A Season of Lent: Healing

Physical hygiene involves spiritual hygiene…

“He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”…Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.” ( Ez 47:5-6,9)

“Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” (Ez 47:12b)

“The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there….Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.” (John 5:13-15)

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” ( Matthew 6: 25-34)

Lenten Prayer: O God who are the only source of health and healing, the spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Ora Pro Nobis.

A sane man wants to be well and longs for healing, of his mind, his body and his spirit. And that is what Jesus promises through His Kingdom – complete healing, both spiritual and physical. And while we long for physical healing – something Jesus showed himself quite capable of doing for us – his main concern was for the healing of our spirit and of our relationship with God.

He reminded us that for that to happen, our minds must be transformed as well as our spirits. How? By two things: keeping our thoughts focused not on physical matters but on the things above and keeping our eye simple.  Chesterton takes this idea about not thinking or worrying about the physical things of this life so much, rather instead putting our faith in God about all matters is the best healing there can be. During this time when most of the world around us is still preoccupied with the pandemic and political correctness, remember that we have much to look forward to and to proclaim to others as our hope!  Assure and encourage those you meet. Pray for them. And use this time to speak of the Kingdom to come.

“In this matter, then, as in all the other matters treated in this book, our main conclusion is that it is a fundamental point of view, a philosophy or religion which is needed, and not any change in habit or social routine. The things we need most for immediate practical purposes are all abstractions. We need a right view of the human lot, a right view of the human society; and if we were living eagerly and angrily in the enthusiasm of those things, we should, ipso facto, be living simply in the genuine and spiritual sense. Desire and danger make every one simple. And to those who talk to us with interfering eloquence about Jaeger and the pores of the skin, and about Plasmon and the coats of the stomach, at them shall only be hurled the words that are hurled at fops and gluttons, “Take no thought what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Those amazing words are not only extraordinarily good, practical politics; they are also superlatively good hygiene. The one supreme way of making all those processes go right, the processes of health, and strength, and grace, and beauty, the one and only way of making certain of their accuracy, is to think about something else. If a man is bent on climbing into the seventh heaven, he may be quite easy about the pores of his skin. If he harnesses his waggon to a star, the process will have a most satisfactory effect upon the coats of his stomach. For the thing called “taking thought,” the thing for which the best modern word is “rationalizing,” is in its nature, inapplicable to all plain and urgent things. Men take thought and ponder rationalistically, touching remote things– things that only theoretically matter, such as the transit of Venus. But only at their peril can men rationalize about so practical a matter as health.” – G. K. Chesterton, On Sandals and Simplicity, Heretics, 1905

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