6 Things the Archangel Raphael Taught in the Longest Angelic Speech in Scriptures
Many ask what Saint Raphael the Archangel did and who he is. Raphael is an archangel and he appeared to Tobit (Tobias) in the Old Testament. He gave the longest speech of any angel in scriptures and the most poignant part he said, “God tries those who love Him.” Raphael therefore, is not just medicine of God, but he is messenger to those in trials!
On the Feast of the Archangels.
What is an Archangel? Father Hardon was apt to describe the archangels in his Modern Catholic Dictionary:
Then, there are entries for St. Gabriel and St. Michael, the other known and named archangels:
But there is no entry for Raphael! wow!
Nevertheless, Father Hardon’s lectures on the Old Testament included a long lecture on St. Raphael.
St. Raphael Delivers the Longest Declaration of any Angel in all of Scriptures
Fr. Hardon calls it “The speech of Raphael.” He said it is the most extensive, most detailed, and for us the most practical declaration of an angel of God in the whole of the Bible.
Tobit and his son Tobias had just finished offering their generous companion (Raphael) one half of all their possessions. Then the angel, appearing to them as a man says to them secretly – Raphael had not yet identified himself as an angel so this is dramatic revelation to them as well.
St. Raphael tells Tobias, Tobit, and the family:
Bless the God in Heaven. Give glory to Him in the sight of all the world because He has shown his mercy to you.
For it is good to hide the secret of a king but it is honorable to reveal and proclaim the works of God.
There is good in fasting, alms more than to lay up treasures of gold.
For I delivered one from death and the same is that which absolves from sins. Alms provided for finding mercy and the life-everlasting. Those that commit sin and iniquity are enemies are of their own souls.
I reveal the truth to you. I will not hide the secret from you. When you pray with tears, and you bury the dead, when you left your meal and without to pick up the dead and keep them in your house during the day and bury them at night, you offer your prayer to the Lord.
Because you were acceptable to God it was is necessary that temptation should prove you. Now the Lord sent me to heal you. I delivered Sarah, your son’s wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael. One of the seven who stand before God.“St. Raphael’s Speech” in the book of Tobit
The 6 Implications of St. Raphael’s Speech
Saint Raphael teaches us six things in this long speech! Fr. Hardon explains them in more depth below:
- God sends Angels to Help us (sometimes even archangels!)
- We Should Bless God by Proclaiming his Good Deeds done for Us
- We Must PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
- We Must Practice Charity (including giving the warmth of our heart to others).
- Expect Trials, God Tries those who love Him
- Be At Peace (by Knowing the Truth)
Each Topic of St. Raphael Explained in Depth by Fr. Hardon
1. God sends Angels to Help us (sometimes even archangels!)
Fr. Hardon describes it:
First, Raphael tells us that God sends His angels to help us in our needs. This is the teaching of the Church and the deeper and more grave our needs, the more sure we can be that God is providing us with angelic assistance.
In other words, the more serious the need the more sure we can be that an angel is there to help us. This is not angelic poetry, this is our faith. Raphael tells us Tobit and his son and is telling us “Bless God.”
2. We Should Bless God by Proclaiming his Good Deeds done for Us
What does “Bless God” mean? To bless God means to speak to God, and as we have seen we begin to pray when we first think of God. We are told that we are to share God, show Him our appreciation of what He has done for us.
Talk to God and tell Him how much you need Him and love Him. The more you pray to Him, the more you reap. That is why Raphael replies, “That is why God sends us trials.” We all have grace to remind us to pray to God and to speak to God. In another word to pray.
What is he telling us? What Raphael told father and son and is telling us in this language. To publicize what God has done for us. As we have seen before the retreat is over, more than once, the angels will help those who they hear the lines to use.
Make known what God has done for you. Proclaim God’s goodness to all. Do not keep God’s gifts to you in secret. Share, communicate what God has given to you.
3. We Must PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
Raphael insists on prayer as an imperative “Pray, pray, pray.” Talk to God, talk with God. It is all part of our faith—God is always speaking to us. He wants us to engage Him in conversation in prayer. Raphael at length, praises the father for His great charity telling us therefore to practice charity.
Recall for a moment that this was also the advice of St. Michael to the children at Fatima discussed in many places on the Bellarmine Forum, most recently in yesterday’s podcast.
4. We Must Practice Charity (including warmth of our heart to others).
Practice charity, see the needs of others before they can tell you what they need. The deepest needs of people, they do not expect. Charity begins in the mind. When the mind sees someone in need the heart goes out to that one in need. Finding the need and filling it. Whatever verb we use, help others, assist others, give to others. The deepest need anyone has is our love for them.
No matter what we can give them materially, what the human heart most wants is love. Raphael goes on, how this needs to be underlined and memorized.Fr. Hardon’s lecture on Tobias and the Speech of St. Raphael
5. Expect Trials, God Tries those who love Him
Says Raphael: “God tries those who love Him.” What a statement. This is God’s way of enabling us to grow in our love for Him. Love is in the will. The main reason we have a free will is to love God. But how this needs to be understood, the more demanding, the more difficult, the more reluctant we are to do something, and yet we do it, the more our will is used to do what our conscience tells us is the will of God.
Thank God for the trials in your lives. Express your gratitude for the hardships and trials He gives us. Quoting the archangel Raphael, God sometimes enables us who love Him to love Him more through trials. How we need to hear this. God’s graces can be pleasant and enjoyable, but the graces can also be difficult and painful. Never deceive yourself that what is pleasing to us is displeasing to God. Raphael talked to Tobias’ son and is teaching us this.
6. Be At Peace (by Knowing the Truth)
Raphael told father and son to be at peace. As we have seen on Christmas morning, again not just one angel, but a host of angels tell us “Peace on earth to men of Good will”.
Whatever else we should learn from not only Raphael, but from God speaking through His angels, is that we should not just be at peace but cultivate peace in our minds and in our hearts. What is peace of mind? Peace of mind is the experience of knowing the truth.
Behind that statement stands years of experience. One allegedly developed country after another has tried everything that this world can offer, but are not at peace. Why not? Because we are only as much at peace in our minds as our minds possess the truth. That is why when God became man, He identified Himself as, “I am the truth.”
What is the truth? Truth is our minds corresponding with reality.
Yet, millions are living in a dream world of unreality. They do not posses the truth, and the truth, I repeat, is the agreement of the mind with reality. I keep telling one audience after another, statisticians tells us that ninety percent of reading American read is fiction. How we need to guard our minds from reading bewitched by the untruth.
How do we acquire the truth? We acquire it, of course, from God’s revelation. But it is one thing to say posses the truth-such as there are three persons in one God, or I know that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ, the living God-man is present here on earth in the Holy Eucharist. But if we are to grow in this peace of mind, we are to grow in our understanding of the truth that God has revealed.
St. Raphael, Pray for us!
This article, 6 Things the Archangel Raphael Taught in the Longest Angelic Speech in Scriptures is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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