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Saturday, July 27, 2019


NOVENA ST. JOHN VIANNEY



Tobit, Chapter 5, Verse 16
I will even add a bonus to your wages!” The young man replied: “I will go with him. Do not fear. In good health we will leave you, and in good health we will return to you, for the way is safe.”

This young man referred to in this reading is the angel Raphael who says to do not fear. It is interesting to note that Raphael name and function means the medicine of God. 

One of the Seven[1]

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 of Zechariah.


Tobit[2]
  1. Tobias went out to look for someone to accompany him and who should he run into but Raphael, the angel!
  2. 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.)
  3. Tobit wanted to meet him and when pressed for a name, Raphael said it was Azariah, which means “Yahweh has helped.”
  4. Both Tobit and Tobias had no clue as to Azariah’s true identity even though he told Tobit he would soon be healed.
  5. Tobit wished them a safe journey, saying, “May [God’s] angel accompany you both and protect you!”  (Another example of great irony!)
Amoris Lætitia[3] Love in Marriage Love is not boastful (95-96)

The word, perpereúetai, denotes vainglory, the need to be haughty, nit-picking and somewhat pushy. Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves, but are focused on others; they do not need to be the center of attention. The word that comes next physioútai – is similar, indicating that love is not arrogant. Literally, it means that we do not become “puffed up” before others. It also points to something more subtle: an obsession with showing off and a loss of a sense of reality. Such people think that, because they are more “spiritual” or “wise”, they are more important than they really are. Paul uses this verb on other occasions, as when he says that “knowledge puffs up”, whereas “love builds up” (1 Cor 8:1). Some think that they are important because they are more knowledgeable than others; they want to lord it over them. Yet what really makes us important is a love that understands, shows concern, and embraces the weak. Elsewhere the word is used to criticize those who are “inflated” with their own importance (cf. 1 Cor 4:18) but in fact are filled more with empty words than the real “power” of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 4:19). It is important for Christians to show their love by the way they treat family members who are less knowledgeable about the faith, weak or less sure in their convictions. At times the opposite occurs: the supposedly mature believers within the family become unbearably arrogant. Love, on the other hand, is marked by humility; if we are to understand, forgive and serve others from the heart, our pride has to be healed and our humility must increase. Jesus told his disciples that in a world where power prevails, each tries to dominate the other, but “it shall not be so among you” (Mt 20:26). The inner logic of Christian love is not about importance and power; rather, “whoever would be first among you must be your slave” (Mt 20:27). In family life, the logic of domination and competition about who is the most intelligent or powerful destroys love. Saint Peter’s admonition also applies to the family: “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Pet 5:5).

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[4]

Ardent Faith

Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney you were born of a deeply religious mother; from her you received the Holy Faith; you learned to love God and to pray. At a young age, you were seen kneeling in the front of the statue of Mary. Your soul was supernaturally carried towards the things on High. Despite the high cost, you answered your vocation! Against many obstacles and contradictions, you had to fight and suffer to become the perfect priest which you were. But your deep spirit of faith supported you in all these battles. O Great Saint you know the desire of my soul; I would like to serve God better; from Him I have received so many good things. For this, obtain for me more courage and especially the depth of faith. Many of my thoughts, words, and actions are useless for my sanctification and for my salvation, because this supernatural spirit does not stir up my life. Help me to be better in the future. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).


Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Scotch Whisky Day[5]



The Babylonians of Mesopotamia were likely the first people to distill alcohol as 2nd millennium BC. At the time it is likely that various perfumes and aromatics were most often distilled. The earliest records of the distillation of alcohol for the purpose of drinking date back to 13th century Italy, where harder alcohols were distilled from wine. Soon, the practice of distillation use spread through medieval monasteries and was used largely for medicinal purposes, such as the treatment of smallpox and other illnesses. Distillation spread to todays Great Britain in the 15th century, and the first evidence of whisky production in Scotland comes from an entry in the Exchequer Rolls for 1494 where malt is sent To Friar John Cor, by order of the king, to make aquavitae, enough to make about 500 bottles. Whisky production later moved out of a monastic setting and into personal homes and farms when King Henry VIII of England dissolved all the monasteries in his country due to his feud with the Pope, causing the monks to find a way to earn a living for themselves. However, the distillation process in those days was much more basic than it is today, and the whisky itself was not allowed to age, meaning it must have tasted much more raw than it does today.
Scotch Whisky Day was created to celebrate this alcoholic beverage in all of its glory and remind people that Ballantines is not as good as it gets!

How to celebrate Scotch Whisky Day

There are hundreds of distilleries in Scotland you have likely never heard of that make whisky better than youve ever tried before, and this day is the day to experience them. The best part is that not all good Scotch whiskies are expensive, so if you want to enjoy this day to the fullest, you can order 5 or 6 miniaturesor more, if you decide to invite people over to share the funand enjoy an evening of sampling the unique whiskies Scotland has to offer. Ten-, twelve- and even fifteen-year-old single malt Scotch whisky miniatures can be purchased for under £5 and are sure to help you understand why this drink is loved worldwide. and because it is usually a bad idea to drink strong alcohol on an empty stomach, make sure you have some snacks on hand during your whisky-tasting as well! Cheeses like Roquefort go well with many whiskies, as does high-quality dark chocolate. If you feel like eating something more filling, try a simple meat dish like slow-roasted pork spareribs.
There are also quite a few films to choose from that would be perfect for this day, such as The Angels Share, an acclaimed Scottish comedy-drama about a man trying to get his life back on track after narrowly avoiding a prison sentence. The titular angels share, is what distilleries call the portion (share) of a whiskys volume that is lost to evaporation during aging in oak barrels.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, Total Consecration-Day 18
·         Novena to the Holy face Day 4




[2]http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/tobit-and-tobias.php
[3] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.
[4]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1129
[5] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/scotch-whisky-day/

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