Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Great Wounds Need Great Remedies

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!  (Ps 51:1-2)

The severity of wounds calls for remedies of equal intensity, the person falling victim to a serious illness needs greater care, and the one guilty of great sins requires great loving-kindness.  This is surely why the mighty David implores that mercy be completely poured out on him, and the whole fount of compassion be shed on the wound of sin, there being no other way to blot out the traces of sin.
… He is saying,
You have already given me forgiveness through the prophet Nathan, and have brought to bear on me manifold calamities like varieties of cutting and burning.  But I still need purges, giving off as I do an awful stench of sin.  So wash me again, Lord, so as to remove all filth of sin.
Theodoret of Cyrus

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