Defend and Protect with Joy, and Put God first
Last week I talked about why we started Urban Catholic, this week I’ll tell you why we chose some of the designs on our products. Each thing that we sell has a significance to myself or someone in my family.
Why all the Saint Michael Products?
First, St. Michael is awesome. He is the warrior angel of heaven and is said to be the main fighter against the devil. In the Catholic Church, Saint Michael often gets depicted as an angel, dressed in armor, usually standing on top of some ugly lizard demon looking creature, with a spear in it’s back, signifying Saint Michael’s victory over the evil one.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that, however, I see time and time again, the same (or close to the same) style of Saint Michael. He has flowing blond hair, white, sometimes tan skin, and honestly somewhat feminine features. When I picture Saint Michael, I see a tough looking archangel that is built like an NFL linebacker on steroids, rough around the edges, and wears armor, but only to intimidate his opponent. I picture Saint Michael running into battle, slaying demons as he runs, and cares solely about protecting God’s creation. As a man, I feel a great responsibility to be the protector of my family. I think that men should have an internal sense of being strong, rugged, and ready to defend their loved ones against evil.
One last reason I chose to make Saint Michael an important part of Urban Catholic is because of an experience I had in college. I was part of a very active Newman Center at Ferris State University, and some of us traveled to Grand Rapids (an hour south of campus) to participate in a prayer group. I did not know what to expect. When we arrived, I found out that it was a charismatic prayer group! I had never before witnessed something like this and was honestly feeling nervous and uncomfortable. Fast forward an hour into the prayer session. I found myself being prayed over, and those praying over me were praying in tongues. They also had visons for me, and words of knowledge given to them by the holy spirit. The thing that stood out the most was that a few of the people praying said that they felt a strong presence of St. Michael and felt that I was a protector/being protected. One of my friends that attended with me took a medal of St. Michael off her necklace and gave it to me because she felt that I should have it. I have worn it on my necklace (along side my miraculous medal and four way cross) since that day.
Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart.
The word Joy has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Each holiday, birthday, or other special occasion had a cake with the word "Joy" somewhere on it. My grandma would write "Joy" on the cake, and cards and she displayed joy whenever she was around. She even had a license plate on the front of her car that said "Joy". My grandma loved her Catholic faith and was the epitome of a modern-day saint. I know it is cliché, but I never saw her in a bad mood. When I decided to create Urban Catholic, one of the first ideas I had was to make items with the word Joy on them because of her influence in my life.
Another reason we chose to include “Joy” in our products is because at the time we started this store and were realizing our mission through Urban Catholic, my wife had been given a supernatural gift of joy from the Holy Spirit. Her father had passed away only a few weeks earlier, and with Gods grace, she was able to see God working in the weeks, days and hours before he died, to ensure his peaceful death. To hear her share that experience is amazing.
I am Third....right?
"I am Third." I first heard these words from Fr. Larry Richards who was speaking at a Steubenville Young Adults Conference. Fr. Larry talked about how we should put God 1st, others 2nd, and your self 3rd. This is one of the ways that I strive to live my life, and something that I personally believe is lacking in our country today. If more people put God first in their lives, the world would be a much different (better) place. It is always good to take a step back and look at your life and ask, “Am I putting God and others before myself?”
That is all for now and for this week. Tune in soon to another post to learn about the “behind the scenes” for an explanation of why we sell what we sell.