February 28, 2011

We Ought Not Care More For the Body Than the Soul

By St. John of Kronstadt

It is remarkable that however much we trouble about our health, however much care we take of ourselves, whatever wholesome and pleasant food and drink we take, however much we walk in the fresh air, still, not withstanding all this, in the end we sicken and corrupt; whilst the saints, who despise the flesh, and mortify it by continual abstinence and fasting, by lying on the bare earth, by watchfulness, labors, unceasing prayer, make both their souls and bodies deathless. Our well-fed bodies decay and after death emit an offensive odor, whilst theirs remain fragrant and flourishing both in life and after death. It is a remarkable thing: we, by building up our body, destroy it, whilst they, by destroying theirs, build it up. By caring only for the fragrance of their souls before God, they obtain fragrance of the body also.

From The Spiritual Counsels of Father John of Kronstadt, pp. 152-153.