The following are statements are exactly as typed by medical secretaries:
Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
The patient refused autopsy.
The patient has no previous history of suicides.
I think it was Paul Meyendorff who wisely said, “Healing is too important to be left solely to the medical profession”.
his Sunday (1st Nov) we remember Sts Cosmas & Damian together with St Theodota, their mother. The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries, and their mother, were natives of Mesopotamia. Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children and so the brothers were raised by their mother in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, Saint Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.
Trained and skilled as physicians, they received from the Holy Spirit the gift of healing people’s illnesses of body and soul by the power of prayer. They even treated animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbour, they never took payment for their services. They strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Freely have you received, freely give.” (Mt. 10:8). The fame of Saints Cosmas and Damian spread throughout all the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.
Once, the saints were summoned to a grievously ill woman named Palladia, whom all the doctors had refused to treat because of her seemingly hopeless condition. Through faith and through the fervent prayer of the holy brothers, the Lord healed the deadly disease and Palladia got up from her bed perfectly healthy, giving praise to God. In gratitude for being healed and wishing to give them a small gift, Palladia went quietly to Damian. She presented him with three eggs and said, “Take this small gift in the Name of the Holy Life-Creating Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Hearing the Name of the Holy Trinity, the unmercenary one did not dare to refuse.
When Saint Cosmas learned what had happened, he became saddened, thinking that his brother had broken their strict vow. On his deathbed he gave instructions that his brother should not be buried beside him. Saint Damian died shortly afterward, and everyone wondered where Saint Damian’s grave should be. But through the will of God a miracle occurred. A camel, which the saints had treated for its wildness, spoke with a human voice saying that they should have no doubts about whether to place Damian beside Cosmas, because Damian did not accept the eggs from the woman as payment, but out of respect for the Name of God. The venerable relics of the holy brothers were buried together.
I am sure that many, if not all of us are familiar with our Gospel reading, Luke 16: 19-3. And I am sure that many of us understand this parable deals with the subject of wealth, both material and spiritual. I also believe that it also deals not only with WEALTH but material and spiritual HEALTH.
Firstly, we have the physical condition of Lazarus; Hungry, malnourished, full of sores which are licked by dogs. Then we have the spiritual condition of the rich man. Despite the torments he is suffering his heart is untouched; he still sees Lazarus as a servant existing for the sake of his own comfort. Despite his riches, his fine linen and sumptuous life the rich man is unnamed. Perhaps indicating that he is ultimately unhealed, lost and forgotten!
Meyendorff was so right when he says, “Healing is too important to be left solely to the medical profession”. However, that is exactly what our modern society is doing; the sick or herded into hospitals pumped full of wondrous drugs hooked up to an ever-increasing array of machines. Today we are witnessing the sick being removed from their homes, separated from their families and loved ones. Hospitals nursing homes and care facilities not only providing medical care, but they also insulate the rest of us from having to come face to face with pain suffering death and our own mortality. Society has chosen to leave healing to the medical profession. Our doctors and our hospitals have all the knowledge and technology, and we are perfectly happy to leave everything in their hands.
True healing is both physical and spiritual and can only be given by Christ the physician of our souls and bodies. The healing ministry of Christ is a primary task of the church we are Christ's presence in the world and we, as the church, are charged with bringing healing to those around us. There is no rite or sacrament which does not contain some reference to healing, our Sunday gospel reading's and the liturgical prayers frequently contain some reference to healing.
St James tells us, " Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14-15)
Every aspect of church life involves an element of healing, in fact, it is the core of the churches mission. We each have a role to play in bringing heath and healing to others, whether by our witness, by listening, by the prayer we offer, by anointing……
And so, lets us like the Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas & Damian observe our Lord’s command, “Freely have you received, freely give.”
This mainly contains homilies and messages from our priests, although there is some scope to share thoughts and interesting articles which we may want to share with others