“Abba Poemen also said, ‘All bodily comfort is an abomination to the Lord.’”
Now, why in the world would a Saying such as this be on a Blog for people with chronic illness and/or pain? Where is Wisdom to be found in this? Bodily comfort is not a thing to be readily surrendered when it comes as infrequently as it does to us hermits on a Path that utilizes suffering as a means to an end chosen not by us at all, but by God.
As I sat with this Saying, I felt within me a certain resistance arising. Recognizing that resistance, I knew there must be a Lesson in it for me. A secret resentment harbored way below my conscious awareness that needed to be released. And its time for release had come.
Could there be pride even in the midst of such daily and on-going suffering? Could suffering confer upon my still ego-centric self a certain sense of specialness in reverse? Why else would I resent, rather than be humbled by, a Saying such as this?
Bodily comfort for an ill person can be as much a “possession” as a diamond necklace to a rich person attached to their wealth. And, I can surely become just as possessive of my small circle of “things” that provide me with a sense of security and safety as any person attached to any thing is.
The Point: It is NOT that my need is Not legitimate. It surely is. I Do depend on certain things to ease my daily pains. But, the Spiritual danger is in the becoming attached to Them, rather than to be continually humbled before God who so generously provides for me Through them. If these things I need foster a deeper spirit of humility within me, then, and only then, may I truly rejoice in them. Because, enabled by Grace, I might see them more clearly as a sign of God’s Providential care of my soul and no longer as my possessions.
May God give Grace and Open Hearts this day,
+ a Disciple of Jesus (HHC)