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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Reflection on the Sunday of the Paralytic (St. Theophan the Recluse)

 
By St. Theophan the Recluse

"Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14). Sin does not strike only the soul, but the body as well. In some cases this is exceedingly obvious; in others, although not so clearly, the truth remains that the illnesses of the body always stem from sins. A sin is committed in the soul and directly makes it sick; but since the life of the body comes from the soul, then the life coming from a sick soul is of course not healthy. The mere fact that sin brings darkness and sorrow must unfavourably act on the blood, in which lies the basis of bodily health. But when you remember that it separates man from God, the Source of life, and places man in disharmony with all laws acting in himself and in nature, then one must marvel how a sinner remains alive after sinning. This is the mercy of God, Who awaits repentance and conversion. Consequently, a sick person must rush first of all to be cleansed of sins and make peace with God in his conscience. This paves the way for the beneficial action of medicine. They say that there was one distinguished doctor who would not begin treatment until the patient had confessed and received the holy Mysteries; and the more serious the disease, the more urgently he insisted upon this.
 
 
 
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