Last fall I came down with a flu-like illness while staying at a monastery. It lasted for two weeks. It turned out to be the worst acute illness I’ve ever experienced, and months later I still have lingering deficiencies with my physical stamina. Armed with the faith, I was able to put the illness into spiritual context, instead of blaming bad luck as I would have before.

The initial symptoms of the illness were like the flu: I felt as if I had been hit by a Canadian truck. My lower back and legs were in sharp pain, making it impossible to sleep. Headache and sore throat were next. Then I developed a fever. Then came dry cough, runny nose, diarrhea, and a distorted sense of taste. Everything seemed to taste bad. My appetite soon disappeared. I couldn’t concentrate enough to read or do any sort of work.

When I got home from the monastery on day six of the illness, I checked my temperature: it was 104.7° F. My pulse oxygen was 93%. A reasonable person would tell me to seek emergency hospital care, but I refused because I wanted to live. I also developed lung inflammation where I’d feel a sharp pain inside my chest whenever I took deep breaths. I was incredibly weak and tired, like I had instantly aged forty years. I could not stand for more than a few minutes at a time and needed to take several naps a day. Only towards the end of the second week of the illness did things start to improve where I could resume my normal activities. By the time it was done, I had lost ten pounds.

While sick, I had serious difficulty practicing the faith. My cognition was impaired and I could not read the Bible or other religious texts. I could not stand before my prayer corner and could only robotically read abbreviated prayers while seated in a slump. I could not do prostrations or bows, and was even too weak to do the sign of the cross. I did miss church for one Sunday and so could not receive the Body and Blood of Christ. I was only capable of watching movies and light fare on YouTube, particularly car dashcam compilations, where I learned that the majority of car accidents are caused by impatience.

The external part of my faith was almost entirely wiped out, but there was one prayer I was able to recite throughout the day and night: the Jesus Prayer. I would lay in bed, on the cusp of sleep, and recite the prayer. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and recite the prayer. It was the only thing I was mentally fit enough to perform. This revealed to me a foretaste of what my deathbed will be like.

On my deathbed, I will not grow in the faith by reading more books and elongating my prayers. I will not be able to energetically get into my car and attend multiple church services each week. I will not learn new things or break new ground from my own efforts. I will not be able to handle long and deep conversations with fellow Christians, and will probably not want to talk to anyone. If given the Bible, I wouldn’t even be able to focus my eyes on the text. I would not want to prostrate or make any other physical movements that could take hours to recover from. I would just want to lie down on my bed and conserve energy while dispelling the tempting thought that God has forsaken me.

On my death bed, I will be capable of reciting the Jesus Prayer and other short prayers, ask God for forgiveness of my sins, and not much more. I’ll be lucky if I can do the sign of the cross. I surely will not be able to make up for years of lost time to build additional virtue. Whatever is my spiritual state on my death bed will likely be what I take with me into the next world. This means I must be fully prepared today for the end, because I do not know when God will demand my soul. If there are still spiritual tasks I must perform, but which I am holding off, I’m in great danger, because I am making the foolish assumption that I will continue to live for a long time, when the reality may be that my bed turns into my coffin on this very night. For acute illnesses and other health emergencies, you must make right with God before they hit, not during, because you may not even be fully conscious during the crisis.

I would have never chosen to be ill, but God does not give illnesses in vain. There is a spiritual lesson in each one of them. For most people, illnesses allow them to hit the pause button on their materialistic life and consider the life to come. For me, it helped me imagine the end of my life and how difficult it will be. It reminded me that while today I’m not on my death bed literally, I am symbolically, that I have already died to this world, which Lord Jesus Christ has chosen me out of upon reception into His Church, and that I must use my waking hours to prepare right now, so that when the end comes, my soul will be ready and I will not enter a panic. I was humbled to know that my otherwise healthy body could break down so quickly, that one day I could stand and the next day I could not.

The Orthodox Church teaches that illnesses are spiritual medicine. The medicine does not taste good, and you rather not take it, but it is required for your salvation. If we never got ill, we’d slowly become absorbed by the world and feel invincible. We’d imagine that we would never die, and are in no need of a savior because of how robust and vigorous we are in this life. It is in God’s infinite wisdom that he allows painful illnesses, not only to make us suffer for our sins, but to reorient our lives onto the spiritual and stay on the road to salvation. Glory to God for bringing a severe illness unto my body so that I will be ready for the next illness which may send me to Him to be judged for all of eternity.

Read Next: You Must Suffer

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You could have been vaccinated and nothing from all these could have happened. I did both Pfizer doses as Bartholomew said to do and i am totally fine.

Reply 19 Likes

Everything we endure is a lesson, but sometimes we do it to ourselves by what we eat, think, and drink.

Remember when Apple Cider Vinegar was cherished on these parts?

I use that to clean my floors, but I'd be foolish to ingest it.

There is a lot to uncover, even down to the water on our skin, inside our body, the pots and pans we cook with, the oils we regard, etc

Much deeper than that, I would love to dive deeper on ailments and overall health and wellness. But this is your forum and I don't want to extend the boundaries of what we can be discussed here. As the bible states, time and a place for everything.

As a disclaimer, I'm NOT selling anything. Just very passionate about this topic and would be honored to chat about this with you. We don't have to be sick.

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You could have been vaccinated and nothing from all these could have happened. I did both Pfizer doses as Bartholomew said to do and i am totally fine.

I don't know if you're trolling or if you just missed the point entirely.

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Remember when Apple Cider Vinegar was cherished on these parts?

I use that to clean my floors, but I'd be foolish to ingest it.

What's your issue with acv?

Reply 2 Likes

What's your issue with acv?

Disease thrives in an acid environment. Vinegar is an acid substance, it is unnatural and not alkaline.

We are not supposed to eat spoiled and fermented items.

The process of making ACV?

You have to introduce yeast and bacteria to the equation. These are not things that belong to your body which is a pristine engine.

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This reminded me of a passage from St Sophony of Essex's Prayer at Daybreak, where he beseeches the Lord to forwarn him of his death 'that I may prepare my soul to come before you' (from 'His Life Is Mine' Archmandrite Sophrony)

Yea, O Lord, by thy Holy Spirit, teach me good judgment and knowledge. Grant me to know Thy truth before I go down into the grave. Maintain my life in this world until I may offer unto Thee worthy repentance. Take me not away in the midst of my days, nor while my mind is still blind. When Thou shalt be pleased to bring my life to an end, forewarn me that I may prepare my soul to come before Thee. Be with me, O Lord, at that dread hour and grant me the joy of salvation. Cleanse Thou me from secret faults, from all iniquity that is hid in me; and give me a right answer before Thy judgment-seat.

Full reading of prayer:

I read this prayer in full every other morning after my main prayers

Reply 3 Likes

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Disease thrives in an acid environment. Vinegar is an acid substance, it is unnatural and not alkaline.

We are not supposed to eat spoiled and fermented items.

The process of making ACV?

You have to introduce yeast and bacteria to the equation. These are not things that belong to your body which is a pristine engine.

Wow, I fully disagree. So you're also against all fermented foods? The concept of a gut biome doesn't exist to you?

Reply 15 Likes

I had a similar experience, brother. It was very humbling, although it also brought various temptations, especially the temptation to despair. Perhaps God is permitting such things as a final warning before the end times. God knows, of course. I am thankful to have been through it, but I still "do what I hate," as St. Paul says.

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We are not supposed to eat spoiled and fermented items.

Says who?

Reply 5 Likes

Wow, I fully disagree. So you're also against all fermented foods? The concept of a gut biome doesn't exist to you?

I don't deal in philosophy when it comes to health. Only reality.

Show me what the macrobiotic diet has done to cure anyone of real disease like Cancer, Lupus, Diabetes, and others.

You can msg privately to discuss more, I don't want to hijack a spiritual thread. Just had to be noted that health plays a role in outcome just like other decisions we make in our lives, and as mentioned in the post, it is not God who intentionally brings us disease. He is a loving God.

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Good article but I hope (in a good way) your death will be that of a warrior for Christ.

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Last month at the gym I was hit with a migraine as if it just turned on like a light switch. Could barely concentrate my eyes to read the psalter. Thank God I got home in one piece, but yeah. My wife prayed in my stead with the kids while I stayed in bed. Called off the next day. Lasted a couple days. It’s crazy how any little thing could knock us down, and no amount of prostrations can we perform. Just the humble little Jesus prayer.

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I like your attitude and the perspective, but the way I see it and understand illness comes from satan or from our bad choices and sometimes the enviroment through poisoning or chemicals. Remember the stories of Christ healing people He said he came to destroy the works of the devil while healing the sick and release those who were bound by satan, the sickness didnt come from God, we are also told to resist (actively fight against) satan. I havent really been sick for many years now I thank God for that but I have been humbled by other things like finances, with a wife and children depending on me sometimes I would have rather chosen sickness if I could rather than a lack of finances, also when I fasted for 3 days and 3 night with zero food it also really humbled me, it was hard and I was really weak, I think I over did it maybe took me weeks to get my weight back. Saying that, sure use any opportunity for humility and sickness can humble you, it can also turn people away from God if their hearts are not right.

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You could have been vaccinated and nothing from all these could have happened. I did both Pfizer doses as Bartholomew said to do and i am totally fine.

Way too obvious of a troll. You need to be more subtle, so that you can drag it out more. Kids these days just don't have the patience for it.

As for the article in question, it's striking how much the body becomes a prison when one gets sick. It does not take much, either. I had Bells Palsy a few years ago (before COOFID and Gate's quackcine), and just the simple act of not being able to close my eye severally impacted my quality of life. We control so little in our lives, but we also quickly forget the precariousness of life.

We should also remember how quickly we can die. I watched a video of some poor soul riding his bike, and in the blink of an eye, he skidded out of control and a bus ran him over. It took no longer than a few seconds from him to go from fully healthy to dead. We cannot rely on having our sins absolved on our deathbed. It is simply too risky.

I also balk at how easy I fall into sin, despite knowing its grave price. Thank God for his infinite mercy on our poor souls.

Reply 11 Likes

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Originally posted on RooshV.com


Last fall I came down with a flu-like illness while staying at a monastery. It lasted for two weeks. It turned out to be the worst acute illness I’ve ever experienced, and months later I still have lingering deficiencies with my physical stamina. Armed with the faith, I was able to put the illness into spiritual context, instead of blaming bad luck as I would have before.

The initial symptoms of the illness were like the flu: I felt as if I had been hit by a Canadian truck. My lower back and legs were in sharp pain, making it impossible to sleep. Headache and sore throat were next. Then I developed a fever. Then came dry cough, runny nose, diarrhea, and a distorted sense of taste. Everything seemed to taste bad. My appetite soon disappeared. I couldn’t concentrate enough to read or do any sort of work.

When I got home from the monastery on day six of the illness, I checked my temperature: it was 104.7° F. My pulse oxygen was 93%. A reasonable person would tell me to seek emergency hospital care, but I refused because I wanted to live. I also developed lung inflammation where I’d feel a sharp pain inside my chest whenever I took deep breaths. I was incredibly weak and tired, like I had instantly aged forty years. I could not stand for more than a few minutes at a time and needed to take several naps a day. Only towards the end of the second week of the illness did things start to improve where I could resume my normal activities. By the time it was done, I had lost ten pounds.

While sick, I had serious difficulty practicing the faith. My cognition was impaired and I could not read the Bible or other religious texts. I could not stand before my prayer corner and could only robotically read abbreviated prayers while seated in a slump. I could not do prostrations or bows, and was even too weak to do the sign of the cross. I did miss church for one Sunday and so could not receive the Body and Blood of Christ. I was only capable of watching movies and light fare on YouTube, particularly car dashcam compilations, where I learned that the majority of car accidents are caused by impatience.

The external part of my faith was almost entirely wiped out, but there was one prayer I was able to recite throughout the day and night: the Jesus Prayer. I would lay in bed, on the cusp of sleep, and recite the prayer. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and recite the prayer. It was the only thing I was mentally fit enough to perform. This revealed to me a foretaste of what my deathbed will be like.

On my deathbed, I will not grow in the faith by reading more books and elongating my prayers. I will not be able to energetically get into my car and attend multiple church services each week. I will not learn new things or break new ground from my own efforts. I will not be able to handle long and deep conversations with fellow Christians, and will probably not want to talk to anyone. If given the Bible, I wouldn’t even be able to focus my eyes on the text. I would not want to prostrate or make any other physical movements that could take hours to recover from. I would just want to lie down on my bed and conserve energy while dispelling the tempting thought that God has forsaken me.

On my death bed, I will be capable of reciting the Jesus Prayer and other short prayers, ask God for forgiveness of my sins, and not much more. I’ll be lucky if I can do the sign of the cross. I surely will not be able to make up for years of lost time to build additional virtue. Whatever is my spiritual state on my death bed will likely be what I take with me into the next world. This means I must be fully prepared today for the end, because I do not know when God will demand my soul. If there are still spiritual tasks I must perform, but which I am holding off, I’m in great danger, because I am making the foolish assumption that I will continue to live for a long time, when the reality may be that my bed turns into my coffin on this very night. For acute illnesses and other health emergencies, you must make right with God before they hit, not during, because you may not even be fully conscious during the crisis.

I would have never chosen to be ill, but God does not give illnesses in vain. There is a spiritual lesson in each one of them. For most people, illnesses allow them to hit the pause button on their materialistic life and consider the life to come. For me, it helped me imagine the end of my life and how difficult it will be. It reminded me that while today I’m not on my death bed literally, I am symbolically, that I have already died to this world, which Lord Jesus Christ has chosen me out of upon reception into His Church, and that I must use my waking hours to prepare right now, so that when the end comes, my soul will be ready and I will not enter a panic. I was humbled to know that my otherwise healthy body could break down so quickly, that one day I could stand and the next day I could not.

The Orthodox Church teaches that illnesses are spiritual medicine. The medicine does not taste good, and you rather not take it, but it is required for your salvation. If we never got ill, we’d slowly become absorbed by the world and feel invincible. We’d imagine that we would never die, and are in no need of a savior because of how robust and vigorous we are in this life. It is in God’s infinite wisdom that he allows painful illnesses, not only to make us suffer for our sins, but to reorient our lives onto the spiritual and stay on the road to salvation. Glory to God for bringing a severe illness unto my body so that I will be ready for the next illness which may send me to Him to be judged for all of eternity.

Read Next: You Must Suffer
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I'm glad you survived. I hope you watch your growth for years to come. And honestly, you may very likely fall asleep and never wake up again.

God's will be done!

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"You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears" (James 4:14)

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All my family had a severe cold around February. The home test was positive but I didn't go to any doctor or hospital, and took zinc and quercetin in stead. We got better, my kids in a week, my self in 3 weeks but my wife took about 6 weeks. Before, I had prayed to the Holy Spirit for good health. My prayers were answered because now we are all naturally immune.

I put an icon of the Holy Spirit in our living room out of gratitude. But o had tarried for one month. When I was looking up the icon a small earthquake struck our house... I printed it out right away after.

I don't have much faith, but since last year I have prayed occasionally, and it is strange how many of my prayers to the Holy Spirit were answered. This is what scientists call a "coincidence", no doubt. But as a scientist myself, I consider a single instance as evidence.

I think that you need not worry. If my half hearted prayers are answered, then how the more your devout ones will be. May you be healthy and have your daily bread, and when the time comes, be blessed in the hereafter.

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All my family had a severe cold around February. The home test was positive but I didn't go to any doctor or hospital, and took zinc and quercetin in stead. We got better, my kids in a week, my self in 3 weeks but my wife took about 6 weeks. Before, I had prayed to the Holy Spirit for good health. My prayers were answered because now we are all naturally immune.

I put an icon of the Holy Spirit in our living room out of gratitude. But o had tarried for one month. When I was looking up the icon a small earthquake struck our house... I printed it out right away after.

I don't have much faith, but since last year I have prayed occasionally, and it is strange how many of my prayers to the Holy Spirit were answered. This is what scientists call a "coincidence", no doubt. But as a scientist myself, I consider a single instance as evidence.

I think that you need not worry. If my half hearted prayers are answered, then how the more your devout ones will be. May you be healthy and have your daily bread, and when the time comes, be blessed in the hereafter.

So are you still "non Christian" as stated under your name?

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So are you still "non Christian" as stated under your name?

I guess I am too much of a "heretic", in the old sense of unorthodox. I feel there is definitely something about the idea of Trinity, since it occurs even in several pagan religions. Of course, the idea that all religions are the same is nonsense, but similar discoveries by different people in different nations are a sign of possible truth. A heavenly Father, a Holy Spirit,... And Jesus , the Gallilean is certainly a special person, but I do not trust Pauline sources very much.

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