Church is not a religious organization, nor a social or ethical system, but a spiritual hospital that heals man’s spiritual illnesses. Met. Hierotheos, The Science of Spiritual Medicine: Orthodox Psychotherapy in Action, page 253.
When I tweeted the above quote I got a number of “likes” and remarks on my Facebook page. But the remark I liked best was from an old grade school friend of mine who said, “Yes. That is what it should be.” Boy, is she ever right. We know Church is meant to be a place of healing. But Church for many is nothing more than pettiness, entertainment and “relevant” teaching. Yuck! Check out this video, solid gold!
I have been reading, The Science of Spiritual Medicine, ever since I heard the nuns at the Monastery of St. Paisius reading from it at meals this summer. The author argues that the Church is a therapeutic community through asceticism and sacraments. We can define asceticism as the effort to do God’s will. The sacraments that the author focuses on as primary to the healing of the human person is:
- Baptism, which grafts a person to the Body of Christ
- Chrismation, the anointing of the Holy Spirit
- Divine Eucharist, the partaking of the body and blood of Christ
- Confession, the sacrament of repentance and forgiveness