If our faith has deep roots, we are keenly aware of the fact that we are never really alone. In our short life that has as its purpose arrival at Heaven, God has given us so many blessings and helps to make it home safely. Among these many blessings is the reality of angels. Not only do they serve and praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Heaven for all eternity, but they are ready to help us.
ANGELIC WORLD. Immersed in a Materialistic, Hedonistic, Sensual and even Atheistic culture, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are not alone in our journey to Heaven. Quite the contrary, in the angelic world, countless angels are ready and willing to rush to our aid, to help us in our struggles, to motivate us with their prayers and presence to give ourselves to God. The invisible world of the angels is actually more real than the physical and material world that absorbs us. May we renew our belief, trust, love, and confidence in our friends, the angels of God, right now. Let us call upon them constantly and tell others about their presence as true friends to help us on our Highway to Heaven.
ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL—A TRUE FRIEND AND COMPANION. One of the most consoling, charming and fascinating books of the Old Testament is that of Tobit. In this relatively short Biblical Narrative, we encounter the Archangel Raphael. He becomes a true companion and friend to the younger Tobias.
TRANSFORMS TWO TRAGEDIES INTO VICTORIES. The charming narrative presents two serious tragedies that are transformed into glorious victories through the intercession of the Archangel Raphael, done in a very humble, quiet, and almost inconspicuous manner.
FIRST TRAGEDY. The elderly Tobias, as a result of his good works in burying the dead, loses his sight. Despite all the efforts made to cure him, his sight goes from bad to worse, and he ends up totally blind.
SECOND TRAGEDY. Called to the marriage vocation, Sarah has six prospect husbands. However, every night that the prospect husband is at the point of consummating the marriage, the devil Asmodeus enters the room and kills the prospect husband. Moved to the brink of despair, Sarah seriously considers committing suicide, but decides against it so as to preserve her parents from total anguish.
GOD INTERVENES THROUGH THE ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL. As fervent prayers are ascending to heaven, in His infinite goodness, God decides to send the Archangel Raphael to the rescue. Indeed, it was through the presence and the instrumentality of Raphael that these two serious problems, we might even call them tragedies, were transformed into glorious victories.
SARAH’S PREDICAMENT RESOLVED. The Archangel Raphael, appearing as a man, accompanies Tobit Jr. to the home of Sarah. Both are united in the holy bond of Matrimony. Their love is sincere and Raphael has them burn the gall of a fish and pray fervently begging for God’s blessings. This done, they consummate their marriage. Asmodeus, the evil spirit, is expelled from their midst. The beginning of a happy marriage has been launched through the intercession of the Archangel Raphael.
TOBIT SR. AND HIS HEALING. Still pending is the blindness of Tobit Sr. Upon Tobit returning to his home with his new bride Sarah, the Archangel Raphael, keenly aware of the blind old man, insists on prayer and the application of fish to the eyes of the suffering man. Upon applying the gall of the fish to his eyes, something like scales fall from his eyes. Now Tobit Sr. with his sight restored contemplates the face of his son once again and the beautiful wife that God has prepared for him. The rejoicing at this moment has no limits!!!
Turning to Raphael, they want to render him praise and honor. However, the Archangel resists and tells them to give honor and glory to God alone. Having completed his mission, the Archangel Raphael disappears, returning to God.
Let us now lift our minds, our hearts, our souls, and our prayers to the angels on high, but most especially to the Archangel Raphael. His power of intercession before the Throne of Almighty God is most powerful. If only we cultivate a greater cognizance and devotion to the angels, how quickly our life will be directed from the material to the more spiritual realms of our existence!
ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL AND HIS POWERFUL MEANS OF INTERCESSION
1. FRIENDSHIP. In the midst of a world where true friendship is more and more difficult, we can always find a friend in the angels, but most especially in the Archangel Raphael. He befriended the young Tobit on his journey to meet his future spouse. In the long journey of life, let us walk and talk with, and accept the most agreeable company and friendship of the Archangel Raphael. He will always be a true and faithful friend.
2. JOURNEY COMPANION. Life is a precarious, dangerous, uncertain and sometimes fearful journey towards our ultimate destiny—that is our home in Heaven. Many are the pitfalls, ditches, detours and obstacles on our Highway to Heaven. If we invite the Archangel Raphael to accompany us, he can definitely pave the way and remove many of the unforeseen obstacles and dangers that lie in wait for us in our perilous journey towards our promised homeland.
3. VOCATIONAL CHOICE. It was the Archangel Raphael who eventually connected two future spouses in the holy bond of Matrimony. Sarah had lost prospective spouses, who most likely were pursuing her for lustful motives rather than noble and pure motives, and these men were killed by the devil Asmodeus. It was through the intervention of the Archangel Raphael that Sarah finally met the spouse that God had designed for her and her future happiness, and that was the younger Tobit. Let us pray to the Archangel Raphael that he will help our children to make the right choice in their vocation which very possibly could be Holy Matrimony.
4. PURITY. Before consummating the marriage between Sarah and Tobit, the Archangel Raphael had them burn the gall of a fish and pray fervently so that God would bless their marriage with purity and faithfulness. Burning the gall of the fish and prayer were two remedies to expel the evil spirit of impurity. Now more than ever we must strive to attain the most challenging virtue of purity or chastity. No doubt, the Archangel Raphael can come to our aid in this most noble pursuit to live out the Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God.” (Mt 5:8)
5. PATRON OF HAPPY MEETINGS. The result of the meeting between Sarah and Tobit was a most joyful encounter with a happy conclusion. Behind this happy meeting was the quiet but powerful presence of the Archangel Raphael. Why not make it a practice that before meeting with people, especially challenging and difficult people, to invite the Archangel Raphael to be present to help the meeting to be peaceful, noble, enlightening, and pleasing to God.
6. PATRON OF THE EYES AND EYESIGHT. Tobit Sr. had unfortunately lost his eyesight as a result of his caring for the proper burial of the dead. Aware of his painful plight, the Archangel Raphael intervened in a very humble but powerful way. He insisted that fish gall be applied to the blind eyes of the elder Tobit. This done, something like scales fell from the eyes of the apparently blind man. Now he was able to see—his wife, his son, and his son’s new wife, Sarah. May we consecrate the use of our eyes to give honor and glory to God through the patronage and the protection of the Archangel Raphael!
7. FAMILY UNITY. Both the families of Sarah and Tobit were suffering intensely due to loss of life—the prospect spouses of Sarah and the loss of sight of the elderly Tobit. As a result of the happy marriage and the recovery of sight of Tobit Sr., the families were united in love and overflowing gratitude. Let us invite the Archangel Raphael to enter into our family dynamic, into the fabric of our families and beg him to help us to be united, especially united in the bond of love for God. True unity comes as a result of union with God.
8. OVERFLOWING JOY. Can you imagine the joy that Sarah and Tobit Jr. must have experienced in encountering the love of their lives, arranged by God through the intercession of the Archangel Raphael! Can you imagine the joy of a blind man being able to see the light of the day and the joyful countenances of his son, Tobit and his beautiful new bride, Sarah? In the midst of the trials, sorrows, and struggles of life, let us beg the Archangel Raphael to infuse in our hearts and in our families a joy that can only come from God and His holy messengers.
9. FAMILY AND PERSONAL HEALING. The name Raphael actually means Medicine of God or God heals. Two families that could have been totally destroyed by serious wounds—moral, spiritual, and physical—were healed by God, but through the instrumentality of the Archangel Raphael. We enter the world through the Original wound of Original sin, we are wounded constantly by personal sin, and we even have our physical wounds of sicknesses and diseases. Why not starting today place yourself and your family under the protector, defender, and healer of wounds—the Archangel Raphael. So to speak, his wings can both protect us from possible wounds, and heal us of present wounds of body, mind, and soul!
10. GIVE HONOR AND GLORY TO GOD: ANGEL OF PRAYER AND PRAISE. At the end of the wonderful narrative in the Book of Tobit the Archangel Raphael finally reveals himself but does not want to attribute any honor and glory to himself, but rather, to give honor and glory and thanks to God, the Author of all good gifts. This last attribute is of the greatest importance. Let us lift our minds, our hearts, and our souls to God’s holy messengers, the holy Angels, and most specifically the Archangel Raphael, and beg for the grace of humble, fervent, and constant prayer. With Mary, the Queen of the Angels and saints may our lives be a constant hymn of praise to the Blessed Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.