Before we begin today, just a note: If you, or anyone you know, is interested in applying to work for us (as either a reporter/producer or in video editing/production), please scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on “we’re hiring.”
All that brings us neatly to today’s subject matter, the work we do here — but, more importantly, the wellspring from which the work itself flows. And that is the St. Michael Chapel and our prayer life.
We begin and end the day, each day, with prayer — specifically, the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours in the morning and then the Liturgy of the Hours (Vespers) each evening. We also pray the Angelus at noon, as well as the Divine Mercy Chaplet immediately following.
You are, of course, invited to join us for our chapel prayer livestream at 8 a.m. ET as well as vespers at 4:45 p.m. ET each weekday. We are happy to have you add your voices to ours as we all pray for truth and justice in our Church and nation.
Add together all that time and it’s about an hour a day, and, without it, (that hour) nothing we do here would have any real significance. Sure, we would probably make television and write stories and all that. But without the spiritual dimension, that’s all we would be.
If you’ve seen our flagship show, The One True Faith (that’s the one that got the ball rolling here and immediately ticked off the archdiocese of Detroit, who tried to end us), you’ll see at the very beginning of each episode a brief introduction by a splendid and holy priest, Fr. Pablo Straub. Father Pablo, a regular on EWTN while Mother was still alive and on the air, was a dear friend to us here and a real pillar of support during those early days when corrupt churchmen in the archdiocese of Detroit and elsewhere were attacking us.
We even named one of our studios here (where we shoot our program Mic’d Up) after him. God rest his soul — pray for us, Father.
We used to be just on local television here in Detroit, but (it was during one of his visits) he said to me, “Michael, you must bring Christ to the internet.” Seemed like a good idea — and here we are! But, in addition to the grand overview (which is, of course, important), he also said to me about the chapel, “This is the most important space you have. Everything you do out there [meaning in the studio] begins in here.”
The chapel, our prayer life, is the reservoir from which all we do flows. It has to be. And we are reminded of that daily as we pray the Liturgy of the Hours or reflect on whatever mystery of the Rosary we may be praying.
For example, in morning prayer, we routinely encounter the line, “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.” Likewise, one of the Rosary meditations is from when Our Blessed Lord tells the servants at the wedding feast to fill the jars with water.
The old reflection comes to mind: “Work like everything depends on you. Pray like everything depends on God.”
All of our reporting, our programs, our articles — all of it — ultimately is for one end: to be used to help save souls. We are not a monastery, but we are not a production company, either. We are an apostolate doing the work of the Church, specifically, serving Catholics.
But we do that work in the world. We are not contemplatives, although we do contemplate here quite a bit. Likewise, we are not a “religious community” (as Catholics normally understand that), but we are nonetheless engaged communally in a religious work.
The tool of our work is the media. But what is “media”? In short, the media (or the singular, media) is the means in the material world to transport immaterial realities.
Angels don’t need a medium to transport their thoughts. They are not material beings in a material world like we are, so they are in no need of a vehicle or a medium. We, however, down here in time and space and matter, do need vehicles to transport our thoughts.
Thoughts well up from our intellects, and the intellect is a spiritual faculty. But unless that thought finds a tangible means to be expressed, transported to another intellect, it remains trapped (as it were) inside the person’s mind. It must be communicated. It must exit the mind — and that demands a means of being transported. We all understand this, of course. It’s why we speak to one another, a foundational means of communication.
And to speak to many (the so-called masses) a “mass media” is required. On an elemental level, a microphone and a couple of speakers fit the bill — or even a bullhorn. But on a larger level, that’s what television is — a medium for communicating thoughts to the masses.
All these cameras and sets and microphones and piles and piles of equipment and cables and cords and all of it — these are merely the tools of the medium of television. They are just the bridge to get from one mind to many minds. They are the answer to the “how” of communicating.
But the important question is, What is being communicated?
The cameras (and so forth) are moral neutrals, mere tools. But the message they carry, that they are a vehicle for, that’s what matters. Immaterial realities are transported across material realities.
That’s why we pray here every day. Not so much for stuff (although we do make our fair share of petitions). Rather, we pray to imbue our thoughts with spiritual truths — Catholic truths — so that, when we walk out of the chapel, we are spiritually prepared to touch the material goods and employ them for spiritual truth.
The Devil figured out the importance of mass media long before Catholics did, and he controls a major swath of it. It’s why Fr. John Hardon was so spot on, referring to it as the “Luciferian media.” And, for the record, we have another area of our studios named after Fr. Hardon as well.
Prayer creates within the person who is praying a reservoir, and from that reservoir spills over the fruits of prayer. Communal prayer has the same effect on communal work. It serves as the reservoir from which spills over the fruit of that work.
What we do here is not so much a medium, a channel through which things flow, but the fruit of a reservoir filled every day with prayer, so that we can go into the studio and do our work. And our work is to help comfort the sad, give a voice to victims, bring about conversions to the truth — to provide a Catholic lens through which to view all the evil and corruption we see around us.
This is why, as we approach each year-end, we reach out and ask for your financial help — to whatever degree you are able to help. It is, of course, the spiritual work we do that is foremost. But the transporting of these spiritual truths in the realm of the mass media is crazy expensive. Not just the equipment itself, but the people to run it, maintain it, operate it, keep abreast of the seemingly nonstop changes — all of it.
Our Blessed Lord told the servants at the wedding feast in Cana to fill the jars with water. That required physical effort in the material world. They needed to get the buckets, schlep on down to the town well, fill them up, transport them back to jars, pour them in and go back and forth in a makeshift fire brigade until the jars were full. It likely took quite a while, and a lot of effort, given what the custom was for a Jewish wedding in Our Lord’s day.
When the material needs were accomplished, then (and only then) did Our Lord choose to perform His miracle. He didn’t need the material to perform the spiritual, but He wanted it done that way.
So, too, here at the studio, and all other apostolates. We live in a material existence because Almighty God willed it that way. That means material stuff is required. And for us here at Church Militant, that means everything you see around us and all the bills that come along with it.
So please, click on the link below and donate whatever you can to help us as 2021 draws to a close.