The Doctor is good, but my reluctance prevents me from visiting Him – Abba Isaiah of Scetis


The wounds have scarred my body, but there is no stench so that I may yet seek healing. I hide the wounds of the arrows from people and I cannot bear the doctor removing them. He has prescribed ointments for my wounds but I am not sufficiently strong-hearted to endure their astringency.

The doctor is good. He seeks no compensation from me, but my reluctance prevents me from visiting him. When he comes to me in order to heal me, he finds me eating those things that worsen my wounds. He implores me to stop immediately, but the pleasures of their taste deceive my heart. After I have finished eating, I feel remorseful, but my remorse is not sincere. When he sends me food, saying, “Eat in order that you may be healed,” my bad habit does not allow me to accept it. In the final analysis, I do not know what I will do.

Therefore, weep with me, all my brothers who know me, in order that assistance beyond my strength may come to me and dominate me, that I may become his worthy servant, for his is the power, to the ages of ages. Amen.

[Abba Isaiah of Scetis – Discourse 14]

Repentance heals and pardons all sins – Mar Isaac the Syrian


The sick one who is acquainted with his sickness is easily to be cured; and he who confesses his pain is near to health.

Many are the pains of a hard heart; and when the sick one resists the physician, his torments will be augmented.

There is no sin which cannot be pardoned except that one which lacks repentance, and there is no gift which is not augmented save that which remains without acknowledgement. For the portion of the fool is small in his eyes.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Treatise II, Six Treatises on the Behaviour of Excellence, Ascetical Homilies]