Monday, May 26, 2014

For a Healthy Soul

Jesus Christ provides us all the medicine we need for a healthy soul.  He gives us the proper prescription for every passion.

Saint Dorotheos says:
For vanity He gives the commandment regarding humility; for love of pleasure, continence; for avarice, charity; In brief, each passion has a suitable commandment that is the right medicine for it.
We have a good doctor.  He is experienced and has proven remedies. If we follow the doctor's direction there is no reason for having an unhealthy soul.  Our only problem is our own. We must be obedient and follow the Doctor's orders.

Saint Dorotheos asks,
Why do we waste our lives? We hear so many things but we do not care and are disdainful.
The way to salvation is given to us.  But do we want to be saved?  Do we care about our spiritual health?  Or, do we let our passions run wild unchecked. It's best to start while we are young because then the roots of our passions are shallow, but as we grow older they become very deep, forming habits that are hard to root out.

Saint Dorotheos advises,
A person should examine himself every evening as to how he spent the day and again every morning as to how he spent the night. Of course, he must repent about those matters in which he has sinned... Each one of us should say to himself, "Can it be that I have spoken and wounded my brother? Have I seen him doing something and judged him, humiliated or condemned him? Have I asked the cellarer for something and when he didn't give it to me, grumbled about him? Have I abused the cook and hurt him when the food was not well prepared or have I just been disgusted in my heart, and grumbled? Even if one complains to himself it is a sin.
Remember that both virtue and evil can become a habit if practiced continually. Depending on how we live our lives our habits can either condemn or comfort us.

Saint Dorotheos says,
We must struggle and pray to God, night and day, that we might not fall into temptation.  Even if, as humans, we are defeated and we fall into sin, let us try to get up immediately. Let us repent and cry before God's goodness. Let us be attentive. Let us labor and God, seeing our will and our contrition, will give us a helping hand and grant us His mercy.

Reference: Abba Dorotheos: Practical Teaching on the Christian Life, pp 179 - 187

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