Monday, May 13, 2013
On wonders & miracles performed
The greater miracle is to root out the tinder of luxury from one’s flesh rather than to drive unclean spirits from the bodies of others. A more resplendent wonder is restraint exercised over the wild stirrings of anger by the virtue of patience, rather than the capacity to hold sway over the creatures of the air. Much more important is the exclusion of ravening gloom from one’s heart than the ability to drive out the sicknesses and the bodily fevers of someone else. Lastly, it is in many ways more remarkable and more sublime virtue to be able to heal the weaknesses of one’s own soul rather than the failings of another’s body. The more exalted the soul is by comparison with the body, the more its salvation is to be preferred; the more valuable and excellent its substance, the graver and more deadly its ruin. This is what is said to the most blessed apostles concerning bodily cures, ‘Do not rejoice because demons submit to you,’ (Luke 10:20). It was the invoked name which achieved this and not the power of the apostles. Therefore they are warned not to dare to lay claim to blessedness or glory because of what is done through the power and the virtue of God, but rather to make such a claim because the deep purity of their lives and hearts has earned them the right to have their names written in heaven.