Chapter: Spiritual Counsels of St. Raphael (pp 145-155)
In His parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16 :19 – 31) our Lord
soul was in torments in Hades (using the Orthodox Study Bible); Lazarus
died and his soul was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. Heaven
and hell are clearly implied for life after death and the outcome for the soul
of the rich man was the result of his hardness of heart and lack of
compassion for the downtrodden. The soul of the rich man asked Father
Abraham: Send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that
he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.
Abraham said to him: THEY HAVE MOSES AND THE PROPHETS;
LET THEM HEAR THEM. (We Christians have the above and the New
Testament). The rich man’s soul said: No Father Abraham; but if one goes
to them from the dead, they will repent. Abraham replied: IF THEY DO
NOT HEAR MOSES AND THE PROPHETS, NEITHER WILL THEY BE
PERSUADED EVEN IF ONE RISES FROM THE DEAD.
St Raphael did rise from the dead and his soul appeared 500 years after his
their life’s story, martyrdom. On the basis of their directions a monastery
was unearthed. Healing miracles started and are continuing all over the
Let us pay attention to his spiritual counsels. He is already in heaven. He
was sent for a purpose. One of them is for us to pay attention to what he
said and try to concentrate our spiritual development according to his
The following are highlights. Read the whole book. It is priceless.
Christ and us: only where Christ dwells is there blessedness.
The path of Christ: It is somewhat difficult but with patience, will and
humility one makes progress…it involves tribulation and suffering.
Repentance and Regeneration: We are all in a state of bondage to sin.
become aware of our sinfulness, and with tears of repentance ask
forgiveness from our heavenly Father then our soul gets regenerated.
Care of the soul
is not allowed to be lost. Read carefully the Gospels, because
these are written with the Grace and glory of God.
b. On days when a Saint is celebrated, Christians ought to pray
more ardently. Let us then honor the Saints and invoke their
help (personal note of the reviewer: A wonderful way to honor
each Saint is to come to the services offered in the Saint’s
c. A guileless and pure spirit has no badness within it. Badness is
the characteristic of the evil one. Through wickedness he
diverts the soul from the path of virtue and God.
d. How much care do people exercise to save their soul?… The
Lord has indicated the medicines to protect it: love, warm
prayer, and humility. Through the help of God, that needs to be
sought, sin must be banished from the soul: Greed, excessive
grasping, impatience, and improper imagination.
e. Examine yourself; try to adorn it with love, humility,
compassion and hope. With fear and love for the heavenly
Father, proceed to sow the seeds of God’s word on good soil for the
salvation of your soul.
We ought to obey God: Complete obedience to the commandments of
Jesus Christ. Today’s path, which is followed by various societies is
directed towards sin. The new way of life created by the development
of civilization may be different from that prescribed by the Lord.
Love your fellow man and forgive him: that is among our religious
result in a holy end for everyone who inwardly supplicates: “Save me
my Christ.” Through love and prayer he will be saved. Give each day
to someone who is poor so they may eat.
Ask God to forgive you: He knows all the hidden deeds and thoughts
Cultivate patience: Patience is a heavenly gift…With patience and
Patience adorns the soul with heavenly diamonds…Patience increases
obedience to the Divine words. Patience is love and obedience.
Exercise patience out of love for your fellow man to benefit your
soul…When patience diminishes sin increases, evil results…Patience
is an invincible weapon, a priceless adornment of man, a blessing of
Have faith: that is unshakable as a rock, so that nothing frightens you
are done in love. WE CURE THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN US AND
COME TO US WITH FAITH.
10) Cultivate humility: Strive to acquire deep humility. A good Christian
loves his fellow man, helps the poor, and is very humble.
11) Keep the ordained fasts: The Great Lent fast is the greatest, one which
every Christian must observe without grumbling. A person who
possesses good bodily health is inexcusable if he does not keep the
fast. During the forty day period of the fast a Christian ought to attend
church regularly must keep the fast of Wednesday and Friday.
12) Confess and receive Holy Communion: so long as you practice love
towards your fellow men and do for them all the good that lies within
13) Read religious books: In all our undertakings of life we should begin
with a reading of the Gospel. Christians who want to show obedience
to the word of God should read regularly and study carefully, word for
word the Law of the Gospel, endeavoring to understand it fully. Study
the acts of the Apostles. All the heralds of Christ, that is the Apostles
and the Saints, had wisdom that they acquired through the descent
upon them of the Holy Spirit.
14) Pray: Repent and pray. Pray fervently. Various prayers are listed
from the trisagion, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer.
15) Missionary activity: The compassionate soul loves, consoles, and
shares the suffering of an afflicted fellow human being. It works for
the spreading of the Gospel, motivated by love for the sinner. We
ought to feel sorrow within our souls for persons who live far away
from God. The stand of the Lord toward Zacchaeus should serve a
lesson for Christians: Through His stand the Lord showed we ought to
embrace sinners with our love and not to avoid them. We ought to
seek the power of God to bring them to the regeneration, which is
effected by our Savior Jesus Christ. So let us approach sinners with
love. And if in the end we do not succeed in bringing them close and
fully to the path of God, let us even then not cease praying for them.
Perhaps our fervent prayer will be listened to by the compassionate
God and He will grant to them the regeneration of their soul.
16) Profitableness of the Christian life: Happy is the Christian who studies
and follows the teaching of Christ. He is happy in the temporary life
and in the life after death. YES HE IS HAPPY AFTER DEATH
BECAUSE THE SOUL DOES NOT VANISH AFTER DEATH, IS
LIVE, TO EXIST.