The Soul and the Body
Saint John Chrysostom's preaching touches hearts with Divine Truth.
“Our Lord,” says Saint John Chrysostom, “has given you an immortal soul. Oh, if you knew this treasure that lives in the midst of the dust of your body! Through its ardours, this thought would be capable of transporting us alive up to the throne of God.
“Our Lord nourishes souls and makes Himself their food. The soul only lives by God. What a difference between the soul and the body! This body of dust only lives by coarse food; the soul only lives by the Divinity, and there finds its substance.
“Sometimes the Lord, in order to augment the beauty of the soul, seems to weaken his food and to postpone at some distance but, in these moments, He has your souls in His adorable Hands, and He enriches your souls by His gifts. One must not say: my soul, you are far from God, because it is He who, in that moment, carries it.
“The Lord prepares for our bodies, dear brothers, a sort of triumph, but the body does not know, as well as the soul, to see that, when God overwhelms it, He elevates it on a throne. If you want to become wise, become fools in the eyes of the world.”
--[You have checked my] queen! Good saint, we have arrived there. To us also they say with charity that we are fools.
“Oh well, you are wise in the eyes of God.”
(9 March 1878)
[Source: pp. 181-182, Le Ciel en Colloque avec Marie-Julie Jahenny, by Fr. Pierre Roberdel]
Reflection on this prophecy :
Saint John Chrysostom, named the golden tongue because of his great gifts as a preacher, is teaching Marie-Julie about what a soul is, what nourishes a soul, and how this differentiates the soul from the body.
Saint John’s message can be summed up in these words: “What a difference between the soul and the body!”
Of first consideration is that the soul lives in God, and by God, alone: “Our Lord nourishes souls and makes Himself their food. The soul only lives by God.”
Being spiritual in its nature, it is a mystery that dwells inside us, and is so different from what we know in this earthly life of our five senses.
While the body needs material food to keep it alive, “the soul only lives by the Divinity, and there finds its substance.”
A body can be strong, as evidenced through muscular feats, but what about a soul? Can we say that a soul has strength?
Saint John Chrysostom would say yes, a soul is strong.
From the evidence given here, another consideration is that the soul is stronger than the body. Reflect on the following fact which St. John Chrysostom reveals: even strong longings of our soul “would be capable of transporting us alive up to the throne of God.”
That certainly shows a Divine strength that overpowers the strength of the body!
Then Saint John Chrysostom asks us to consider, in his next point, the beauty of our soul. This beauty seems to come from the Divine gift of God’s graces.
But God seems to remove consolations when He gives us His gifts, so that “[s]ometimes the Lord, in order to augment the beauty of the soul, seems to weaken his food and to postpone at some distance”.
However, Saint John Chrysostom assures us that God never, ever, truly abandons us: “[B]ut, in these moments, He has your souls in His adorable Hands, and He enriches your souls by His gifts.”
With the removal of consolations, we truly, truly suffer, (as all of us know) but this is a good to our souls because it “enriches” our soul in a spiritual way, and brings us “His gifts”. So our soul is much more beautiful than our body.
The final aspect to consider regarding the soul, as revealed by Saint John Chrysostom, is that the soul seems to understand the goal of suffering much better than the body does.
For example, aging is hard on the body, and the body will experience real defeats during the process of aging. For the body, things seem to get worse as it ages, yet we are reassured that “[t]he Lord prepares for our bodies, dear brothers, a sort of triumph”.
The body, not being fed by the Divine, does not seem capable of understanding the invisible workings of the spiritual world: “[T]he body does not know, as well as the soul, to see that, when God overwhelms it, He elevates it on a throne.”
The way that the body understands things is in a material sense, not a spiritual sense. Through our five senses, we gather information that leads to our understanding.
This is how the world also thinks; that is, the world that does not recognize the reality of God, of the soul which He has made to dwell inside each and every human body.
This world cannot empirically give evidence for God, and so it rejects God for “measurable truths”.
But we, Marie-Julie Jahenny and all of us, we are people of Faith! And so, Saint John Chrysostom’s final advice to us is wise and gives us much to contemplate about our life on this earth: “If you want to become wise, become fools in the eyes of the world.”
You have checked our queen, Saint John Chrysostom!
Note: A wonderful Catholic prayer has been brought to our attention, which allows us to give all to the holy souls in Purgatory. It is called the Heroic Act of Charity. Please click on the red "Important Prayers" link below:
LINKS: Important Prayers
"We declare, say, define and proclaim to every human creature that they by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff ." - Decree of Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra