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Touching the Lord

Monday. [Gal. 2:11-16; Mark 5:24-34] The woman with the issue of blood had only to touch the Lord with faith, and power went out of the Lord into her: straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up. The issue of blood is an image of passionate thoughts and intentions, incessantly springing forth from the heart, if it has not yet been cleansed from all sympathy to sin — this is our sinful disease. It is sensed by those who have repented and zeal?ously strive to keep themselves pure not only outwardly, but inwardly as well. Such people see that evil thoughts incessantly proceed from the heart, and they grieve over this and seek healing. But it is not possi?ble to find such healing in oneself or others; it comes from the Lord, or more precisely, it comes when the soul touches the Lord and power goes out of the Lord into the soul. In other words, it comes when tangible contact with the Lord occurs, to which a particular warmth and in?ner burning testifies. When it hap?pens, I say, immediately the soul feels that it “was healed of that plague.” This is a great good; but how can it be attained? The woman with the issue of blood pressed to?wards the Lord and received heal?ing — we too must press towards the Lord, going without laziness by the narrow way of inner and outer spiritual endeavours. Everything is narrow and pressing for those who go by this way, and the Lord is not in sight. But then suddenly there is the Lord. And joy! The Kingdom of God does not come noticeably…

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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