Angels // Saint Raphael the Archangel

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Raphael, pray for us to have grateful hearts, to trust in God’s Providence regardless of whether or not we understand where he has us currently. “Raphael called the two of them aside privately and said to them: “Bless God and give him thanks before all the living for the good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Proclaim before all with due honor the deeds of God, and do not be slack in thanking him.” Tobit 12:6

St. Raphael is one of the archangels, and he is known for healing. If you haven’t already, go check out the book of Tobit. This is where we really see St. Raphael at work and gain a greater understanding of who he is, however, I want to focus in on this particular scripture verse.

In this verse, Raphael is addressing Tobias, Tobit’s son, and Sarah. Sarah is Tobias’ new wife, and we should keep in mind that she has had her fair share of sufferings just beginning with all seven of her husbands, up until Tobias, dying on the night that they consummated their marriage. God saved Tobias through the instruction of St. Raphael.

So, there are two ways that Sarah could accept this exhortation from St. Raphael calling on them to give thanks to God.

Option 1: She could hold onto her anger and frustration at God allowing, not willing, her former husbands to die and desperately clinging to Tobias as the husband that she finally deserved.

Option 2: She could graciously accept Tobias as the husband that God is gifting her with constantly giving Him the due praise and thanksgiving for the man that finally surpassed the curse.

We have the temptation to think that we deserve certain things in this life and suffering is not one of them. We shake our fists at God until he finally gives us what we ‘deserve’, and then we never thank Him. We have the temptation to see God as a mean judge who wants our suffering, when, rather, he is our loving father crying with us only allowing suffering for the sake of giving us free will and the ability to love.

St. Raphael, along with the story of Tobias and Sarah, teaches us that we should constantly be thanking God instead of holding onto anger towards Him.

Have you given thanks today?

To Jesus, through Mary-Alyssa Schimmoeller

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