Friday, October 21, 2011

The war within

St. Paul in today's first reading deals with the perennial struggle between knowing what is right, and even wanting to do what is right, actually doing it.

In our modern American culture we tend to cast this struggle in purely psychological terms, and behave as if psychology is a science like physics or chemistry and look for formulaic answers that ignore the spiritual.

St. Paul casts the issue in purely spiritual terms with the explanation that there is evil in his members, his body, that leads him to do what he does.

The truth, as always, is found somewhere in the middle. Each day we learn more about neurology and the biochemistry of the brain. As Catholics, we do not deny the advancements science brings us. We also;however, acknowledge that evil is real.Temptation is real, just as real as the biochemical imbalances that cause conditions like depression. The medicine for dealing with this spiritual aspect of our struggle is God's grace.
We human beings are flesh and spirit. and we must tend to both aspects of ourselves if we are to be truly healthy. One would be foolish to simply try and pray away diabetes. One would be equally foolish to look for a pill to cure our spiritual ills.

When was your last checkup, the physical one and the spiritual one?