Spiritual health more important than bodily health

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

IF you notice, in all the miraculous healings Christ did, he would first forgive the sins of those concerned before he would cure them of their ailments. He would praise their faith that pushed them to go to him in spite of the difficulties involved. This was shown, for example, in that episode where Christ cured a paralytic who was brought to him by his friends. (cfr. Mt 9,1-8)

That’s because it is our spiritual health that has greater importance than our bodily health. After all, as he said, “The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” (Jn 6,63) Of course, our bodily health is also important, but it depends on our spiritual health more than anything else. The real health of our body does not depend only on the kind of food we eat or the genes we inherit.

We have to realize that for our spiritual soul, the principle of our life, to be truly healthy, it needs to be animated by the proper spirit which is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God in whose image and likeness we have been made. We need to be clear and deeply convinced about this fundamental truth about ourselves. We are meant to share in the very life and nature of God. We are meant to be God-like, to be deified!

This obviously will require of us a lot of faith which we have to act out as best that we can. Despite the tremendous and incredible challenges presented to us in this regard, we just have to remember that we actually are given all the means so that what God wants us to be can be achieved by us.

We are already given the truths of our faith as taught authoritatively by the Church. We also have the sacraments that channel to us the grace, which is God’s life-blood, so to speak. We can count on the powerful intercessions of the saints, especially that of Our Lady and St. Joseph.

On our part, we are just expected to try our best. We may not be able to perfect everything, but we are assured, as St. Paul once said, “that he who began a good work in you will perfect it.” (Phil 1,6)

Just the same, we should try our best to grow in our ability to discern the abiding promptings of the Holy Spirit. In this regard, we cannot overemphasize the need to make use of certain helpful acts of piety, like regular mental prayer, presence of God all throughout the day, availing of means of formation, etc.

We need to be more wary of our duty to take care of our spiritual powers. Sad to say, many people do not even know what these spiritual powers of ours are.

Our spiritual powers are mainly our intelligence and will, our thinking, judging, reasoning and loving. These need to be managed and supervised well, seeing to it that they are rooted properly and are oriented toward their proper objects and not simply allowed to drift and flow wherever they are blown by our bodily and worldly conditionings.

St. Paul talks about the distinction between the carnal man and the spiritual man, and we should make the right choice and develop it to its maturity. St. Augustine warns us not to allow our soul, our spiritual powers, to become carnal by consenting to the affections of the flesh.

Caring for our spiritual powers means exerting realistic effort to always find reasons, motivations and ways to relate all our thinking and loving to God and all souls.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com