Those of us who go through difficult times in our lives, whether it be depression or spiritual problems often go seek out a psychiatrist or spiritual director. Why? Well…in our minds we want to be cured of our problems, but really all we are doing is seeking comfort. You see, the Holy man and the Psychologist don’t have cures. They may have advice that will eventually lead us towards getting close to a cure, but that is all.
The reason we really go to a spiritual father (director) or psychiatrist, is not for a cure, but to simply get relief, as we would with viral influenza. Ibuprofen and all these medications offer relief, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem only arises when we mistaken it for a cure. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out a good spiritual father or psychologist to help us with our problems. The only obstacle it becomes is when we delude ourselves that it’s going to cure us.
We have to wake up, at some point and admit we don’t want a cure, we just want relief. We are so tied to our unhappiness, that to live without it, would be like to no longer breath in oxygen. Therefore, we settle for moments of relief from the pain. If someone who has a FLU is offered a cure, and instead settles for relief you’d call that person crazy right? Well, the same with us. We are all lunatics, so much so that the only reason we are not all in a mental asylum is because there are far too many of us. We are being offered a cure, but it’s uncomfortable, so we settle for relief instead.
We have lunatic ideas about love, sex, and happiness. For this reason we become even more vulnerable to self styled gurus, and people who drain our wallets with their convoluted baloney. They’re happy to give you relief for a fee, even though they may have a cure. Afterall, a cure means they’ll never see you again, right? Telling people they don’t want to be cured won’t make them popular. Having people hear they’re the ones responsible for all their emotions doesn’t pay the bills.
The cure to our depression ultimately comes via Grace from God, but we play our part also by owning up to the fact that, our wife, neighbour or closest enemies are not to blame for any of it. The cure may not come all at once, but understanding this alone, is the process whereby we step away from the drug of relief. We take up the salt, rub it into the wound, and make an uncomfortable yet liberating recovery.
I will leave you with the following quote. Jesus asks him does he want to be well again, and how does he respond? He simply complains and moans about his condition, instead of giving a clear answer that he wanted to be well again. Jesus had to just take it upon himself to heal the man. But we must not wait for this moment, we must not complain, and look for comforting words, but simply cry out for a cure, and take the necessary steps to get there.
Some time after this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. ·Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a building, called Beth-zatha in Hebrew, consisting of five porticoes; ·and under these were crowds of sick people-blind, lame, paralyzed-waiting for the water to move; ·for at intervals the angel of the Lord came down into the pool, and the water was disturbed, and the first person to enter the water after this disturbance was cured s of any ailment he suffered from. ·One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years, ·and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in this condition for a long time, he said, “Do you want to be well again?” ·”Sir,” replied the sick man, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets there before me.” Jesus said, “Get up, pick up your sleeping mat and walk.”John:5:1-9