Do you know that a sickness of the soul, no less than a sickness of the body, can become a chronic condition? Look for a moment into your own life and tell me if this isn’t true. Could you not put your finger on an unhealthy spiritual condition that has remained unimproved year after year? It doesn’t take an expert to analyze this kind of problem; all it takes is honesty.
Were you touchy, overly sensitive and difficult to live with years ago? Look at that area of your life today. Has anything changed? Has the condition improved at all? Or look at another area – did you resent something that someone did to you or said about you a long time ago? Are you still carrying that same old grudge today? If you are, that is a chronic sickness. Or did you have an uncontrolled temper that brought unhappiness to friends and family, and dishonor to Christ? How about right now? Is that temper under any better control today? What is so bad about this kind of thing is not that we have these problems, but that we are willing to tolerate them and justify them year after year.
These chronic conditions, these things that we just let go, not only continue, but they tend to get worse. Our attitude toward life and our relationship with others do not stay in a static state. They either grow or shrink, move forward or slide backward, get better or get worse. Bad habits are not like good wine; they do not get better with age. To the contrary, they get worse.
What, if anything, can be done about it? The answer is to believe in the saving power of Christ. We need to make a positive effort to put ourselves in the position where Christ could meet our needs. The only kind of faith that ever makes any real difference in our lives is the kind of faith that we act upon.
Let’s each of us take a look at his or her own life. Has our relationship with Christ made any difference in our character? Is the inner person that we really are stronger and healthier than it was a few years ago? Christ is not going to mold and strengthen our lives by some kind of remote magic. Christ-like character never just happens. It is deliberately built through prayer, meditation, study, worship, service, penance and faithful participation in all of the sacraments. Christian living takes practice.
We are not incurable. Christ can heal our spiritual illness, even though we may have lived with it for a long time. Jesus is waiting for us. Give Him a chance!