Spiritual healing more important than bodily healing

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT’S what we can gather from that gospel episode where Christ first forgave the sins of a paralytic man before curing him of his disability. (cfr. Mt 9,1-8) And that’s simply because it is the spirit and not just our bodily or biological constitution that truly gives us the life and the health proper to us.

This means that we should first take care of our spiritual life before we take care of our bodily health. Yes, we have to take care of both our spiritual soul and bodily condition, but we should be clear about the priority proper to them.

Nowadays, many people are concerned more about their bodily health than their spiritual health. In fact, there are many signs that show that many people regard their bodily health as the be-all and end-all of their life.

We need to correct this anomaly that, sad to say, is spreading like wild fire, thanks to the endless bombardment of false commercials and popular memes. We should not be averse to boldly proclaim the indispensable importance of our spiritual health in spite of the likely contradictions and rejections it can get due to a progressively worldly culture that is blind and deaf to the spiritual and supernatural dimensions of our life.

For this, we need to learn how to live our life with the Holy Spirit, which is what our spiritual life is all about. This is what sometimes is called as the Life in the Spirit. Our life is not simply biological and social, or merely natural. It is first of all a spiritual life that is poised to enter into the supernatural world of God as we are meant to do.

If we can only give to our spiritual powers just a fraction of the attention we usually give to our physical faculties, I think we would be much better off. Our problem is that most of the time we ignore the needs of our spiritual soul while we pamper and spoil our body.

Just look at the time, effort and money spent on things of the flesh—wellness craze, looks, sports and fashion, body cult, etcetera – and compare these with the ones spent for our spiritual needs—prayer, sacraments, interior struggle, etcetera. You’ll notice there can hardly be any worse inequality.

That’s why, in the long history of ascetical literature written and lived by saints through the centuries, there has been that consistent insistence to curb the tendencies of the flesh to give way to the more important aspirations of the spirit.

We need to sharpen our ability to discern the constant promptings of the Holy Spirit in our life. For this, we need to do some spiritual exercises like praying, offering sacrifices, having recourse to the sacraments, waging ascetical struggles, undergoing continuing formation, etc.

We need to convince ourselves that by living the Life in the Spirit, we would be putting ourselves on the road toward the fullness of our humanity. It’s in that Life in the Spirit where we would be freed from the constricting world of our senses, emotions and passions.

In this regard, St. Paul once said, “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4,22-24)

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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