He alone can heal my pains Who Himself has none: The Healing Prayer (Saint Ambrose) (Part 4/5)

He alone can heal my pains Who Himself has none: The Healing Prayer (Saint Ambrose) (Part 4/5) March 21, 2020

Thee alone I follow, Lord Jesus, Who heals my wounds. For what shall separate me from the love of God, which is in Thee? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine? I am held fast as though by nails, and fettered by the bonds of charity. Remove from me, O Lord Jesus, with Thy potent sword, the corruption of my sins. Secure me in the bonds of Thy love; cut away what is corrupt in me. Come quickly and make an end of my many, my hidden and secret afflictions. Open the wound lest the evil humor spread. With Thy new washing, cleanse in me all that is stained. Hear me, you earthly men, who in your sins bring forth drunken thoughts: I have found a Physician. He dwells in Heaven and distributes His healing on earth. He alone can heal my pains Who Himself has none. He alone Who knows what is hidden can take away the grief of my heart, the fear of my soul: Jesus Christ. Christ is grace! Christ is life! Christ is Resurrection! Amen.

Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. He had a full human nature existing in synergy with the Divine nature. A pernicious heresy, damnable, is that Jesus had only one will and to associate that will with the Divine.*

Jesus was God: willing as God willed. Jesus was a man: willing as a man wills. This matters, because when death came to drag our human will to the place where dead men go, the hook in His human will worked. Jesus went to Hades. Death’s error was to forget that putting a God-man in Hades was asking for a triumphant victory of Jesus over death and Hades.

The God-man burst the bonds, destroyed the gates of Hades, and triumphed over the devils.

The two wills  of Jesus in historical fact stayed in cooperation with each other: the creative tension that in lesser cases is called theosis.  God became man so we could become God.  We hesitate before this great truth, the power boggles our minds. We cannot contain God’s essence, but we can reflect the very energies, the uncreated Light of God. That is a divine work and if we mostly fail, that is on our weak love, our fear, our refusal to see that God has opened great joy for us in the person of Jesus Christ.

This is true, but already a wrong focus. Jesus made this possible and Jesus must be the focus or we will run to madness. Fairy tales, wiser than any social media thread because they are tempered by centuries not seconds, warn that too much glory without humility will kill us. The glory comes from Jesus and Jesus shares that glory with us gladly, but the joy is too much for us without His grace.

Jesus, God-man, came and died as a man, so that we all might live. The life comes from Him, so we begin in Him and are sustained by Him. This does not reduce us to Him, because He loves us as brothers and sisters. He chooses to give us life that invigorates our self as our self would be if all our choices had been proper and we had never fallen short of the Glory of God.

I love Jesus because Jesus is beautiful. If Jesus did nothing else, He lived a life that was good, full of grace, truthful, and merciful. This is the life I wish to emulate.

Yet I cannot do so.

I am dead in my many failures. Where do I go, given where I have come from?

Jesus: the man who became a dead man walking to help all of us. 

Jesus died, because He willed to do so and defeated death. Jesus gives me hope that death is not the end. He gives me hope that the One who did the right thing is willing to apply his victory to my account. Hope, one might think, is not enough. We need more. 

And so we are given faith: substantial hope.

The grief in our heart is removed. Our fear is taken. We can look beyond the now to a Love that moves the Heavens and the stars. This is good news and the longer we examine our hopes and dreams, the more we discover they are hard reality. Christianity is the myth that is true, the dream that is a waking reality, and an idea that is eternally present in the Mind of God.

Why care?

The God-man makes it possible for us to be men who are godlike. We need not settle: we can see the Divine and be transformed. Thanks be to God.



Part 1, 2, 3, 4,

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