Daily Reflection
January 11th, 2002
Tom Schloemer, S.J.
Career and Academic Counseling
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1 John 5:5-13
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Luke 5:12-16

Leprosy is an awful disease.  Photographs cannot capture the dreadful decay of human  flesh.  Throughout history fear of contagion has led to enforced isolation for the sufferers.  We can look at the Gospel scene and feel compassion, but can we identify with it?  Possibly.  Let us replace the physical disease of leprosy with one’s own particular spiritual malady.

Just as symptoms are utilized to decide the nature of diseases, so external actions are examined to determine internal dispositions.  I would wager there are almost no big-time sinners in this readership.  The symptoms of our spiritual maladies are probably not loathsome.  Rather we are dealing more in chronic aches and pains.  Diagnosis can be labored because the root causes might be difficult to identify.  Such root causes may not be serious, but they often are debilitating.  One may be my fears for which a generous dosage of trust might be prescribed.  The Rx remedy for my self-pity might be gratitude.  Resentments may require a thorough examination, maybe a “complete spiritual/psychological” with a number of opinions.

After the recovery of health, the leper reported to a priest and returned to family and community.  After experiencing contrition, there is for us the sacrament of reconciliation with God and with the community.  This gift of healing enables us to relieve the suffering of our spiritual aches and pains and to acquire a clean bill of spiritual health.

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