Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quis Ut Deus? Feast of St. Michael



Blurb from today's entry on www.catholicculture.org:

St. Michael

The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as "the prince of the heavenly host." He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. His name appears in Scripture four times, twice in the Book of Daniel, and once each in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. From Revelation we learn of the battle in heaven, with St. Michael and his angels combatting Lucifer and the other fallen angels (or devils). We invoke St. Michael to help us in our fight against Satan; to rescue souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death; to be the champion of the Jews in the Old Testament and now Christians; and to bring souls to judgment.


This day is referred to as "Michaelmas" in many countries and is also one of the harvest feast days. In England this is one of the "quarter days", which was marked by hiring servants, electing magistrates, and beginning of legal and university terms. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called "Saint Michael's Love" (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The foods for this day vary depending on nationality. In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael's Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.

Patron: Against temptations; against powers of evil; artists; bakers; bankers; battle; boatmen; cemeteries; coopers; endangered children; dying; Emergency Medical Technicians; fencing; grocers; hatmakers; holy death; knights; mariners; mountaineers; paramedics; paratroopers; police officers; radiologists; sailors; the sick; security forces; soldiers; against storms at sea; swordsmiths; those in need of protection; Brussels, Belgium; Caltanissett, Sicily; Cornwall, England; Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Florida; England; Germany; Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama; Papua, New Guinea; Puebla, Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Sibenik, Croatia; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Angel with wings; dressed in armour; lance and shield; scales; shown weighing souls; millstone; piercing dragon or devil; banner charged with a dove; symbolic colors orange or gold.

That Michelsminne wine sounds tasty.

14 comments:

Michael J. Bayly said...

That's a very "gay" representation of St. Michael accompanying this post.

So gay, in fact, that it reminded me of Donald Boisvert's reflection on the Archangel Michael as "gay icon" in his book Sanctity and Male Desire: A Gay Reading of Saints.

I share excerpts from the book's chapter on St. Michael here.

Peace,

Michael

Unitas said...

Actually, I think it's the most non-feminine depiction of St. Michael I've ever seen. That's why it's there; it's a nice change from the usual.

I've read the excerpt you posted and it's nothing more than a Freudian (and blasphemous) diatribe on St. Michael and the Church.

Not everything has to do with sexuality in general, or homosexuality in particular.

I urge you to reread the CCC paragraphs 2357-2359, and to distance yourself from Gumbelton's and Call to Action's heresies.

God Bless.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Actually, in your narrow equating of "gay" with "feminine," you're being more Freudian than Boisvert!

Need an example of "non-feminine" homoeroticism? Check out the recent film "300," or those old beefcake "muscle magazines" of the 1950s, or the "glam rock" bands of the '80s. Then look again at the image of St. Michael you've posted.

And as for "not everything having to do with sexuality," well, that depends on how you understand sexuality.

If you limit it to what you do with whatever you've got between your legs, then you're right. But I think human sexuality is actually much more complex than this. It's our relational capacity and as such colors, to various degrees, all our interactions - not just our intimate ones.

Peace,

Michael

Karin said...

Unitas,
I see that you have gotten yourself a "fan" of the unwelcome kind.
It really is a shame that some people just feel the need to push their Protestant views everywhere they go under the guise of Catholic truth.

Karin said...

In regards to the pic that accompanies this post, I have to agree Unitas it is one of the few that does not depict St. Michael as overly feminine!

I am sure that Michael just loves the depection of the Last Supper that the Folsom Fair has out.
Probably has it hanging in his bedroom!

Unitas said...

I never equated "gay" with "feminine". You called it gay, I said I picked that image because it's was a nice change from the typical feminine images of Michael. The only one who called either it or the other feminine images "gay" was you.

If you've seen the pictures from the past Folsom Street Fair's as well as gay pride parades, not every gay man is a flamboyant, lisping, man who has a keen fashion sense, loves broadway, and has a Judy Garland shrine.

Is that the kind of stereotype you were wishing I stamped all of them with to give you some ammunition? I know better.

"And as for "not everything having to do with sexuality," well, that depends on how you understand sexuality."

That's your narrow assumption that everything has to do with sexuality. Typical of people who need to justify to themselves and everyone else that their sexuality is morally licit; the need to see homoeroticism in everything to validate themselves.

"Need an example of "non-feminine" homoeroticism? Check out the recent film "300," or those old beefcake "muscle magazines" of the 1950s, or the "glam rock" bands of the '80s. Then look again at the image of St. Michael you've posted."

So I have a choice of the image I posted, which is homoerotic, or a more feminine image, which is homoerotic... kinda damned if I do and damned if I don't, huh?

"300" was obviously trying to appeal to a female demographic to sell more tickets. There are more straight women than gays. I've never seen the beefcake muscle magazines of the 50's, and the glam rock bands of the 80's were trying to be rebellious (like every other rock band since the beatles) against the establishment and men with teased hair wearing makeup served to piss off 80's conservative parents. See? there can be more rational explanations for things other than jumping to homoeroticism.

"If you limit it to what you do with whatever you've got between your legs, then you're right. But I think human sexuality is actually much more complex than this. It's our relational capacity and as such colors, to various degrees, all our interactions - not just our intimate ones."

I assume you're talking about what people consider "masculine" and "feminine"? That men's ability to recognize and emulate manliness is somehow an expression of a latent homosexual undercurrent? And both of these homoerotic and heteroerotic impulses influence how people interact among themselves?

Bull-oney.

"Masculine" and "feminine" are they way they are because of the obvious gender-roles (yes, I dare to point them out) that each gender has. For a family unit to function they must work as a team. Most work men do throughout human history is strength-based. Building, farming, hunting, warfare, etc. Due to the men's role being cut-out, women's were also cut-out as things that weren't strength-based or had ot be done while men were doing their thing. Both working together, they had all of the necessary bases covered.

Men were more muscular, aggressive, "rough-and-tumble" versus women, and women were more lithe, passive, and delicate than men. This is obviously the drive behind what is masculine and feminine. (No, this isn't my homoerotic undercurrent telling me this) Homosexuality is an abnormal fluke in this system. It canot function in a family-unit because they are not naturally disposed to these roles nor can they have offspring. (And don't give me that crap that it's genetic.)

Now that these roles, due to feminism and the gay agenda, are being attacked and artificially subdued by a fabricated gender-neutrality.

Try as everyone might to deny it or destroy it, even today most men are the workers and most women are the care-givers. They compliment each other and get the jobs a family needs done. Upset that and you have the discord you have today. Some people hate that fact but everyone knows it to be true.

In short, masculinity and femininityt are defined by the age-old roles they play in a familty-unit, not driven by some sort of homoeroticism.

Again, I urge you to abandon Gumbleton's and Call to Action's heresies for the sake of your soul.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Just a few points of clarification:

1. Okay, so I say the image of St. Michael looks “gay,” and you respond with, “actually it’s the most non-feminine depiction . . . I’ve ever seen.” Hmm, sure does sound to me as if you were equating “non-feminine” with non-gay and thus “gay” with feminine.

2. As to my “jumping to homoeroticism,” I’m merely observing what’s already present. After all, those glam rock bands in their attempt to be rebellious were consciously aiming for a sexual ambivalence – one that allows for (and at times accentuates) the presence of homoeroticism. It’s this willingness, this daring to be sexual ambivalent – in clothes, demure, mannerisms – that is often labeled “gay” – regardless of whether the person doing the “daring” is actually gay.

3. People I’ve spoken to who have viewed the film 300 – women and men, straight and gay – all remark on the film’s weird mix of the homoerotic and the homophobic. These people aren’t projecting their own issues onto the film. Rather, they’re simply recognizing, in the case of the former, the visual cues of homoeroticism established way back in the campy sword and sandal epics of the 1950s and the beefcake “muscle magazines” of the same era.

The image of St. Michael that you have posted on your blog contains these same cues: burly chest, exposed skin, long flowing hair, billowing cape, manly body yet feminine-looking face (that sexual ambivalence again!) – oh, and the really big sword!

“Dude, it’s totally gay,” as a straight friend said to me. (And you know what, that's okay!)

4. Finally, I don’t think it’s helpful (or realistic) to limit one’s definition of masculine and feminine to whatever anatomical apparatus we may have between our legs, or to socially-defined gender roles.

As Australian author Caroline Jones has perceptively observed, when talking about the masculine/feminine opposites, we’re actually referring to an “attitude of mind, not with biological gender.” The human task is to balance these opposites within each one of us. (I write about this at length in my review of the film, Children of Men.)

And, yes, even gay people, contrary to what you seem to think, contain both masculine and feminine qualities. Gay folks are functioning quite happily and healthily in family units all over the world, thank you very much!

The Vatican, of course, declares that same-gender couples and families do harm to children as children do best in two-parent families in which the “complementarity of the sexes” is present. Yet to date, no relevant or credible evidence to support such a contention has been presented by the Vatican. Not one iota! There are studies available that address this issue, yet none of their findings support the statements of the Vatican.

One example: in a 2002 article in Pediatrics [Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 341-344], the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is reported that, “A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”

Peace,

Michael

Unitas said...

"1. Okay, so I say the image of St. Michael looks “gay,” and you respond with, “actually it’s the most non-feminine depiction . . . I’ve ever seen.” Hmm, sure does sound to me as if you were equating “non-feminine” with non-gay and thus “gay” with feminine."

I suppose more clarification is needed still.

You said it was gay.

I said I picked it because it wasn't effeminate like every other image.

"2. As to my “jumping to homoeroticism,” I’m merely observing what’s already present."

No, you're injecting homoeroticism into everything to justify your immoral lifestyle.

"It’s this willingness, this daring to be sexual ambivalent – in clothes, demure, mannerisms – that is often labeled “gay” – regardless of whether the person doing the “daring” is actually gay."

It's rebellion. You're trying to say that it is homoeroticism that's egging them on. You're making it more complicated than it is. Again, to justify your immoral lifestyle.

"3. People I’ve spoken to who have viewed the film 300 – women and men, straight and gay – all remark on the film’s weird mix of the homoerotic and the homophobic. These people aren’t projecting their own issues onto the film."

Perhaps I'm just not artsy enough to notice the homoeroticism in the film. That, or it's just not there. One of the two. I thought it was just a movie. Silly me!

"The image of St. Michael that you have posted on your blog contains these same cues: burly chest, exposed skin, long flowing hair, billowing cape, manly body yet feminine-looking face (that sexual ambivalence again!) – oh, and the really big sword!

“Dude, it’s totally gay,” as a straight friend said to me. (And you know what, that's okay!)"

First, that look s alot like breastplate to me. Or maybe that's just my homoerotic side talking.

So let me get this straight (No pun intended); Long hair, muscles, billowing cape, big sword = gay?

Manly body = gay?

According to the book you cited, effeminate images of Michael = gay?

Is there a way to have an image that's not homoerotic?

So whether it's an effeminate or masculine image, both are gay? Y'know, I don't see heteroeroticism everywhere I look, perhaps you should stop being so sexually paranoid.

"4. Finally, I don’t think it’s helpful (or realistic) to limit one’s definition of masculine and feminine to whatever anatomical apparatus we may have between our legs, or to socially-defined gender roles."

Naturally defined gender roles, you mean. It is natural for males to have a higher strength than women and it's natural for women to be able to produce milk for their offspring. Those roles aren't enforced by society but our DNA. It's also natural for a man and a woman to procreate, something homosexuals can't do. That's perfectly realistic because it exists in the real world. You gonna blame society for that as well?

"As Australian author Caroline Jones has perceptively observed, when talking about the masculine/feminine opposites, we’re actually referring to an “attitude of mind, not with biological gender.” The human task is to balance these opposites within each one of us. (I write about this at length in my review of the film, Children of Men.)"

See my comment above. Apparently her observations have missed the obvious.

"The Vatican, of course, declares that same-gender couples and families do harm to children as children do best in two-parent families in which the “complementarity of the sexes” is present. Yet to date, no relevant or credible evidence to support such a contention has been presented by the Vatican. Not one iota! There are studies available that address this issue, yet none of their findings support the statements of the Vatican."

The Vatican also says that to yield to homosexual attraction is gravely disordered. But hey, not even the Vatican's gonna stop you!

If only all of us could be our own popes like homosexuals and pick and choose what we want to follow. Oh yeah, those are called protestants.

Catholics are subject to the teachings of the Church and to the pope who is the shepherd of the Church on earth. If you do not meet that criteria, you are not a Catholic. Those who reject the teachings of the Church and of the pope are called heretics.

"One example: in a 2002 article in Pediatrics [Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 341-344], the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is reported that, “A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”"

I assume these children grow up with the notion that a homosexual lifestyle is A-ok, right?

That's immoral as far as Christ's Church is concerned. To infuse a permissiveness of immoral behavior into children is, in fact, doing harm to them. Immorality violates the Natural Law and is contrary to the will of God. Read your catechism.

Once again, reject the heresies of Gumbleton and Call to Action and repent.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Unitas, my friend, I think you'd agree that we've both said our piece on this subject.

Thanks for engaging in this discussion - one that has allowed both of us to clarify our positions and gain a clearer understanding of where the other is coming from. I always appreciate it when dialogue leads to such clarity and understanding - even if I don't agree with everything the other is saying.

Blessings on your journey.

Peace,

Michael

Unitas said...

Fair enough, but I still hope you reconsider your theology on this.

While it is not sinful to merely have homosexual desires, it is sinful to give in to, and act upon those desires.

Furthermore, it is sinful to try to relativize and attempt to justify such behavior.

To separate yourself from the teachings of the Church and the pope puts your soul in grave danger. Which is what Gumbleton and Call to Action have suckered people into doing.

I won't patronize you and say I know what it's like to carry the cross of same-sex-attraction, because I don't. But I do have my own crosses to carry.

Many times I hear the "judge not" verse thrown around. But what people forget is the line immediately following that, "Go and sin no more."

God will not give a man a burden that is too heavy for him to handle. Ask God to help you as we all ask God for the strength to carry our burdens.

I really hope you reconsider and come back to orthodox Catholicism. If I didn't care I wouldn't say anything.

paramedicgirl said...

Unitas, did you know that the JW's think that Jesus is really St Michael the Archangel? Pretty bizarre heh?

(I thought St Midhael was mentioned nine times in the Bible)

Unitas said...

Yeah I read about that, that is weird. I must admit though, he fits their model of the Son being less powerful than the Father.

Trinitarian model, however, forget it.

Richard said...

Well - I dont really care about the gay issue. Why do gays or PC people think that most people really are pre-occupied with gaydom. That being said - were can I get a copy of the St. Michael painting - I want to hang it over my front door along with the Prayer to St. Michael, to remind my family that each day they leave the house they need to think about what to pick up - armour,shield, and sometimes sword.

Joder said...

Thank you Unitas,

I agree with Richard. I know that Michael wil the there to help anyone who calls him, be they gay, straight or anything else..

Does anyone know where this picture is, or how to get a high res print of it?