3330 (Located South of Elliot Rd on Dobson Rd) Church e-mail : office@st-katherine.org Email Fr. Phil : priest@st-katherine.org   Summer Office hours:   Monday, Wednesday, & Friday  9:30am - 3:30pm   Closed from 12:00 to 1:00pm for lunch. Inquirer’s Classes Offered (Contact our Church Office). Sunday Service Schedule:                                                                                        8:30 AM Orthos                                                                                                         9:30 AM Divine Liturgy                                                                                                      
St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church Chandler AZ 85224
For 12-16-18
(Sunday Bulletins posted to Website by Saturday 2 PM)
Welcome to St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
                                     MESSAGE FROM FATHER                      “Our Relationship with Angels” On November 8th of each year the Church places before us for our commemoration the feast day of the Synaxis of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael and all the Heavenly Hosts. This is the main day in which we are called to remember them. There are other lesser feast days in which we commemorate a miracle or divine intervention by a particular angel. However, November 8th is their main celebration. Christians have always been intrigued with angels. Christian and non-Christian literature has been filled with stories about angels, both fiction and non- fiction. We are curious about who they are and what they do. What does the Church teach us regarding these divine spirits? The Holy Fathers teach us that all the angels were  created at one time. This occurred when God created the stars (Gen. 1). It is interesting to note that the Church identifies the “Star of Bethlehem” to be an angel.  Why did the Church surmise this? Stars travel the trajectory of the earth’s rotation with respect to the sun, from east to west. The Star of Bethlehem traveled north   to south.  The star’s primary purpose was to guide the wisemen to the birthplace of the Son of God. This is what angels do. Isaiah 14:12-15 brings to our attention that there was a rebellion in heaven. An angel by the name of Lucifer considered himself equal to God. In his defense he led one third of the angels (Rev. 12:4) to rebel against the Life-giving Holy Trinity. Archangel Michael and his angelic army defeated and cast out Lucifer and his follower angels. We, now, call Lucifer Satan (“adversary”) and the fallen angels demons. Another word for Satan is Diavolos (“accuser”). They were cast out to the abyss and the aerial realm just above the earth. Obviously, we do not  commemorate them. They are not worthy of such. What else do we know about the angels? Firstly, they are bodiless spirits. They do not have a human body because they are not human. They are asexual; they are not male or female. In their spirit bodies they do have shape and form. They are able to know our thoughts. Demons do not know our thoughts. What is the primary purpose of  angels? Their primary purpose is to serve God. They are His messengers and are assigned the function to guide and protect us. Are they organized? Yes. There are nine ranks of the angels-Seraphim, Cherubim, godly thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and angels. Each has a specific duty or function. The Prologue from Ochrid, Vol. 4 notes that “among the angels there rules a perfect unity of mind, of soul and love; of total obedience of the lesser powers to the greater and of all to the holy will of God. Each nation has a guardian angel as does each individual Christian” (pg. 171). How many archangels are there? Seven. They are the leaders of the heavenly powers. Their names are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (P.F.O. pg. 172-3). All the angels are holy. This is why it is appropriate to call them saints (for saints are those that are holy).  Angels who have appeared do have wings. Such are the things we know about angels. Can we know the angels and have relationships with them? The answer is an unequivocal “yes”. Our relationship with our “guardian angel” begins at baptism. He is bestowed to us during this Holy Mystery. He is constantly with us guiding and protecting us. He, especially works through our conscience to reveal what is good and pleasing to God and to make us feel uncomfortable when being tempted to do evil. We can develop a deeper sense of his presence as our prayer life matures.  The Church has prayers dedicated to our guardian angel and a special service called the “Canon to our Guardian  Angel”. These are, especially, helpful in developing our relationship with angels. On a less formal level, we should remind ourselves that the angels are always present with us. The saints encourage us to talk to our angels. The night time is especially conducive for this. Their help and intervention is only a call away.  In closing, let us endeavor to reacquaint ourselves with the angels. They are our spiritual allies. May they assist us in our efforts to live lives pleasing to God.                  In Christ’s love,   +Fr. Phil       
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For December 2018