"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Friday, April 29, 2016

Jesus Christ As Our Physician

by Bishop Patrick F. Moran, 1883
"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak." (Ps. vi. 3.) "They that are whole, need not a physician: but they that are sick." Nor didst thou come "to call the just, but sinners, to repentance." (Luke v. 31, 32.) Alas! my soul is sick indeed, my heart is ill at ease. I am full of inordinate desires and unruly passions. I am all impatience, sensuality, immortification, and inconstancy. Thou, O Jesus, art my physician, thou alone canst heal me. Take compassion on me then, for all my hope is in Thee. What a subject of comfort and confidence have I not, since my physician is almighty, having all creatures at His command; all-merciful, His love inducing Him to what is best; all-wise, knowing my wounds, and the means of curing them.

But what is the remedy He prescribes? No unsavoury drugs, but the most sweet and wholesome food, the bread of angels, even His own most precious body and blood. O love unheard of! O remedy beyond conception! and all this for a slave, a worm, a nothing! nay, even an enemy! What return, my soul, canst thou make for so ineffable a bounty? O excess of goodness! Thy Physician is Himself thy remedy, thy regimen, and thy life. O prodigy of love! He is bleeding from His hands and feet, He is wounded with thorns in the head, He is pierced in the side with a lance; He is drenched with vinegar and gall; in the end He dies on the cross: and why all this? "He was Wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we are healed.''' (Isai. liii. 5.)

O that I could correspond with the greatness of His love by due feeling of gratitude. I acknowledge Thy power, O heavenly Physician, and I place my whole confidence in Thy mercy. Grant that I may loathe my disorders as Thou loathest them; that I may be as anxious to receive my health as Thou to bestow it upon me. Come then, O charitable Physician, for health, strength, life, and all that I desire, will come to me together with Thee.

PRAYER: Behold, O most amiable Physician, the number and depth of the wounds I have received from my enemies: my unmortified passions of pride, ambition, avarice, sensuality, anger and envy. My mind is filled with error and delusion, my imagination is disordered, my passions are headstrong, my senses are under no control. I labour under such a complication of diseases that no human aid can avail me. Heal me, therefore, I beseech Thee, in order to display Thy power, and show forth the glory of Thy name. If the touch of Thy garments, O my Saviour! whilst Thou wert upon earth, cured all sorts of diseases, shall not Thy most precious body and blood, which Thou hast given me as food, produce the same wonderful effects?

But thou, my soul, who hast recourse to Thy divine Physician for health, art thou sincerely desirous of being cured? He now puts the question to thee as He once did to the paralytic at the pond of Bethsaida, "Wilt thou be made whole?" (John v. 6.) Thou canst not reply as did this poor cripple, that thou dost indeed desire it, but hast no one to give thee the assistance necessary; thy divine physician being at hand, and ready to do thee this charitable office: let thy answer therefore be, Yes, Lord, I desire it, and most ardently too; and as a proof of my sincerity, I submit to all that Thou shalt judge expedient for my cure. Order whatsoever Thou wilt, and Thy directions shall be punctually attended to; command me to refrain from this or that gratification, to avoid certain occasions, and Thou shalt be punctually obeyed.

O Jesus, who in this adorable sacrament, art both physician and remedy! Be Thou my health, my strength, and my life. Dwell in my heart, that it may be cured of its corruption; dwell in my miud, that it may be cured of its blindness; dwell in my imagination, that it may be cured of its folly; dwell in all my senses, powers, and faculties, that they may be regulated by Thy law, and under Thy control.

O Jesus, my all powerful Physician! not only dost thou restore health, but Thou canst even raise to life. Having, as I trust, in Thy infinite mercy, been cleansed from my sins in the tribunal of penance, and been restored to the life of grace by the application of Thy most sacred blood to my soul, grant that having received Thyself as a pledge of Thy forgiveness, I may say with thy Apostle: "I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me." (Gal. ii. 20.) Thou art "the resurrection and the life: he that belleveth" in Thee, "althovgh he be dead, shall live: and every one that liveth, and believeth" in Thee, "shall not die for ever." (John xi. 25, 26.) This I believe, O Lord, on Thy sure word.

O divine life! Thou alone canst satisfy my desires. O life! Thou art the inexhaustible source of all grace Jesus, my Saviour, the resurrection I hope for, and the crown I expect, may my life be hidden with Thee in God! O Jesus, whilst I dwell in this mortal flesh, may I live by faith, perpetually adoring Thee in the divine Eucharist, and admiring, without ceasing, the excessive greatness of Thy love, which has made Thee die, not only to redeem me, but to give Thyself to me in the holy sacrament, that I may live by Thee. For this I will die to the world, to all creatures, and to myself. Amen.