August Fast: Christ the Physician of Our Souls and Bodies

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

AUGUST FAST: CHRIST THE PHYSICIAN OF OUR SOULS AND BODIES

Prayers for the Sick

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord have mercy.

O Lord Almighty, the Healer of our souls and bodies, You Who put down and raise up, Who chastise and heal also; do You now, in Your great mercy, visit our brother (sister) (Name), who is sick. Stretch forth Your hand that is full of healing and health, and get him (her) up from his (her) bed, and cure him (her) of his (her) illness. Put away from him (her) the spirit of disease and of every malady, pain and fever to which he (she) is bound; and if he (she) has sins and transgressions, grant to her (her) remission and forgiveness, in that You love mankind; yea, Lord my God, pity Your creation, through the compassions of Your Only-Begotten Son, together with Your All-Holy, Good and life-creating Spirit, with Whom You are Blessed, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord have mercy.

O Lord our God, Who by word alone did heal all diseases, Who did cure the kinswoman of Peter, You Who chastise with pity and heal according to Your goodness; Who are able to put aside every malady and infirmity, do You Yourself, the same Lord, grant aid to this Your servant (Name) and cure him (her) of every sickness of which he (she) is grieved; lift him (her) up from his (her) bed of pain, and send down upon him (her) Your great mercy, and if it be Your Will, give to him (her) health and a complete recovery; for You are the Physician of our souls and bodies, and to You do we send up Glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

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"When He was come down from the mountain, great multitude followed Him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (St. Matthew 8:1-3).

"And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel...And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour" (St. Matthew 8:5-13).

"And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them" (St. Matthew 8:14-15).

"When the event was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (St. Matthew 8:16-17).

"And, behold, there came a man name Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went the people thronged Him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind Him, and touched His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, who touched Me? And Jesus said, someone hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was hilled immediately. And He said to her, daughter be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. While He yet spake, there came one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to Him, thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, weep not: she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, maid, arise, and her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat..." (St. Luke 8:41-55).

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The decision to get well is ours. If we feel we are healthy and refuse to see a physician or therapist of the soul, our spiritual father (priest), we are in grave danger. Just as there are physical symptoms of bodily illness, so, there are spiritual symptoms of our spiritual illness concerning the health of our soul. Just as we seek aid from our regular physician to cure our illness, so, we must seek the aid of our spiritual father, our spiritual therapist, for the healing of our soul. It is imperative, however, to accept the advice and guidance from our spiritual physician if we are to be cured of all sin and transgressions by the grace of God.

If the parishes are the hospitals and clinics of the soul, the Monasteries are the "intensive care units" of Orthodoxy! If the priests are the physicians, the monk-priests are the specialists. In order, however, to see another therapist we should first obtain our personal therapist referral.

We should approach our therapist with full confidence and develop a close, trusting, relationship with him. He has been certified by the highest medical Authority (Christ) to practice everywhere and always (Church).

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George