Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sickness of the Soul

Sickness of the soul has long been called sin, but how often is it really sadness for the sin inflicted on our souls. So much is done to our spirits even before we're given birth, and when we're pre-verbal. How can we know when the seeds of the abscesses were planted? How can we name what was done to us before we had words?

We call so many afflictions genetic simply because they appear before birth. These are the same weaknesses that we used to blame on the sins of the fathers and/or demonic possession. At least we seem to be getting closer to discontinuation of blaming the afflicted for their own afflictions.

There are still those who practice spells and incantations over sick people, attempting to exorcise the demons. We are still afraid to hold those who are writhing in the greatest pain, afraid that what they have may be contagious. It is contagious. Psychologists say that one way to tell if a person is depressed is that the psychologist feels somewhat depressed after the patient leaves.

To love is to absorb some of the pain of the loved. We are told that Jesus felt "the energy go out" of him when he was touched by someone in need of healing. Even as grounded in goodness as was Jesus, he needed to retreat to the desert to exorcise the negative energy he had collected before he could enter the most challenging part of his ministry. What hubris to think that we can appoint confessors who absorb all the evil without falling ill themselves.

Sickness of the soul can only be healed with loving kindness in word and deed. Unfortunately, we often can't get at the root of the problem because we don't know the source of the "infection". How can we begin to peel the layers of dead "tissue" off the wounds if we don't know the history of the afflicted?

Perhaps this is where we can use the admonition that the weaknesses of the fathers are passed down to the children. If we assume this to be true, we can, hopefully, put ourselves in place of the parents and help to heal what we can't see. Laying of hands is not the same as holding.

Pills and incantations may open the wounds, but the only thing that will heal them is a new skin of love. We must keep ourselves strong so that we are able to absorb some of the pain without ourselves becoming infected. The only way to keep the healing going is to build a network of like-minded lovers to support one another in their ministries. We are all called to minister to one another; it's not a job. It's a vocation.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm. It seems to me that most humans do look for ways to avoid calling sin, sin. Altho a sin is a sickness of the soul and can inflict pain on others - or draw pain from others - not all sickness is sin. Not all sins are sick. Sin is transgression. God's view of sin and man's view of sin conflict. Sin is the transgression of the law, but not all laws. For example, one who drives more than the speed limit is breaking the law...but this is not a sin in the sight of God. God allows mankind much latitude in determining societal laws. Men devise methods to escape the law. Criminals develop their own set of laws which they will not violate - but not from good conscience. They may violate all of the ten commandments but still feel they have not violated the law because they have kept to their own "code" which is another word for law. Like I said, Hmmmmmmm.....many issues of life and the human condition are sickening to the soul. Love, is one of the three enduring virtues but the ecstasy of love and marriage, having children, finding a job and supporting them brings joy and sorrow because of man's inherent sinful nature. Because a person appears to be "successful", has plenty of money, a fine home, nice clothes and etc., does not place them above anyone else as far as being a sinner or being a saint. Man may confer sainthood upon persons who are totally unworthy. Also criticism and wrong judgmental conclusions can be arrived at when considering a person who is a true saint. It's because manb cannot see the heart. Man can only see the outside. Thinking like this can cause confusion and discouragement so strong that persons simply say, "What's the use in continuing to try to live." But there is hope. Sin has been dealt with by the second Adam who is a quickening spirit. i place all of my trust for the future in that man. No00 amount of human reason and passionate words, or study of psychology can give one the escape found by simply trusting in the Christ of Holy Scripture. Not all are able to understand this. All men (and women) are born sinners and inherit all of Adam's sinful nature. The Christian Bible holds out hope in the new "Adam", Jesus, who was made a quickening spirit.