Friday, July 16, 2010

Christ the Omnipotent Healer - by St. Augustine (part 2)

Here is the conclusion to Augustine's comments on Christ the Omnipotent Healer in Psalm 103:3-4a.
c. 1480Image via Wikipedia
Why then hanker for temporal things when you are unwell? Concentrate first on getting better. Sometimes a person is ill in bed in his own house. His sickly state is quite obvious, though there is another sickness, just as unmistakable, which people are unwilling to recognize. However, in the case of the physical complaint, human doctors are called in. The patient is ill in his home, gasping with fever in his bed. Perhaps he tries to think about his financial affairs, or to give orders about his staff, or his farm, or to make some other arrangements. But he is immediately recalled from these anxieties by the solicitude of his relatives who fuss and murmur all round him. He is advised, "Forget about all that; just concentrate on getting better." The same advice is apposite for you. Whoever you are, think about other things if you are well; but if some malady proves to you how sick you really are, concentrate on your salvation. Christ is your salvation, so fix your mind on Christ. Accept his cup of salvation, for he heals all your diseases. If you truly want this salvation, you will get it. If you seek honors and riches you will not have them as soon as the desire arises, but what Christ gives you is more precious and is yours as soon as the desire it. He heals all your diseases; he will redeem your life from corruption. Every desire that plagues you will be healed when this corruptible nature is clothed in incorruptibility. Your life has been redeemed from corruption; there is no need to be afraid anymore. A contract has been signed in good faith; no one can deceive your redeemer, no one outwit him, no one bully him. He has struck this business deal, and he has paid the price already by shedding his blood. That is what I am saying, no less: that God's only Son has poured out his blood for us. Walk tall, human soul, for you are worth so high a price.

He will redeem your life from corruption. What he has promised us as a reward he has shown us in himself by way of example. He died for our offenses, and rose for our justification. Let the members hope for what has been demonstrated in their head. Will he not care for the members if he has raised their head to heaven? Surely; he will redeem your life from corruption.

Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo). Expositions of the Psalms, 99-120. III/19. The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century.  Translation and notes by Maria Boulding, O.S.B. Edited by Boniface Ramsey. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2003, pp. 84-85.