Illness and suffering are God’s “medicine”

 

For instance, a young man will think “I am great and strong and there is no one greater than I am.” And he looks at his awards, sees that he is beautiful and healthy and the rest. But when he is ill, then he starts thinking differently. "Vanity of vanities ... all is vanity."

Through illness God allows man the opportunity to discover in himself some dormant flaws, hidden in his soul of which he was not aware to that moment! Illness and suffering are by excellence the cure of God’s providence, bringing man next to his Creator and making him increase in virtue.

God wants to prepare our soul so that it doesn’t attach too much on the earthly things, which are fruitless. That is why, through sufferance and illness, he makes it think and live eternal things, which represent reality and the sole truth.

Pain soothes our heart and makes it able to receive the words of God. For instance, a young man will think “I am great and strong and there is no one greater than I am.” And he looks at his awards, sees that he is beautiful and healthy and the rest. But when he is ill, then he starts thinking differently. "Vanity of vanities ... all is vanity."

(Translation from Avva Efrem FilotheitulSfaturi duhovniceşti, traducere Pr. Victor Manolache, Editura Egumeniţa, Alexandria, 2012, p. 6)