This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Raphael is one of the seven archangels who bring prayers before God (Tobit
xii. 15), although he was not one of the six who buried Moses. In Enoch, xx.
1-7 he is the second among the six or seven angels, Michael, as the most
prominent, being placed in the Middle. In the lists of planetary angels given
in the Jewish calendar, Raphael presides over the sun and over Sunday (ib.
p. 56). The four angels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel appear much more
often in works of Jewish mysticism. From heaven they behold all the bloodshed on
earth and bring the laments of souls before the Lord (Enoch, ix. 1-3). From out
of the darkness they lead souls to God (Sibyllines, ii. 214 et seq.).
They are the four angels of the Presence, and stand on the four sides of the
Lord, whom they glorify (Enoch, xl., where the fourth angel is Phanuel). Each
has his own host of angels for the praising of God, around the four sides of
whose throne are the four groups of angels. In accordance with their position
in heaven, they are the four leaders of the camp of Israel in the wilderness:
Michael on the east, opposite the tribe of Levi; Raphael on the west, opposite
Ephraim; Gabriel on the south, facing Reuben and Judah; Uriel on the north,
facing Dan. In like manner, the four rivers of paradise are divided among these
four angels ("Seder Gan 'Eden," in Jellinek, "B. H." iii.
138). Raphael, like every other angel, can assume any form he will (Tobit); a
tablet on his breast bears the name of God (Pesiḳ. R. 108b); according to the
Zohar, he is the chief of the "ofannim." Arealization of the foreign
character of this angel is inferred in the statement of Simeon ben Laüish (in
250 C.E.) to the effect that the names of the angels originated in
Babylon, meaning among the Parthians who ruled there (Gen. R. xlviii. 9).
Raphael, as his name implies, is the angel of healing diseases and wounds
(Enoch, xc. 9); he overcomes Asmodeus,
the evil spirit; he binds even Azazel, and
throws him into a pit (Enoch, x. 4). He cures blindness (Tobit l.c.;
Midrash of the Ten Commandments, in Jellinek, "B. H." i. 80), and
because of his healing powers he is represented as a serpent (Origen, l.c.).
Raphael, as the third in rank, appeared with Michael and Gabriel to cure
Abraham (Yoma 37a; B. M. 86b; Gen. R. xlviii. 10). He cures also moral evil
(Pasiḳ. R. 46 [ed. Friedmann, p. 188a]).
Raphael in Christian Theology
Raphael was a favorite figure in Christian as well as in Jewish angelology,
and early Christian amulets, encolpions, tombstones, and other monuments have
been found bearing the names of the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
A small, gold tablet discovered in the grave of Maria, the wife of the emperor
Honorius, bears a similar inscription. The names of the same angels occur on
Basilidian gems, and Origen likewise mentions them.
His name occurs in Judæo-Babylonian conjuring texts, and is conspicuous in
the liturgy—as in the evening prayer, where he is mentioned together with the
three other angels, at whose head stands God, exactly as in the Christian version
Tobias went out to look for someone to accompany him
and who should he run into but Raphael, the angel!
When asked if he knew the way to Media, Raphael replied
that he often stayed there with Gabael (who just happened to be the guy
holding the bag of money) because they were kinsmen. (Though this
seems to be an amazing stroke of luck, it, of course, reflects the
providence of God.)
Tobit wanted to meet him and when pressed for a name,
Raphael said it was Azariah, which means “Yahweh has helped.”
Both Tobit and Tobias had no clue as to Azariah’s true
identity even though he told Tobit he would soon be healed.
Tobit wished them a safe journey, saying, “May [God’s]
angel accompany you both and protect you!” (Another example of great
·The end of Paschaltide (after the
office of None on Saturday afternoon).
·Pope Callistus (217-222) in the
“Liber Pontificalis” has laws ordering all to observe a fast three times a year
to counteract the hedonistic and pagan Roman rites praying for: a good harvest (June).
·By the time of Pope Gelasius,
(492-496), he already writes about there being four times a years, including spring.
He also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the
Saturdays of Ember week.
·It was not until Pope Gregory VII
(1073-1085) that these Ember days were prescribed for the whole Catholic Church
as days of fast and abstinence. He placed these “four mini Lents”
consisting of three days; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
·Saturday it is 2 small meals and 1 regular.
·Wednesday and Saturday, only meat at the regular
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