"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seeking Relief

"When you are sick, you feel weak and feeble, and your face is pale; you are incapable of performing your normal tasks, and people remark how ill you appear. So you go to the doctor. What do you want from him? You say that you want some medicine to cure your sickness. But if the cause of your sickness was cured, and you remained feeble and pale, would you be satisfied? Of course not! The truth is, a person goes to the doctor for relief of symptoms of disease, not disease itself. The doctor, on the other hand, knows that the symptoms cannot be relieved unless their cause is overcome. Similarly, when we declare ourselves to be disciples of Christ, we claim that we want him to cure our spiritual and moral disease. Yet in truth we want Him to relieve the symptoms, such as misery, discontent, despair, and so on. Jesus, by contrast, knows that He cannot relieve the symptoms unless He overcomes their deep, inner cause. And this is where the problems arise. While we would like to be rid of the symptoms, we stubbornly resist the efforts of Jesus to penetrate our souls. We do not want our deep-set feelings and attitudes to be changed. But only when we truly open our souls to the transforming grace of God will the symptoms of spiritual disease begin to disappear."


St. John Chrysostom, On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom, compiled by Robert Van De Weyer (Liguori/Triumph, 1996) p. 75.

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