Salvation and Health

Source: DOXA, A Quarterly Review Serving the Orthodox Church, Canones, New Mexico:

The Latin word salus (health), and salvatio (salvation) are very closely related. We found some interesting material about this on the Internet in an article called “A Healthcare Model”, by Donnal Walter [here]. He notes that the English words salvation, salutary, solid, whole, and holistic all derive from the very same Indo-European root word, namely “sol-“ meaning “whole” or “solid”. That means that the Old English word we find for “well” in the King James Bible, “whole” (e.g. “He made him whole”), comes from the same root word as do salus and salvatio.

Seeing the close relation between these words deepens our understanding of the Biblical term salvation, for salvation means no less than “everlasting health”. With that in mind, it becomes clear that the Lord’s healing ministry is a type of our own Salvation and Resurrection, for the Resurrection is permanent wholeness.

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The Russian Novel

Found this on the Western Confucian (here). Read the full article here

“In literary circles the emergence of the Russian novel as a powerful force in the 19th century is often described as an inexplicable phenomenon. That a country that had seemingly lagged behind Western Europe in cultural and political terms should produce in little over 40 years such eminent writers as Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy certainly demands an explication. That explication lies deep in the history of Russia.”

Increase our faith!

At one place in St. Luke’s gospel the apostles beseech the Lord with the simple words, “Increase our faith” (17:5). Everything God gives us is a gift and thus the apostles are simply asking to receive more of the same, that is more faith. Yet we notice as the gospel narrative continues that Christ does not increase their faith. Instead, He says, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

It’s interesting that the Lord doesn’t tell them to pray for more faith but He tells them that have been with Him and have heard Him speak and work miracles “If you have faith….”. It’s actually a very good question considering the words of St. Paul the Apostle who says, “faith comes by hearing the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). In other words, have they even been listening to Him speak all this time? The Lord is not telling them to use the little faith they have, rather He is asking if they even have that much.

Additionally, in reading those few verses from Luke’s gospel which follow the Lord is also asking them a question which can very well apply to us. That is, what kind of faith do you have? Namely, in verses 7-10 He asks them which one of you will tell their servant after he has been working out in the fields all day, ‘Come and eat, you must be so tired’? Not one you! And you’re not really expected to because all the servant did was work the fields, all he did was what he was supposed to do. The same applies to you, the Lord continues, when you have done all the things that are expected of you don’t pat yourself on the back but be a little more realistic, for you have only done that which was expected of you

The faith we are called to have is one of humility, one that does not seek praise but seeks only to continually praise.  For as members of the Church everything we do – and there will always be those who do more than others – is still nothing more than what we are supposed to do. After all, we don’t do it out of some need but out of our love for God. Subsequently, the only thing that can possibly be given us in return for all the effort we put in working for the Church is to eternally abide in God’s love.

Hence, if this isn’t one’s goal then one wonders if anything else has any value.

“Free to believe”

My last post was on Monday which I took to be a sign as a good start for a week of blogging. This, unfortunately, never panned out. I’ve been busy these past few days, a couple of them even on the road, with little time to sit and write blog posts. Yet, I thought it appropriate that I at least attempt to post something this evening, on the eve of the great feast of the Falling Asleep of the Most Holy Theotokos, as we approach the end of this two week fasting period.

And so I offer a very brief thought. (I’m tired!) Ironically enough my last post dealt with Catholics and so does this one. After all, this is a feast day we share. Of course, we share many things but this doesn’t mean we view them the same way. The Dormition is no exception. I found the following explanation on a website called A Catholic Life (here):

“The Eastern Churches (which are still in union with Rome) refer to today as the Dormition as opposed to the Assumption because they believe that Mary died and was then assumed into Heaven. As Roman Catholics in the Latin Rite, we are free to believe that Mary died and then was assumed into Heaven or that she didn’t die but right before her death she was assumed into Heaven.”

The phrase “free to believe” caught my eye for some reason. Further in the article there is mention of purgatory and the Virgin Mary’s special power of freeing people from purgatory. In fact:

“St. Peter Damian attests that every year on the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), the Virgin liberates thousands of souls.”

A Happy Feast to all!