You’ve Got it Bad and that Ain’t Good – But the Doctor is In

Alright, I got some news for you. It’s difficult news, but I’m sure you can take it! Here it is: your condition is grave, so is mine. We’ve got some serious stuff wrong with us! You might say we’ve got a few issues!

Yes, I’ve got your spiritual “medical chart” and mine open too, and I’m looking at the test results and the numbers don’t look good. We’ve tested positive for a number of things:

  1. It says we tend toward being dishonest, egotistical, undisciplined, weak, immature, arrogant, self-centered, pompous, insincere, unchaste, grasping, judgmental, inpatient, and shallow.
  2. It looks like we’ve tested positive for being inconsistent, unfaithful, immoral, ungrateful, disobedient, selfish, lukewarm, slothful, unloving, uncommitted, and just plain sinful.
  3. Further tests indicate the presence of fear, indifference, contempt, impurity, hatred, laziness, cowardice, and anger.
  4. Likewise, poor test results indicate the presence of greed, jealousy, revenge fullness, disobedience, hardheartedness, pride, envy, stinginess, selfishness, pettiness, spite, self-indulgence, lust, careless neglect, and prejudice.
  5. Our “spiritual” medical history indicates that we have sinned against justice, modesty, purity, and the truth. We have committed sins against the human person, the children and the young, innocent and the trusting, the frail and elderly, the unborn in infants, weak and powerless, immigrants and strangers, and those who are disadvantaged.
  6. A set of further test results indicates the absence of important key indicators, for we have failed to give witness to Christ, we have failed to join our will to God or give good example to others. We have failed to seek God above all things, to act justly you show mercy, and to repent of our sins. We’ve failed to obey the commandments and curb our earthly desires. We have failed to lead a holy life and to speak the truth. We have failed to pray for others and assist those in need; neither have we consoled the grieving.

Well, you can see that we’re kind of in bad shape. And though you might say that I’m exaggerating,  yet I suspect, if you’re honest, that you have committed many of these sins if not most of them.

Without a lot of grace and mercy, we are in very bad shape! Indeed, I will say more simply that we are doomed!

But here’s the good news: the doctor is in! Jesus! Likewise, the doctor has a cure:

  1. Daily Prayer
  2. Daily reading of scripture
  3. Holy Communion EVERY Sunday
  4. Frequent Confession, at least 4 times a year, more if mortal sin is a problem!
  5. Frequent doses of the Catechism, the lives of the saints and devotions such as the rosary, and novenas.
  6. Good company
  7. And custody of the eyes and ears.

Yes, we need help; we’ve got some stuff going on that will kill us eternally. But Jesus has a hospital: the Church, and Medicine: the Sacraments. Likewise there is spiritual “medical” advice available, the Word of God, sermons, the teachings of the Church and the presence of encouraging doctors and nurses such as the priests, religious, and fellow Catholics.

Whether you and like to admit it or not we need regular check-ups and serious medicine. And Jesus is guiding his Church to give skillful advice and distribute powerful medicine.

Do you think of the sacraments as medicine? Many simply think of them as rituals.  But the truth is they are powerful medicine. I’m a witness. After more than twenty-five years of seeing the doctor, Jesus, and letting him minister to me through Sacraments, the Word, and his Church, a wonderful change has come over me. I’m not what I want to be but I’m not what I used to be.

We got it bad and that ain’t good. But the doctor is in and you know you need him! Reach out for him, what ever your struggles. He’s waiting to minister to you especially in the liturgy and the sacraments. You can’t do it alone. Join us every Sunday at the “holy hospital”, the Church. The Doctor is in!

Here’s a little video humor I put together indicating that sometimes Jesus the Doctor gives a diagnosis that may surprise us. For it is often the case that we say everyone else has a problem, but in fact, the problem is inside us, and so is the solution. Please pardon my video, I have a face for radio.

12 Replies to “You’ve Got it Bad and that Ain’t Good – But the Doctor is In”

  1. True,
    there’s plenty of bad in us, but yesterday’s post stands as a beautiful balance to this one. To understand that we are loved so profoundly by God to begin with gives a context and motivation for the “cure” lest we lose heart…I think of people who suffer from addiction, or obesity, or have some lifestyle related illness, and it is frequently the awareness of being loved which motivates and sustains the discipline to change. This is one of those analogies which could be developed endlessly, although I’m glad we didn’t get into the question of what insurance is accepted by the holy hospital! I suspect everyone is covered by a policy of universal healthcare?:)

  2. As usual, Monseigneur, God has blessed you with insightful perception and effective communication. I am a sinner and it is a terminal illness. Death awaits me unless I follow the treatment prescribed by Christ and administered by his team, holy priests. As chemotherapy heals by killing cells, I must die to myself to be regenerated in Him. Then I will live. Forever. While holy priests will administer this medicine, I must willingly let them treat me through Him and with Him. God bless you, Father, and God bless your healing.

  3. Physician meant “medicine” in Jesus’ time. Hence, He’s the one who restores man because He is man’s restoration.

  4. Msgr:
    An excellent post and very thought provoking. I’m curious as to why you settle on Confession 4times a year? I don’t say it as a criticism. I am curious. The Saints seem to recommend more frequently. I try to practice the First Friday devotion so try to go at least in preparation for First Friday Mass. I once heard a priest recommend going every two weeks since this would coincide with the Church’s requirement for gaining indulgences.

    1. If you haven’t been to Confession in a long, long time, I’m sure that Jesus would be happy with the once a year that is specified by canon law (can. 989).

      And then, after having gone, when you’re over that anxiety of not going because you haven’t been in a long time and actually feel relieved and happy that you went, try for every six months. When you feel comfortable with that, try for every four months, then every three months. Once you’re in the swing of things, you’ll find that, instead of viewing Confession as being a burden or obligation, that you actually want to go and look forward to going.

      Then go every other month or every month. And bring your family with you, especially your kids. Let your young kids see Daddy going into the confessional and coming out and kneeling in the pews saying prayers afterward.

      Frequent confession is indeed good and to be recommended, Matthew. But having someone commit to frequent Confession when they haven’t been in a long time might very well be setting them up for failure, like all those New Year’s resolutions that are broken by January 4. Jesus does ask us to be perfect, but He also understands that we are all works in progress, that we need to grow in our faith and in the Spirit, often one step at a time.

  5. You left out the part where Obamacare and the manditory government regulations are going to control limited choices, fairly redistibute everyones resources and provide a utopian society.That’s the system your theoretical doctor would thrive in.

  6. Dear Msgr. Pope,
    Thank you for your inspiring homily to the young people. There were so many young people going up the hill in Washington on Monday. The rain even stopped as we all walked up to the top.
    I am still trying to find out how many of us were there.
    There is nothing wrong with your video face, it’s what you say that counts.
    Would you also video a homily regarding the HHS which was presented to us last Friday. We need to hear from all of the clergy every day on this matter until it is rescinded. All of us must get involved.
    Thank you again.

  7. Great article Msgr. Pope. I would also suggest looking at this as spiritual fitness. In a lot of cases if you want to lose weight ( get closer to God) you need to start doing to the gym (Mass) daily to get to where you want to be weight wise (be in a state of grace). I would love to hear priests challenge people to go to Confession and follow up with a week of daily Mass. It’s revolutionary and transformational. Our family will never be the same, thank you God.

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