Awareness implies acceptance. Acceptance leads to awareness. A physician will shine a light in your throat, or your ear to get a better reading of your body’s suffering. This lighting of the darkness is part of the diagnostic process.
Coming to terms with our illness is key to complete and lasting recovery. If you think of all conflicts in the world and throughout history, whether on a personal level or on a global level, the only time they are resolved is when there is an honest acceptance and expression of the problem. Equally true, if the ills are not expressed, conflicts remain unresolved and healing is impossible. It’s simple, isn’t it? Before you treat, you diagnosis. To treat, you need to shine the light as diagnostic method. You find the problem, you study it and you apply the fix. And if you don’t follow this order… well take a look at the world. We are plagued by endless wars, conflicts and disease because we don’t address the root issues of hatred, prejudice, greed, vengeance and materialism and instead we treat the superficial wounds of extinguishing a fire here and ending a conflict there. We treat young children struggling with cancer and turn our head to the carcinogens and toxins we pump into our environment that breaks down the health of even the healthiest of creation. In our personal life the same holds true. We treat the cough and not the smoking addiction, or we make up with someone and ignore the anger which caused the schism. Remember, the Lenten diet is not about losing weight or about healthy living, its purpose is to discipline the self, where control and self-worth are strengthened. Modern science is only now catching up to where the Church has led us through the centuries, in identifying that healing implies spiritual wellbeing as well as physical. Healing is a coordination of mind, body and soul in a working relationship that yields health – complete and lasting.
The underlying issues that surface in the form of disease and dysfunction in our life are the target of our healing. Coming to terms with our illness, means a methodical identification (diagnosis) of the underlying issues and causes. Then we can properly target the enemy – through our prayers and mediations – and find a real prognosis that leads to complete healing.
At the doctor’s office, the physician will usually shine a light in our throat, or ear to get a better understanding of our body’s suffering. Today, we begin to shine the light into the inner workings of our life. Today, we come to terms with our illness, that is, we are ready to inspect the underlying causes in the light. The journey is about to get uncomfortable, but we are ready.
Remember the man at the pool? He was in his comfort zone until Jesus summoned him to accept his illness. In so doing, he was forced to stop the excuses. He had to come to terms with his insecurities and take responsibility for his own welfare. This is called lighting up the darkness.
It takes courage and strength to light up some of those dark spots. Before we begin doing so, I offer this prayer from the 12thCentury St. Nersess Shnorhali for all of us on this journey.
I confess with faith and adore You, O Light indivisible, creator of light and dispeller of darkness. Dispel from my soul the darkness of sin and ignorance, and at this hour enlighten my mind, that I may pray to You according to Your will, and receive from You the fulfillment of my supplications. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner. Amen
I look forward to meeting with you tomorrow as we begin to explore our lives with the lights on and with the Light guiding us. Until then, this is Fr. Vazken praying for the Light that dispels darkness and brings complete healing.
Photo: San Francisco Dawn (c) 2013 Fr. Vazken Movsesian