Word of the Month

The health of the soul

April 2002

The health of the body is one of the greatest earthly possessions. Even though it cannot be bought, people spend billions to maintain it. Research and science keep developing new methods, techniques and medications in order to be able to diagnose, prevent and cure diseases. Entire industries occupy themselves with producing preventative medicines, or means by which one can recover one's health. But how do we look after the health of our soul?

The Lord Jesus pointed out that it would be of no profit for a man if he were to gain the whole world, but be destroyed or lose his soul. From this it follows that the health of the soul is of great significance. Let us therefore take care that our soul remains healthy! To this end let us follow the divine therapy: accept God's word and grasp His grace. Even the heathen captain in Capernaum recognized the heavenly strength of Jesus, and called out believingly: "But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.?" (cf. Luke 7:7). How much more can we not bind our faith to the help and assistance of the Saviour, and apply the divine recipe for the health of our souls?

Just as the body suffers when one of its members becomes diseased, so too the soul suffers when we do not align our whole being according to Jesus' example. Let us ask ourselves the following questions for the purpose of our own spiritual diagnosis. What do our inner eyes see? Do they see the signs of the time, the altar in its elevated greatness, the commission of Jesus in His servants? Are we able to read the divine clock and see how late it is in the history of mankind and the world? If we can recognize all of this properly, then our spiritual eyes are healthy.

How is it with our ears? Do we always hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, the call of the bridegroom Jesus? Do we perceive the warnings that would preserve us from sin and separation from God? If we can hear all of this, then our hearing is in good order. And our hands? Are they able and willing to receive the divine gifts, to fold themselves in prayer and to extend themselves in reconciliation? Can our knees still bend before the omnipotence of God? Do our feet still carry us happily into the house of the Lord and bring us forward on the narrow way toward the goal of our faith? One can also fall ill with obstinacy: if one is stubborn it is difficult to bend before God in humbleness.

One could still mention many an illness. The spiritual circulatory system can get into a state of disorder if the striving for the kingdom of God no longer takes first place in our lives, and our lives revolve exclusively around earthly things. The heart grows weak and feeble when the Most High can no longer find a place therein.

Let us prevent all of this by applying the divine medicine: the word of God and the grace of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Then our soul will remain strong and healthy!

(Excerpt from a divine service of the Chief Apostle)