“Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.”
Today is the Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel. He is the heavenly physician, and he wants to help. The temptations aren’t going away. They need to be used as a tool to advance in holiness.
O God, who sent the blessed Archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants, may also be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance.
LESSON Tob. 12:7-15
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: “For it is good to hide the secret of a king: to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you.
“When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son’s wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.”
GRADUAL Tob. 8:3; pS. 146:5
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took the devil and bound him.
V. Great is our Lord, and great His power!
The following text is attributed to a Fr. Sálesman:
So powerful and terrible are the enemies of our purity, that when they fight us, all the lights of our spirit are extinguished, and we forget all the meditations and holy resolutions that we had made, and it does not seem, but that in those moments we despise the great truths of faith, and we lose the fear of divine punishment. And it is that impure temptations feel supported by the strong inclination that the body feels towards sensual pleasures. Whoever does not turn to the Lord with humble and trusting prayer in those moments is lost. It is necessary to convince ourselves that no one will be able to overcome the impure temptations of the flesh, if he does not entrust himself to the Lord many times, but especially at the moment of temptation.
And those temptations will not go away while we are on earth. God wants to save us, but he wants us to be saved as overcomers. That is why all our lives we will be at war against our passions, and only those who have fought bravely will receive the crown of triumph. (Saint Alphonsus Maria). The temptation will be tenacious (very difficult to push away) and alive and aggressive, even violent. That is why each one must prepare to resist it, and this throughout life until old age. If we seek perfection, we must prepare ourselves to resist temptation, which is why St. Paul says: “Faithful is God who will not allow temptations beyond our strength to come. And by allowing temptations to come to us, it will also provide us with the way to be able to resist and overcome them” 1 Cor. 10;13
Achieving purity is not a made reality that someone can preserve without struggle and without danger… it is a work in progress. It demands never making peace with our defects, neither with passions nor with sensual attractions. Maintaining purity demands a response of fidelity every day because every day we have the possibility of betraying Christ by sinning, but also every day we have the possibility of showing him our fidelity by rejecting impure temptations. Winning in the fight for chastity is one of the greatest demonstrations of love for Our Lord.
6 thoughts on “Holiness is a journey that must be fought for and sought in prayer. St. Raphael, pray for us!”
The Archangel Raphael is easily the least famous of the three (known) Archangels but I’ve always felt a deep connection to him. I know that he has been responsible for mine – and my family’s – safe passage throughout our lives, especially at times when I have forgotten to ask for his guidance. I advise everyone to memorize the St. Raphael prayer so you can recite it before getting in a car, train, plane, or even walking around in these unpredictable times.
I usually don’t go to daily Mass because my TLM parish is rather far away and the weekday morning traffic to/from is unpredictable. But, today, the least I could do was try to get there by 7:15 after all that St. Raphael has done for me. And, low and behold, I got out of the city without any red lights, and zipped up there in time not just for Mass but for the Rosary at 6:45. That wasn’t just sheer luck – that was St. Raphael who also wanted me there for Mass on his special day.
If you are reading this and are not Catholic or Orthodox, you owe it to yourself to find the Book of Tobit online and read the whole thing. I don’t know what Martin Luther was(n’t) thinking when he removed that one, for it is one the Old Testament’s most inspirational and motivating books.
Sancte Raphael, ora pro nobis.
Amen! Satan was throwing all sorts of roadblocks in front of me this morning, but I made it (two minutes late).
What version of the prayer to St. Raphael do you use? I resort to the Litany to St. Raphael now and again, but was unaware there is a shorter prayer. Thanks.
Glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great prince of the Heavenly Court.
Your are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace.
You are a guide of those who journey by land, sea or air. Consoler of the afflicted and refuge of sinners.
I beg of you to assist me in my needs as you once 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 you the favor of (insert your intention) and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
St. Raphael, please pray for me.
Before I go out I say: in the way of peace and happiness may the Almighty and merciful Lord direct me and may the holy Archangel Raphael accompany me on the way, so that I may return home again with peace and health and joy. Amen. I pray for my family members daily. Brother recently in accident where car totaled. Airbag didn’t work. He wasn’t hurt. (and got $8400 for 11 year old Prius!) I love Raphael.
Susan2, that is a beautiful post you shared. Your brother must have been quite shaken up but wow, what a blessing that despite the circumstances (airbag didn’t work), he walked away un-harmed. One of the reasons why I like the Book of Tobit is because Raphael is sent here as a human being and he blends in, unnoticed, all the way to the time when he has accomplished what he was sent to do.
I will not at all be surprised at the personal and general judgement to find out that I and so many of us, encountered angels while here in this valley of tears, disguised as humans.
Several years ago, I was visiting my parents out of state, and one morning we had an early-morning knock on the door. A strange man alerted us that there was a small fire on the side of the house which I immediately ran outside with the fire extinguisher and took care of. I wanted to thank him but he was gone when I got back. My parents did not know him, had never seen him before and have never seen him since. Maybe he was? I look forward to that day of judgement when I’ll know for sure.