When a priest prepares for Holy Mass it is customary for him to say prayers as he dons each vestments. When putting on the amice, he lets it rest on the top of his head briefly and he says the prayer:
Upon my head, O Lord, place the helmet of salvation, so that I may defeat the assaults of the devil.
I received today an email which I share with my emphases:
Let me say first, thank you for the time you put into your blog. It is a solid source of information and community to those who need it, including myself and some compatriots of mine here in Afghanistan.
I know you often preach the use of vesting prayers for Mass, and after seeing something today, thought you may appreciate knowing what I witnessed.
As a backround, I am a former seminarian who left in good faith. I later felt a calling to, and joined the armed forces becoming a commisioned officer. In my time as a seminarian, I grew an appreciation and facination for the vesting prayers before Mass, but have never had quite the appreciation as I do now, finishing up my tour in combat.
I lead Soldiers as a full time job now, part of my job is leading the recovery of destroyed vehicles and ensuring personnel make it back to safety when things go for the worse. I always say a quick prayer as I put my equipment on, as it is the one physical thing often protecting my life from leaving this world when I am in the open.
Past myself however, I have been stuck recently with a sense of amazement as I have witnessed my Soldiers ‘vest’ in their armor before we head into an area we know will be dangerous. Everytime, no matter their beliefs on the divine, or how excited or scared they may actually be, I have noticed every one of them has at least a moment of reflection or invocation, as their myriad of equipment is hastily put on by themselves and their brothers.
I know there are many seminarians, Priests, and we can only hope… Bishops that read this site. I myself consider what I do a trifle in regards to what the Priest does as he ascends calvalry in the Divine Liturgy. While accidental when considered to the substance of the Mass, I hope all Priests realize and take the time to meditate on what is happening as they vest in the armor the Church has provided for her Soldier. We need them to build this fundamental block, it will keep them alive and healthy for the Church Militant.
End point, I just felt like I was suppose to share this experience with you. Thank you for your vocation Father, and I will always pray for your ministry. I do not mind if you share anything I wrote.
God Bless you, Lieutenant.
I will remember you and your men during the next Mass I say.
I ask all the readers here, please, in your charity, to stop – right now – and say the Prayer To St. Michael, asking the great Archangel to protext the Lieutenant and those under his command from all spiritual and temporal harm.
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.