I CHASED AFTER HIM, GAINING ON HIM JUST IN TIME TO SEE A DYE PACK EXPLODE INSIDE THE BAG HE WAS CARRYING!
Did you know that many police officers wear Saint Michael's medal? When I would ask my fellow officers about this, they would tell me that he was the patron saint of police and of soldiers and that they believed he would protect them if they wore his medal. This was wonderful to hear, for Saint Michael, whom I call Archangel Michael, is certainly the guardian of those who protect society and he has become my greatest friend.
Having established a strong tie to Archangel Michael before ever deciding to become a policewoman, I entered the profession with confidence and a determination to make a difference. Knowing that an amazing and intensely fiery archangel was by my side, knowing that he was real and that, in fact, legions of angels were with me every day as I walked through all kinds of horrible conditions made a huge difference in what I felt I could accomplish as a police officer.
As a new recruit, I would spend time before each shift praying to Archangel Michael. I would share with him the details of my cases, such as a homicide suspect I was trying to nail or a crack house I was assigned to close down. I asked Archangel Michael to put me in the right place at the right time to get those cases solved.
I was an inner-city cop for ten years, working in neighborhoods that were extremely disadvantaged--high rates of burglary, car thefts, robberies, shootings, assaults, prostitution, drugs and homicides. It was not uncommon for police officers to be maimed or killed on duty. And my entire ten years on the street were spent with Archangel Michael. He helped me daily, sometimes by prompting me look in a certain place or to stop a certain car, resulting in an arrest. He let me know by an inner sensing when I was in danger. There were times when I was dealing with a suspect who was carrying a concealed weapon or I was heading for a situation that could cost me my life. There was a heightened alertness and calm that came from his presence with me, allowing me to know when to change course or directing my attention to where it would do the most good.
On one early morning walking patrol, just as the first rays of dawn began to lighten the dreary alleyways of my neighborhood beat, I spotted a man out for a run and I knew that something was not right. I had to check this guy out. As I turned in his direction, he darted down an alley. I chased after him, gaining on him just in time to see a dye pack explode inside the bag he was carrying! He had robbed a bank! The bank hadn't even dropped the alarm yet. When the FBI arrived to process the crime, they told me that catching a bank robber before the bank alarm notifies the police, happens only once in every sixteen years of reported robberies.
Sometimes it felt like criminals knew I wasn't alone. Ordering a lawbreaker out of a car or out of a house was no problem, even for a five-foot-eight policewoman. They seemed to sense something around me. I knew it was the intense and powerful presence of Archangel Michael. My faith in his presence with me has helped adjust many attitudes--suspects and criminals alike.
Policemen and women need to feel empowered and hopeful. Because of this relationship with Archangel Michael I have been helped time and time again to overcome bouts with discouragement. Can you imagine how discouraging it is right now to be a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan or how discouraging it is for many police officers who work in dangerous and difficult conditions, day in and day out?
I have since retired from the police force. Today, I work with people who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. Although I may not face physical danger on a regular basis any longer, I see my work as a continuation of grappling with internal thought patterns and motives in my clients that cause harm to themselves and society. And I continue to pray to Archangel Michael on their behalf, for he can help them get beyond behaviors and habits that imprison them.
It is wonderful to wear in faith Saint Michael's medal of protection and so wonderful to know him as our most constant friend and guardian.