Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Divine Physician

C. S. Lewis from Mere Christianity:
Our Lord is like the dentists. If you give Him an inch, He will take a mile. Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of (like masturbation or physical cowardice) or which is obviously spoiling daily life (like bad temper or drunkenness). Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment.
Once upon a time, a friend and I traded all sorts of goofy stories on a daily basis, but sometimes we deliberated about very serious subjects like her struggle with alcoholism. When she first confided in me about her problem, for which she was receiving help in a support group, I sympathized with her difficulties; they reminded me tangentially of my own struggles. I prayed for her. Sometime later, I remember receiving an email and pausing at the part where she wrote, "I think I'm going to try Confession." Wow! The Blessed Trinity answered my petition to "give her a strong will against the temptations of alcohol." Through her poor condition, God captured her attention and stirred in her heart the desire for sanctifying grace.

Jesus is the Divine Physician. This title is one of the earliest found in the ancient church fathers. Here is proof from St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-117AD):
We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For "the Word was made flesh." Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passible body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts.