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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